Received Monday, March 2, 2009
I saw a tall, blond nanny today at the Lincoln Park Zoo who was doing the typical lazy nanny routine of talking on her phone the entire time and never once even looking around to see where her charge was playing.
What's funny is that I have seen this nanny before at the Zoo doing the exact same thing, and last time I even took a couple of photographs of her. I never got around to posting them - after all, perhaps she is a great nanny when she actually pays attention to her charge(s). But after several sightings I'm beginning to think that this is a typical day for her. Take kid to zoo, park butt on bench, talk on phone, ignore child. Case in point: I don't even know which child she is supposed to be watching!
The photos are from my last sighting at the Children's Zoo indoor playplace (February 9th). I was there with my little charge for just over an hour. This nanny was parked in place, jabbering away, when we arrived. As we left, she was still doing the exact same thing. I looked all over for her child but never once saw her interact with or even look up at any of the children playing.
Today (March 2nd), she had parked herself in the Farm portion of the zoo, phone glued to her ear. Since there weren't too many children in the barn, I again looked around for an unattended child or children. I encountered two little boys, one about two or three years of age, brown hair, happy, wearing snowpants overalls. There was also an older boy playing with him who looked to be about 5 or 6, fair hair, skinny, with large pale eyes. I'm guessing these two might be her charges? The littler one is far too young to be playing without supervision. Aside from the obvious "stranger danger", how does it benefit a child to go to these great learning places and not have any adult input to help them develop and question what's around them? I am chattering to my little guy constantly, asking him questions, helping him to climb, wiping his nose, and encouraging him to look at different things and practice polite greetings with other children, zoo volunteers, etc. News flash to these phone-obsessed nannies (and there are a LOT of them in Chicago): you are being PAID to NURTURE these precious children! I understand that we all need the occasional time off our feet to sit down, regroup, maybe even make a quick necessary call to the parents or someone. But to be basically incommunicado for hours on end while the child(ren) in your care wander aimlessly is neglectful. My last family I nanny for remains in touch with me, and the primary complaint of the children about their new nanny is that she is constantly on her phone. It makes kids feel unimportant and frustrated to be ignored like this! Why do so many nannies have such "important" phone conversations all day?? It puzzles me. I feel like the parents who employ these phone-obsessed nannies deserve to know how their nannies ignore their children - then probably come home to tell them all about how she and Junior had such a fun, stimulating day.
Today, the nanny was wearing a black North Face jacket, jeans, and black shoes. Stroller parked by her is a black BOB-type jogging stroller.