NEW YORK – It was an unusually honest ad for a live-in nanny, a 1,000-word tome beginning, "My kids are a pain." But it worked, attracting a brave soul who's never been a nanny before.
"If you cannot multitask, or communicate without being passive aggressive, don't even bother replying," Rebecca Land Soodak, a mother of four on Manhattan's Upper East Side, wrote Aug. 19 in her advertisement on Craigslist.
"I can be a tad difficult to work for. I'm loud, pushy and while I used to think we paid well, I am no longer sure."
This being the age of instant communications, the ad took on a life of its own, making the rounds of parenting blogs and e-mail inboxes and inspiring an article in Thursday's New York Times.
Soodak, a 40-year-old painter whose husband owns a wine store, eventually hired Christina Wynn, a 25-year-old University of Virginia graduate, to take care of Rubin, 12; Ellis, 9; and Shay and Cassie, both 6.
"I made a commitment to stay in the job for at least a year," Wynn told the Times. "I met the oldest child, but not the others, which my mother said was crazy — to accept the job without meeting all the kids. So we'll see." She noted that one of the pluses is that the children are all in school for several hours each day.
Some other excerpts from the listing: "If you are fundamentally unhappy with your life, you will be more unhappy if you take this job, so do us all a favor and get some treatment or move to the Rockies, but do not apply for employment with us."
And this: "Also, if you suspect all wealthy women are frivolous, we are not for you."
And this: "I have all sorts of theories on how to stack my dishwasher, and if you are judgmental about Ritalin for ADHD, or think such things are caused by too much sugar, again, deal-break city."
No word yet on whether a sequel to "The Nanny Diaries" is in the works. Meanwhile, Soodak tells the Times: "I hope she likes it here. I sent the ad to one of my old sitters and she said she felt it was pretty accurate, which sort of stung a little bit."