25 April, 2015

Turns out Nanny Can Cook

      Our nanny of less than a month is taking charge in her new position. I had not asked her to cook because we have three children and didn't think she could work it out. As it turns out, she has been cooking and she is quite good at it. Good at it as in, I see myself looking forward to coming home wonderding what she has made. Because this was not a part of her original assignment and because she is so good and we want to keep her happy, what would be a fair amount to add to her weekly salary for cooking four nights a week?  I was thinking $100 for family dinner for 5. Friday, we usually go out or do take out.  Her currrent salary is $825 after taxes for five 11 hour days.

ISYN Day in the Life 2015, #10

7:00 Wake up, having slept in workout clothes, I wake up and start working out. Quick lunges and sit ups and then I run outside. I live where it's fairly cold in the winter, but I run in every temperature.
7:50  In shower, Dress, Head Upstairs.
8:00 Simultaneously start toasting waffles and pancakes, select yogurt, slice bananas and brew a pot of strong coffee. 8:105-8:15, Dad comes downstairs, grabs coffee and heads out the door. Mom has already left. She goes in early to be home by 6, he goes in late and works until 8.
8:20-8:35  Feed up and clean up after the twin 3 year olds.
8:45 Kids are both dressed and playing on the floor in the playroom.
9:00 Physical therapist arrives for Twin #2.
9:10 Leave with Twin #1 for his Pre K group. Put him in the jog stroller, bundle him, get my gator on and start running, Try not to get frustrated with the pedestrians and stoplights.
9:25 At preschool, make small chat with some of the nannies. Talk about the weather. We wonder where Spring is. I'm draining my bottle of Poland Springs.
9:30 Twin #1 is in the classroom, backpack in his cubby. I leave the stroller tucked in a special closet and run home. The physical therapist leaves by 10:15. I go three blocks further South than I need to to make the loop longer. The air stings my lungs.
10:10 I'm home and catching up with the physical therapist who demonstrates some activities that will help with hamstring flexibility. After she leaves I wash my face in the kitchen sink with soap and cold water, then I drink a cup of black coffee and a cup of hot lemon water.
10:25 I get out the trainset and set the tracks on course. I attempt to get #2 interested in playing. I put the different trees and train parts in his chubby hand. He laughs and watches me with wonder. It's too quiet so I put a CD on. Mazzy Starr.
11:00 Morning snack for #1. Cheese and a cut up apple with peanut butter. I let him take his time and encourage him, but I don't help him any more. I've learned that I was giving him too much help and I need to let him do everything he can for himself. The apple pieces are in tiny bites with no skin, even his jaw muscles are weak.
11:20 I take him with me down to the laundry room in the building. He loves riding in the cart. If the laundry room is empty, I can spin him around and chase him between the machines. He's the sweetest and easiest kid ever. After getting the clothes from the washer to the dryer, I head upstairs and we dress to go out to pick up brother from preschool.
12:20 We arrive at the school in the double jogging stroller. I get brother, load him up with his artwork for the day and we head home. #1 asks to go to Dinosaur park, his favorite, but it's too cold.
12:40 We are home and I am making lunch for the two. They are fighting over a cookie monster toy that neither of them really likes. I put in a swing CD and crank it up on high volume while I make grilled cheese and slice tomatoes.
1:00 The boys sit at the counter in their big boy stools at the counter. I drink a cup of coffee and nibble on some cheddar cheese and tofu. #1 will fall asleep in his jello if I don't watch him. I scoop them both up and carry them back to the bathroom. #1 is diapered, #2 uses the toilet. Both lay down on their beds in an L Shaped formation and I read them one story. It's so cold outside and so warm and comfortable there, I am tempted to fall asleep. I don't, but I do stay until they are sleeping and then quietly sneak out the door.
1:10 With the baby monitor I run downstairs and get the load of laundry from the dryer and bring it upstairs to fold it.
1:30 On my IPAD, emailing friends, checking FB, sharing status updates about my little charges. Mom is a FB friend. I never share too much and I never share pictures of their faces. Nina, who lives two floors up rings the bell and brings the single stroller back from this morning. She uses it on the return trip for her daughter, who is usually tired after school. She comes in to chat for awhile, holding her baby monitor, of course. She declines tea today.
3:00 I wake the boys if they are not already awake. Today both have to be woken and so they are grumpy upon rising. I ask them if they want to go play. #1 leaps up off his bed and rushes in my arms, "Dinosaur, Dinosaur". I tell him again, it is too cold out today but suggest we go to our favorite indoor playground. They cheer unanimously, "yeahhhhhyy".
3:15 We handle bathroom functions, pack snacks and head off, again in the double stroller. This ride is short though and they chomp cheerfully on Cheezits the whole way. At our favorite indoor play spot I run in to Bindi. Bindi is a  busy body who visited my employers on a Saturday morning to tell them that I favored one child and wouldn't let the other out of the stroller. She smiles at me now, I look through her. These boys are differently abled, I love them the same but things are not the same for each of them.
5:30 We are home. The boys show no sign of tiredness. I was thinking maybe a movie to wind down before dinner, but they want to do something. I get out some of my home made dough (I have all kinds) and set them up at the kitchen table while I bread chicken breasts to make what I hope will pass as chicken nuggets for dinner. I mash some sweet potato and give each a scoop of greek yogurt on their personalized plastic dinner plates. #2 drinks from a sippy cup still but #1 uses a regular cup. They sit like little men across the table from each other and grunt conversation to each other. The nuggets are acceptable but only when dunked in ketchup.
6:05 Mom comes home and throws her stuff down on the entry table. "I'm so tired, I'm late, do I have time to change" "Of course", I say, "Do  you want me to do baths tonight?". She insists she will do them. I hang back in the kitchen cleaning up as the boys finish up to give her some time to wind down. I carry the boys to the bathroom where she is sitting on the side testing the water. "Anything to report" she asks.  "Same ole, same ole" I say.
6:15 I am out the door and off work for the night. Tonight I will hit an SAA meeting at Times Square Art Center and an NA meeting at St Francis. I'm sure I could find closer spots, but I'd prefer not to run into any neighbors or acquaintances. Some days I wonder if I'll still be sober when I wake up in the morning. It's a fear that never leaves you, as committed as I am to my complete recovery.

"K" has worked as a live in nanny on the for this UWS family for 10 months. She does not wish to disclose her salary.
Send your Day in the Life Submission to isynblog@gmail.com.

24 April, 2015

One Late Appointment Gets Her Grounded

 I have an issue I would like to speak to my family about. Now, they are a wonderful family with one baby. He is almost 14 months.  Let's go back about 2 months ago; mom had ask me to meet her at doc office for baby's appointment.  The night before I ask her the address so I could put in my GPS unit.  She didn't know what the address was so I had to guess.  It was in a general area.  On the way there, my phone died with no charger.  It was one of those days where everything goes wrong.  Got to a store and got hold of mom; who was, of course, really upset.  I went out that night to purchase a new GPS and phone charger.  I never want that to happen again.  ow, they are really hesitate about me going anywhere.  He needs to be outside the house to socialize with others and get exercise.  What can I say to them so baby and I are  not stuck in the house all summer? 

Nanny Wonders What Her Rave Review Was Based on...

     I have been working for this family for three months. I have a nanny contract. We recently had a meeting where the parents told me that I had "exceded their expectations". They in return asked me how I liked things. I said that I loved the kids and planning days with them and spending time with them but I felt that some of the things addressed in the nanny contract were not correct. The husband grimaced. The wife looked uncomfortable. There were more than a few things, for example I am always on time. One time I was five minutes late and as a result, she missed her train and was 40 minutes late to a meeting. She impressed that on me for assertively. However, my hours go until 7:00 pm. That is what I am paid for in my weekly salary. At least twice a week, they are late, usually by only ten or fifteen minutes. When I brought it up in the meeting the husband said, "so what's the problem, you can see the next movie". He clearly didn't equate the importance of my time with his. The wife got the importance of holding her coworkers up at the meeting, but what of my friends waiting for me at the movie? I wavered on this and asked if they could at least call and let me know if they had gotten on a later train. The husband looked severely annoyed. The wife agreed.
     The next thing is the housekeeping and personal assistant tasks that it is assumed I will take on. When I brought this up, they both looked at me with a blank stare. The husband said, "this sounds like girl talk" and excused himself.
      It was easier to talk to my boss, who after her husband left again said how happy she was that I chose their family. I told her that we agreed on specific hours and tasks at a set salary. I suggested that we should consider time for going over seven PM as well as the cost for tasks she would like me to do, tasks I could decide if I wanted to do, based on the pay. She then said, "so if I ask you to clean the downstairs bathroom for $5 a day on a daily basis because ___ is potty training, and you don't want to, who is going to do it for $5?" I said, "well that is kind of the point. If you want extra work done, you can have someone else come in and do it".
     With this, she got exasperated with me and stood up. She said, "why don't you do this. Why don't you make a list of the jobs that we have asked you to do that you didn't agree to and let me know how much each job is worth it to you. I don't know what else to tell you". And she just left me sitting there like a complete moron.
      Has anyone ever been in this situation?
      The list of things would include vacuuming the downstairs, mopping the kitchen floor (not mopping up a spill, but mopping the whole flour), washing bedding from each of the family beds once per week and remaking them, washing, drying, ironing and folding the children's clothes, dropping her husband's shirts at the drycleaners and picking them up, emptying the dishwasher which is left STUFFED full every monday morning, washing pots and pans left in the sink ANYTIME they cook, they leave their pans "soaking" and sweeping the front porch. To be honest with you, I would rather not do any of this.
     This meeting took place last Friday and no one has said a word since. I have continued to do the things they asked of me as listed above. What do I do now? *Also, I feel both parents have been cold to me. Is it possible my rave review was only based on the stuff I was doing that was extra and doing it for nothing? Is it possible to assign a fair dollar amount to these tasks?
    Email isynblog@gmail.com

McDonalds in Glastonbury, CT

Date: Thurs, 4/23
Location: McDonald's in Glastonbury,CT
Description of Nanny: Large woman, poss size 28. Tall. AA, hair smoothed very straight and wearing a North Carolina Baseball cap.
Description of Child:  Called "Annie" by the nanny. White girl, 2.5-3.5, brown straight hair, wearing a brown corduroy pinafore with light colored tights.
Incident: These two were sitting near us having lunch. After lunch, the nanny went over to the playspace, helped the girl out of her shoes and let her loose in the play area. All fine. Then she goes outside to smoke a cigarette.  And then she did it again. The girl seemed to be fine, but she did exit the play area and run to the window to look out and make sure nanny was still there. I don't think that was a good set up. The nanny was driving a cream colored Toyota 4X4, I think called an FJ. When the nanny was outside smoking she was leaning on the hood and looking down at her phone or out towards the street. If she had still been trained on the kid she was watching, I would have been more comfortable. Maybe this isn't a big deal to you, but if she was my nanny, it would be.

Send your nanny sighting to ISAWYOURNANNY now.

The Meeting

     On Tuesday, my new nanny asked if we would have time to have a meeting some time this week, just to 'catch up' and see 'what's working and what isn't'.  I suggested Thursday night. (Tonight). This meeting was her idea. She knew when I would be home. However, the kids were running around demanding my attention and hers. Had she planned better, she might have had them set up with an activity or even a movie.
     Once I got the children engaged in a project I sat across from her and asked 'what's on your mind?'
     She then began to go on at length about what the boys were eating for breakfast and how she tries to follow a paleo diet and she could leave me a grocery list so the boys could be sent off to school with whole grain waffles adorned with pears and blue berries. I smiled politely, but I was cringing inside. You see, we're just not that family.
     She also made some organizational suggestions, particularly with morning and afternoon routines. Some of these were interesting and will likely be time saving. I thanked her.
     She then said that..and this is with a big build up...that she could not any longer, in good conscience give my boys cow milk. She offered three solid minutes of explanations and two solid minutes of alternatives. I looked at her, suppressed my irritation and said, "do they ask for milk" and she said, 'yes, but only because it is all they know'. She then went on at length about how she would at her own expense bring in soy or almond milk and let them try it. I'm looking across the table at this girl and this really means something to her, so I suggested that she take some of the house money and buy a half gallon of what she thought best.
     I smile and ask if there is anything else on her mind. She says, 'there is, but I just can't bring myself to bring it up'. I suggested that she could. The kids were stirring and coming to us for evening snacks. She tells me, 'The timing is all wrong. I'm sorry.' Then she gets tears in her eyes. I ask her if she is okay and she says, 'I'm sorry, yes, no everything is fine.' I have one child climbing up my leg and I say as nicely as I can, 'we'll talk more tomorrow, okay?' She nods, gathers her things, says good bye to the kids and leaves.
      What was that? She's been here three weeks. It was the oddest conversation I've ever had, certainly the oddest I've ever had at my own kitchen table. I was a little perturbed, but I was very kind to her and I believe I always have been. She seems to like the children and they like her. I'm sitting here thinking I've hurt her feelings. And hoping I can remedy that in the morning, if that was the case. What else could it be?

Double Negatives

      How do you deal with toddlers that spend their days with nannies and pick up their speech inflections? I'm noticing a lot of double negatives and dropped 'ings'. Am I being over sensitive? I find myself cringing when my four year old says "walkin to the park" or "I don't want no apple." He has been in preschool mornings since the Fall, but he still spends the majority of his day with the nanny. I keep hoping the direction of his teachers will knock some of these language stumbling blocks away, but thus far I've seen no improvement? For the record, she's a wonderful nanny.

     Suggestions? Ideas? Sightings? Email ISYN.

23 April, 2015

Nanny Notes 2015, #3

I don't know where the Cinnamon Toast Crunch is going dude, but have you
seen the size of your ten year old?
This is from my nanny who makes it clear she does no housekeeping.
My husband left the house in a hurry and left a pan on the stove. The horror!

My boss texted this to me one day after work with the message, "could you
PLEASE clean the drain before you leave?" I texted back, "it's not my hair".
I take care of a bald baby. No, I'm not cleaning pubes out of the drain.

This is a scan of the "bill" my nanny left me on Friday, after we took her away
with us to Belize for ten days,all expenses paid!!

Has someone left you a nifty note or sent you an interesting text? Have you seen a sassy tweet or received a baffling email? Email us with a scan or screenshot.

Facing Burnout

 For the sake of being low key I'm going to just use X to represent the # of vacation days I'm referring to.

      I'm early into my nanny contract at less than a year but have a review coming up in a couple of months. I watch two children under 12 months and am really feeling the burn lately.

     The families I work for are pretty understanding and we have a contract for the share that we've all abided by and that I truly agreed with at the start.

     My issue... There are X paid vacation days BUT half of those are picked by my employers and the other half by me. It leaves me with less than a week that I pick myself. At the time this felt fair because I saw it as vacation days either way, but now I really don't. I want/need some time off because I can tell I'm getting moody and less motivated but I only have so many days I can pick for the whole year. *side note* I do try to incorporate things into the days they pick to feel like they're my own but my body/mind doesn't tire when they decide to go visit family.

     How can I explain to them that the days they choose aren't really my days too? In the past if a parent decides to stay home or not take part in the share I've always been paid... I just feel like they tried to trick me into thinking I had more days than I do.

     At my past childcare position (non nanny) I had 11 days. I switched to nannying thinking I would have more peace in my work but am learning I still need those breaks to manage the stress.

     Am I wrong to bring this up before the review? Or at all? I did sign the contract :/
What's happening? Email ISYN with your thoughts.

No Grill for You

     My boss had asked me to house-sit for twelve days in June when she and the family go away. I would normally be paid anyway.  She said she wanted to leave the dog here too and that I would be good company for him. I have a three year old son, who she also said would be great for the dog. She even said she's make sure the heat to the pool was on so we could use the pool. This came up again yesterday when I made a reference to using the grill by the pool and my boyfriend (of 7 years & baby's father) would love to fire that up. She grimaced and said, "Oh I wasn't expecting that Mike would be coming". There was no doubt about how she meant it. She even followed up with a head shake and said, "I don't think that would fly with Mr. X." (her husband)At first I felt embarrassed like I was being presumptuous. But the more I think about it, I am getting fiercely pissed off! I work 45 minutes from my home. She wants me to stay there, watch the house, get the mail, supervise the grounds crew, water the plants, bring in the paper, put out the garbage and she wants my son there, but had no desire for my boyfriend to come and stay? He does work full time, but did she really think he would not see his son for four days?
      I complicated things when I told my boyfriend what had happened, complete with facial expressions. He is pissed. I told him I would talk to her and he doesn't care. He said he wouldn't go and doesn't want me to go and that he is going to take vacation from work and we are going to go down to South Carolina. He's more angry than I am and says he doesn't care if I quit or lose my job. He also made several references to my employers having a slave mentality and no respect for me.
I'm going to work tomorrow as always and I don't intend to say anything. I'm just a wreck though. I have worked for the family since before my son was born. I feel stupid because I was looking forward to this and felt it would be a vacation of sorts. But my boyfriend is right that there was never any talk of any extra pay beyond what I would usually be making, despite covering two weekends and that I would be paid while they are away even if I was not house sitting. Help!

Have a situation? Share with ISYN. Email us now.

22 April, 2015

The Pavilion on 77th & York in NYC

So, this is how your nanny conducts herself on a daily basis. This nanny works at the Pavillion on 77th Street. No other words necessary.

Have a nanny sighting? Email us. Or use our sidebar widget to submit completely anonymously now.

The Broken Tooth

     I am aggravated. Does anyone else feel the nanny/employer relationship is all about power and control? I am a good nanny and have been with this family for 7 months.  About three weeks ago, the fourteen month old was having a fit and kicked me in the mouth. He was wearing a shoe. My lip was cut, but did not need stitches and he knocked out a tooth. #13, left first bicuspid. The parents were apologetic and offered to pay to get it fixed. They sent me to their dentist. The dentist gave me a bridge like contraption which hooks on to the teeth on either side of it. I don't want to complicate this post with technical information, but I now have a removable tooth. I can mostly leave it in. It is noticeable in some ways and also not comfortable.        When this happened, I was just grateful they were being so nice to me. But now that I have my final appointment coming up, I am wondering why they didn't just let me get a dental implant? I am 27 years old. This was an on the job injury that occurred at no fault of my own. I think if I had been more assertive they would have been eager to do things the right way. Instead, I was polite and I am stuck with a temporary appliance type thing in my mouth. What really got me thinking and made me kick myself for being so nice was that I heard my employer talking to her best friend and she said something like, "well anything would be an improvement". This was hurtful because my teeth aren't perfectly straight. My parents couldn't afford braces. I am so focused on this now it is to the point of distraction. Do I have any recourse? I never signed anything and I only went to their dentist who in retrospect only offered the solution he did, no doubt because it was the most cost effective.

Want to talk? Email isynblog@gmail.com.

A Day in the Life 2015, #9

6:30 AM: I make it to work and am bombarded by 6 little arms wrapping around my legs and waist. After a quick greeting, I usher the kids back to the table to finish their cereal. Dad usually has them at the table when I get there and has making his coffee. He gives them all a quick goodbye and is out the door. I turn the t.v. from cartoons to music.

6:45 AM: I remind big sister that she needs to hurry with breakfast so she can brush teeth and do hair. She almost always already dressed so she’s 75% ready for school when I arrive. I put together her lunch, make sure all needed items are in her backpack and zip it up and throw it on the floor - next to the door. I then grab her shoes and jacket and throw it next to her backpack. I grab the little kids’ (twins) shoes and jacket so that they can accompany us to the bus stop.

7:00 AM: Big sister finishes up with her teeth and I start to get her hair brush, spray, and hair ties ready. I create a fun and fancy little do for her hair and ask her to get her shoes and coat on. I also ask the little kids to get ready for the bus stop.

7:15 AM: We walk a few houses down to the stop, greet the parents and other children. The bus quickly arrives and I give big sister a smooch and remind her to have a great day.

7:20 AM: Little kids and I walk home, get inside and they finish up with their breakfast, clean up, and brush teeth. I head upstairs, make everyone’s bed (even Mom and Dad), get together a load of laundry, and straighten up rooms. I throw the twins’ clothes over the railing and into the living room and ask them to get dressed.

7:50 AM I put together little kids’ snacks for school, make sure their backpacks are ready to go, pull out their shoes and jackets again, and throw it all by the door.

8:00 AM Little kids and I load up in the car. I am so happy that we have big kid booster seats now AND they can even strap themselves in. I do a double check to make sure they’re fastened safely and then we are off. I always smile and giggle at their cute little twin conversations. Twin #2 asks if we can play at the park after school and I happily say yes.

8:10 AM We head inside to school (I remind them that we use walking feet), twins hang up their backpacks, and we walk down the hall to their classroom. I sign them in, check their cubbies, and place their snack bags in the container. They usually go in without saying goodbye but I never leave without hugging them and telling them to have a good morning. I then head back to their home.

8:20 AM I’m back at the house and I unload and reload the dishwasher, sweep the kitchen floor, wipe the breakfast table, wipe kitchen counters, and swiffer the kitchen floor. I head back upstairs and fold whatever load Mom has left in the dryer, move clothes from the washer to dryer, and start another load. I lay out jammies for the night, and on Mondays I lay out their soccer clothes.

9:00 AM I pull out the vacuum and vacuum under the breakfast table and in the family room. I straighten the living room. I do a quick walk through on the main floor just to make sure it’s not messy.

9:30 AM If I have some more time, I straighten up the mudroom, pantry, and coat closet. I’ll then sit down for a cup of coffee and some downtime.

9:50 AM I head back to pick up the little kids from school.

10:00 AM I wait in the hallway for the twins and they soon emerge and attack me with the best hugs ever. I remind them that we can play on the playgroup for a little while and their little faces light up with big smiles. We talk a quick potty break and then head outside. We play for about an hour, they usually play with some of their classmates and I keep a watchful eye and chat a little bit with the moms. I am happy to report that all of the moms are so easy to talk to and respect me and my job. Sometimes, they’ll ask if I am available to sit for them on certain dates and if I am, I happily accept the gig.

10:50 AM I give the twins a “we leave in ten minutes” reminder. I gather our things and soon gather the twins and head home.

11:00 AM I turn music on, let the twins freeplay while I fold laundry and put it away.

11:30 AM I start to put together lunch: PB&J, apples, yogurt, and popcorn. I’m more than welcome to eat whatever is at the nanny house so I find something and join the twins for lunch. We talk about their day at school, what they want to do for the rest of the day, etc.

12:00 PM Clean up from lunch, load the dishwasher, wipe the tables and counters (if needed). Twins do more freeplay and I usually put together a craft or activity for us to do together. We’ve been prepping a lot for Kindergarten so I put out some shaving cream, spray it on the table, and let them draw letters and pictures in it. They would do this until the end of time if I let them.

12:45 PM We head outside to play in the backyard. Twin #1 rocks at swinging herself but we are still working on it with Twin #2, so we practice. They also love to head into the near back park of the backyard and find acorns and throw them into the woods.

1:45 PM We head inside and I put together some water and a small snack. I set up ABC Mouse for them on their own iPads and they enjoy their snack and get their gaming on. I use this time to unpack their backpacks, empty snack bags, and set forms on the counter. I run outside and grab the mail and also lay that on the counter.

2:05 PM I give the twins a “ten minute left on iPad” warning and head upstairs switch over the laundry.

2:15 PM Twins put away their iPads and free play for a bit. I’ll either engage with them if they want me to or I’ll have a few minutes of downtime.

2:30 PM I ask the twins to get their shoes and jacket so we can go get big sister from the bus. If we have time, we’ll also do a quick run-through of the house (together) to pick up toys and any messes.

2:40 PM We always head to the bus to get big sister a little early so twins can run and play. Once the bus comes, big sister comes off of the bus. She tells me about her day as we head home.

3:00 PM We head inside, and I ask all kids to put away their shoes and hang their jackets. Each kid picks out a snack and heads to the table. I empty big sisters backpack and lunch bag and lay her homework out on the counter.

3:10 PM Mom usually arrives home around this time. Kids and I greet her, I tell her about the day, and she gives me a few reminders. I give each kid a hug and a kiss and head out the door.

I am a full-time, live-out nanny in Virginia for a 6 year- old big sister and her 4 year old twin siblings. I've been employed by this family for a little over 4 years, they’re a great family to work for and pay very nicely

96th Street Playground in NYC

If this is your nanny at the 96th and CPW playground on the Upper West Side of NYC, please email ISYN so we can put you in contact with the individual who observed an incident of which she would like to make you personally aware. "Nothing terrible so don't worry, but I would want to know if this were my child."

21 April, 2015

Departure Request

     Hi ISYN readers. I read this blog from way back. I am finishing my nanny career and my last nanny job. I have been with this family for nine months. I have worked for some truly amazing families in my time. I don't know if I would have stuck with this family for the full nine months if I didn't know I was gearing towards marriage and relocating to London with my new husband in May. My current employers asked of me a strange request. Would I write them a letter of reference that they could use for potential nanny candidates. They are going through an agency, I think it was at the agency behest.
      I'd like to leave on the best terms possible. My final day is May 14th.  I've never written one of these before. It would have been easier if it were one of my better employers. This employer wasn't awful, just not as wonderful to work for. This is what I have.

To whom it may concern:

For nearly a year I have lived in the immaculate and well kept home of Mr. and Mrs. Joe Blow and their children Jojo and Joe Blow. As a live in nanny, Mr. and Mrs. Blow were very respectful of my off time. Their nanny accommodations are very comfortable with many desirable amenities like direct TV, Wifi, and a home gym, situated near a lovely park and beach.

Having had nannies for the past nine years. Mr. and Mrs. Blow, they know precisely what they want their nanny set up to look like. Mr. and Mrs. Blow are very involved parents and prefer to be consulted about any deviation from the schedule. Mrs. Blow prefers to schedule the activities and play dates. Once you adjust to the fact that it is not up to you to plan activities, meals or direct academic work, you might relish the simpleness of this position. A full charge nanny might have some difficulty adjusting to the level of decorum expected of the nanny. At every occurrence, Mr. and Mrs. Blow went through great lengths to explain their child rearing philosophies and the reasons for their speficicities.

You will be hard pressed to find two nice children than JoJo and Joe Blow. They are well mannered, intelligent, kind hearted and creative leaders. They are quite competitive in the activities they are engaged in, but conduct themselves always with the most admirable integrity. Like their parents, Jojo and Joe Blow are ardent communicators. Their ability to share their thoughts and feelings will help you get through the newness of the situation. They will not leave anything up to question or wonder about which I have always found very helpful.

The family also has two small dogs that largely fall under the children's care. I have worked for many families with pets where I came to care for the animals or the care of the animals became a constant source of tension between myself and the children, but this is not the case here. The children are incredibly responsible, and lovingly dote on their animals, and feed and groom them without so much as a single reminder.

I hope that you enjoy working with Joe and Jojo as much I have. If you have any questions, please call me on my cell phone at 333-333-3333.


Will this work? Please let me know. It's the only one I have had to write in my nine years of nannying.

The Highly Inappropriate Mother

I know as a nanny we are mandate reporters. I am worried about the mom I work for. She has a hateful relationship with her significant other. I am very uncomfortable with the way she behaves in front of her 13 year old son's friends. She behaves very sexual. She bends over and makes sexual jokes. I have not seen it cross any lines where it is to be reported, but I think a mother of these kids would be ashame and outrage to see how she behave herself. Sometime I drop the boy at a friend before I leave and he is still there when I go home to my house. The mom who doesn't like to drive suddenly is making herself available driving for the boy and his friends. She even seems to have eyes for this one boy who is only 14. She encourage her son to invite him over and then offer to drive the boy home. I only know about this because I hear so after. This mom avoid driving duties all this boys life and now she wants to drive his friends home from her house after 8? I am not so comfortable with this and then I need my job and no one ever makes trouble for this woman. The housekeeper and other nannies they call her the fea bruja, which equals to an ugly witch. My friends remind me to mind my business. Just keep focused on what you have to do and mind your business. Keep your head down. I just have a bad feeling.

Something on your mind? Email isynblog@gmail.com.

JJ Byrne Park in Park Slope, NY

Where: JJ Byrne Park
When: April 20, Monday at 2ish
Nanny: Black, with long braids with bluish tips and white beads. Medium height and weight. Wearing a white half shirt and acid washed jeans.
Child: Boy about 16 months. Brown eyes, curly brown hair. Wearing khakis and a little collared shirt. No shoes.
Incident: Nanny was holding the boy because he didn't want to be on the blanket or in the red, grey and black umbrella stroller. The nanny was on her phone. I think it is a Samsung Galaxy 6. The little boy kept pulling at her hair, as kids that age do. She was very rough how she jerked him around. Then she put him on the ground and he cried. When she picked him up again she said "I'll cut off your hands you pull my hair". I cant count that as sarcasm as the kid wouldn't understand it. He only would understand the mean tone she used. At that point, I said, in the nicest way possible, "he's so silly, he doesn't know better" And she looked at me like I had thrown a plate at her head. She said, "What do you know about what he knows? What do you know? You don't know nothing, that's what you know". I'll admit, she rattled me. I was there watching two young children of my own and I didn't want them to be dragged into any ugliness. I tried to get a picture when I left the park and turned back towards where they were sitting but she was still staring me down with crazy eyes.

Have a nanny sighting? Email isynblog@gmail.com

20 April, 2015

Good Nanny Sighting at Monona Public Library in Monona, WI

Where: Monona Public Library, Monona, WI
When: Saturday, 4/18/15 1030a-1145a
Description of nanny: White, plus sized curvy, 30-40. Striped shirt, yellow sweater, capri jeans, flip flops, messenger style Marylin Monroe bag
Description of children: Boy 3-4 with striped shirt and gray shorts, and infant girl wearing light pink onesie with brown dots (I believe their names are Max and Lily)

Your nanny is fantastic! Nanny chatted with a mother whom she knew and her child; from what I heard the child was in nanny's old preschool class before leaving. Max and the child played together for a few minutes before separating. Max wanted to play with child but nanny explained that maybe the child and his mother wanted to spend time together-she engaged Max in play and allowed him to explore without being harsh. While Max was busy, nanny was very engaged on the floor with Lily, who was crawling all over. Nanny, who periodically checked her phone for texts every so often, did not leave the children to fend for themselves-she was engaged with both children constantly. Nanny also encourgaed Max to clean up after himself. When it came time to go, she told Max they had five more minutes to play, but Max didn't want to leave. She explained to him it was time to go, and that they would ask Mom when they got home if he could come back to the library later. He wouldn't move, and kept telling nanny no. In a calm manner, she guided Max over to the Lego area and encouraged him to clean up, and explained that they were leaving because Mom was home. Max gladly cleaned up his creation and got into the stroller without an issue. Nanny said good-bye to the other child and mother, and left.

What a wonderful nanny. I was very happy to see an active nanny who really loves her job, and it was evident by how she interacted with these children how much she loves her work.

Nanny sighting? Email isynblog@gmail.com. 

A Day in the Life 2015, #8

7:15 Enter the kitchen, first one in. Select my coffee pod of choice and drop it in for a nice Colombian dark brew. Look in medicine cabinet, fish around for whatever looks abundant. Settle at a bar-stool and start reading the Daily News.
7:30 The family starts to drift down the steps. I ask each boy,"teeth brushed?" one starts to shake his head the other argues that he'll brush after. I point back upstairs. They look at me and shuffle back upstairs.
7:48 Usually both parents are gone by now. They say good morning. They don't offer any guidance. If there is an appointment or something out of ordinary, it is on the white board over the built in desk. Nothing's there this morning except the drawing of a pepperoni pizza with the caption "please Mom, please".
8:00 Breakfast is being served. Both boys have ADHD. I make one an egg and cheese sandwich on one of the deli bagels we keep stored in the freezer. The other refuses to eat. Finally, he agrees to eat a piece of American cheese and six cherries. It's something. I check their back packs and make sure what needs to come out is out and what needs to go in is in. I give the oldest a cup of coffee to replace the Adderall that I picked from his bottle today. I give him a B12, a multi and his anxiety medicine. The youngest is usually off the rails so I give him his Concerta and Straterra,Don't rage against me now, Mom and Dad don't give it to him consistently either, mostly because they don't think he needs to focus weekends and holidays.
By 8:25 both kids are on the bus. I go upstairs to make their beds and clean their rooms. Monday is sheet day but I am armed with my Febreeze which I spray liberally on their sheets before pulling the covers tight and adoring them with their designer masculine pillows.
It's unavoidable that I'll have to do a wash. I reach in the colored, the whites and the towels, grab what looks like a load and throw it all in a super large with double the soap and triple the fabric softener.
9:00 I am back upstairs on my second cup of coffee reading through the weekend's mail wondering who Aunt April is and why I have never heard of her before. Is she really coming for a visit this summer? What will that be like? The American Express Bill is 22 thousand three hundred and some dollars this month. What's mine on there this month? Anything irregular? The groceries from Trader Joes were mostly for me, they prefer Whole Foods. But I'm a live-in. I skim down the list to the drugstore we use. Oh yes, some of that's mine. I'm always in there for foot powder and athlete's food cream and deodorant and shampoo, so I throw in some hairspray, a fragrance, maybe a box of chocolates, but I'm a live-in. I leave the receipts always in the cookie jar. They've never complained. Magazines though. I notice my magazine habit is out of control and looking at a specific date on the statement remember that I went there only for ice cream to go with birthday cake but ended up spendings seventy dollars. That wans't cool. I vow immediately to do something special to show my appreciation.
11:30 I wake up from a nap I didn't intend to take and have to speed to make my tanning appointment. I get home and realize the clothes from this morning are still in the washer. I pour some more fabric softener in and restart the rinse cycle.
12:45 I realize that I've spent an hour on Facebook and I'm hungry. I go to the refrigerator to get out something to eat. Nothing looks great. I forgot to pull out something for dinner. I decide to run to the market now. What should I make? In five minutes, I'm selecting some stuffed chicken breasts from behind the deli counter. I go to the salad bar and throw together a giant salad. I grab a pint of strawberries. I see some twiced bake potatos in the prepared food case. Nice and fresh. I take five. And some sushi. For lunch. I pay and within 40 minutes it is spread out on the kitchen counter. I'm on my IPAD eating sushi dreading the 3 o clock hour.
2:25 I run to the laundry room and throw the clothes from the washer to the dryer. I come back upstairs and set the table for dinner. I put the chicken breasts in a pan and slop some salad dressing on it. Wrap the potatos in tin foil and put them in another pan. I throw the salad in a big wooden bowl and then handslice strawberries on top of the salad. The strawberries are so sweet, I eat half of them as I slice.
3:10 As the first child comes in the door, I putting wrap across the salad. He asks for a snack. I whip out a donut from the store. He's happy. I'm thrilled. I tell him he can do his homework now or in the car while "X" has soccer. He chooses to do it now. He plops down in front of the TV with his notebook. I remind him he isn't supposed to do his homework in front of the TV.
3:25 As the second child bee bops in the door I am coming around the corner from the laundry room carrying a giant basket of laundry, no doubt with a bead of sweat on my forehead. I sigh heavily and tell him, "Jelly donut and apple on the counter, eat it and get dressed, we can't be late today".
4:05 We're late for soccer again. It wasn't my fault. The younger kid asks to go play on the playground. I okay it and he scoots out the door, "stay where I can see you" I say looking up from my phone. Soccer practice last 90 grueling minutes. No matter how many times I tell X to fill up his water bottle, he doesn't. We always stop at the deli for Gatorade on the way home. A grape Gatorade for one, a watermelon for the other and a monster for me. That will help. I am so hungry. Did I eat? I suggest we stop and stock up on fresh bagels. While in the shop I grab a tuna on whole wheat and toss it in my bag.
6:00 We are back home and I am straightening up the house. I pack up the trash and carry it all the way downstairs. I sweep the kitchen with the electric broom. I refill the dogs water. I refill the Keurig's water container. I bag up the fresh bagels in individual baggies and put them in the freezer. I go through the backpacks and pull out completed work.  I grab the mail from the mailbox and organize it on the counter in to his, hers and junk piles. I put the food in the oven and the salad on the table with dressing. I put a pitcher full of ice water on the table with four glasses.
6:50 Usually she comes home first, but today it is he. He marvels at the smell. "Something smells incredible" he says. I answer "Thanks, I hope you enjoy it, do you need anything else or can I be off...it's been a long day". "Of course, be off. Thanks, see you in the morning" he calls after me as I beat a path down the basement steps to my (well appointed and stocked) nanny dungeon.

Please say only that I am a live- nanny in the US. No salary or other details. It'd be cool if you could disable the comments, I don't need to be razzed for being honest. Even though I left out the part about jamming to Ne-Yo and AfroJack on the way to soccer with the bass on max. 

19 April, 2015

The Middle Child

Hello ISYN. I was so excited to take my first nanny job in New York. I interviewed with families in the city and just outside. I selected a family just outside with three kids and a beautiful house, a housekeeper. I get a Jeep Cherokee to drive. I get one Friday off per month plus weekends. Things are pretty good, except for a very small problem, which shouldn't be a problem at all.

     The middle child is 8 years old and his parents live in fear that he is a homosexual. They didn't talk about this in the interview, only later on, when I had moved in and was taken to task for letting him play Barbies with his sister.

     The parents both work on Wall Street. They aren't unkind. I don't even think they have anything against gay people, except that they don't want their son to "behave gay". This, I am told is out of fear that he will be bullied, stigmatized and picked on. Believe me, I get that. But I don't know how to preserve my job without coming out very strongly against some of their tactics.

     The boy has no interest in Sports. That isn't unusual. I drive him to soccer twice a week for practice. He is such a good kid too, he tries. He plays mine craft, he likes Nerf Guns, he likes to build Legos. He has diverse interests. He also likes to bake cakes. I was told not to encourage him to bake cakes. This after we made a really cute Valentine Cake together that he decorated really well. I was told, "See, now you have me against the wall where I have to praise my son for his cake decorating skills.". And the parents did compliment him. They aren't cruel or unkind, but they want me to steer him towards less stereotypical activities and away from those that are stereotypical.  I'm also concerned that at almost 9 years old, the kid is going to sense what is going on. The parents don't speak in front of him, but he has an older sister who has been in trouble before for including him in her girl play. What is blocking these people from seeing that this is NORMAL?

     The family has a playroom in the attic. The oldest child is a girl. The 8 year old boy loves to dress up barbies. I don't think that is abnormal. I have cared for boys who played barbies before. Well, when I say good night on Friday they asked me to clear out the playroom. They specifically said that Daughter doesn't play with X, Y and Z anymore, so I could have an agency come and pick up the toys or pass them on to someone I know who would like them. I know someone. He is your son. How do I handle this without losing my job and without being a part of wrecking this boy.