Saturday

Nanny's Weekend Ruined by Petty Email

Received Saturday, January 31, 2009
Perspective and Opinion on ISYN I need some advice. I have been working with this family for almost two years now. I have never had an issue with them other than the fact that the wife is a little bit sneaky in her dealings and just lies for no reason but to make conversation. Now my problem is this.. I have always flat ironed the little girl's hair without any problems. Now last week I flat ironed her hair and a part of her hair got scorched, but it was no big scorch and so I just oiled it as usual and kept on going. Now today is my day off and I decided to check my email. What do I see? An email from the mother asking if I had burned out the little girl's hair because she saw a brown spot on a portion of her hair. She further went on to say that a "substantial" part of the girl's hair was shorter than the rest. Now, being the person that I am I immediately picked up my cell phone and called the mother. I told her that yes I had scorched the little girl's hair and had put some oil on it but that part about a substantial part of the girl's hair being shorter I was not going to admit to as it was a little scorch so much so that I didn't think much of it. I instantly told the mother that I would be coming over immediately to see it. She started chuckling and saying there was no hurry it could wait until Monday. I apologized once again but asked to see it immediately but she refused saying that it was not big deal. I later hung up but then I got to thinking. In all this time I have been working with this woman she has never had a problem and somehow I feel offended that she would sit down and actually email me about something so trivial. I scorched a part of the little girl's hair not her skin. Is it me or what? I simply can't let it go it is bothering me especially since I feel deep down that she is not being truthful about the part of the child's hair being "substantially shorter. I feel like she wanted to assert her power over me or that she couldn't find anything really other than to just email me over what I think is ridiculous. I am so hurt over it I cannot sleep. For her to sit and email me on a Friday over that stuff. Not to email me and say anything like she found the girls beaten and battered or I wasn't doing my job but to email me about what was less than an inch of discolored hair. What do you guys think?

43 comments:

Nanny Sarah said...

You have had no problems with this family since you have been there- great. It is not like you burned her hair on purpose. If I were you, I would sit down and tell mom how you feel about the e-mail and what happened. Everything out in the open- is the best thing. Best of lck.

Nanny Taxi said...

She thought it was important enough to email you but laugh it off and tell you to wait til Monday? Is she on some kind of Bi-Polar meds? You say she lies to make interesting conversation do you think this is all it is? Don't lose sleep OP, it's only hair, enjoy your weekend.

My2Cents said...

If I had a child, and saw their hair was burnt- even a little bit- I would also want to make sure I knew the source. If the e-mail was not malicious, I would chalk it up to her being a good mother, and making sure the child hadn't gotten into something she shouldn't have, etc. It probably could have all been avoided if you had casually let the Mom know before you left work on Friday. I wouldn't worry about it, assuming you apologized.

jada said...

Yes, you should have told her before you left friday! She had every right to e-mail you and ask about it. However, it was strange of her to laugh it off. She does sound a bit like a "drama mama".

Next time, let her know what's going on and your weekend won't be ruined.

NotaDramaMama said...

Yes, I think mom may be a little loony, however, I also think that you should have told her about her daughters hair.

As a mother, I would like to know such things... hair or not.

xxx_antsy_xxx said...

Why are you flat ironing a little girls hair in the first place?

duh said...

Um, duh, so it's not curly.

mom said...

Well, she managed to notice that something was wrong with the child's hair, so it couldn't have been nothing. Sounds to me like the scorched hair broke off and the mom was curious as to what happened. I would also ask if it were my child.
Maybe the mom wasn't trying to make as big a deal out of is as you felt she was...hence her "laughing it off" when you offered to rush over and see the damage. Is it possible that you misread or over emphasized in your own mind what her intent was in asking because you were feeling some guilt and defensiveness for having done this and not bothering to mention it to the mom before you left on Firday?
If she's not mad, just let it go. She has as much right to be irked as you do and if she's laughing it off, you'd be best to do the same. Defensiveness only ends up looking like guilt. Just apologize and be more careful in the future.

worlds best nanny said...

Mom said "Defensiveness only ends up looking like guilt"

Is that why I got a knee jerk reaction out of some mommies on here about what they do and don't do with their kids?

NannyInCharge said...

I know how an email might feel on your day off, but I think you're blowing it out of proportion a little bit. Maybe she was a little loopy for emailing and then laughing it off, but maybe that's why she emailed, she didn't want to make a big deal about it, she just wanted to see what happened.

And yes you should have just mentioned it Friday when you were going home, but I know sometimes there is sooooo much to tell the parent that one thing might often get left out and that's life.

You scorching her hair was an accident. Hell even if you go to a professional salon that can happen...and much worse. So don't freak out, have a good weekend, and deal with it on Monday if she brings it up.

oh well said...

So you scorched the child's hair, you forgot to tell the mother, and you are upset because the mother, emailed you about it, then said it could wait until Monday, as in she worried about it, then felt that she had been irrational, which is what most good moms experience once in a while? I do see a drama queen here, but not the one you mentioned.

cali mom said...

Oh well, agreed. And what is wrong with a little girl having curly hair? Does the little girl get bikni waxes also?

cali mom said...

bikini

I love my sons naturally curly hair said...

Yeah I know right. Whats wrong with naturally curly hair. Okay sometimes maybe its nice to straighten it. But I hope your not doing this all the time.

And really don't do it. Look she complained over something little. What if by accident it was worse.

visitor said...

Why would you straighten a little girl's hair? Can't you just leave it curly and let her decide for herself when she's older (like a teenager) if she wants it straight or not?

TC said...

Ok guys I get the impression the child in question is African American so that is probably why the nanny was using a flat iron (notice she said she she used oil after she scorched her hair)

Better Hair Products said...

...what kind of flat iron do you use?? gosh, my mother is a hairstylist and I flat iron my hair daily and I have never seen any hair get scorched and actually discolor... I know this is not the advice you are looking for, but I find it hard to take your post seriously because I can't imagine that happening! If someone scorched my hair or my daughters hair I would be PISSED. I dont think it was out of line for her to email you about it, though lying is not necessary.

If it is your flat iron... buy a better one! If it is the family's, instruct them to buy a better one! Burning hair so much that it is discolored is not good, and should not be happening. I personally use the "infrashine" flat iron, and find it to be fantastic. Do you put oil on her hair and then flat iron over that? Oh gee...

worlds best nanny said...

I am a white nanny and at one time I had a position working for an African American family, they had 2 kids. I had to comb out and style the little girls hair everyday. I never had any experience with African American hair and it was a harrowing experience for me. I only had to flat iron it and oil it once in a while, it is very easy to make a mistake.
You should've told the Mom, since she noticed it may have been the burnt part broke off. Despite the Mom emailing you I don't think she thinks it's some sort of major crisis.
Good luck though styling her hair and trying to hide the broken off area.
Have a good weekend

honest nanny said...

i completely validate your feelings of hurt. If I received an email like that I would want to rush over there and settle the issue immediately.

HOWEVER, if the mother keep insisting it is no big deal, then obviously her email was a trivial power trip. Maybe she just wanted to get you going - rude, but ...

I'd just wait till Monday and see what happens. I'm sure the girls hair is not significantly shorter, I'm sure that it's just as you left it.

Can you open up a dialogue about this to your employer on Monday?

honest nanny said...

duh,

HAHAHAHA... that was eloquently put.

obviously this little girl must be African American...

but i flat ironed one of my 2 year olds hair once. (with mom's approval of course). it was just a fun play time activity. haha. like playing dress up.

stylist in the city said...

OK, I am a hairstylist, (former nanny), and let me just say that if you scorched that little girls hair enough that it was discolored, textured hair or not, that flat iron was WAY too hot. I too would be pissed if I was that mom. And yes, if hair is scorched until it is discolored, it will easily break off.
Oy vey...

Austin Nanny said...

mom, I hate to tell you this, but tweens are getting bikini waxes. I have a friend who is an esthetian in LA. She has had quite a few moms try to make appointments for their 12 year old for Brazilian waxes. The theory is that if they have regular waxes now, in a few years, the hair will no longer grow. My friend's salon will not work on anyone under 18. I think it's super creepy.

A lot of moms do this when daughters have particularly hairy arms and legs.

TC said...

honest nanny I think some people didn't realize that, and I know not all Caucasian people know what all it entails when it comes to African American hair and I believe that is why there were comments about why she was flat ironing the little girls hair.

mom said...

Austin nanny,
I didn't say anything about kids getting bikini waxes.
But I do use a "shaver" that pulls the hairs out at the roots and have suggested to my daughter that she let me buy one for her too, on the theory that the hair does eventually stop growing where its pulled out week after week.
I don't understand why people get waxed when they can simply use such a device at home. It's cheaper, far less time consumng, less painful, more modest, and you don't have to let the hair grow in between uses until you have an entire forest growing on your legs. Oh well.

Mary said...

Mom, what kind of shaver is it that you use? I'm thinking I might want one...

xxx_antsy_xxx said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
honest nanny said...

TC:

I was responding to what DUH had written when someone asked why she was straight ironing a little girls hair, she said, "Um, duh, so it's not curly."

I just thought it was funny how duh had written that so bluntly and to the point.

Yes, I understand the caucasians not knowing how african americans do their hair. I'm caucasian myself but had a black roommate in college and am married to a black man so I've had more opportunities for "education" in this subject. You should have seen my reaction the first time my roommate changed her hairstyle, I was definitely naive about these things. ha.

TC said...

honest nanny I didn't even see duh's comment, I thought you were talking to me :)

I'm white myself but I live in an area where there are many African Americans and I've got some really good friends that are African American they are the nicest people because there is a LOT I don't know about how they style their hair and other things and I just ask and they tell me, no one gets offended and they ask me so many questions about how and why white people do things (Like not piercing a little girls ears when they are a baby)

jada said...

OMG, TC - Please tell me the reason you gave for white people not piercing little baby girl's ears!! LOL

TC said...

I said it depends on the parents.

My view is I would never do that to my baby girl because I know it hurts and I wouldn't want to subject my child to something like that.

I also said it's just another thing you have to take care of which is another reason people don't do it.

Other people see it as a rite of passage and a child has to be a certain age before they are allowed to get their ears pierced same things goes with wearing makeup and shaving.

WTF? said...

I'd be angry if the nanny damaged my daughter's hair.

Jo Frost said...

Ear Piercing LOL!

I am Portuguese and if you are born female, they cut the umbilical cord, and pierce your ears. LOL!

Jacqui said...

I'm not understanding what the big deal is?
Maybe she emailed you so you wouldn't feel as though she was bothering you on your weekend off. She was probably just curious about what happened and a little taken aback that you didn't tell her about it when it happened. I agree with Mom...defensiveness DOES come across as guilt. Maybe you have been feeling a little guilty about your failure to disclose what could have been a minor occurence, which is, in turn, causing you to react so strongly to the email.

Lisa said...

I'm not black so cut me some slack here, but why on earth does that family think it's okay to use a flat iron on a little girl?
Not only is she in danger of getting burned by an incompetent nanny, but she is learning the lesson that natural black, curly hair is not okay.
It honestly saddens me to see black women and girls straighten their hair. This goes for you, too, Michelle O.

honest nanny said...

Lisa:
I'm not understanding... White girls can wear their hair curly, straight, etc. Why not black women? I mean if I'm a white girl and I'm born with curly hair was my mom "teaching me my hair that it wasn't ok" when she taught me how to use a flat iron? I think its a double standard.

Ear Piercing:
my mom got mine done when I was 6 months old and I'm thankful! (btw I'm white) but then I've also had friends who's parents treated it as a right of passage. interesting how this topic came up. haha.

honest nanny said...

let me re-phrase:

" teaching me that my hair wasn't ok"

ha, sorry bout that.

PinkNanny said...

wow Op, this post really got to me. Maybe because it was so well-written or because it really made me think.

I totally agree with you. So what, you burnt her hair? You aren't allowed to make mistakes? Are you serious. Yes, I would be upset too and I probably would consider looking for other employement.

You don't deserved to be bullied and picked on for rediculous things.

RUSerious said...

oh my gosh. all these moms would be so angry if their nanny accidentally damaged their kid's hair?

it's freiking hair! Heaven forbid your kid skinned a knee while your nanny was watching.

i feel bad for your nannies.

honest nanny said...

so OP, what happened on monday when you returned to work?

Very Serious said...

RUSerious-

Well, I'm not a mother, I am a nanny, but still regardless... if I WAS a mother I would be angry if my nanny burned my child's hair. I would be angry if she burned by child's clothes. And if my child skinned their knee as a DIRECT RESULT of something that the nanny did, you better believe that I would be angry.

A flat iron should NOT burn the hair.

If I burnt one of my charge's hair I would have been extremely apologetic, and would have probably had a bad weekend, but it would have been because I felt so bad for my mistake. I don't think the mother was out of line for inquiring. I think it would have been odd if the mother didn't inquire upon the fact that her child was missing a chunk of hair (which, could be very likely if it was badly damaged enough to discolor).

Turn down the temp on the flat iron, or get a better one or something.

South Side Mama said...

@ Nina,

ITA with you. You might find it interesting to learn that the Obama girls' hair is only flatironed for public consumption. Their hair was kept much more natural when they weren't getting in front of TV cameras on a daily basis. But the prejudice against beautiful African hair is still very real, so now the girls have their hair straightened for the cameras.

It bothers me every time I see it. I keep telling myself: baby steps.

mom said...

South Side Mama,
That is truly sad. I wonder what goes through those little girls' heads as they are being made different before they are viewed so that they will be "more acceptable looking" to the public?!
Is this now going to be their life...mandatory hair straightening every day, lest they be photographed on the way to school?

get it right said...

South Side Mama,
You are completey incorrect. Both of those girls wear their hair in braids and in every possible style. They are girly girls. Sometimes, their hair is straightened. It is not straightened for public consumption. Shame on you for trying to play a race card that isn't even yours to play. I am Jewish and having frizzy, kinky hair when natural. Most days with some frizz ease and a blow dryer, I can get some great curls out of it. Some days I like to wear it down straight. Either or. I have nothing to hide and no one to impress with my hair and neither do those little girls!