Received Sunday, June 15, 2008 - Perspective & Opinion
I have a problem I have been wrestling with and am trying to settle upon the most proper of resolutions. Our nanny has demonstrated what I feel is a lack of respect for our possessions. My wife, on the other hand seem to find favor to excuse what I feel is unforgivable. Case in point, in February of this year, our nanny took our child out on a walking excursion and returned home sans the child's favorite blanket. The blanket was quite identifiable, as it was an Amber Hagen cashmere blanket in a black and yellow smiley face print. Because my son had grown attached to it, we had to attempt to find it. Failing that, I was forced to find the blanket which was a gift and order it online and rush delivery to our home. My son had fitful nights trying to fall asleep without the blanket before we received the second, (at a cost of about $180). I let that go, as the nanny was relatively new and anyone can lose something once.
In April, our nanny took our son to the park to play during one of the shockingly warm days. She had him dressed in regular clothes and packed a bag for him with shorts and sandals to play in at the park. That I can understand. What I cannot understand is why she took his jacket and then returned home without it. The day was easily 74 degrees. The jacket was an orange Catimini, fur trimmed parka. Winter wasn't over, but fortunately he had other jackets to wear.
Last month, the nanny took our child with her to run errands. They left with her on foot and him in his stroller. She returned, having lost the entire diaper bag and all of it's contents. The diaper was a yellow printed Fleurville, (cost about $150) and contained diapers, a spare house key (!), baby wipes, bottles, formula and a red sweatshirt. I asked her how she could have lost the entire diaper bag and she said, "I think someone stole it". Had she not demonstrated a propensity for losing things, I might have believed this. She wasn't all together apologetic, either nor was she cooperative with me as I tried to retrace her steps. I was very concerned about locating the diaper bag as it did contain, as mentioned, a copy of our house key.
Yesterday, my wife and I are packing the car up to drive to New Jersey to visit friends and I can't locate our child's favorite stuffed animal. I confront my wife who admits the nanny misplaced it and couldn't find it before she left on Friday, but promised to find it on Monday. I conduct a thorough search of every nook and cranny of the house. I turn up nothing. The missing item is a stuffed purple plush elephant with black eyes and pastel polka dots on his paws and ears.
These things that I have been able to notice she has lost, I have only noticed because they are key to the child's daily life. I cannot help wonder what else has been lost? We have no other problems with the nanny. She isn't by any means exemplary, but how can I continue to tolerate this disrespect for our child's property? Our child carries that animal with him most places. He hasn't had it all weekend. This hasn't been pleasant.
Has any other family dealt with this before? Can you recommend some stiff words that will cause the nanny to comprehend that this cannot continue? We have one child. Our nanny does not do any housework except for returning the house in the condition we have left it for her. Our home is not a chaotic environment. I am at a loss as to how to proceed, but my wife's "don't say anything and buy another one" policy isn't helping the situation, but enabling it.
And you say?
Thursday, June 19, 2008 8:01 AM
Yesterday, we terminated our nanny. This was not preplanned. A situation arose following what appeared to be another lost object. When asked about the object, the nanny responded by screaming at my wife and accusing her of calling her a thief. As it turned out, this item was not missing and during the altercation with my wife, the nanny located it. Upon locating the item, the nanny hurled it across the room in combination whilst screaming unfair accusations at my wife. Neither of us, had at any time accused her of stealing the items and her response was completely inappropriate given the situation. Although I was not present, I was called home so that we could in unison and without further conflict, terminate her services. I will inform you that I did pay her through the end of the week, which in terms of any severance was agreeably meager, but with due consideration to what had just transpired, neither my wife, nor I were feeling particularly generous. Thank you to all of you who chose to respond.