Monday

American Airlines Passenger, Dallas/Ft Worth Airport

Received Monday, November 27, 2006

Saturday, 2 PM MST-restroom near terminal 24. A very young au pair took a little girl,who was under 2 to use the restroom. They went in to the stall together. I don't know what has happening in there. It seemed like the au pair was changing her diaper, while the child was standing. The floor was filthy, and two times the little girl fell on the floor. She was whining and fussy and tired, but the au pair's mood was far worse and less tolerant. The little girl's plastic drinking cup fell to the floor twice. The aggravated nanny shouted at her for allowing it to drop. The little girl scooted under the door to get the plastic cup. She scooted across the brown and wet floor. At this point, I was exiting a stall and making my way to the sink. The little girl had now scooted across the floor, to sit against a wall by the counter. It was a full minute until the au pair came out of the restroom. During that time, she did not call out to the child. The airport was thronged that day. There was much traffic in the restroom and someone could have easily walked off with the child! This au pair was clearly too young and too easily overwhelmed, to be appointed to the care of such a young child. I saw the au pair fifteen minutes later, standing with a father and a boy who was likely 6 or 7. The little girl was blonde headed and wearing a one piece striped dress,with green in it and white tights. Her hair was a close cut bob style with very blunt bangs and green eyes. The au pair was very young,likely under 20, attractive, thin, blonde with medium length hair and blue eyes, 5'5"-5'7" and I was not able to place her accent. She was likely working for a single father, who seemed to be waiting for a flight going into Newark, NJ.

19 comments:

Anonymous said...

You had your opportunity to tell the father right then and there-why post on a message board that he probably has no clue about? I thought this board was for when we didn't know the parents-this father was a feet from you.

Anonymous said...

omg-territorial much?

As for the airport. Thanksgiving.
People are rushing in every direction. Maybe she didn't have the time to sit and chat with a father in front of his children about his choice of childcare.

What if it was his wife after all?

What if you aren't sure what is going on but it makes you uneasy?

Anonymous said...

Next time you see a situation like this you should hand the little child a note to give to their parents that states, "please be aware of where your child is at all times because next time it might not be an honest and caring person like myself who sees your child standing all alone."

Anonymous said...

Or you could take the father aside and kindly say that it looks like the young lady/au pair/nanny is a bit over her head or too stressed from travel to keep her temper. Mention what you saw. Travel is hard on a family, everyone gets cranky. If they still had a way to go the nanny is only going to be worse tempered with the baby. And it sounds like she gets to be alone in the Ladies Room with the girl.
And BTW, attention airlines!! Keep up on cleaning those bathrooms during busy periods! That restroom sounds DISGUSTING! Why wasn't there a changing station for diapers? Do airports really have so little money for cleaning? No wonder their planes are so filthy.

Anonymous said...

How do you know it was the nanny? Could it have been an older sister? My brothers and sisters are all 8-10 years older than I am.
Or could it have been another famiy member? An aunt or a cousin?

Anonymous said...

I thought the same thing as the previous poster..maybe a sister or aunt, but even if it was a family member, kidnapping is very real and the child shouldn't be left out of site for even a minute in such a high traffic area-especially a bathroom where the child could be taken and by the time she got out of the bathroom she wouldn't know if the girl ran away or was stolen. Which is another thing that could happen when a child that age is not watched, she could decide to leave and God knows where she would go.

Anonymous said...

One question:

Why did you not ask to speak to the father?

What is wrong with you?

Anonymous said...

This is the first post I'm not sure if it is a nanny or not. It sounds like it might have been a member of the family, or a family friend.

Still, she shouldn't of let her crawl on the floor or let her cup get on the floor and leaving her alone is another big no-no. It's the holidays though, and traveling on a flight with two children can be stressful and sometimes make you forget or get angry quicker.

Anonymous said...

rushing in to the restroom between flights and then rushing off to the next gate, I didn't have time to engage the father in conversation. And as rushed as I was, I was still able to deduce that she was the au pair or nanny or babysitter. She was from another country and she was very young. I hope this reaches the father. I wish I would have had more time. As I reached the gate and took my seat on the plane, that little girl in the restroom was very much in my thoughts.

Claire said...

Instead of slamming people for not approaching the father; why not thank them for taking the time to get involved? How many people see things everyday where children are mistreated at the hands of adults and do nothing. This isn't everything but it is something.

L. said...

Unfortunately, I have been in that au pair`s EXACT position (or at least what I imagine her position likely was).

What can you do, when a small child scoots under the bathroom stall, if you are literally relieving yourself? Do you barge out the door after her, with your pants around your knees, leaving a trail of urine (or worse!) behind you? Or do you hurry up and finish as soon as you can (even foregoing wiping!), and then pursue the child, PRAYING that she is not snatched in the meantime?

All of my children have at one time or another crawled away from me (yes, crawled --- GROSS) in public restrooms, even at busy international airports. When traveling alone with all three of them, there`s not much I can do, but the au pair hopefully learned to leave the girl with the father while she takes care of her own "business," and then come back to get the little girl to change her. If there are two adults along, tag teaming is the key to successful adult elimination, with no kid risks involved.

Anonymous said...

Yes. We should all do what we can with what we have. If this poster didn't have time to say something then it is great that she put this up. We all need to treat each other more gently and not scream. There are other levels of volume, right?

Anonymous said...

In response to the aupair above .... I am in total agreement with you. It may have been a judgment call at that time and she did the best she could have. The Dad was probably inlin somewhere and the nanny had to take the child in hand and do her do. It has happened to me so many times!!! I am at an airport every Thanksgiving for the last 12 years ... it makes everyone temporarily insane. Nanny and the little girl are no doubt home again and all hopefully is well

Anonymous said...

Very pathetic. I hope that the little girl does not get abused at her home. Who knows what this woman does in the privacy of a house since she was this outward in public. I hope the little girl does not grow into a woman and come back to rhetorically tell the airport spectator "You could have been the one to have saved me."

It sometimes takes a village to raise a child. Do not be afraid to tell the father. If the woman was the wife than so be it. The most she would have done or he would have done was say "mind your own business" or maybe get a little loud. So what? A secured airport would have prevented anything physical to happen to you. I also do not think they would have caused a scene it would have caused attention to the fact someone had pointed out neglect of their child.

******** You could have been the one to have saved this little girl ************* Even if she heard you say something to her parents it would stay in the back of her mind that being treated like this is wrong and that there are people out there that cares about her.

Anonymous said...

The good news is, it DOES take a village-and the OP as well as 90% of the rest of the women in that restroom were probbly conscious of the situation, knew the kid belonged to the young lady trapped in the stall-no one was gonna drag this kid off without intervention. I find that people will bite their tongue when witnessing spankings, because that IS rightly an MYOB situation, but you would be surprised at how a community stands up when seeing a kid alone or in mid-kidnap. If youre not-learn to ask "hey, wheres your grownup?" Kids can get away from the MOST prudent of caregivers, parents included. Why not stop the blame game, and become an advocate instead.

Anonymous said...

good advice except for your tolerance of spanking. yawnnnn.

L. said...

"...except for your tolerance of spanking."

How do you deal with spanking when you see it?

Anonymous said...

I just want to say to the other nannies or au paur's..if someone is paying you to watch their children, then you should know how to do it at ALL times, bathroom breaks are no excpetions. As a previous nanny, now new mommy, safety has always been my #1. There are ways to get the child to stay with you in the restroom at a busy airport and still be discreet. Try singing their favorite song, talking to them about where you are traveling to, and when it is time to "wipe" have them face the door to play hide and seek while you two count together and then let them flush the potty (it also gets them started on the whole potty training stuff). There are ways to do it. My worst fear as a nanny ( and trust me, I spent many times in the airport ) was something happening to the child in my care, and thankfully, it never did, b/c safety is #1. Even at the parents home I would have the child count to see how long it would take me in the bathroom and when they heard the flushing they could come in, like a game. Please remember next time that there are no second chances when it comes to kidnapping. My world would literally fall apart if my son was kidnapped in the care of another person I trusted and paid to watch my child. AND there are plenty of parents out there who wouldn't think twice about sueing for neglect and emotional damages b/c of something you thought would be fine for just 30 sec. Please be a little more cautious next time and think about how you can prevent it from happening for future situations.

Anonymous said...

Wow. Some of you people obviously are the type that just can't wait to nail someone, I'm sure you all are above reproach. Sometimes when watching children you do your best and sometimes you are stressed and feel frazzled. I didn't hear mention of her abusing this child, neglecting yes. So the post about how you could have saved this child, you need to relax.And to those who expect her to go to the father and tattle like a child, please.The nanny didn't handle the situation well but I'm not willing to think based on this small bit of information that she is a child abuser and uncapable of doing her job.