Cobblehill Playground in Brooklyn, NY

Received Friday, April 18, 2008
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I would like to thank Jacob's nanny today, (4/18) for her ridiculous display of park etiquette. I was sitting on a stone pillar bench, leafing through a magazine as my child played 15 feet away. I noticed another party entering my space. It was one woman in a knee length denim skirt, long braid of brown hair, Hispanic, approximately 55 years of age. She had with her Jacob, a sturdy looking toddler of approximate two years, wavy brown hair, wearing tan jeans and Nike shox tennis shoes. The nanny lifted Jacob up on to the same pillar I sat against, turned him around, dropped his pants and started barking these instructions to him, "okay, Jacob take out your wormy"
"Point your wormy here. Hold on to it"
"Jacob, you have to hold on to your wormy"
"Okay, wriggle it, Jacob. Wriggle wormy off. Is he wriggled?"
"Now tap your wormy Jacob"
"Good job Jacob, put wormy back in, now".

I don't know if I was more pissed off that the nanny chose to toilet the child five feet from me or the creepy way she spoke about his "wormy".


Anonymous said...

Hahah ewww how creepy!
I doubt she chose the PET NAME "WORMY," but STILL!

Bizarre, inappropriate behavior.

marypoppin'pills said...

Oh good grief, I sure hope 'wormy' didn't splash anything on you!
How utterly disgusting and inappropriate! You really should have said something, I guarantee you wouldn't be as upset as you are right now!

This Nanny is old enough to know better, so she's a lost cause!
But at least the little boy would've learned something ....

Anonymous said...

I hate when people make up "cutsie" names for body parts when talking to children. There is nothing wrong with them learning the correct words. And WORMY? geesh, that is just slightly um, ew.

I understand that sometimes kids need to go. But WHY did she have to do it right next to someone? Why couldn't she have taken him to a tree or bushes? Why couldn't she have seen if there was a bathroom around?

I would have totally said something to her. Oy.

Kevin Hayle said...

I don't know that playground. But I am always shocked when I visit a playground without bathrooms. What are we supposed to do?

cali mom said...

Oh gross! Completely innapropriate and disgusting.

This brings up a question I've had about the body parts. A boy's is a "peepee", or penis, which is a much simpler word for a very young child than vagina. If you want to use a shorter, more "cutesie" term (sorry for those who don't like the idea), WHAT is a friendly, non vulgar but not too clinical nickname for a "girl's peepee" as my friend the mother of boy and girl twins, calls it?

Hannah said...

Haha. This is my first comment -- I'm a long time reader. That is so gross and totally weird! I am disturbed!!

Anonymous said...

yes it is creepy. wormy isn't a great name for a penis. :( creepy.

Anonymous said...

cali mom:

I don't have a daughter (boy only in my home) but several friends with girls called it a "toto". Don't know's not even a derivative, but it worked for them.

kathleencares said...

That IS pretty disturbing - mostly that she spoke to him like that and called it a wormy.

Anonymous said...

I get what you are saying Cali Mom. My sister actually calls it "Petunia". Which is just as hard as Vagine to say!

a texas nanny said...

I've heard it referred to as a Hootie... lol.

One night I was giving a bath to my previous 5 year old charge. I always felt weird about having to remind them pointedly to be sure to wash their private region and behind. So I said something like "Wash your booty and your front..." because you never know what to say in that situation, what the parents call it to them, etc... She goes "A, that's the same thing! You want me to wash it twice?" So apparently, they called it a Booty which seemed confusing to me...

mom said...

We said simply "pee pee" for everybody...sons and daughter. It got the point across and they knew to what we were referring.

When they got old enough to notice that boys and girls have different "pee pees," we said, "why, yes they do." Little kids don't tend to ask a lot of questions. Simple answers do the trick for quite a long as you don't make a big deal out of it that is.

undercover regular said...

I don't really care for "cutsie" names, either. So for the boys, we call their rear ends "bums", and their gonads "peanuts" ... mainly because I'm forever telling the boys to "watch out/don't crush/don't kick" the peanuts.
And their penis', well ... that's what we call 'em.

I don't have girls, so thankfully I don't have to worry about that, lol.

Anonymous said...


In my house the penis and vagina both are referred to as privates or private parts. As a woman who was sexually abused as a child, I think it is VERY important for children to understand that their privates are just that, private! They are for them and them only. This also helps to keep other kids away from the bathroom door when someone else is in there. I tell them that it is so and so's private time. This topic is very important to me. Teaching little boys to bring out their "wormie" in front of perfect strangers will definately not help him learn that no one but he is supposed to see and touch it.

Anonymous said...

Wow, you bring up a very important point that hadn't even crossed my mind. I feel really bad because I was a victim, too.

We need to look at the bigger picture here and understand that what this nanny did is incredibly wrong because it teaches the child immodesty.

How very dangerous for this child.

Anonymous said...

I have an 8 year old and she likes Oprahs term "VJJ". I also have a 2year old we just say vagina which gets interpreted by her as just "gina". It's short and it works!

Anonymous said...

Okay, we're at war. The President is a moron.
The economy is in the toilet and gas is nearly $4/gallon.
So what if the nanny called his Willy a "Wormy"? So what if she let him pee outside (maybe the park bathroom was in use, or totally disgusting as most park bathrooms are...). At least she was encouraging and kind with him while he relieved himself. We Americans need to be a little less squeamish about our bodies and get over our provincial nonsense.
In the great scheme of things, this is a blip on the screen.
Get a life.

Anonymous said...

Actually, I'm much more creeped-out by the fact that the OP watched the entire process and memorized the exchange between the nanny and the child than I am by the fact that the nanny allowed him to pee outdoors.
The nanny called his privates a "wormy". And I'm calling the OP a "weirdo".

Anonymous said...

We call the girls parts in our house front bottom. Our oldest came up with that one all on her own. Our 2 year old boy calls his a penis but for a while it was his bellybuttton. LOL!

Anonymous said...

I don't think it's necessary to call the OP a weirdo because I think what the Nanny did was out of line. She had the little boy pull it out and 'wee' right in front of her ... and I seriously doubt she kept her eyes glued, but how could she not notice?

As for memorizing the exchange of words? Again, OP was only a few feet away ... how could she not overhear?

I think this whole scene was flipping disgusting, and I hope OP wasn't too traumatized by it!

Janet E. said...

Don't rip me a part... but I have a question

As a nanny I use to take care of a boy who at the age of 4 would still crap in his pants and pee and then just tell me I had an accident. It would make me so angry that his parents screwed up his toilet training. Any ways, this was the dilemma.

When he did have an accident he wanted to change imeadiately. We weren't always able to change him into something clean within 5 minutes so I'd end up having to take him home. Which was just a tearful event for him. This kid was the queen of temper tantrums. Mom and dad didn't care so everything I did they ruined.

Point is: There where times that we were in a park and I let him urinate because he would freak out if I didn't. The times that I didn't he'd have an emotional break down and his mom would yell at me for "doing that to him" and wetting his pants.
I felt bad for "making" him wet his pants. But I promise you I always took this kid to the bathroom before we would leave and he still had to go when we were out.

What is the right thing to do here?? To pee or not to pee in a bush in public. I so no. Any thoughts?

Anonymous said...

I honestly don't think it's ever o.k. to pee outside in public, but I can understand there will be emergencies.

You are aware that you have a child that has accidents, so personally I would only go to places that I knew had a restroom available until he was able to hold himself in.

Maybe he would get that he's missing out and try harder, but I would never blame the child. Most times, it's the parents fault because they are so inconsistent.

Either way, if you MUST do it in public, I say find a safe bush where no one can see you. And if you have to scout the place out when you get there just to be sure to find a good spot ... then so be it.

Na Na Na Nanny said...

We're big fans of those portable potties, such as this one:

Sure, kids - especially potty training kids - can go when they leave, but that doesn't always mean anything. At least with this, if there isn't a public restroom available, I can put my charge somewhere slightly more private and make two "walls" with my body and the stroller (if we have it along). Portable potties also reinforce the idea that "we go to the bathroom on potties" - not walls, trees, or in diapers.

My biggest issue with this nanny is that she didn't even TRY to find a private place at that playground. She was right by OP! I think walking a two year old through the process is pretty normal and the parents/child may have selected "wormy" but a public restroom stall would have given him and OP more space.

Janet, that sounds really rough, especially for the child and nanny. It sounds like you were doing as much as you could. I would get a portable potty for your charge. Maybe get a small backpack for it, wipes/tp, bags, and hand sanitizer and have him be in charge of carrying that backpack, when you are going somewhere without a readily accessible bathroom. Give him back some of the control.

Anonymous said...

What if everyone let their kids urinate in the playground? Urine in a playground, whether human or dog, is not OK.

Anonymous said...


The same reason why everyone should be paid on the books. What if no one paid on the books? We'd be a third world country.

Yep, cuz they crap and piss everywhere in third world countries.

Regressing much?

Janet E. said...

Na na nanny that is fantastic. Thanks for the great idea. Fortanately, I don't work for that family anymore. I quit. For MANY reasons.

I don't agree with public urination though in all honesty I have aloud it at times to prevent the child in discomfort from being embarrassed. In all honesty, which public parks do have toilets? Not the ones in Philly that where in our area at least.

I will however use this for my current girl if she has any trouble.

Thank you again

Janet E. said...

Just to clear that up- I meant that I will use to portable potty.

ericatomten1 said...

I have 2 girls and we use the Sanscrit word yoni instead of vagina. It means origin or source and is a respectful term for the female parts!

Anonymous said...

We had an awful nanny who gave a wonderful interview. Said all the right things. Dressed like a nanny. References were great. We hired her. She used the word "choncha" for vagina (which I learned is quite a crude term). That's not why we fired her but she lasted 11 days. Couldn't get her out of the house, we had to call the police to escort her out. She was standing in our foyer trying to tell her side of a story and pleading, "just listen, just listen". Oy, what a memory.
We use vagina now. It was the only way we could undo the damage of "choncha".

Anonymous said...

Did you try to get onto a "Save the World" site and end up here instead?

Try www.savethewhales,
www.saveoureconomy, or www.PleaseGodnotHilary!
for a more "worldsaving" type blogging experience.

anonymous1 said...

wormy? the very thought is repulsive.

cali mom said...

12:37, you make a VERY good point about calling them "privates" to stress the importance of them being private. I hadn't even considered that aspect of the OP's sighting.

ericatomten1, I met a bot ay the playground a few days ago named Yoni, and I thought I remembered that word with YOUR meaning, but didn't say anything of course. Poor boy!

And a bit OT, but I know a nanny who takes care of a girl named Pannina, and doesn't that mean "sandwich" in Italian??

Anonymous said...

Hey 10:24pm

What's so terrible about wanting to save the world? It's certainly more important than belly-aching about some kid peeing in the park.

Hellcat said...

I personally don't understand why we can't just say penis and vagina. Do you want to have a 25 year old son who still can't say those words? There are plenty of them out there because of terms like "weewee" and "stick and berries."
I personally find the word "vagina" to be revolting because my parents never said it. It sounds cold, medical, and yucky to me... but you can bet I will try to use it so my son grows to have a good diction.

Anonymous said...

I've looked after many a little boy and if we happen to be at a playground where there is no public bathroom we go to the farthest corner away from anyone and do it there. It's embarrassing for children to pee in front of strangers and I just wouldn't let them. She should not have done this right next to someone. Period. Nor should she in a place where it's obvious that other people sit who would want to sit in a pee puddle or step in one? And as for the comment from 6:47am unless you did not read correctly this is a NANNY forum and that's what this is for. We are all worried about the stat of the union I'm sure but this site is for nanny sightings.

Anonymous said...

My Grand Daughter takes a bottle that the hospitals use to the park with her. There is no BR at the park. If Glenn has to go she takes him away from the people and covers him with the blanket and he uses the bottle,that also has a lid on it so she can empty it when they get home. They are not expensive . My Geat grand daughter has a small bladder and when we were outside of Las Vegas coming back from a vacation,there was a huge accident and we were there for hours with no way to turn around.
We had one of those little porta potties with us because of her bladder, but no place for her to really use it. I spotted a car with kids that was only two cars behind and asked them if they had a blanket,their kids had to go too LOL so we took the blanket and we held it up and every one of the kids used it. What a life saver that thing was not just for us but the other kids too. I won't take the kids anywhere with out the potty or the bottle.

holz said...

to be technical, the term is "vulva," not "vagina."

LindaLou said...

lol. holz. i was about to post the same thing. the vagina is an internal organ, for cry eye!

we use the correct words here: penis, vulva, vagina, even clitoris, when applicable. no biggie.

i don't think i need to express how i feel about people having children use the world as their toilet. heh. r-e-v-o-l-t-i-n-g.

Emily R. said...

My employers are french and they use a term that sounds like "La Pe-beese" (La Pubice?).

They use the same term for the boy and girl. For the back, they use a term that sounds like "Pu-Pah-Skay-chen)

Janet E. said...

so why did you fire her 9:20? just curious...

Sue Doe-Nim said...

I dunno. My boy pissed everywhere... it's a bit like a built in toy.

mpp said...

lol, omg sue - I know exactly what you mean.

Time to get out the Swiffer WetJet!

mom said...

I guess I got off lucky...that was the ONE thing my oldest didn't do. Although one time at a birthday party for a one year old (so the other parents knew nothing about five year olds)I was distracted for a moment while they were singing and blowing out the birthday candles. I heard a small shriek form one of the other parents and then a few gasps. I turned to look in the direction of the apparently shocking scene and there was my five year old, pants at his ankles, willie in hand, and peeing gleefully in the grass at the park. I had never seen him do that before and I shrieked his name...which scared him...and he quickly tried to pull his pants up. Some of the other parents were looking at him and at me like we had just stepped off the set of "Deliverance." I apologized to the hostess, but her mom was there and said to me that he was only a little boy and it was no big deal. That made me feel a lot better.

The hostess, who was (is) one of my best friends, didn't understand as well as her mom...because she had only a one year old and was still in that "MY child will never behave like that" delusional stage we all go through before having kids of our own. But when her son potty trained he was trong willed and refused to pee ANYWHERE but outside in their backyard for a long, long time.

stunned & amazed said... discuss the "clitoris" with your children?
Pray tell, what for?

Do you also give them the definitions of "orgasm" or "ejaculation" or "condom"?

Sounds a little inappropriate and premature to me...maybe you should save those details for the puberty years.

Anonymous said...

Lindalou and holz are right on the money! Since she was very small, my dd has called her vulva a vulva. The vagina is only the inside part (also known as the birth canal). She has known that there is a difference between the vagina/birth canal and the urethra since she had a urinary tract infection when she was three. And now that she is 10, she knows (from a book I bought her about the beginnings of puberty, and our subsequent discussions) what a clitoris is.

However, sometimes we call that region "private parts" or "private area" when we are referring to the whole area. Or, when we are discussing things like what to do if someone touches you inappropriately.