Tuesday

Downtown 1 Train in Manhattan, NY

Received Tuesday, June 26, 2007
Sighting on 6/25 on the Downtown 1 train in Manhattan about 3:25 pm.A nanny, about 25 years old, white, brown hair, white skirt, black polo shirt, slim, relatively pretty. A child, 6-7 years old, girl, long blonde hair, front two teeth missing, orange and pink floral dress, orange crocs. The nanny called the girl Sky, I think.The girl and nanny sat across from me on the train. They were chattering way about whatever, when the girl asked the nanny about the posters along the train. The one above me (directly across from them) was a Planned Parenthood, or some such pro-choice organization add. The girl read the text out loud, something like "I'm on the pill, but we still use condoms each time." Then she asked the nanny what it meant. The nanny didn't even seem embarrassed by the question. She just went on to explain that the poster was about sex and that the pill and condoms were two ways of not getting pregnant when you have sex.All the information she gave the girl was accurate, and all, but it was just so weird!! I would want my nanny to say to my child that this is something you should discuss with mommy when she comes home. After the explanation the nanny gave the girl asked her why the woman in the poster doesn't want to get pregnant. The nanny said there are lots of reasons why you might not want to get pregnant, like money, etc and she used herself as an example, saying that she's not married and not ready for a family. She all but admitted to the girl that she, the nanny has sex.It was just a disgusting conversation and I hope that my kids never have to have a sex talk with their twenty-something nanny ON THE SUBWAY!! I wonder if this poor girl's mother knows what she and the nanny talk about.

109 comments:

Anonymous said...

give me a break! i'd rather my nanny tell my daughter an accurate version of sex than her hearing it from friends at school. let's face it, people do have sex before marriage these days. it's better she's aware of it and by getting straightforward answers from her nanny, she learnts not to be embarassed about sex. This way, she'll probably be more able to get contraceptives or birth control pills and practice safe sex (instead of hiding it or just being naive).

Anonymous said...

You might get some grief over this post because some will say it's "not abusive", but I'm going to side with you. I think that the Nanny discussing this topic was completely inappropriate, and I'd have a field day with mine if she ever felt it was necessary to have this discussion with my 6 y.o. - I want him to learn about the birds and the bees from me ... a little at a time, when it's age-appropriate. Sounds as if this little girl got her whole sex education in one fell swoop! I have a feeling that she will have even more questions now after her little chat with the Nanny ... and mom may find out about it soon enough!

Anonymous said...

And you are the reason why everyone thinks people on this site are crazy....

Sounds like the sitter was very responsible...we should all be so lucky.

Anonymous said...

It doesn't sound to me as though the nanny said anything inappropriate or sexually explicit. She answered the girl's questions simply and frankly. This is exactly how I answer these types of questions with my own sons. I give them answers only to the questions they ask me but answer them honestly. (If they seem to have gotten incorrect information elsewhere, I discuss the topic with them at that time as well.) I would be perfectly happy with a caregiver handling herself this well with my child on a difficult subject. I'd imagine that the nanny also let the parent know that this conversation took place.

How do you infer that because the nanny does not want to get pregnant and has knowledge about birth control that she is admitting that she is sexually active to this child?

Anonymous said...

Get a grip. Children should not grow up in a bubble. She sounds like a good nanny who is attentive to her charge. She wasn't promoting sex with disregard.

Anonymous said...

wait is this 2007 or 1940.....mmmm
Let me say this...better wake up
there is nothing again nothing wrong in my opinion..when a young women talkes about sex, pregnancy or whatever else...i feel that the 7 year had a question and she answered it....the little girl may like it better to talk to a nanny close to her age than mom...i dont see anything wrong with the way she spoke...
thumbs up to the young women..job well done...thank god we have people that are able to say the word SEX without getting red and writting stupid blogs like yours..get a life

Elizabeth said...

Excuse me, but what is weird about this? A child has a question about a Planned Parenthood poster and a nanny provides a factual and straightforward answer? Just because YOU want YOUR child to be ignorant about sex...why should this child remain ignorant? Perhaps this nanny is working according to the rules, customs, and values of the family for which she works. I think this nanny sounds ABSOLUTELY WONDERFUL, wish she could take care of my daughter.

Anonymous said...

Good for this nanny..lucky girl lucky family....do you leave in a hole..girls are starting to have sex at the age of 8-10..so its great that this young girl has someone to talk tooooo
question come up in the oddest places believe me ( iam a mom of 3 girls)...

Anonymous said...

Perhaprs the family is very open about these issues and has told the nanny not to sugar-coat anything. You are probably too much of a prude to think of telling your child about sex. There was an old ad you saw on busses "Talk to your child about sex before they make you a Grandparent". 6 is a great age to learn where babies comes from!

Anonymous said...

I think you are over reacting. It seems to me that the nanny handled it fine. What was disgusting about the conversation? the little girl asked questions and the nanny responded. Better that than she put the little girl off and make her fearful of asking something some other time.

beth said...

First- I believe this blog is called I SAW YOUR NANNY. Where does it say the nanny has to be doing something absusive? If the nanny was doing something abusive, I would take action then and there, wouldn't you?

Second, I am surprised by the # of responses defending the nanny in question. I can see why OP was concerned by that. I have had a nanny who largely overstepped her boundaries with regard to many things and even she would never take it upon herself to talk about these things! I have to imagine many of these responses are a result of the latest of the anti blog nannies who find their way here every then and again.

My nanny would have said, "I think your mother would like to speak to you about that" or "That is a great question for your mother". And then she would tell me what my daughter was curious about.

I would be upset if my sister provided my daughter this much information. And you're right, it is 2007, but I will still be the one to explain sexual activity and consequence to my child. Don't assume that I am not waiting for signs that she is curious!

Anonymous said...

Definitely not abusive, but as a working mother; I would be livid to think my nanny took this upon herself. As working mothers, we miss so many things. Yet a conversation like this could be saved for Mom.

:(

Anonymous said...

Lighten up. People like you, who make sex and conversations about sex, taboo are worse than any nanny telling a child the truth in a matter of fact way. We have an understanding with our nanny that nothing is to be sugarcoated; for example we use anatomically correct language when discussing our bodies, not cutesy nicknames. If this is what you notice when riding the subway I suggest looking for some good reading material and minding your own business.

Anonymous said...

Ummm? Seriously? I think that this isn't that big of a deal. I'd rather my kids get appropriate information. If the nanny happens to be there...

It's a judgement call for sure. I'd want my nanny to be honest but I don't know that I would feel comfortable having that discussion either.

Anonymous said...

First, If it is a 6-7 year old girl, she is going to repeat the information to her parents at some point. So you should not be worried about them not knowing about this conversation.

Second, you don't know if the parents have a problem with their child knowing the truth. Although you may think it is odd that the child knows this much about sex/pregnancy, some families don't. The family I work for is very honest with their children about sex and a conversation like this would not be looked at as wrong or "weird."

annie said...

I agree with so many of the commentors above and think that not only was this NOT a bad nanny sighting, this nanny should be comended.

A family that I used to work for really gave me a great education in how to handle these issues with kids. Their 4 year-old daughter's favorite book for some time was Where Did I Come From? and she would ask me to read it to her all the time. I was very uncomfortable, but her parents really made a huge effort to make those normally taboo topics open and honest within the family, of which I was an intregal part.

I think I'll be a better parent to my own kids for this and other reasons because of my experiences with some great, positive, open, happy families!

I hope this nanny sees this posting and shows it to her employer. I bet they will be proud of her.

Anonymous said...

I can see both sides of the story here, but I really think I side with the nanny. She did not tell the girl what sex was, that is different, there was no birds and bees talk going on. She just informed the girl what the poster was about and then the girl asked why people would not want to have children and she informed her on that as well. I think if she were to say, "well, that is a great question for your mom" the mom would have no idea what the little girl saw because all of her answers were in response to a poster on the subway, not in response to how people have sex or anything that could be considered graphic. I also do not see how she admitted to the girl that she was having sex by using herself as an example as to why she would not want to get pregnant. I may be going out on a limb here but by informing the child reasons why people may not want to get pregnant, and one of them being not married and ready for a family, she is actually teaching the girl some responsibility whether she remembers it or not.

Now I know people have different opinions about this, but I just think if she were actually talking about sex it would be different, but from the OP I don't see that happening, just answering some questions about a poster on a subway. And as I said before, if she would have said "ask your mother," the mother
1)would not have seen the poster and
2) I would be afraid the little girl would think it was bad to talk about stuff like that and you want her to have open lines of communication with her parents. Just a though.

Anonymous said...

Mom is probably too busy to explain such "disgusting" stuff. If you let someone else raise your child, why would anyone be shocked that the same person would discuss all matters with them?? Good for the nanny for explaining it in a straight forward manner. We could assume that the nanny would let the mom know about the conversation at the end of the day.

Anonymous said...

wow, iam so glad that we ( most women on this site) are open enough to understand that sex is okay to talk about ( whenever and wherever) the little girl has a question...nanny well done..i would be very happy to have a lady like you working for me...
9:42 waiting for what signs ??? you must talk to your children early and be OPEN with them.wait for sign what sign..sneaking boys in the room..tooooo late and than what..ooooo. we talk to our kids in the car ( they cant go anywere..) works for us

Anonymous said...

Are you absolutely certain that the nanny WAS, in fact, the nanny? You just described an old college friend of mine and her daughter to a T. lol And I wouldn't be surprised that my friend would be quite frank and honest with her Sky about sexual issues, even on the train . Four years of Wellesley and feminist thought can do that to a person. ;-) If it wasn't my friend, well, I think conversations like that are best left to the mother. I wouldn't appreciate a nanny teaching my daughter about so serious a subject either. To the people who think that was appropriate behavior, whatever happened to "Let's ask Mommy when she gets home?"

Anonymous said...

11:23 -
Your typing gives you away as a nanny. I for one, while hardly apalled at this sighting as I have been at others am glad to know that my nanny would indeed save such conversations for me.

t.r. said...

To all of you who are defending this nanny as doing the right thing instead of recognizing that she stepped over the line, may I ask you if you would be concerned about a nanny breastfeeding a child? Is there a line or is there not a line? I say there is a line. And good people with great intentions cross that line sometimes. But still, the line was crossed.

Anonymous said...

12:28-

You are a nut! An absolute nut! How does explaining what a poster meant (she did not discuss sex with the child-just the poster) equate with breastfeeding someone else's child?

Anonymous said...

There either is or is not a line.
Milkmaids are back in fashion. Google it. Wouldn't be for me but neither would having my child learn about sex from the nanny.

A better nanny could redirect the question. Still in my opinion, this nanny was good.

I certainly wouldn't fire her for it.

Anonymous said...

Why are you all assuming that this nanny jumped the gun and explained sex to the kid before the mother had a chance?

According to OP, the nanny explained that the poster "was about sex." Period. I didn't read anything in this post about an explanation of penis meeting vagina and eggs being fertilized. Nor did I read anything about the nanny usurping the mom's prerogative to explain about sex.

enr said...

The child's mother could be a stay at home mother. You know the type. With a nanny. Totally has the nanny do everything.
So f that mother.
She loses out and do you think she even cares?
Only when someone who is a better mother than her is in the room with her,then she can feign being outraged.

Anonymous said...

Maybe this little girl will know where to go in 6-7 years when things go wild at the Prep School she is attending, unlike OP's kid - who will become the subject of a lifetime movie!

annie said...

11:23: Your statements give you away as a bigot. I'm a nanny. Does my typing "give me away"?

P.S. You it's a-p-p-a-l-l-e-d. Maybe the nanny can handle the spelling homework while you do the sex talk.

Anonymous said...

I have to believe that the OP must be as incensed by most of the positive reaction to the Nanny as I must be. Now that I've picked my jaw up off the floor, let me first say before any of you call me a prude ... my husband and I enjoy an incredible sex life, even after 16 yrs. Now, with that said ... I have a 7 y.o. myself who I definately don't want walking around with the words "pregnant", "condom", and "sex", falling out of his mouth. The appropriate reaction from the Nanny should have been to have the little girl discuss this topic with her mother, then gone home and informed her of her daughters questions, which at 7 y.o., is really quite natural and just about when they start asking about the "birds and the bees" and "where did I come from"? Then I, as a responsible parent would give my child AGE APPROPRIATE answers. But, I sure as hell don't want my childs caretaker promoting herself from Nanny to Sex Educator!

Anonymous said...

I think that the conversation could have waited, folks... at least until they were in an area where others didn't have to listen to the nanny lecturing about sex. If one of my kids had asked such questions on a crowded commuted train, as a mother, I would have still deferred the talk until later. If I was a nanny, I probably would have suggested that we talk about with her mom when we got home, and after relating the little girls qustions to her mom, I'd have stepped aside.

Anastasia said...

Um, at least the Nanny promotes marriage before kids. My son is 7 and he started asking about sex last year. I've explained to him as factually as possible, what a 6 yr old could comprehend. I say that because I am sure the little girl has already asked Mom and Dad since most kids begin asking these questions alot earlier than most of us parents like lol. She probably already knows some of the basic facts. Nanny did good.

Anonymous said...

Nanny strikes me as one of those self congratulatory -ssholes. You know the type, they raise their voice so other people are sure to overhear just how intelligent/witty/on point they are.

The reason I say this is because this is a private conversation. Not a conversation to have on a train where other people are subject to the nannies explanation/beliefs.

And who is to say the nanny shares the same beliefs as the parent? What if that which she preached made the child's own mother look like a whore? I married my husband when our first born was 4 months old. Where would I fit in to this conversation?

I am not a prude but I say this conversation is a private conversation between parent and child. And if the parent is a self involved SOB, then it is a private conversation between child and nanny at home.

Leila said...

I agree that this sounds like a great nanny! The best way to deal with children's questions about where babies come from is being matter of fact.

Anonymous said...

get a life! these "bad nanny sightings" are getting ridiculous

Your Supervisor said...

These are not
BAD NANNY SIGHTINGS.

They are
PERFORMANCE REVIEWS.

For nannies who work completely unsupervised.

heidi said...

no all caps postings!
sorry, charlie.

Anonymous said...

Hey, 1:32: No one needs to know about your gross old age sex life. The kid is probably smarter than you were and not afraid to ask questions, and in 40 years won't be posting as if this is a swingers site.

Anonymous said...

Whoever let these very dumb nanny types in, please show them the door. Annie, can't you corral these young'ens? They don't seem to have any sense at all.

And by the by, I disagree with you Annie but still love your comments.
I think this is a conversation for parents. I have good friends who are strict catholics and anti condoms. Go figure. But that is their life/their beliefs.

Anonymous said...

I'm on the side of the pro-nanny posters. The people who are judging are making assumptions as to the relationship of the nanny to the child and parents as to be more formal or employer/employee. Not all nanny situations are like this, though many are. I completely trust my nanny to have these talks with my child, if they come up while they are out in the world. I also respect if my nanny is uncomfortable and chose to say "please talk about this with your mother."

As much as I disagree with the perspective of the person who sent in this sighting, I respect Jane Doe for non-judgementally posting it. Maybe the parents are upset if the nanny speaks like this to their child and would like to know. about it.

meg said...

344,
Wiser words were never spoken. My nanny has been with us 7 years and is an integral part of our family.
We don't know this nanny or her relationship with her employer or standing within the family.

Anonymous said...

I, for one, wouldn't mind hearing more about 1:32's "incredible sex life". You're just jealous, 3:36. Yeah, we get that you're not a swinger! Probably more like a frigid old maid.

Anonymous said...

I agree with 348.
Anyone who says "gross old age sex life" is what?
A twenty year old nanny?
Or an 11 year old boy.

jmt said...

I think the nanny did a great job! She was matter of fact and didn't make sex sound like something secretive or dirty. This little girl was old enough to read, and old enough to be curious. For those that are waiting for signs from their kids, this is a clear one. Too bad if your kids are with a nanny and not you when the questions come up. Working parents miss a lot of firsts because they are not there. Ideally, nanny (having expertly fielded this question) will bring the parents into it so they can contribute as well.
I also like the way the nanny just answered the questions asked without going into an entire lecture on human sexuality.
Children who can read and even those who can't are exposed to a LOT of sex-oriented advertising. Look at all the male enhancement commercials. Look at all the happy dancing Lo-Dose Pill commercials. "Have a Happy Period!" commercials. And these cover just the basic functions of sexuality. I would be so glad to have a nanny who could address my child's questions about sex when they pop up, when answering them would be most effective.
Kids are exposed to so much sex through advertising and people watching it's not reasonable to expect them to withhold their questions until the proper Q&A session with mom and dad.
Jane Doe I think this post deserves a big smiley face for a great nanny sighting.

Anonymous said...

So, JMT is this your 7 year old daughter? Because it doesn't matter what a liberal like you thinks.
It matters what this child's parents think.

jmt said...

PS: If parents feel that strongly about a nanny discussing sex or any topic with their children due to religious beliefs or any other situation, they should tell the nanny up front.

jmt said...

Actually it does matter what I think. To me.
And what matters to you matters to you.
I respect the rights of other parents to raise their child however they want. I wish the small minded would afford the same respect to others.

Anonymous said...

I was referring specifically to the fact that you declared that your judgment is better than the OP's. And therefore this post should have a smiley face by it.

OP reported the facts.
I respect your opinion but not with regard to you deciding what is right for this anonymous girl.

jmt said...

How does the OP know what is right for that little girl? She doesn't. She only knows what SHE wants for her kids.
These posts are all opinion, and that's what I offered. As much as the OP believes this was an awful nanny sighting, I believe the opposite.
See?

Anonymous said...

By all means express your opinion, JMT, which you are entitled to do here. However, in this instance you are wrong, wrong, wrong. I do not want to hear such conversations while riding a commuter train. It's about being sensitive to those around you, like not talking on a cell phone in a restaurant. I wonder how many others in that car felt as uncomfortable as the OP? Whether or not the nanny should have been in charge of the little girl's sex education, I would have preferred she'd done so in private had I been a rider on that train.

Anonymous said...

JMT 100% correct....

Anonymous said...

Stop agreeing with yourself JMT. It's getting pretty obvious.

Anonymous said...

I live in the West Village, and the description sounds familiar, only the girl I know (who goes to my son's school) is named Chai and she's 8 years old. I don't know if the family is in town this week, though. Or even if they have a nanny.

Anonymous said...

The nanny deserves a medal for an honest, age-appropriate response.

Housewife said...

Sounds like a good nanny to me.

Anonymous said...

I can see both sides of the issue. It's hard for me to say since I don't have a nanny. However, I'm sure it would be possible for my daughter to be in the same situation with an older cousin, etc. and while I don't think I would be crazy about her discussing sex with someone other than me, I think the nanny handled her questions well. Also, we don't really know the age of the child. She may have looked 7, but could have been 9 or 10, and that does have a bearing on the topic.
As a nanny, I probably would have handled it differently, I probably would have said ask your mother! But as one poster said, we do not know about the relationship this nanny has with the family.
I think too that it was a conversation meant for a more private area, but it also sounds like the nanny cares about the girl and was attentive to her.
Nobody is perfect, and I don't think it was the worst thing in the world. We are living in different times. Sometimes it's scary, but we have to deal with it, adapt to it. Has anyone watched the show Degrassi on the N? My husband and I watch it, but we don't let our daughter because it's really racy. But it's scary that it really is a reflection of what kids are going through nowadays.
We face alot of challenges as parents in these times, and the nannies take care of the kids for more hours than the parents do, so they are sort of taking on the same challenges.
I don't think this was a bad nanny at all.

Anonymous said...

3:36 ~
Gross old age?? Are you kidding me? I am 34 y.o., so that hardly qualifies as old. I bet I'm in better shape than you. I take good care of myself (and my husband for that matter, thank you very much). The only reason I posted that tid-bit about my sex life was because another poster had the same opinion as me and was called a prude, and I felt it was best to deflect that with a little openness. Why do I have the feeling you are just some dumb 20 y.o. that doesn't know enough about life yet to offer a decent opinion? You are just jealous that I have an active sex life while you are still using your little rabbit.
To 3:48 & 3:50 ~
I have a feeling you are just as blessed as I am. Thanks to the both of you!

Anonymous said...

As a nanny I would never EVER discuss anything of a sexual nature with the 6yr old boy i take care of. I have only told him which I am sure he already knew that yes its a penis, its used to pee, and you hold it when you go to pee. During all this time not once have we discussed what girls have and the fact that they may not have penises. Of course he knows this, but we have come to an unsaid agreement that we dont talk about that stuff. Some stuf is left for Mom and Dad. And believe me, he knows this. I would have said to the little girl, sweetheart I love the fact that you can read so well but this is grown up stuff that mommy or daddy should speak to you about. you can explain to them how you know about it and see what they say. I would also say there are special things that mommies and daddies have to talk to their children about and not the babsysitter or the nanny. I truly believe that it is wrong for the babysitter to infringe on the more sensitive topics such as thisthat should most definitely be left to the parents.

Just my two cents....

Anonymous said...

I would like to add a comment.
I am a professional Nanny had have worked with many families over the past 20 years. With each family, I always discuss with the parents their views BEFORE the subject such as sex comes up, and believe me, it comes up much earlier than you think! I thought the description of the conversation between this Nanny and her charge was excellent. Her answers were appropriate and informative and she answered exactly what her charge asked her in a loving manner. Information is not the enemy! Educating our children is key to building better adults - and in particular, stronger women in our society. When there is trust and love between a Nanny and her charge, conversations full of questions about the world are empowering. I would be proud to be the employer of this Nanny. I would be proud to be this Nanny.

Anonymous said...

Yet another reason I don't have my children taking public transporation.

Anonymous said...

I believe it was said best in "kindergarten cop" when the KINDERGARTEN boy announced "Boys have a penis, Girls have a vagina"...yes, the curiosity does start when they are this young!

Anonymous said...

6:36
You are yet another example of a classist snob.

Anonymous said...

What if the child had seen a picture of the virgin Mary? And the nanny was Catholic but the child was Jewish? The best answer is to answer the child's initial question and then to say, "but these are questions for your mother"

The nanny didn't need to keep going.
Change the subject. Go home, tell the mother what the daughter said and how she responded and let them have their talk.

Anonymous said...

The nanny did nothing wrong. Do you know how many girls are out there having sex? I am a counselor and I have students as early as 7 asking about sex and I have a slew of 9 year olds that have experiemented with sex and have actually HAD sex. I am now working with an 11 year old who thinks she has an STD, I worked with a young girl who last year tested positive for HIV. Kids get their information about sex from all the wrong places, sadly it from their parents. They try to sugar coat the truth and it never works. As a professional talk to your child gradually. If you are watching a television show and a question pops up, address it. DON'T LIE. It hurts the child. They will challenge your word. I am not saying to sit your child down with the WHOLE family and do it. My talk consisted of my mother, my older sister, my aunt, my cousin and a family friend. It was scary as hell. I thought it was a congressional hearing. Working with these kids and hearing the things that they know is scary, but its life. 13 year old girls have DD bra sizes, boys are having babies as young as 12. Kids grow up fast. Parents help them grow up the correct way with the correct knowledge.

Anonymous said...

Personally, I would choose openness with my own children. As a caretaker, however, I would be much more hesitant to have an entirely frank discussion with someone else's child. While I don't see anything wrong with what the nanny told the girl, I do hope she mentioned the discussion to the girl's parents later on. They should know the kinds of questions their daughter has, and what information she receives.

12:37. Milkmaids are back in fashion? Do you mean wet nurses? Or were you trying to get people to Google porn sites?

10:14. You certainly seem defensive about your wonderful sex life.

Anonymous said...

yes i meant wet nurses. isn't the phrase interchangable? if not, my apologies for directing some wayward numbskull to google porn sites.

My point was that we outsource childcare but that doesn't mean we intend to outsource every relevant parental task. If we do that, what are we left with?

http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,1612710,00.html

Anonymous said...

I have a 15 year old daughter. When she was 13 I took her down to the clinic and got her the shot. All her friends were experiementing with sex and I wanted to make sure that if she was going to do it, she didn't have a baby. I also stocked up on condoms. I had the talk with her when she was 10. I also told her that if she needed to talk I was here and that I was not going to judge her. I also told her about getting tested for AIDS and going to the doctor for checkups. I also talked to her about breast cancer and how to check for lumps. I have talked to her about everything I can think of. God forbid if she get curious about sex and has no idea what to do, and does NOT protect herself. I have gotten alot of backlash from parents, some think I am allowing my child to have sex. In all reality it scares her, I heard her tell her friends that it takes all the fun out of sneaking and doing it, but at the same time she thinks I am cool because I did give her the correct information. I am not condoning sex at a young age. I am preparing her for the future and helping her be responsible. Maybe she will take her knowledge and tell her friends as well. Who knows.

Anonymous said...

Where on earth do you live where you are getting your 13 yr old prepared for sex?

Anonymous said...

12:30, where on earth do you live where you think a parent having a frank sexual discussion with a thirteen year old is shocking?? I completely agree with the people who think Nanny (if she was the nanny) was inappropriate with her charge, but a mother giving her daughter a frank discussion about HIV and AIDS, breast cancer, etc is wonderful in my book. If you don't teach your children about sex, you're living the likes of P Diddy, 50 CENT and lord knows who else to do it for you. It doesn't pay to be naive these days.

Anonymous said...

yes-then by all means, let us hand out barrels of condoms to children when they are bar mtizvah'd.

Anonymous said...

1:13 - have you even seen how those kids dress and act at a bar mtizvah??? I have! And you know, it wouldn't be a bad idea to have a condom tree center piece on the tables...

Anonymous said...

1:13..how silly and presumptuous of you to assume that religious Jewish parents AREN'T having similar conversations about sex with their children before the bar or bas mitzvah. Let's not pretend that frum and/or religiously observant kids are not exposed to the same sex-saturated culture the rest of us are, despite all the prohibitions against television and computer use. Anyone who doesn't have a real conversation with their children about sex and sexually transmitted diseases during adolescence has their head in the sand.

ac said...

and thank you for redirecting us all to the question at hand and proper response. this is a question for parents. not nannies.
granted, this nanny sounds educated and poised, but most of the nannies don't even speak proper english and have very weird ideas about sexuality. (playing house will make a child gay).

harumphhhh

Anonymous said...

Hey numbskulls,
Even if...
the parents had previously agreed that the nanny could explain certain things to her child, there is no reason to have such a discussion on a crowded communter train or anywhere else of like circumstances. It could have waited until the nanny could have spoken to the child more privately.

Anonymous said...

12:22 ~
Do you not know the difference between defensive and "glowing"?
Seems to me I'm more of a braggart ... jealous much?

Anonymous said...

1:40 very funny
i am jewish i know what you saying 100% correct..dont forget we marry them off at the age of 15...

Anonymous said...

Does anyone remember the scene in Stand by Me where Keifer Sutherland (hot hot hot) is giving his friend advice about sex and not wasting their time with Catholic girls? And he says something like, "If you want to get laid, you gotta get a Protestant." And then he takes a drag of his smoke and adds, "A Jew's good..."
I thought it was pretty funny.

jmt said...

I love how people keep referring to the NYC Subway as a "commuter train". It makes me chuckle. Granted, riders should be considerate regardless of how much one has paid to ride, but I have encountered some hair-raising people on the subway. Hearing a lecture on human sexual behavior would have been pleasant compared to some of these wackos.
One very mild example was when I sat down next to what turned out to be an emotionally disturbed man. Across from us was a lesbian couple who were very schnuggly and holding hands (no overt PDAs like making out or anything). The man next to me decided to comment that "what you girls need is to be on the Pill!", and rambled on from there. Apparently the pill would curb their lesbian tendencies??? Who the hell knows what he thought. The point is, there were young kids on that train. We don't get to choose our car-mates on public transportation. I take the Long Island Rail Road, and I've had to deal with my share of obnoxious, drunken, drooling people on there too. I would rather listen to the nanny answer a simple question than listen to Starbuck's Girl prattle on to her girlfriends in detail about how f-up she got last night and what sex acts she performed with what's his name. Nanny is the lesser of many evils when in public.
So if you moms out there have a zero tolerance policy on exposure of your children to any sex matters in this world, you'd better start blowing up that giant bubble they are going to live in. Good luck with that.

Anonymous said...

Well, isn't the OP titled Downtown Train? Whatever. The thing is that none of the topics you mention above should be discussed on a crowded subway or train or wherever there is a public who has to hear such "unsuitable for public consumption" conversations. It's not a case of preferring to hear a nanny lecture about sex as opposed to a couple of girlfriends discussing their wild sex romps of the previous night. All such talk is gauche and wrong in public and the talkers are rude, insensitive bores. Is there no such thing as etiquette any longer in this country?

jmt said...

I'm with you, 4:53. I wish people all acted with decorum and respect toward others. All I'm saying is that they don't and never will. If kids are out in the world, they will experience it.
Whoever invents the public mute button will make a fortune. lol.

Anonymous said...

c'mon people - if you're outsourcing the care of your child, let the person in charge take charge. if you have them wait until "mom" is available, it might be too late! quit your jobs or let your nanny help you. by the way, i'm a mom, not a nanny. i think the topic is personal and the parent and caregiver should discuss these issues upfront so everyone knows what is expected, and for all anyone knows, that is exactly what happened in this situation

Anonymous said...

jmt-
is it me or are you flip flopping like giuliani?

Anonymous said...

No matter what the nanny has permission to discuss with the child, she should keep it private.

Anonymous said...

Part of the issue our society has with sex is that we deem it "embarrassing", almost "dirty" and something to keep "behind closed doors". Because of this, sex has a bad stigma and is often viewed as "naughty" especially by our youth. If you don't want a teen to act out give them the true facts, and give it to them before it's too late. I think the nanny gave an intelligent, factual response, and it's nice to know that she is so close to this child that she spoke to her not only comfortably and without shame, but as an "equal" the way an older sister or parent should. Facts are facts people...no good comes from falsifying information and thus teaching our children that sex is "shameful" or rebellious...let's not lie and watch the kids find out on their own.

Anonymous said...

Perhaps so, 6:52 but did she have to include all the commuters?

jmt said...

6:27 It's just you.

jmt said...

6:27 It's just you.

Anonymous said...

Giulaine flip flops? Worse than McCain? Hey what about Ann Coulter and pretty boy's wife sparring? Never did like ambulance chasers. They are the lowest of sleaze bag attorneys.

Anonymous said...

So I'm curious--what if the poster had been about AIDS, and the child asked 'what's AIDS,' 'how do you get it,' etc.? What if it was a poster about racism, bigotry, same-sex marriage?

There are so many 'sensitive' topics out there, and if a child is being raised by someone else, their caregiver will more than likely have to field the brunt of their questions. If the nanny has to answer 'go to mama' for any of the child's questions other than 'what's the weather like today', the child will eventually find that one-sidedness suspect.

Also unless they're raised in a closet with no other human interaction, they'll encounter other children as they grow up, with 'right' or 'wrong' answers to those questions. Better for them to get what they might perceive as an objective, level-headed person like their nanny, than to be railroaded into receiving one-sided answers from their parents, whose opinion they'll inevitably find suspect.

Anonymous said...

I was told about this post by a friend and I've been reading the comments and am very amused. This was my daughter and her sister (we're a blended family). Not only was the conversation appropriate and timely, based on the description here and my daghter & stepdaughter's accounts, but had it been my daughter and a caregiver having the talk, I would feel the same way.

I pity the children of a lot of the posters above. I hope they have sisters, aunts, nannies, or whomever who won't act like a simple discussion of contraception is such a frightening and serious ordeal.

Anonymous said...

9:14,
No it wasn't. You are trying to attatch yourself more closely to this sighting so you can make your point. We get it, you think it was a good thing. I don't think it was a good thing. I think it is out of line to have that conversation in public. Completely out of line. And as for the comment about "if you have someone else raising your children", I freelance from my home and have a nanny work 22-28 hours per week. As great as she is, she is in no way raising my children.

Nice try, 9:14.

anne not annie (of lyndhurst) said...

Ahhh I was just going to say, that is so UB to jump on a post and claim that it yours. I hate it when other people respond to my post as me. But this, this is pathetic. Grow up, douchebag.

Anonymous said...

Geez anne! But you're right. No way is the post about 9:14's daughter and sister. Pathetic, indeed.

Anonymous said...

Per the Mayo Clinic:
it may be a sign of certain medical conditions. A fruity smell, for example, may be a sign of diabetes, and an ammonia smell could indicate liver or kidney disease. In addition, a rare condition known as fish-odor syndrome (trimethylaminuria) causes an odor similar to rotting fish. People with fish-odor syndrome have a defective gene that prevents them from metabolizing trimethylamine (TMA), a natural byproduct of the digestion of some foods, such as saltwater fish, eggs and liver.

t.r. said...

you responded to the wrong post, but you are very nice to look that up for op.

Anonymous said...

u r right. maybe jd can fix

Anonymous said...

Call me a prude, but I plan to be the one to explain sex to my children. I don't need help, thanks.

Parents need to make sure they teach their children. Don't leave it up to your nanny, grandparents, teachers at school. Step up. And please, don't have the discussion in public. That is just rude to others. If I had been present with my own child, I would have spoken up.

-G^2 said...

Hmm. Well, here's my two cents.

That could have been me and my niece (it wasn't). I'm her godmother, her mother died at age 32. I field these questions as they come up although I prefer not to do it in public, but why are you listening in on a private conversation, anyway?

Grandma gave my niece the sex talk at age 7, much like me before, when she asked. Sex is openly discussed on TV primetime, by kids at school, and she reads high level books that have already introduced some of these topics and she comes to us for clarification. Just the way it is and how our family functions to prevent misinformation and discuss both practical issues and introduce our own views and moral beliefs as we come across these types of situations.

By all means, if this young woman is an employee and her boss doesn't want these things discussed, she's at fault, but how do you know this situation is as you interpreted it? It's fascinating, like a Rorscharch ink blot, to see people's viewpoints.

Interesting web site overall, and I'm very glad I'm not a nanny.

Anonymous said...

I am thinking that the OP wasn't so much eavesdropping as being subjected to hearing this conversation regardless of whether she wanted to or not.

Anonymous said...

I think it is a good idea to have the talk with or children when the time is right. However, it is not fair to have the talk out loud on the train and forcing others to listen to it. My two year old daughter repeats every word she hears, and had she been listening to this conversation, she soon would be yelping out certain unwelcome phrases at family barbeques.

maggie said...

I have many friends with children that age. Most are working mothers with nannies. When their child wants to make a playdate for a sleepover or needs a new pair of shoes, the nanny or the child usually telephones the mother. Are you suggesting this is less important than planning a sleepover?
You are incorrect. This is a mother/daughter conversation.

-G^2 said...

"Subjected to hearing this conversation", "forcing others to listen to it", oh, come on. You've never said anything questioningly inappropriate in public before?

It doesn't sound like this was a quiet library or museum setting where one would expect not to have to be in the midst of any type of conversation. It's public transport. People talk about anything they like, although I grant you that certain topics are best preserved for home. However, this wasn't just an out of the blue lecture, was it? It was a direct response to a poster that was visible for all, and the girl wanted to know what it meant. If you are offended by the conversation, are you also offended by the poster? Should the city ban it and any other advertisements related to public health? I don't think so. What say you, my reader?

Anonymous said...

I think that if you have a full-time nanny, you can't expect to have your kids wait for every single important issue or question that arises. It's not possible and it's an unfair request, unfair to the child and to the nanny.
You made your bed, now lie in it. You are just not there. Let the person you hired to be there for them do their job.

Anonymous said...

8:09 - that is just awful. I agree that there are some things that arise that you have no control over, but other ... more private issues, should be remanded to the parents. Period.
P.S.
You sound angry, why?

aimee p. said...

Why is it that anyone who does not agree with you sounds "angry?"
I saw nothing in the post at 8:09 that was angry. I can't say I agree with all of it, but the post did not sound angry to me. It sounded matter-of-fact and to the point.
I have read many angry posts on this blog, people swearing, name-calling etc.
Where in the post in question does the speaker sound angry?

Anonymous said...

I definately agree that the post is matter-of-fact, 9:21. And it has nothing to do with anyone disagreeing being labeled as "angry". But the post does seem like there may be quite a bit of emotion behind it. In no way are they being slammed. But, you are right - it is much easier to recognize really angry posts when they are littered with cuss words.

Anonymous said...

The one thing none of us here know, is what the Mom and Nanny have already discussed is appropriate to talk about. I am a nanny of a 8 and 9 year old and since their Mother is a OB/GYN, they know where babies come from, and how they get there. The Mother has told me on repeated occasions that the kids have asked new questions about sex or reproduction and that if such issues come up, just be as basic, but truthful as possible and don't act embarrassed that they are asking. I think the OP is overreacting a bit, since she doesn't know any history with the family.

Anonymous said...

as you have not said that the child asked what sex is, I suspect that this child lives in a home where these things are talked about in an open informative manner. I have also worked in a home like this looking after a two year old and a ten year old; both girls. They both knew as much as they asked as their mother felt she would rather they could talk easily and openly at home about anything they wanted than be mis-informed by their friends. My mother's only commentary on sex when i was growing up was the appearance in the living room one day of a book about how dogs and cats have babies. I would much rather have heard about it at home. Please talk to your nanny about what you would like your children to know / not know and leave other people's decisions about their children to them.

Caitlin said...

I am a SAHM but if I were looking for a nanny this is the kind I would want. Although, she could very well have been the aunt or something. Or even an older sister.

At any rate, I enjoy this blog, I just don't know why this post was made. Seems out of place. *shrug*

Anonymous said...

When my daughter is older, I hope our nanny would have the maturity to handle that situation as well.