Received Sunday, November 16, 2008. - Rant
This is not nanny-related, just a rant, but I was absolutely shocked at the cluelessness of 2 moms I have observed over the last few days, but I didn't feel in either case that it would have been remotely appropriate for me to say anything.
Yesterday afternoon at a playground, there was a mom of a baby about 7 months old. Not crawling yet, and teething from what the mom was saying. At one point, the baby had a plastic ziplock bag full of wet-wipes and was chewing on it. CHEWING ON A PLASTIC BAG. The mother seemed aware and completely unconcerned about it, and allowed the baby to chew and suck on the plastic bag for about 2 minutes as she packed things into the stroller, then calmly took away the bag and ignored the baby as she/he (not sure) screamed angrily at having the "toy" taken away. She also had a child of about 3, so perhaps had reached a level of complacency, figuring her older child had survived long enough, so no need to worry too much about safety.
Second observation was a dad with a girl of 16 months (he mentioned this) and another baby's mom. The dad's baby girl had brought a ball to the playground that all the other kids liked. So the dad was encouraging her to share it and take turns, allowing other kids to have it for a bit and then encouraging them to return it to his daughter, which was largely successful, and the little girl was practicing giving it away for a short time, then getting it back. No problem, right? Until the mom of another baby about the same age, who was about to return the ball at the prompting of the dad, ran up and ordered her child to return the ball. The dad said it was OK, that he was teaching his daughter to share, at which point the mom responded "oh, they're too young to understand that. I've read that they can't understand about sharing until they're 5 years old." So I guess this woman feels that since a baby also "doesn't understand" that an oncoming car can kill them, the concept should never be presented until they are 5 years old. I am just shaking my head at this, predicting that this child will be a future monster that all the preschool teachers dread to see, and will have a hard time making friends, and we have the mom to thank.