Or is it Nannys and Mannys?
Anyway, that's the topic that's been on my mind lately. Dave and I were lucky. For the first 6 months of Lisel's life our primary road child care was either my mom, dad, or sister. Talk about a load off. I mean, traveling with an infant in stressful enough (I've been thinking a bunch lately about the fact that we did a two week tour with a six week old, and only 6 months later it strikes me, as well, kinda nuts), but traveling with an infant and then handing her off to a person you just met an hour ago before you walk on stage...well, let me say that though we have always had babysitter luck, when the last note sounded I still ran off stage every time.
Knowing that our baby was safe in the arms of a family member relieved Dave and me of a whole passle of worry.
But now, the members of my immediate family are moving onto their next adventures. My folks have decided to continue traveling, but now their choosing their destinations. Every once in a while I'm sure they'll come out on the road. Like right now. We're spending five days near Ruidoso, NM and they offered to come out and watch the baby while Dave and I spend long days at the Spencer Theater performing "A Ride With Bob." For the most part thuough, the road is no longer their home.
My sister has moved to Athens (sniff). She rocked our world, not just on the childcare front but also on the road buddy tip. I'm hoping at some point she'll come back out with us, but for now she'll be busy getting into the swing of her new town.
So you see, our childcare situation has changed.
We could hire people at each venue. Honestly, it would be cheaper. But I'm pretty sure that after a tour of any length of time, I'd be so exhausted from the nerve-wrackingness of it all that I'd be worthless.
So we've decided to hire road nannies/mannies.
A road nanny/manny is a special breed. It has to be someone who is not only cool with watching a baby (because there are many kid people out there, but fewer baby people if you know what I mean) and who is also down with the go-go exciting yet grueling pace of the road. Not everyone wants to wake up at 5, drive to a new town, eat road food, hang out in a hotel room, eat more road food, go to a gig, hang out with a baby and then go back to the hotel. Every day. For weeks at a time.
Luckily, we've located some rad road childcare. Not surprisingly, we've pulled from the pool of excellent musicians we know. Because musicians tend to be up for the adventure.
First, let me introduce you to Claire Small.
You may already met her, because she's watched Lisel on the road in the past. But then let this serve as your reintroduction. Because everyone should know Claire. She's first and foremost an amazing singer and songwriter. She's goosebump good. She's send you into a dreamstate good. And she's working on a new record, which means we're all lucky.
She's also amazing with our daughter. She's easy, and fun, and Lisel adores her. She'll be coming out with Dave and I on a two week tour to the East Coast, and I really can't wait.
And then there's road manny, Lindsay Greene.
Lindsay is one of my oldest Austin friends, my brother from another mother. And he's an incredible bass player, my kind of bass player. Groovy and creative, dude-did-you-really-play-that good. And he's got a bond with Lisel. Here's a man who put my daughter to sleep not one, but two times, with no screaming fits on her part and no freak outs on his. I feel totally comfortable having him watch Lisel.
I'm sure our nanny pool will grow. It's comforting to know that now that we won't always have family on the road, we'll have the next best thing. Awesome nannies/mannies.