Nanny 911 The Lorimors: Two Frustrated Disciplinarians and the Kids Who Walk All Over Them.
First, as a public service, please take a look at this milkbox that I photoshopped with my considerable lack of photoshopping talent. Nanny Yvonne has obviously gone missing. I know, we were supposed to see her this week, and week 2, and week 3 . . . Let’s face it. Every episode ends with a teaser indicating that we’re going to see Nanny Yvonne, but week after week, her episodes disappear. Please help us find Nanny Yvonne. Send links to this recap to everyone on your email distribution list. If she were a nanny on a show that you were recapping, you’d want everyone in the country to be looking for her.
Ok, you just caught on that I’d just made a blatant attempt to increase my readership of my recaps. Nah, don’t bother to send links to this recap to everyone on your email list, unless you WANT to out yourself as a reality TV viewer who has stepped over the line of “tv viewer” to the new depth of humanity of a “person who goes on the internet to read recaps of reality tv shows.” What could be worse for Aunt Ethel and your old college roommates to find out about you? Well, maybe that you WRITE recaps for reality tv shows. That would be pretty darn humiliating, wouldn’t it. Not something that is going to get mentioned in the LG family Christmas letter this year.
Let’s Meet the Lorimors, not to be confused with Dr. Seuss’ Lorax. because they’re not cartoon animals.
Just like there are no free lunches (unless you want to go dumpster diving), there are no simple names in this household. The closest we get is Mom Ginger Lorimor, who is actually a former Nanny from Ireland. Did I mention she’s a former nanny. That will be mentioned a few times this episode. 458 to be exact. Ok, so she’s a former nanny. She speaks with an accent that most Americans would recognize as “European”. If you think she’d immediately hit it off with Nanny Stella, well, you’d be wrong.
Assumptions are tricky like that, but here I go, assuming some more. It is likely the Irish influence that lead to the name of older daughter Seersha, who is 4. Then again, what do I know about name origins. I do know a guy with a son named Seamus, which he pronounces “Shame-us” and he says that it’s Irish, so I’m thinking Seersha is a Guinness-inspired name. Some folks like a “black and tan.” I like a decent shandy myself. Enough about Irish drinks, and on with the recap which could only improve upon the consumption of a nice pale ale.
Dad is a military man named Theron (Sr.). He’s big and strong and plays games with the kids like “you want a piece of me, kid!” to get the kids all riled up before he leaves for work. Well, do ya, punk? I didn’t think so! Theron looks like he could take a pretty decent piece out of nearly anyone, so I think I’d pass on his offer.
Theron, while a thoroughly interesting name, does not lend itself to an easy nickname so we can distinguish the dad from the 3 year old son, Theron Jr. In fact, even Mom Ginger seemed to struggle with this and calls her husband Daddy Theron to Nanny Stella. I’ve solved their problems (without even having lived with them for a week – wow, I’m quite efficient) and have decided to nickname Theron Jr. as Teddy. I’m sure Daddy Theron is less than thrilled with his son’s new nickname and would gladly set me straight, but fortunately he doesn’t know where I am. Oh, I love the anonymity of the internet. But come on, a household in which half of the people living there are both named Theron Lorimor? My spell-check is going crazy. This page looks like red garland is strung from every branch of my recap tree. How festive!
When Dad Theron (no, spell-check, I did not intend to write thereon, or thrown, or thorn, leave me alone) met the lovely Ginger, perhaps she was still working as a Nanny. Theron might have thought to himself, Hmmmmm, I’ll bet Ginger will be a super mom who will really run an organized household. If so, he would have been wrong. See how often that happens. All of these assumptions, leading to conclusions that don’t happen in reality? I’m sure it’s one of the three types of irony that I learned in college, but now I can’t remember what they all were. Isn’t that ironic? I’d say yes, but I can’t remember which kind.
Send in the Calvary: Oh Wait, I Mean Nanny
These kids are preschooler but suck on pacifiers and sippy cups like toddlers. Mom is a complete pushover as she keeps telling Teddy “No, no, don’t do that” as he helps himself to lollypops no less than 4 times from a bucket of candy easily within his reach. Apparently with this Mom, “No” means “unless you feel like it.” The five other people in the Twin Cities metro area watching this show shout in unison with me while I yell “Move the Lollys, Mommy!” Ok, I didn’t really hear them. I doubt that there was really five, because if there were, I’m sure I would have heard them. Who among us would not have been yelling at the tv at that point?
The worst part of the video that gets sent to Nanny Central shows all the hitting and kicking. Teddy is stomping on a pillow on Seersha’s face until Mom rescues her, then both kids are kicking Mom, and Teddy is hitting her square in the face with a toy. Ginger is crying and begging him not to hit her so hard, but he thinks it’s hilarious. It’s really quite horrifying to think that the children are this out of control. What’s more horrifying is that she was once a nanny. Our Nannies are so super-cool and always in control, how could this have happened. Perhaps the military base that they live on is the dumping site for some anti-Nanny kryptonite, as she’s obviously lost all of her skills. Perhaps nanny skills are more like history dates that you cram memorize for a test, rather than bike riding. And whomever said “you never forget how to ride a bike” has obviously never biked behind me. I swear I once knew how to stop without jumping off the bike.
Time for the 1 minute segment from Nanny Central while they watch the videotape and dispatch Stella to handle the Lorimors. The Nannies wonder where Ginger had learned to be a nanny in the first place, speculating perhaps the London Zoo. Well at least at the zoo they don’t let the animals hit the trainers.
Anyone else notice that the butler, Fraiser, reveals the telly by flipping over a framed picture, and that the videos show up inside a gilded rectangular picture frame? Sadly, that’s all I can come up with when pressed to write a sentence about Fraiser, Lillian, or even missing Nanny Yvonne. Who is pressing me? Oh never you mind. Muses, I’m tortured my muses who want to read about Fraiser and Lillian. Perhaps there is a “Rosenkrantz and Guildenstern are Dead” remake of this series from their perspectives for a future recap. Speaking of which, I’ve heard that this show was renewed for more episodes. Oh Joy! More opportunities for me to try to ponder the existence of Fraiser and Lillian in this series. Maybe someday we’ll be treated with a spinoff starring these two. Hey, it worked great for Enos from The Dukes of Hazzard.
Marching Orders: Shape Up Before Dad Ships Out
A major concern for this family is that Ginger has virtually no control over the kids, but she would need to take on all of the family’s responsibilities in the event that Dad gets deployed, a real issue for military families. So unlike the contrived “important family event” tests we had at the end of previous episodes, this week’s test fortunately hadn’t occurred at the end of filming. Let’s hope that they can get with the program before that happens, as I’d hate to be at Chuck E. Cheese or even the SuperMart with these kids at their unruly bests. Ooops, I had a typo and wrote “unruly beasts” or rather, a Freudian slip. Sure spell-check won’t help with that mis-step, but the names are all flashing in neon in this recap.
Nanny Stella observes and comes up with Family Rules. Same old, same old:
Rules of Engagement: Lorimor Family Rules:
1. no hitting or biting – I think that includes not conking Mom in the head with toys. I can tell you that Lil LG would not be playing the next day with any toy that she used as a weapon against me. That would be on the “high shelf” where it can be seen, but not played with, for quite some time. With my short stature, the “high shelf” is the kitchen counter, but never you mind that.
2. respect, everyone in the house needs to listen to each other – Teddy can’t even make it through the reading of this rule without interrupting Nanny Stella, who then uses it as an example and tells him that it isn’t his turn to talk. Wow, sometimes I could use this at the workplace. Sorry boss, it isn’t your turn to talk. Can you imagine someone saying that to Donald Trump? Actually I think Jenn. C. did try something like that this year when she had a severe case of boardroom interruptus.
3. consistency, parents need to work as a team – currently Dad treats them like mini soldiers, then they come to mom for coddling, which she offers. So it’s like good cop, bad cop, only with the stern dad, wishy-washy mommy. I never liked those “good” and “bad” judgmental labels anyway. How about socially acceptable cop and results driven cop?
4. set boundaries – the pacifiers have to go. Did I mention that these preschoolers are constantly sucking on pacifiers? The four year old girl will likely be starting kindergarten next fall. I’ve heard that is what all the kids are doing in kindergarten today. Actually its high school kids who are sucking on large lollypop pacifiers lately, but that trend is associated with ecstasy using rave kids, not exactly something Mom wants people to think her daughter is into.
Mom remarks “this will be hard” and predicts dire consequences. Stella informs her that she needs to take control, and that if Ginger was her Nanny, she’d fire her. Harsh. We’re to the point of nearly every episode when Stella come under fire and has to convince the parents that she knows what she is doing.
Dad: you are used to taking pacifiers away from kids this old.
Nanny Stella: actually I took one away from a three year old last week.
Mom: but this is two kids.
I see. Well in that case, TWO kids, Nanny Stella obviously doesn’t have a clue. These kids don’t need to even bother to make excuses for themselves, as their parents do it for them. There is a scene where Nanny is bagging up the pacifiers and the kids are screaming, “I’m a baby” when she says she’s taking them to the babies. If you insist. . .
Stella tries to psyche up Ginger for the psychological trauma of hearing her children be upset. She tries to get in touch with Ginger’s “Inner Nanny” and urges her “bring it on” like so many competitive cheerleading movies. She needs to reach for The Eye of the Tiger. I bet you weren’t expecting a Survivor reference right there. You know how I love a good 80s music reference. Was Survivor a hair-band? I dunno, more like feathered-back mullets perhaps. In any event, Ginger needs to recapture her authoritarian side (and some of her self-respect) to bring some order to this family.
Ginger knows what she needs to do: enforce consequences and isolate children when they hit. Now, can she do it? We have the battle plans laid out. I’m picturing a series of books about the phases of this conquest, like the Time-Life World War II series of books that my dad read to us from when we were kids. Cheery stuff for bedtime stories.
The Martial Law Initiative: Introduction of Time Outs.
The first step is to introduce her children to the concept of the time-out for bad behavior. This is such a foreign concept for Ginger that she doesn’t even seem to have a timer, so Nanny Stella pulls one out of her bag. My daughter knows that the kitchen timer is usually stuck on the fridge (it’s a magnet) and that if it comes down off the fridge that either she’s getting a time-out or we’re baking. Now I understand why she’s afraid of cookies. It had nothing to do with the Cookie Monster after all.
Teddy balks at his first time out, one that is set for 3 minutes (one minute for each year of age). He escapes twice and his parents enforce and make him return to the hallway. Then, with only one minute left, when he has finally calmed down, Mom rushes in to “rescue” him from the punishment, totally undermining Dad’s efforts to enforce the rules and make him wait for the beeps. Mom was wondering if there wasn’t some “middle ground” and Dad replied, “No” and when Dad says “No” it means, well, “No.” Shocking. Mom can’t help but rush in to be the “good” Mommy who prevents the kids from having to face consequences for their actions. Terrific.
The Battle of the Sippy Cups.
The kids take sippy cups to bed with them every night. Nanny Stella says that they need to go, which leads to lots of crying and whining at bedtime. Dad thinks it’s too hard for them to quit “cold turkey” but I don’t know that sippy cups have the same addictive qualities of nicotine. Perhaps is there was a sippy cup patch, these kids could be gradually weaned off the residual taste of chewed up plastic.
Eventually they both fall asleep. Mom confesses that she feels that if she’s being really strict with her kids that she’s not loving them. Love means never having to say “no, you can’t have a sippy cup” apparently.
This battle was pretty easy, but those pesky pacifiers aren’t just for bedtime for these kids. They run around with their “dodies” in their mouths all the time, yet somehow they still find a way to shriek and hit and kick despite near constant pacification.
The Siege of the Pacifiers, Night One.
There is a lot of crying into late in the night. Repeat and fade . . .
The Siege of the Pacifiers, Night Two.
Mom and Dad are mad at Nanny Stella for abandoning them with their own children when she left and got some sleep during the long tear-filled first night without pacifiers. I’m thinking perhaps a switch from pacifiers to muzzles was in order. Everyone is exhausted. They think the prior night was a “failure” because no-one got any sleep and felt like no-one would ever sleep again until more pacifiers were procured. However the night passed without a single pacifier, so Nanny Stella points out the “success” they had overlooked with their bleary vision.
Mom vows to stick with it as they don’t want to be breaking their kids of the pacifier habit when they are sending them off to college (in head-gear after screwing up their permanent teeth with all that sucking). This is the turning point that we wait for every week, as I can turn the volume back on now. There is no more crying after this point.
Somehow the next night, the kids cry a little bit at bedtime, but then settle down and go to sleep. Of course no sleep the night before could be the very answer, but whatever, it worked. The kids are weaned off their rubber nipples, and the parents get a full night of sleep. Nanny Stella went from being an idiot to a genius in one short night. Why hadn’t they tried this before? If only they had known someone who was once a Nanny . . .
Restoring a New World Order: How Nanny Ginger Got Her Groove Back (from Stella)
To complete the radical transformation from shrieking horde to orderly family in just one week, Dad takes the kids the next morning and does “big kid” chores with them while Mom sleeps in. She awakes rested, and things are right in the world. She thanks Nanny Stella for making her a better mother. The family receives several parting gifts from the show, including a mini-van so that Mom can leave the house while Dad has the car when he’s at work, and large ride-in toy cars for both kids. Looks like more fun than a houseful of kids. Speaking of which, we’re supposed to see the Johnstons and their seven daughters (and Nanny Yvonne) next week. Yeah, yeah, I’ll believe it when I see it.
Can you pass me a lollypop? Or email me, at firstname.lastname@example.org m