The Nanny Diaries
written by Emma McLaughlin & Nicola Kraus
(Nanny, having just been fired by the X family, has gone back to their home to tell them what she really thinks of their lives, who they are, and how they treat their child and employees. She stands alone in Grayer's room spilling her feelings to the "NannyCam" hidden inside of a large teddy bear. ("Grover" is her nickname for Grayer.))
Nanny: I'm completely self-centered? My behavior is unacceptable? Five hundred dollars. What is that to you, a pair of shoes? A half day at Bliss? A flower arrangement? No way, lady. Now I know you were an art major, so this might be a little complicated for you, but for ten straight days of unmitigated, torturous hell, you paid me three dollars an hour! So, before you wrap up a year of my life to be trotted out as an anecdote at the next museum benefit, keep in mind that I am your own personal sweatshop! You've got a handbag, a mink, and a sweatshop!
And I'm the one taking advantage of you?
You have. No idea. What I do. For you.
Okay listen up. If I say "Two days a week," your response should be "Okay, two days a week." If I say "I have to leave by three for class." This means, wherever you are - all those important manicures, those crucial lattes - you drop everything and come running, so that I can leave - not after dinner, not the next day, but at three o'clock, pronto. I say "Sure, I can fix him a snack." This means five minutes in your goddamn kitchen. This means microwave. This does not involve steaming, dicing, sauteing, or anything at all to do with a souffle. You said "We'll pay you on Fridays." Now listen, genius, this means every one - last time I checked you were not Caesar, um, it's not up to you rewrite the calendar. Every. Single. Week.
All right - slamming the door in your child's face: not okay. Locking the door to keep your son out when we're all home: also not okay. Buying a studio in the building for "private time" definitely not okay. Oh, oh, and here's one: umm, going to a spa when your son has an ear infection and a fever of one hundred and four? News flash; this officially makes you, not just a bad person, but like, officially, a terrible mother. I don't know, I haven't birthed anyone, so I may not be an expert here, but if my kid was peeing all over the furniture like a senile fucking dog - umm, I'd be just a tad bit concerned. I might, oh, you know, just on a whim, eat dinner with him at least one night a week. And, just a heads-up here, people hate you. The housekeeper hates you - the might-kill-you-in-your-sleep kind of hates you.
Now let's review: there I was - innocently strolling through the park. I don't know you. Five minutes later, you've got me cleaning your underwear and going to "Family Day" with your son. I mean, how do you get there, lady? I really want to know - just where do you get the balls to ask a perfect stranger to be a surrogate mother to your kid?
And you don't have a job! What do you do all day? Are you building a spaceship over there at the Parents League? Helping the mayor map out a new public transportation plan from a secret room at Bendel's? I know! Thinking up a solution to the conflict in the Middle East from behind the locked door of your bedroom! Well, you keep right on plugging away there, lady - the world can hardly wait to hear how your innovations are going to launch us right into the twenty-first century with a discovery so fantastic that you can't spare a moment to give your son a hug. There's been a lot of "confusion," so let me make this perfectly clear for you: this job - that's right, j-o-b, job - that I've been doing is hard work. Raising your child is hard work! Which you would know if you ever did it for more than five minutes at a time!
And, Mr. X, who are you? And, while we're making introductions, you're probably wondering who I am. Here's a hint: I did not a. come with the rental or b. show up out of the goodness of my heart, asking your wife if she had any chores I could do around the house. What do ya think, X - wanna take a guess?
I'VE BEEN RAISING YOUR SON! I've been teaching him how to talk. How to throw a ball. How to flush your Italian toilet. I am not a med student, a business student, an actress, a model and I am in no shape or form a "friend" to that crackpot you married. Or purchased or whatever.
Here's the update, big guy. This is not the Byzantine empire - you do not get a camel and a harem with each plot of land. Where's the war you fought? Where's the despot you've overthrown? Making seven figures a year, with your fat ass in a chair, is not heroic and, while it may win you a trophy wife or two, of five, it most definitely does not qualify you for the door prize of fatherhood! I'll try to put this into terms you can understand: your son is not an accessory. Your wife did not order him from a catalogue. You cannot trot him out when it suits you and then store him in the basement with your cigars.
There are people - in your home - human beings - drowning in their desire for you to look them in the eye. You made this family. And all you have to do is show up and like them. Its called "re-la-ting." So get over whatever totally absent-buying-your-affection parenting that you received and get here, man - because this is your LIFE and you're just pissing it away!
(picking up a discarded business card in a bus pass holder; the card is falling apart) Oh, Grover.
(picking up the bear, rewinding the tape, composing herself to speak again)
Hi. It's Nanny. I'm here in your apartment and it's... (glancing at watch) five in the morning. I entered with the key you gave me. And I have all those possessions you value so highly within arm's reach. But here's the thing. I just don't wish you harm. If for no other reason than you have the profound privilege of being Grayer's parents. So I was just going to leave. But I can't. I really can't. Grayer loves you. I have bourne witness to his love for you. And he doesn't care what you're wearing or what you've bought him. He just wants you there. Wanting him. And time is running out. He won't love you unconditionally that much longer. And soon he won't love you at all. So if there's one thing I could do for you tonight, it would be to give you the desire to know him. He's such an amazing little person - he's funny and smart - a joy to be with. I really cherished him. And I want that for you. For both of you, because it's just, well, priceless.
(pause, thinking about everything over the past 9 months)
And if not, then at the very least you owe me, and whoever else you bamboozle into doing it, some fucking respect! (stopping the recording in the bear and ejecting the tape; setting it gently on a table. quietly.) Grover, just know that you're wonderful - fabulously wonderful. And I hope somehow you'll know that I'll always be rooting for you, okay? (going to the door) Good-bye, Grayer.
Kudos and much thanks go to long-time CMMP friend Becca for adapting and donating this monologue, it is very much appreciated.
[ please return to the main movie monologue page ]