The ad jumped out from the others surrounding it as Tiffany skimmed the page, forcing her to put down her cup of coffee and focus on it.
For hire: Nanny, college-aged female, studying child development,extensive child care experience, able to start immediately. (803) 555-3248
Trying to find someone trustworthy to watch Lily, her 8-month old, was proving impossible, and her new job was set to start in less than a week. She sent off a quick text, asking the girl in the ad if she was available to meet for a quick coffee and chat about a possible job, almost but not quite daring to hope that it would prove to be the right choice.
She sent up a silent prayer that it would be good news before reading the message.
Of course; I have a little time now, if you’re available.
“Aha”, Tiffany chuckled, before typing out her response.
Absolutely! I’m actually at Book & Bean now, if you’re anywhere nearby.
Right down the street! I’ll be there in about ten minutes!
Tiffany smiled down at the sleeping Lily, and whispered, “Things are finally turning around, babygirl. You’ll have someone to watch you, and I’ll finally be able to start working. It’s all going to be okay,” before stepping over to the counter to ask the barista to top off her cup with fresh coffee. She came in frequently enough and was always so nice that all of the employees bent the rules for her a little.
A few minutes later, the bell above the door jangled and a petite brunette darted in, eyes rapidly searching the room. When they fell on Tiffany and the stroller, she immediately smiled and headed over, hand outstretched.
“Hello! I’m guessing you’re the person I’m supposed to meet; if not, I’m so sorry!”
Tiffany laughed, “No, you’re right. I’m Tiffany Henderson, and this sleepy little bundle is Lily.”
“She’s gorgeous! I’m Ramona Davis. Would you mind if I grabbed a quick cup before our chat?”
“No, go right ahead. We’ll be here.”
Ramona smiled another dazzling smile, and walked to the counter, quickly ordering a cup of home brew with vanilla creamer. Tiffany was pleased to see she waited off to the side for it to be ready instead of expecting it to be delivered to the table. It was a considerate gesture she appreciated seeing.
Tiffany smiled at Ramona as she walked back to them. “Thank you so much for dashing over here. I’ve been trying to find someone to watch Lily while I’m at work, and nothing has worked out so far. I have less than a week before my start date, and I’m getting a little panicky.”
“I completely understand. It’s so hard to trust a stranger with your child; I can’t even imagine how stressful the entire process must be. I’m hoping I can make it a little easier for you. I’m happy to answer any questions you have, and I brought copies of my resume and a few reference letters as well, if you’d like to see them.”
“Yes, please, but first, I have to get this out of the way. What do you charge? My budget is pretty tight right now, and I would hate to waste your time if there’s no way I can afford you.”
“Oh, of course. I’m actually not looking for monetary payment. I would like to use the job as a way to complete an extra credit assignment for one of my child development classes. Nothing would be different from what a nanny typically does, other than I would have a time sheet for you to sign each week, and I would like your permission to use the curriculum I’m working on with Lily, to see what works and what doesn’t at each stage of her development.”
“Are you serious? That would be amazing,” Tiffany said. “I would love for Lily to be learning even as young as she is, to give her every opportunity I can.”
The two women smiled across the table at each other, each sensing that the other liked her and was on board with the arrangement.
Tiffany continued, “I know your ad said you were available to start immediately. Is that immediately as in, tomorrow, immediately, or would that be too soon?”
“No, not at all. My classes, with the exception of one, are evening classes, so I’m free any morning or afternoon you would like me to start. The one that isn’t is primarily an online course, with occasional meetings with my professor that I can easily schedule around my time with Lily. Or, again with your permission, take her with me.”
“That all sounds fine. My hours will be the normal work week, Monday through Friday, 8 to 5, with very rare times I need to work later. If you can start tomorrow, that would be great; it will give you and Lily a few days to get to know each other before I’m at work.”
Ramona beamed, gushing, “That would be perfect. I’m so excited to start working with you both. Would it be okay if I call you later this evening to hash out all of the details for tomorrow? I have a meeting with the professor I was talking about that I scheduled last week and I would hate to be late.”
“That’s absolutely fine! Any time tonight will be great.”
After a few more exchanged pleasantries, Ramona left for her meeting, after grabbing another coffee, and Tiffany cleared off her table and began gathering her things to take Lily home. While she was putting her phone away in her bag, Lily began to wiggle and fuss a bit. Tiffany leaned down into the stroller and smiled when Lily opened her big beautiful yellow eyes, being careful to block the stroller with her body so no one could see the sharp little teeth peeking from the baby’s mouth.
“Don’t worry, my little Lilith love…you’ll have everything you need tomorrow.”