Friday, March 15, 2013


Today at the mall, I saw a woman with her son and nanny. The son would've been around 8 or 9 years old. He was misbehaving and getting on his mother's nerves. His mother yelled at him. He started whining. She huffed off. 
The kid was left with Nanny, whom he started to punch. She tried to hug him. He stomped on her foot. She stroked his hair. He wailed. The mother came out of the store she was in and yelled at him some more.
Then she left again, vanishing into another store. The kid's squealing got louder. He charged at Nanny. She tried to fend off his tiny-fisted slugs, while reaching into her backpack for a juice to calm him. He threw the juice box on the floor. Nanny held him firmly, wiped his tears and said cooing things into his ear. He calmed down, only slightly sniffling now. His mother surfaced once more. All was peaceful. 
What an invention! The Tantrum Nanny.

The Tantrum Nanny reminded me of something I saw years ago on a road trip to Kedarnath. 
Some workers were digging a ditch along the highway. Two men were responsible for shoveling the loose earth to one side.  But there was only one shovel.
The shovel had a rope tied to its blade.
Guy 1 held the shovel firmly by the handle.
Guy 2 tugged at the rope so that the blade would sweep across the ground & scoop up gravel.
Guy 1 would pull back on the handle. Guy 2 would tug again. Guy 1 would pull back. Guy 2 would tug.
What an invention! The Two Man Shovel.

I now dream of a day when there will be a robot for tantrum management (and 2 robots for shoveling).


  1. Somewhat related and looking in from the other side:

  2. Well, I can understand the mother’s frustration at a whiny child, but huffing off and delegating tantrum-handling to the nanny is a complete no-no.

    1. I relate to the frustration too. But found it interesting how the child's frustration came out as physical violence directed at the nanny. Fascinating power dynamics.