Received Friday, November 30, 2007
I often see nannies in the Winter Garden or in the shops at WFC and while a good number of them are interacting with their charges, many of them are hanging out with other nannies, gabbing away and barely watching the kids they are paid to care for (this isn't lunchtime, but usually early afternoon). The kids are usually just in their strollers, bored. I've been wanting to post a general comment about this for a few weeks, but today's sighting pushed me over the edge.
THE NANNY: African-American nanny, medium build, eggplant-colored sweater and light wash blue jeans, brown plastic frame glasses (stylish) and chin-length bob-style hair pushed away from the face.
THE KIDS: Two boys, one appeared to be about 2yo, the other was about 1yo. They were in a black Mountain Buggy Urban double stroller and I could see a military/camouflage color bag (not sure if it was the kids or the nanny's) under the stroller. The kids were dressed almost identical (or could have been identical) green pants (corduroys, I believe) that were folded up/rolled up at the bottom, trendy brown suede/soft fabric shoes and black sweatshirts with a funky design on them. Each child had a sippy cup and the smaller child had a small doll with yarn hair.
WHERE/WHEN: Seating/bench area between WFC 1 and WFC 2, outside of Elixir smoothie shop, first saw them at 3pm, then again at 3:30pm when I came back by. Today, Nov. 30.
THE PROBLEM: This nanny paid NO attention to these kids. She had the stroller facing away from her the entire time. She was chatting with another nanny (who was paying attention to her charge, a little girl, between chatting. She was looking at some sales catalogues and chatting away. The smaller child was whining and unhappy. The older child was making noises and faces to try to soother the smaller child. Both of them seemed bored out of their minds and even as the older child joined in the whining, the nanny DID NOTHING except rock the stroller from behind for a second, never turning away from her sales sheet and the other nanny. She never once looked over, spoke to the children or anything. I watched this scene and wrote this all down for about 5 minutes. The children were increasingly restless and just looked frustrated and bored all at once. The smaller child kept whining and the older child was really getting restless, wanting to come out of the stroller. He saw me watching and reached his arms up I just waved and made a funny face and he smiled for a second. But the whole time, nothing from the Nanny. When I came back by from my errand at about 3:30pm, the scene was EXACTLY the same, only now the nanny was also on the phone, the younger child was fully whining and looked about to cry, both of their sippy cups had been thrown to the floor with the older child struggling and crying for the cup, the kids were still facing away, the nanny was still ignoring the kids completely... nothing about the scene had changed. This scene broke my heart because these kids seemed so sweet and just wanted some attention and this nanny looked like she could care less. The kids weren't even facing her and she never responded to them. It was if they weren't there. I dunno, maybe this is ok with some parents, but this level of care (or lack of it) just seemed completely unacceptable. I have a 2yo myself and I just couldn't imagine him in that situation, being ignored and having to comfort a younger sibling and reaching out to a stranger to help him out because his nanny couldn't have cared less. Moms, if you live in Battery Park City and you think your nanny might frequent WFC, I'm begging you, do a pop-in and look around... send a friend to peek around during the day and look for your kids. While half the nannies I see are focused on the kids, the other half are not and your kids deserve a little affection... or at least acknowledgement from their nannies.