Hot Single Dad

By: Claire Kingsley


“Anyway, they were on their Skype call with Charlotte a few days ago and she said they wanted to talk to me. I usually just stay out of the way, you know? I let Charlotte talk to them as long as she wants, but I don’t know, it’s awkward. I got on the call and Margo said she had a solution to my nanny problem.”

“And the solution is Linnea, I take it,” he says.

“Yeah. She graduated college not long ago and has been living with them. They didn’t really give me much of a choice. When Margo gets an idea in her head, it’s pretty hard to dissuade her.”

“Huh,” Alex says. “Is she in medicine, like Melanie was?”

“No, she’s a musician, I think. Piano, maybe? Anyway, she’s on her way here.”

“You sound incredibly unenthusiastic for a guy who really needs a good nanny,” he says. “Or are you worried Linnea will flake out too?”

I glance down at Charlotte, but she’s looking at one of the books she brought in her little pink backpack. Still, I lower my voice. “It’s not really that. She might be fine with Charlotte, I don’t know. But that’s the thing—I don’t know. When I was married to Melanie, the rest of her family lived in Michigan and we didn’t see them very often. I barely remember this girl. The last time I saw her, she was this surly teenager who almost never spoke. She wore these big hooded sweatshirts and sat in the corner, not talking. It was weird.”

“That is weird,” he says.

“I think she was just shy or something. But honestly, that’s the last thing Charlotte needs. She’s already so shy, she needs someone to bring her out of her shell. Help her learn how to talk to people and make friends. As it is, I don’t think Charlotte has any friends at school. She won’t talk to anyone. Her teacher wants to have a conference about it.”

“Wow, I didn’t realize.”

“Yeah, the little girl you guys see is not who she is around other people,” I say. “And it’s getting worse. She’s always been quiet. But she’s shutting down at school completely. At least when she was in kindergarten she followed directions. Now she has days where she won’t even do that.”

I glance at Charlotte again before I continue, but she’s still reading.

“Anyway, the point is, Charlotte needs a nanny who can help her open up, not someone who’s arguably worse than she is socially,” I say. “Plus, what the hell am I going to do with some sullen kid who won’t talk? This just feels like it’s making things harder, not easier.”

“Yeah, that’s not great,” Alex says. “Sorry, man.”

“I’ll deal with it,” I say. “I figure I’ll give it a few weeks and then I can put her back on a plane to Michigan. But I should let you go. Is Weston there already?”

“Yeah, he just showed up.”

Weston is our new brother-in-law. He married Kendra a few months ago in a ceremony that surprised the hell out of everyone. We all got a text asking us to meet them downtown, and when we got there, they were dressed up outside the courthouse. If it was anyone else, I would have said they were nuts—they hadn’t been together very long. But Weston is crazy about her, and Kendra knows what she’s doing.

“Okay, I’ll catch you guys next week.”

“Sounds good,” Alex says. “And good luck.”

“Thanks.”

I hang up and check the time before I pocket my phone. Linnea landed twenty minutes ago, so she should be here soon. I wish I felt better about this, but I can’t see how this is going to work. I guess the good news is, Charlotte says she knows Linnea from her Skype calls with her grandparents. Maybe she’ll actually talk to her. Even if Brittany—the last nanny we tried—hadn’t forgotten Charlotte at school, she wasn’t working out anyway. Charlotte wouldn’t speak to her, even after several weeks.

But like I told Alex, I’ll deal with Linnea for a few weeks and then I can send her back home. Her parents won’t be able to argue if I say we gave it a shot and it didn’t work out. It’s not my responsibility to make sure their daughter has a job.

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