Not to say that a real-life Mary Poppins couldn’t exist, it’s just that in our experiences matching 450,000 nannies and families, we haven’t found one yet.
I’m much more familiar with Disney’s Academy Award-winning film with Julie Andrews and Dick Van Dyke, in which Mary dances with chimney sweeps and makes her children’s toys come alive. The 1964 classic was named the #6 Greatest Movie Musical of All Time by the American Film Institute in the same tier as “Singing in the Rain” and “The Wizard of Oz.”
However, the new Broadway incarnation is bringing the world’s first supernanny to whole new audiences. Disney’s Mary Poppins is playing to sellout audiences as star Steffanie Leigh, who prepared for the role by first working as a real Manhattan nanny, flies above the crowd on a wire!
Mary’s nemesis, Miss Andrew, provides the perfect personality contrast to showcase the extremes of child discipline. In a new interview with Broadway.com, actress Ruth Gottschall muses how her character especially riles up the kiddies in the audience:
“I don’t think of Miss Andrew as being mean. She may be strict, but in her mind she’s doing what she thinks is right, and knows exactly how things should be run in the Banks household. If the audience falls in love with you, that’s terrific, but if they hate you that’s even better. Sometimes I even get booed! If I had a dollar for every time a child starts to scream or cry when I’m onstage…
At last Saturday’s matinee I finished my song and a little boy behind our conductor screamed, “Geez, someone should stab her through the chest with a pitchfork!” It helps me think, “OK, I earned my paycheck this week!”
In the Mary Poppins story, the father (Mr. Banks) and his children (Jane and Michael) have philosophical differences about how to write the job description when hiring a new nanny. Banks wants a strict disciplinarian, while the kids naturally prefer a fun, whimsical woman. Poppins, of course, manages to be a blend of the two, teaching character values and life lessons while still being the most entertaining lady on earth.
When it comes to searching for a nanny to meet your family’s unique needs, you’ll probably be grappling with similar questions. Yes, nanny background checks are extremely important. But that is only one piece of the puzzle. Finding the right personality cannot be rushed, unfortunately.
The good news is that you’re not alone. Our Nanny Success Kit has proven itself thousands of times over, taking you through each step of the search and hiring process. Determine what personality traits and qualifications are most important to you as a parent — and don’t settle for anything less.
Here are some essential Nanny Interview Questions to get you started.
Have you already found your Mary Poppins? Tell us how you found your favorite nanny — and the impact she is having on your family life. Please drop us a line at eNannyTips@gmail.com and you might be featured in a future blog!