Tuesday

Ignorant Nanny at Ancient Park Playground in NYC

Received Tuesday, April 3, 2007
This really started to bother me after the fact. Your nanny struck up a conversation with me today at the playground (Ancient). Your daughter wearing denim overalls and a long sleeved white shirt with hearts on it was playing with my daughter. Your daughter is biracial. I and my child are African American. The nanny was harmless but ignorant. My daughter had two tight pony tails in her hair and the nanny commented that she wished she could do something like that with your daughter's hair but you would "sh-t" because you don't like anything "ethnic". Your daughter has short kinky hair and the nanny says she tries everything to keep it under control but it is just "the worst hair-impossible". She asked me for tips. That was a very offensive conversation to have, but it bothered me more after the fact! Please consider the message you and your nanny are showing your bi racial African American daughter by referring to her hair as "horrible". She seemed to be about my daughter's age (3). Realize that your daughter can understand what you are talking about! And if not your daughter, than other little girl's around her with the same beautiful hair!

19 comments:

Anonymous said...

i guess this blog has helped you with one of those "i wish i would have" moments.

Anonymous said...

what was up with the nanny? Was she white? Why the ignorance about ethnic hair?

Anonymous said...

That nanny is ignorant.

Anonymous said...

Please describe the nanny - race, age, weight, other characteristics....thanks.

Anonymous said...

If she said it right in front of the girl, you should have politely said "she can understand you, and no little girl should have to hear how she has the "worst possible hair." I'm not sure that I would call her "harmless" if you feel she's lowering a child's self esteem.

Anonymous said...

I read this blog often, but give me a break with this one. Grow up - you should have told the nanny yourself what a stupid remark she made. Maybe it would make her think. This site certainly isn't for this kind of junk.

OP said...

Hi, OP here. Yes I should have said something at that time! But my point in posting it was that after I thought about how offensive her comments were to me, I am a bit concerned as a parent that she- with a guiding force in dveloping that little girl's self esteem-has such disdain for "black hair".

The nanny was indeed, white. I cannot understand the ignorance. The nanny expressed comments the mother had made which leaves me to guess that the mother is white and the father African American.

Hardly abusive when compared to some of these posts! But just the same self esteem building, guiding and nurturing- it is so essential!

Anonymous said...

9:55-- you are a racist.

Anonymous said...

9:55-- you are a racist.

Anonymous said...

Some people are just unaware of these kinds of things. Hopefully the mom and nanny will learn soon and if not hopefully the father or his family will step in!

BRK HEIGHTS Mom said...

dear op,
i found this a curious exchange.
thanks for sharing it. so strange the way people think they can talk to people. someone should write a book on playground etiquette.

dear everyone,
didn't it seem like the warm weather of last week was a breeding ground for sightings? this week-not so much. and more cold on the way.

Anonymous said...

955,
you are a louse.

Anonymous said...

I grew am white and I grew up with two adopted sisters, one of whom is bi racial. My mother had a truly difficult time with my sisters hair. She didn't have any experience dealing with kinky hair.

When, at playgrounds or the swim club, etc, she would end up in conversation with African American people, she asked for help. I'm not sure the words she used, I bet she didn't use pejoratives like "horrible", but she confessed to her frustration and asked for advice.

I understand that the way in which the nanny asked for advice was offensive to the OP, and I think that "ignorant" was exactly the right word to use, because it seems this nanny doesn't understand the way in which she was offensive, so we can't blame her for being malicious. But even with her ignorance, she displayed her care and concern for the child.

I hope she runs across someone who will help her to see that it's not at all PC to point out certain differences in the races and will give her some useful tips on caring for her charge.

fg said...

What about the OP's little girl who probably heard the comments about the "horrible" hair? Sometimes it's not really even ignorance, it's just not "thinking before speaking!" I have stuck my foot in my mouth quite a few times.

Anonymous said...

oh my goodness this makes me so irritated. I am a fulltime nanny and sometimes you just have to vent , the fact that this lady felt offended by this conversation,is ridiculous to say the least. Everyone has an opinon , if the nanny felt that the hair was the worst, then so be it , its her opinon!!

Anonymous said...

to the nanny who posted at 435pm,
You are not the sharpest tool in the shed are you? The mother was annoyed by the conversation but she was more angry that the nanny spoke about the child in such a negative way in front of the child.

You-nanny, would have been in hog heaven at the park that day.

2 ignorant nannies bliffully ranting about your annoyances with ethnic hair, (skin color, religion?)

dina said...

Sorry but I have to agree with 4:35. I don't think anything in her post says that she is ignorant.
I am not a nanny, I am a parent and a teacher at a daycare center, and I have had many black and bi-racial parents make the very same comments about their own children.
OP needs to get over herself. There are more important things in this world. People get offended way too easily. The world would be a better place if they would just suck it up.

Annie said...

10:28: You're right in part, but wouldn't the world be a much better place if people tried not to get offended so easily AND people tried to think about the impact of their words before they say them?

Everyone has a role to play in getting along. It amazes me the cattiness on this site. One assumes that the posters are all parents and childcare workers, and yet so many people (not necessarily in this comment string) jump to name calling, profanity and other unacceptable behavior. I wonder if that's how they teach their kids to behave.

talia said...

I don't consider telling people to "deal with it" unacceptable behavior. Thinking about the impact your words may have and walking on eggshells are two entirely different things! I teach my child to stand up for herself, but also to pick her battles. annie: too many people pick the wrong battles when there are more important things to worry about in the world.