Tuesday

Appleseeds in NYC

Received Tuesday, February 17, 2009
nanny sighting logo I have seen many nanny's and mom's at Apple Seeds - new york city's family indoor playground , all with various degrees of awareness regarding their charges and kids. I have used my cell phone when it isn't crowded (first and last thing in the day), though the minute that my kiddo gets into interactions with others, I hang up.

There are often people there who socialize more than interact, and I know being with my kiddo all the time makes me crave adult conversation too... But today was one of the worst cases of neglect that I have seen there, so I feel compelled to point it out. (I am the poster who gets tired of flamers and trolls, so I only post the most serious of situations at this point. Jane, If you want me to post more, then hopefully some of your readers will think twice before finding some detail in my post to nitpick.)

This morning (between 9-10:30) I saw a nanny (according to the child) who was completely inattentive, she was on the far side of playground at the counter, texting, calling and writing. She never lifted her head to watch her charge (of whom I took a picture of him and attached for Jane to hold if the parent reads this. It was ridiculously easy for me to get a picture of this kid wihout her knowldege and the nanny was mostly never close enough for me to get a decent picture!). Even when I played with her kid along with mine in the side area, out of her line of vision, she never noticed. I was shocked that she was so disinterested...

Eventually (maybe 30 minutes later) she came into playground and sat next to the kid on floor looking down and texting. Then she moved to the bench and continued to text. I could have walked off with the child (who was very nice about sharing with my kid) pretty much at any time!

The child had on a blue shirt and pants (blue shirt had old navy on a little side patch). He had longish fair hair, fair skin and blue eyes. (He was Caucasian) He was probably around or just under two. The nanny was wearing a pink top and pink terrycloth pants. She was medium skinned but I am not sure about her race (She spoke another language to the child when she eventually entered playground but I wasn't close enough to catch it.)

I hope this parent will monitor her nanny. If she were my employee and I witnessed this, I would have fired her, that child was not safe.

48 comments:

WTF? said...

Can someone explain what Appleseeds IS? Is it an indoor playground or ??? TIA.

Jacqui said...

I don't see any reason why someone would nitpick with this sighting. It's pretty cut and dry. Bad nanny, good sighting.

It's scary how close and clear that picture is. It shows how oblivious the nanny must have been to her charge's whereabouts.

Nanny Taxi said...

What are you supposed to say after these sightings? Yep, there are bad nannies.

toonces, the cat who would drive a car said...

Ideally?

I will send an email to anyone I know who's nanny might take their children there.

Bad nannies make us all look bad said...

Well the sighting was good..so to speak but the comment in parenthesis ruined the entire thing....If you hadn't wrote what you did I don't think anyone would have discounted your sighting

I am one that 'nitpicks' when I feel necessary...as in when I feel the OP is simply grasping at straws and reporting something that seems to trivial to report.

Now back to this sighting. OP do you have to sign in to go to this place? Pay a fee? Maybe the place has a record of who this child belongs too and can help find the parents. The only other solution I would have would be for the OP to tell someone who works there that this child is running around unsupervised. Most places have rules about that and then it would be up to the employee to locate and talk with the nanny of the child.

Bad nannies make us all look bad said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
seattle said...

the sighting wasn't good 'so to speak'. it WAS good.

and maybe you're one who typically flames so you felt like it was a personal attack.


the truth is, people get shot down for posting their sightings. and yes, a lot of the time, their sightings sound a little rude towards the nanny they're posting about. and sometimes they make unnecessary comments about the nanny. but they're obviously angry about what they saw. i would be, and so if the nanny was huge, im not going to say "she was a larger woman" im going to say "the nanny was morbidly obese". im not going to say it nicely if i'm angry with what she did (or in some cases didnt do) to the children.

thats just the way that i think most people tend to react.

and when people like you nitpick, it just causes an argument and people completely lose sight of what the post is actually about and start arguing whether the nanny was morbidly obese or just carrying a few extra pounds.

great post, OP. ignore anyone who says otherwise.

Read between the lines people said...

Seattle I meant that what the OP said was good but not the actual sighting...bad nannies are never good :)

WTF? said...

Can someone explain what this place IS, please? Like is it an indoor playground with only one entrance? TIA.

nc said...

Good post op. Hopefully the parents will find out. I just don't get nannies like these. Do they not comprehend that there charge could be taken in an instance, and then their life could be over with child negligence charges, not to mention what could happen to the poor kid??? Thankfully the majority of nannies are no where near as bad as this nanny.

chellesbelles77 said...

What is the location of this Appleseeds, and did the OP catch the boy's name? I'm having a hard time telling because of the umbrella, but he looks like one of the little boys I teach in my Sunday preschool program at church... if this is him, I know the mom, and can pass along the information to her. Thank you...

bella said...

WTF, GOOGLE it. It will tell you all you need to know.

Anonymous said...

Okay, I looked it up since no one answered. I'm wondering if there is more than one way in or out. Is that why so many seem to have a false sense of security not watching their small children there?

~WTF?

WTF? said...

Sorry that came up anonymous. It's a link to Appls Seeds website wiht pic of the playground.

worlds best nanny said...

WTF??

It explains right at the beginning of the post that Appleseeds is New York Citys family indoor playground!

Chantel said...

Wow..Scary that a stranger was able to get so close to the child for a picture. Nanny should have been paying better attention. Good sighting.

San Diego Nanny said...

If Appleseeds is an indoor playground it must be MUCH bigger than the indoor playgrounds we have around here. I can't imagine a place so big you would have to follow the kid around. At the few playplaces I know you can just sit and watch the kids and there would be no way for them to leave without you seeing them.

Jacqui said...

It's not even about following the kid around. It's about getting your nose out of the text messages and at the VERY least, watching him. The whole point of this sighting is that she was oblivious to where her charge was and what he was doing.

Mom Who Sees Good and Bad Nannies (and Parents!) said...

OP here. I am glad the sighting was not something that led to flaming to myself or others, I feel encouraged that I can post again...

Appleseeds is an indoor playground. It is almost $1000 a year to belong. There is also a boutique, hair salon and classes (a separate charge). Its pretty upscale but in our neighborhood, it is the best option, so even with the cost, many people feel its worthwhile to pay the price...

There is only one way in to the whole place but 3 "gates" to the play area. The staff does check you in and issue a paper bracelet. That said, they don't check it once its on playground, staff is often very busy, and I could walk OUT with a kid plus they could easily miss a stranger going in if front desk is checking in a bunch of people at once during peak times.

It has a 2500 square foot space with with a lot of places where kids can't be seen (slide has a covered top with a play area both on top and underneath, large enough for many kids and adults. It is also an L shape, so about 1/3 of the space is completely out of the line of vision if a caretaker stands at the far end.

I have had MANY kids come up to me who see me interacting with my kid and want to get involved in our games, they trust me immediately. If I were that kind of person, I could take one the bathroom in two seconds.

nc said...

Thanks for the description of the place OP. It really helps to see just what could have happened to this poor kid, who, like you said, would have probably trusted anyone.

mom said...

I posted a story a wekk or teo ago about finding the emergency door wide open and the alarm blaring at a Chucke E. Cheese, and no staff person bothering to check it out until I found somebody and alerted them to it. (It was in a back hallway near the restrooms, not even in plain view.) That should obviously be a huge priority for them because that would be a potential kidnapping when that door gets opened during a normal business day. Chuck E. Cheese has the same check in and out policy with the bracelets that it sounds like this place has...and I guarantee it is a false sense of security. I can't even count the number of times we left without having our bracelets checked! You HAVE to watch kids ESPECIALLY well at a place like this.

WTF? said...

Either I'm losing my mind or the link in the original post was added later. Could be either one. It's a crap shoot. ;)

Yowza. I can't imagine paying $1k a year for something like that. We have several children's museums in our area and a family membership is under $100 for a year.

Miserly Bastard said...

Also, dont forget that Appleseeds has an emergency exit down the long hallway past the classrooms.

Even though I consider Appleseed a relatively safe environment (ie, its OK to watch the child from a distance, as opposed to keeping the child at arm's length), it is clearly not a totally secure environment safety wise.

worlds best nanny said...

One thousand dollars a year to play at an indoor playground? Let me guess this is some sort of status symbol place for all the sophisticated New York mommies to bring their children to see and be seen? I have 2 very nice indoor playgrounds in my area that charge no where near that! What I like about these playgrounds (the one's here anyway) have no obstructed view of the play area. So you can safely keep an eye on the kids without having to get into the pirate ship yourself! The children and caregivers here get matching wrist ID bands, the door to go outside has latch that you push on to get out and this latch is well out of reach of any child. If any adult makes their way towards the group of kids that contain my charges, I am up and chatting with them. You just don't know about people these days!

mom said...

To be fair...I have been in New York many times and always love it there. But I always, every trip, find myself wondering what I would have done with my small kids had I lived in the city when they were small. There are some beautiful parks, but the weather does not always permit long outdoor excursions....and big houses with giant playspaces in them are not easily affordable. So what do you do with kiddos who NEED to have plenty of room to stretch out and play EVERY DAY? If I lived in the city (where everything, by the way, is tremendously expensive comparative to many other parts of the country) I think I would pay the darn thousand dollars and consider it the price of having kids...and NOT for status, but because I know what a pair of little boys who are all cooped up in a small living space and haven't had a chance to stretch their legs all day can be like! (Plus, if you can afford to live in the city in the first place, a thousand dollars is probaly like pocket change for most of those people.)
Now a place like that here in Dallas...I'd never pay that.

seattle said...

so i checked the website, and yes, the cheaper of the two packages is about $1,000.

but that is only about $83/month.

when you think about it, that is not very much. per month. to be able to go as often as you want (it hasnt said anywhere that you have a limit)

and its not per child. its per family (on the sign up page, you can list up to 4 children).

when i was younger, our pool membership was about the same.

if you have a family with 3 children, its cheaper than taking them to the movies every week. and you have the ability to go on a daily basis.

you can also bring a guest for free.

i think it's awesome. we used to have something like that in the mall by my old house. it's gone now, but it was also a "drop your kid off and shop" type of place.

still, $83/month? thats not bad. its the price you pay when you have kids :)

Scary Blu ray said...

seattle,

"we used to have something like that in the mall by my old house"

I must know, what mall were you referencing here?

I have a theory, but I need to know!!!

seattle said...

its not actually in seattle, its in bellevue. though if theres a place in or around seattle that you're thinking of, i probably know it.

it was at crossroads mall. and the place i was referring to was called "Playspace".

i'm sad they tore it down, it was a great concept for parents to be able to go grocery shopping, have lunch, get their hair done, etc, and not have to drag the kids with them to do those things. its a small mall too, so if your child needed you for whatever reason, you were at most 5 minutes away.

they replaced it with a HALLMARK of all things. oh, what fun the children will have there!

Scary Blu ray said...

seattle,

Crossroads Mall is exactly what I thought you were talking about. I live not even two miles from there off Bel-Red.

When I was a child, my grandmother would take my brother and I there.

My brother and I would go through the tubes and the ball pit while she tended to her shopping at QFC.

I have such wonderful memories of Playspace, although I didn't recall the name. So thank you for that.

I've taken charges there, as well as cousins, and as much as they enjoy cold stone, the few rides or that pretender to the throne ceramic paint place - because you have to remember Playspace was big - what is now the ceramic paint place was the entrance and what is now Hallmark was just part of it, I know all too well what they've missed out on and feel sad because of it.

Worst run on sentence ever.

H said...

Worlds Best Nanny-
Appleseeds is most definitely not a status symbol of any sort, perhaps to many it is an essentiality of city living. I prefer my children not partake in the atmosphere of Appleseeds, too much riff raff.

all eyes said...

H,

And you are, what exactly?

Jacqui said...

Alleyes, no one to worry about. She comes around every once in awhile and pisses some people off with her false sense of superiority, but for the most part, she's easy to ignore assuming you don't let her snide comments get to you.

BabyFoxNanny said...

WOW! $1000 A YEAR?! Our indoor play parks cost $1 for each visit! I'm glad that I live in Portland right about now! I would probably be living in a box in New York.....but I love visiting NY!
Anyway, good sighting. Parents, Nannies, Grandparents, Teachers, etc. always need to keep a constant eye out!

mom said...

When we looked at housing in Manhattan about three years ago, apartments were selling for an average of $1000.00 per square foot...so that's a million dollars for a thousand square foot home...and they weren't very nice at that...mostly ratty looking and bare bones actually. (At least compared to the very high end custom luxury homes...granite counters, wood floors, natural stone bathrooms from floor to ceiling, multiple fireplaces, real wood windows, custom multi-process wood cabinetry, crown moulding and multi layer baseboards in every room, hand molded brick, etc., etc., etc.,...in Dallas that cost about $150.00-$200.00 per square foot at the time, and often included a sizeable piece of land and a pool with them!)
NY is GREAT, but good grief its expensive!!!

And you know what, in hindsight, we paid more than that $1000.00 per year for our club membership here just so that we could go to the pool in the summer. And it was well worth it because they played with all of the neighborhood kids all summer so that when school started up, everybody was already friends...and best of all, I knew all the mommies and how well they took care of their kids, or not...so I knew very well who was a safe play date hostess and who was not. Yeah, you have to do what you have ot do when you have kids.

Just One More Thing said...

OP again....

So here is my feeling about Appleseeds... I have no space for large toys in my Manhattan apartment, nor does my building have a playroom. A larger apartment would be hundred of thousands of dollars. I am working on getting a playroom in our building but having no luck...

I swore I would never join Appleseeds, which I called the "baby country club" because it is so expensive, yet when winter came around and my totally active kid was bouncing off the walls, i bit down on the cost.

We don't have inexpensive and good options in our part of Manhattan. On the other hand, in Manhattan we don't need a car since my husband can walk to work in under 15 minutes! We get one with Zipcar when we need one. So really we chalk it up to the life we chose...

Here we don’t have malls with free play area. Even our Y does not have open play areas except for a few hours a week. Appleseeds is a few blocks away and once you join, you can play all day every day as long as you want.

That said, Appleseeds, is a favorite with many nannies (just as it is with SAHMs). It is easier to hang out with pals in a self-contained area. Many parents are more than willing to pay to have a fun place for nannies to take kids so that they get out of apartment. Is it a little guilt that they aren't with their kids during day? Maybe…each case is different... Generally the dads (and some moms) bring the kids on weekends though.

Many nannies are hands on and many hang out on the bench. (I admit that I see more nannies on the bench than parents, but that said, there are more nannies than parents. I would say during weekday there are 10 nannies to one parent, my unofficial count).

Anyway, it may be a status symbol for some, but it is a necessity for many of us.

WTF? said...

I guess I can understand it if the options are so limited. I also live in Seattle (not on the eastside like the others who have posted, but the west side) and there are so many nice, inexpensive options here. All told, we have anual memberships to the zoo, aquarium, science center, and 2 children's museums and the cost is under $500/year. That's for our entire family of five and includes guest passes. I do understand about spending on what's important to you. I have 3 kids in swim team and pay about $2400 a year for that.

All of which reminds me: I hate that no one in our house is employed right now. Ouch!

A nanny who cares said...

I live in Orange County, CA and would LOVE to have a place like this to take my charges! I took them to a place that seems only half as cool called Jump 'N' Jammin' last week because it has been so cold and rainy, and it was $36 for the 3 kids, and we only stayed 2 1/2 hours! To me $1000 a year doesn't seem like that much for what you are getting!

The whole time I was at Jump 'N' Jammin' all the parents and nannies were sitting on the benches and me and 1 father were the only ones up on the equipment! I even had one mom tell me to come sit down because I was making them all look bad!

seattle said...

i dont think it makes them look bad at all, so long as they are *ACTUALLY* watching their kids.

sometimes its nice to give the kids some space to play alone or with eachother. im not saying its a bad thing you were up there playing with him, kudos to you, but sitting on a bench while the kids are playing is fine.

if theyre on the bench... on their phone, reading, talking and otherwise not paying attention.. then yeah thats not okay.

but it doesnt make them look bad unless they were outright neglectful.

WTF? said...

I'm a mom to a preschooler and I do not get up on that equipment and neither do the other moms I know. There's also such a thing as being too much of a helicopter parent/nanny. If the kids are somewhere safe, why would you be up in their business? You can call me negligent if you want, but my kids have all ended up with good soical skills and the ability to entertain themselves and interact with other children their ages. I'm not one for micromanagement,

A nanny who cares said...

You can call me a helicopter nanny if you wish, but my youngest charge turned 2 this month! I don't think it's being overprotective at all to be with her the whole time. She needed my help to climb most of the equipment and would have fallen several times had I not been there!

Plus, even the older 2 would have been really disappointed to not have me there playing with them! I agree children need time to socialize with their peers, but they are both in school full time. So, I don't buy the excuse of needing to learn socializing skills either. It is my job to be playing with them, help them, teach them, and keep them happy and active!

WTF? said...

I wouldn't let a two year old out of arm's reach, actually. Then again, I don't think I'd take a baby to a place like that because I don't think the preschoolers who nomrally go there should have to be watching out for someone's baby when they're supposed to be bouncing around with abandon.

I know it's different being the person who is paid to play with the kids all day. I'm a mom and if I'm going to a place like that, it's so my child can play with other kids and we can have a break from each other.

MissDeeHatesMoving said...

OP: Let me get this straight. This nanny was gone for 30 minutes away from her charge? The description you gave was wonderful, and I agree with the person who said that they could just imagine what could've happened to this child. Appleseed's sounds nice, yet I do agree with the "baby country club" comment, and I live in WI.

OK, when I take J to the playland at the mall, park or to open gym at gymnastics, I am constantly following him, interacting with him, and supervising him. If you want to call those of us that watch our charges carefully, making sure they are safe, "helicopter nannies" that's a load of BS. I remember many years ago when I took a child I was babysitting for to Mc'Ds for dinner, and we were in the play area. A girl of about 4-6 years of age was stacking blocks on top of each other to hang from the bar above her head, which was pretty high, if I remember. I looked around for a parent or caregiver, and didn't find anyone. This child made it up the bar and was hanging from it holding on with one hand. I was concerned that she was going to hurt herself, so I helped her down. I then had a woman, who I guessed to her caregiver screaming at me, telling me to leave her alone. She also started talking about me to others in the area. Guess what she was doing while I was watching her daughter? Chatting on a cell phone and painting her nails. That was 10 years ago. I made a vow back then when I got into childcare to take my job with children seriously. If that means being a "helicopter", well, I would rather be a concerned caregiver/teacher/nanny then a lazy bitch like the nanny this child's parents hired.

Appleseeds sounds like a designer playground...The Little Gym is popular out this way and a waste of time and money. I know people who have gone to there and never went back.

cali mom said...

Wow, $1000 yr. Even here in the SF area, where things are generally almost as expensive as nyc from all I've heard, there are lots of indoor play places and children's "museums" that cost much less than that. Even the Lawrence Hall of Science, part of the UC Berkeley system, extremely educational and geared mainly for the 5 and up age bracket, is only $75/yr. But there is Studio Grow, which is either $7/visit per person, or $99/mo, which if you did membership for a whole year would work out to $1188.

WTF? said...

We weren't talking about a huge indoor playground. We were talking about those places with the blow-up things. I really think those are just for the kids. I'm sorry if people don't like the term "helicopter mom/nanny". It's really sort of an epidemic where I live that children are constantly hovered over and coached. I'm just not in to that, but I'm always watching.

mom said...

I think it depends on the age of the child. I always followed my young toddlers around at the playground, because even a climb up the ladder to the slide can be dangerous at that age, and they don't have any idea that they shouldn't walk in frnt of swings, etc. But when thet were a bit older, I typically chatted with friends or read a book while they played. The parks we typically played at were quite uncrowded, so an occasional peep at them, and the ability to keep them in my peripheral vision while reading, or whatever, was sufficient. If they wanted pushed on a swing or for me to watch them do something special, they asked me and I did it.

Nanny who cares, I'm form OC and really miss it. We wouldn't have needed an indoor playground there because we were able to play outside almost all year round. On rainy days we did someting special and different. I miss that great weather! here, we have to have big playrooms indoors because of the ever changing, and often unpleasant weather. Thank goodness houses are dirt cheap. I added a giant playroom over my three car garage for $10,000 during the building process...fully finished out, with crown moulding and all. (Was hard to keep from laughing out loud when the builder quoted me that price for adding that much space to my house!) It was a lifesaver!

A nanny who cares said...

I wanted to clarify, that even though when I am on the job I don't sit down and I spend my time interacting with my charges, doesn't mean I begrudge moms with older children who catch a break while they're at the park. I am sure when I become a mom, I will be doing the same thing. But, I only work 6 hour days, and to me that is pretty lazy if for the few hours a day we are at the park or play area I can't be active and engage them in activities!

mom: I didn't know you used to live in OC! I was born and raised here, and I LOVE it! I have had several friends of mine from high school escape to Texas as the materialism just keeps getting worse and worse here. I might be in Texas in a few years when I'm ready to start my own family and you will have to give me your contractors number! =o)
Your right about the weather usually being nice, but these last few months we have gotten an insane amount of rain! It seems like EVERY week we have at least a few days we can't play outside and it is getting really old, really fast with a 2, 4, and 6 year old in a tiny townhouse!

ChiNanny said...

I have to agree with mom about "helicopter nannies/parents". When I take the kids to the park, I let them play. They use their imaginations and create games while making friends. They don't need me to interfere with that. I sit close by and watch, making sure I am able to jump in as need be. I believe I'm being paid to care for the children and assist in raising them, which means helping them develop the ability to entertain themselves and build the self confidence that they are "okay on their own". They know they can call or come to me for anything they need ( a push on a swing, help climbing something) or if they want me to watch something, but I let them play.

mom said...

Nanny who cares,
Yeah, I've gotten a lot of e-mails about the rain in California...but then it makes its way here after a few days and we have tornado warnings...so its hard ot ffel to bad for "y'all!" Overall the weather is night and day better in California than in Texas...well at least in the parts of OC that get the cool ocean breezes.
You're exactly right about the values there though. That's the big reason we knew we had to leave when we had kidfs, even thought in every other way our living situation was paradise. People are overall more friendly here (although its getting worse with time, as I'm sure it is out there too.) And parts of Dallas are unbelievably superficial and materialistic too...but its known where those areas are and its easy to just opt not to live in those areas. Southern manners are pretty prevalent where we live and I love that. Kids call adults, including their teachers Sir and Ma'am, and do not call other adults by first names...ever. They may say "Miss Betty," but they owuld never presume to say "Hey Betty." If they misbehave in school, nobody is worried about whether they are having a "feeling." They just get punished. There was an unbelievable difference in school discipline between the school my son attended in California and the one my kids attended here...night and day...in terms of expected classroom behavior and manners. I am a pretty traditional person as manners and values go, so that suited me just fine. There are some weird people here too, and more coming in all the time...but it used to be that when a kid got into trouble in school the parents worked with the school to correct their child's behavior instead of blaming the school for not recognizing that their child is better than all the rest and should be allowed to do whatever the heck he pleases.
its a nice place to raise kids...just stay out of Plano, Higland Park, Preston Hollow and a few other notoriously plastic areas and you'll love it here!