While Mary Poppins may be the nanny who is practically perfect in every way, Jo Frost makes a good substitute. Dubbed the “Supernanny” for years in England then again in USA, this nanny is making somewhat of a comeback tour with her new show, Jo Frost: Nanny on Tour.
Though the new show, airing on the UP network, is similar to the older Supernanny show, a few changes have been made. Essentially, Frost will be traveling about the states in the mobile office making occasional stops in shopping mall parking lots in between her in-home meetings. Other than that, things are pretty much the same.
For her first stop on the new series, Frost arrives on the doorstep of the Whisonant family. Steven and Haley have four children (Noah, 9; Jonah, 4; Gabe, 2 and baby Sarah) as well as Steven’s mother, Jane, who lives with them and Polly, Haley’s mother who frequently stops by. The family unit is basically one adult per child which in theory should work out pretty well. But if that were the case, then there would be no need to call in nanny would there?
“Four adults and no kids listening. That’s crazy,” says Frost viewing the home footage before her arrival. She can tell that she has her work cut out for her and she is right. This episode may prove to be one of her toughest families to deal with yet.
Once the initial greetings are over with, it’s on to business. Frost brings all of the adults into the kitchen to do some heavy brainstorming. “I want to problem solve,” she says giving each of them a pen and short piece of paper. “Just write the one thing right now that has been sitting on your chest like a ton of bricks.” Surprisingly though, what is bothering most of the adult are not the children.
Steven is upset that he has to share his bed with his two youngest children because Haley is still breast feeding them. Steven thinks that Haley continues to breastfeed the two-year-old because she doesn’t want him to grow up. Steven’s mother is upset with both Haley and himself for not appreciating her enough as she feels that she does all of the work around the house. Haley counters with the fact that she feels that she does the majority of the work. It is also revealed here that Haley has a touch of OCD as she is constantly cleaning the house instead of attending to the children. It is only Polly, Haley’s mom that notes that she feels that the children treat her like a playmate rather than an adult in charge.
This is going to a be a lot to work out, but Frost has done it before and has seen it all though. Frost has helped many families over the years even though she has had no formal training. When asked by The Independent if she feels qualified for the job Jo replied.
“Yes, I do. I think it is in-the-field experience, which I’ve had… When you’ve done over 100,000 hours, what labels you an expert? Reading a text book? Passing an exam? But it’s also my make-up as well. I’m highly intuitive – highly. You can say as much to me with what you don’t say as what you do say. How you sit. How you don’t sit. I can assess the situation or somebody pretty quickly. I can look at a photo and tell you about your child’s temperament and personality. All that scans in seconds.”
It’s true. Within moments of just meeting the Whisonant children, it becomes clear to her that she had to show the adults how to talk to their own children. She picks up the unruly one, stares him down eye-to-eye and very calmly yet firmly, get the child to see the error in his ways and to apologize for his bad behavior to his sibling. The parents look amazed. Later on the episode, Haley explains that she thought that Jo Frost would come in and just talk to the children and get them to obey. She didn’t realize how much work she needed to do as a parent. And there lies the rub.
Jo Frost: Nanny on Tour premieres on January 28 at 8:00 p.m. (ET) on the UP network.
[Photo courtesy of the UPtv]