Nanny Diaries‘s Nicola Kraus on Brooklyn, Babysitters, And the ‘Sally Draper Phenomenon’

Nicola Kraus, Brooklyn mother (Amazon)

Nicola Kraus is one half of the team responsible for 2002’s best-seller The Nanny Diaries: a book in The Devil Wears Prada vein that dealt with the horrors not of the publishing industry, but the UES child-rearing business.*

Adapted into a film in 2007 with Scarlett Johansson, the world’s most realistic nanny, Ms. Kraus hit the residuals jackpot again last summer, when it was announced the Ryan Seacrest Productions and The Weinstein Company would be producing The Nanny Diaries as a series for ABC, helmed by Gilmore Girls’ creator Amy Sherman-Palladino. (Now that we’d watch.)

Ten years later, and with a child of her own, Ms. Kraus recently opened up about how she’s raising her child in an interview with…a dicey subject for someone most famous for her take-down on New York mommies.

Don’t worry though…Ms. Kraus lives in Brooklyn, not the city. Which means her childcare services are way more chillaxed:

Sophie is in full-time daycare and has been since she was three months old – the joys of Brooklyn living. I actually picked our neighborhood, Cobble Hill, for the daycares…I do, however, have an army of babysitters.

How is a babysitter/daycare different than a nanny? Well that’s like asking how a raven’s like a writing box. Or how Sally Draper fits into Ms. Kraus’ theory of motherhood.

Now I live in Brooklyn, and what strikes me every day is what I call “The Sally Draper Phenomenon” – everyone trying to overcompensate for their own narcissistic parenting by wearing themselves out. I hear people constantly, angrily lamenting that they haven’t seen a movie in two years, never go anywhere, never do anything. Why? There are these great things called babysitters.

It takes a leap in logic to connect the reference: is Ms. Kraus saying that Sally Draper will grow up to live in Cobble Hill and resent her children for not giving her enough time to see a film? How do you connect Sally Draper’s hypothetical miserable future with a refusal to use babysitters? We need to hear more about this Sally Draper phenomenon before we buy it. (And what about the Bobby Draper Complex, where young boys grow up and live in the Meatpacking district, experimenting with their sexuality and dressing like their mothers?)

Well, we guess there’s only one way to parse the logic of Ms. Kraus’ baby-raising sensibilities: go out and buy her new book, Between You and Me (which she co-wrote with Nanny Diaries‘ Emma McLaughlin). We don’t know if it has to do with motherhood, but we’re sure there’s a couple digs about New York parents in there somewhere.

*Not to be confused with Nicole Krauss,  National Book Award and wife of Jonathan Safran Foer…though both women live in Brooklyn.

<em>Nanny Diaries</em>‘s Nicola Kraus on Brooklyn, Babysitters, And the ‘Sally Draper Phenomenon’