The Houston Zoo in Houston, TX

*Received Wednesday, March 4, 2009
nanny sighting logoI witnessed a nanny (at least I think it's the nanny) Monday, March 2 at the Houston zoo.

I'm not 100% sure it was a nanny/babysitter. How she interacted with the child made it seem like she was not the mother. She seemed unsure of herself and just sort of out of place.

The nanny was young, late teens early 20s, blond hair blue eyes wearing a white terry cloth running outfit.

The little girl had brown hair and blue eyes and was wearing a sweatshirt that probably belonged to the lady watching her. It was white also. You couldn't see the clothes that the little girl was wearing because of the sweatshirt. She looked to be about 18 months.

They had a green stroller with them that had a built in bug net, I couldn't tell the brand but it was similar to the graco or evenflo strollers that come with a baby carrier.

There was also a man with them. My guess is that was her boyfriend or husband by the way they were holding hands and kissing. He was wearing jeans and a blue Texans hat

The problem was they were not watching the little girl on the carousel. They allowed the little girl to go through the gate by herself while they stood there talking to each other. The little girl walked along the wooden part of the carousel (where all the animals were) and then walked to the inside concrete part and walked along the inside of that area. Finally the lady came inside the gate and picked the little girl and put her on the monkey but when the carousel started the little girl screamed and the lady yelled at her to knock it off. She then took her off and sat down on one of the sleighs and as soon as the little girl stopped crying she tried to put her back on the monkey but the little girl started to cry so she sat back down on the sleigh with her. She continually told the little girl how bad she was and that she was acting like a baby and she needed to stop. When the carousel stopped she put the little girl on the ground grabbed her by her arm and roughly pulled her through the gate and put her in the stroller.

They were standing about where the red ladder is in the picture and the little girl was running on the inside where the mirrors are. I did not take the picture, I found it online.

* This was submitted on 3/2 but did not reach me until today -JD


or sahm said...

Good sighting. This nanny obviously doesn't care. I feel bad for the little girl. And kudos to you OP, in light of the recent hubbub, to tell us you weren't sure.

Nanny Taxi said...

My heart goes out to this child. I too was terrified of the animals on a carousel! Who brings their boyfriend to work? If she had a job say, waiting tables would her boyfriend be able to tag along? Of course not!

Baltimore Nanny said...

Nanny Taxi: My husband has often occompanied me and the children I nanny for to playgrounds, zoos, etc. The parents have always been fine with it as I make sure to introduce them to my husband. Yes, waiting tables he wouldn't come along (although, when I've tended bar in the past, he would sometimes visit me at work there too). Being a nanny is different than waiting tables.

Its a shame this nanny was too busy sucking face with her boyfriend to take proper care of the child, but chances are she is a crappy child care provider whether he's around or not.

Nanny Taxi said...

Baltimore Nanny,

I will admit a few years back I was watching 2 kids and the boy was the same age as my son, so all of us my husband included, would go places together, beach, sledding etc. "Sucking face" as you put it was not part of the equation.

Define normal please said...

its just amazing to me... an 18th month old? i watch an 18 month old and could NEVER EVER imagine her running around by herself. or scolding her for that matter...acting like a baby??.. SHE IS A BABY! WTF!?!? also cant imagine someone telling a BABY to "knock it off" in public..I'm surprised no one publicly shunned her for being such an ass to a baby.. i know i would have. People are pretty "balls-e" (sp lol) to act that way.granted its not like the worst abuse we've heard of...but maybe it wasnt the nanny ..maybe they were young parents therefore didnt feel the need to hover over her...but at 18th months in a busy public place... i dont care im HOVERING! :o)

merrygo round rip off said...

ok to play the devils advocate...1-we are not sure the kid was 18 months old...coulda been a small twi year old and yes i would let my two year old walk in the carosel before i was in there. And the rough nature of pulling the arm is never ok but i must say I have gotten annoyed plenty of times at the zoo because the kids cry and scream to ride the carosel and then the youngest gets scared when i paid two bucks a piece for them to ride that dang thing and I knew he would be scared so told him no but he didn't stop screaming. So yeah maybe the nanny was annoyed cause the child trew a fit to go and then didn't even like it. Not sure but either way I don't think if it is the nanyn she should be focusing more attention on the boyfriend than the child but I can understand the annoyance on the ride itself.

DenverNanny said...

I've also brought my fiance (now husband) on outings... As long as the parents are aware and okay with it--I see no long as the caregiver is still doing his or her job, of course. I always loved it when he was available because it gave us interaction time, the kids loved having a "special guest" for our outing, and he could better understand why I might come home exhausted some days--and second set of hands at the zoo is a life-saver!

Wicker Park Nanny said...

My husband joins me very often as he is a student and free during the days. In my working situation I'm allowed to meet friends for lunch, coffee, etc and bring them by the house even. While this is all done in "good faith" and I do my best not to take advantage, it has been condoned by the parents.

Having said that, I would never ignore my child to make out with my husband in public. Gross! I think we passed that stage when we graduated college, maybe earlier.

The nanny/other person could have been annoyed, she could have been a great many things, but that doesn't excuse rash and harsh behavior. She needs to be watched, hopefully this is a one time occurence, but she definitely sounds too immature to be watching this child.

SRI said...

The family I work for is comfortable with me meeting my DH for lunch every so often. We work odd schedules and try to see each other when we can. However we don't kiss beyond a peck on the cheek hello or good-bye in front of my charges.

If the nanny is on duty her responsibility is to the child first. She should be putting that baby on and off the horse, making sure the child is secure, etc.

"I'm not 100% sure it was a nanny/babysitter. How she interacted with the child made it seem like she was not the mother. She seemed unsure of herself and just sort of out of place"

Sadly I see too much of this. Kids having kids before they are mentally and financially prepared to do so. This could also be the case here. The other day I saw a young girl in the park I would have sworn was the babysitter. Her toddler played while she gabbed on the phone. She barely noticed when the child fell. I guessed her age to be about 17. I was not all that surprised when her two year old came crying to mommy. mommy being barely an adult herself. As i said I see way tomany children with babies of their own. Sad.

h said...

I see no problem with bringing a serious boyfriend or fiance on outings with you and your charges, provided of course your employers know about this, your employers have met your fiance/serious boyfriend and you and he are able to conduct yourselves as independant adults and not love sick tweens during the excursion.

nope not sayin' said...

underage parents or very young parents rarely do things like take their children to the zoo.

i live in greenwich and am not a nanny, have never been a nanny and have never had a nanny. i can tell who the nannies are by the way they dress and deal with the children. true, i may mistake some nannies for being mothers but i would never mistake a mother for being a nanny. i think that is how it goes pretty much everywhere. mothers in greenwich do not wear north pole clothing. honestly, i think i can tell everything i need to about someone by the shoes they are wearing and the wear on their soles.

UNIDAD said...

Poor poor kid. That nanny needs help!

honest nanny said...

"i would never mistake a mother for being a nanny."

wow how very egotistic you are of your abilities! i just asked a mom at the park today if she was the nanny - sometimes there really is no way of knowing. i am both a mother and a nanny, so how would you tell which i am when?

Baltimore Nanny said...

Nope Not Saying': Umm, the brand is "South Pole"...just thought I'd mention that since you can read someone so well by their clothing.

Honest Nanny: I too am a nanny and a mother, aside from the fact that the kids I nanny for are a different ethnicity from me, people wouldn't know which is mine and which are my charges. In fact, I am often asked if my son and their baby are twins (although they look nothing alike, I'm white American and they are Indian).

honest nanny said...

Baltimore Nanny,

My husband is black so I definitely get curious looks when I have my kids b/c they are mulatto. My charge looks more like me than my own kids! haha.

b not arthur said...


That is a completely offensive term and one that someone with biracial children would never use.

What's your game?

Does this moniler make my butt look big said...

b not arthur
Why is Mulatto offensive?
I have often heard this term from friends who have children from their racially mixed marriages.
None of them seem to find it racially inappropriate.
Just curious why it's offensive. It is simply discriptive.
I myself have never used it but I have never had a reason too.

cali mom said...

This sounds very sad. I'd say the people could have been very young, unfit parents, but whoever they are, they need to take better care of that poor little girl. I'd want to smack anyone who scolded an 18 month old for being scared of *anything* and "acting like a baby". Even a 2 year old is still a baby and should not be scolded for being afraid of things. That's just ignorant and mean.

At the carousel near me, the attendants won't let a child through the gate to ride if the child id below a certain height, marked on the gate. My son is almost 5, within about 1 inch of the mark, and last time we went, one guy let him through with his older friend, one made me ride with him. I can't imagine letting a toddler climb up onto a carousel all by themselves. How the heck was she supposed to get herself onto ANYTHING without help??

deaf nanny said...

Wow, definately sounds like non-Mom behavior, or atleast a young Mom. I live in Houston, and the carousel is definately not the place to be letting an 18mo old walk around the carousel on her own. Very dangerous!