Monday, December 2, 2013

Shards To A Whole: Chapter 261

McGee-centric character study/romance. Want to start at the beginning? Click here.

Chapter 261: Nannies

Back in grad school, Tim’s girlfriend was a sociology major, specializing in feminine gender roles among pre-industrial societies.

Between Helen (said girlfriend) and growing up with a hard core, sex positive, second-wave-feminist, pacifist grandmother, he’s still got something of a specialized vocabulary bouncing around his head that he very rarely uses.

One word that springs to mind is ‘liminal.’ The spaces on the edge or inbetween.

Politically he inhabits a liminal space of being simultaneously vastly more conservative than his grandmother/sister (and a few degrees to the right of Abby and Breena) and being wildly more liberal than Gibbs, Tony, or Ducky (and a few degrees to the left of Jimmy).

Mostly it’s not the sort of thing that he really thinks much about. It’s just something he’s aware of, and occasionally takes some gentle ribbing about when election time rolls around. (From both sides, on one day in November of ’12 he managed to get called a McBleeding-Heart by Tony and The Tin Man (no heart) by Sarah. They didn’t much mean anything by it, beyond the fact that he wasn’t voting for the same guy they were, but still…)

But right now he can feel years of liberal race/class/gender consciousness training creeping up and demanding he pay attention to it. 

And the reason he can feel it, sitting there in the back of his mind, is that he and Abby are looking at the list of resumes that Anderson’s Child Care Services sent over. It’s the same agency that Vance used to find his nanny, and all of the women… people… one of them is a guy… appear to be highly trained, very competent, well-educated professionals determined to provide exceptionally good child care.


But he can’t shake the idea of wealthy, career-oriented, white family hires brown woman from a less well-educated, less-affluent background to take care of the babies.

And it feels weird to even mention the fact that he’s aware of it. That as he’s looking through the resumes he can feel himself checking names, wondering about racial background and thinking about how the woman on the resume in front of him has a Latina name, but a master’s degree in early child development so hiring her isn’t really a paradigm of privilege, right?

And it’s not like they’re planning on paying a sub-minimum wage to a woman who’s here illegally and barely speaks English. These are hard-core professional women… people who have devoted their lives to providing top flight child care.

If this was a stack of resumes for the next member of his team, it wouldn’t be an issue. If these were new hires for Cybercrime, he’d barely be aware of anything about them beyond the facts of the CV.

But it’s not.

They’re nannies. The pinkest of the pink collar jobs, and he and Abby are so damn white they’re practically translucent, and…

“Who do you like?” he asks Abby, figuring the easiest way to deal with this is to just let her pick.

She looks up from her computer. “So many good choices. But, it’d take forever to interview them all.”

“We’ve got nine weeks. That’s time to see twenty applicants. Compared to Vance, as long as we don’t interview the entire agency, we’re doing well.”

Abby smiles at that. “There is that.” He sees her flipping through the documents. “Marissa Allen, she stood out.”

Tim flips through his own to find her, and scans her CV. “What…” Then he sees it. “Drummer for Twisted Puppies from ‘08-‘11.”

“Saw them live a few times.” She grinned at him. “Besides, we want Kelly to have a sense of rhythm.”

He chuckles at that, and adds her name to the call back list. “Okay, that’s one.”

“You know, this might be easier to just weed out the ones we don’t want to see.”

He nods. That’s sensible. But… “None of the resumes we got said, ‘Nope, Not Me!’ to me.”

“Me, either.” Abby starts to type rapidly.


“Sending Lara a note.”

“Makes sense.” Lara came from the same agency. And while it’s true that she’s been with Vance’s family for more than three years now, she might have more of a sense of who the people they’re looking at are than they can get from just looking at resumes.

Tim kept reading through his stack, while Abby scanned hers. After a few minutes he said, “Okay, found one we can discard.”


“Looking for a live in position.”

“Hold up on tossing that one.” He’s giving her the tell me what you’re thinking look. “We both work insane hours. You aren’t settled in Cybercrime, yet. We don’t actually know how much having the other techs in the lab will change my schedule. We’ve got two bedrooms we aren’t using, and a bathroom we almost never use. So, someone here all the time might be a good thing.”

And, sure, that’s logical but… It’s a stranger, in his home, all the time.

His discomfort with that must show on his face because she nods and says, “Okay, no live in help.”


Kelly started to cry, letting them know she was awake and would appreciate some tending, so he went up to grab her.

“Good nap?”

She stopped crying when he came in, but didn’t look pleased.

“Yeah, I’m usually not in a great mood right after I wake up, too.” He picks her up, snuggling  her close as he takes her over to the changing table, and gets started on changing her diaper. “Well, at least that was true until I started sleeping next to your mama all time. Tend to be in a pretty good mood when I wake up next to her.”

The look Kelly’s giving him is best described as, Dad, I’m sure you find this amusing, but I’m hungry, so speed up on the diaper change and get me to Mom.

He kissed her tummy and said, “Yes, love.”

A minute later, he’s downstairs, handing Kelly to Abby. “I think we’ve really got to see them. See who jells best with us, and with her. It’s not about who’s got the masters from the spiffiest university; it’s who gets Kelly, and to a lesser degree, us, best.”

“Yeah,” she says as she gets Kelly settled on her breast. “So, I guess I know what we’re doing from now until you go back to work?”

“Guess so. I’m back on the twentieth, so that’s ten days of interview time.”

Abby thinks about that. “Five really. Doubt they want to do weekends, and I doubt we’ll be able to get anyone in tomorrow.”

"Good points. I'll go give them a call. See what we can do."

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