Thursday

Netti Pot?

Received Thursday, March 26, 2009
Perspective and Opinion on ISYN I have a strange problem. I am a live out nanny and I work 18-26 hours per week. I work for a stay-at-home mother. Most often, she leaves when I arrive, she can be somewhat abrupt and always acts like she is running late, although as I stated, she is a sahm and does not work. She has a son who is 5 and is in part day kindergarten. He is very sweet, but can be a handful if you are not consistent and firm with him. He knows what I expect from him and as a result, I have very few problems with him. About two months ago, he went to the doctor because he was having problems with his sinuses and his doctor told me one thing I could do was to have his mother buy a netti pot to clean out his nose. The Dr. told me that it was worth a try, but he might not take to it. So I bought the pot and told his mother about it and what the Dr. said. She waved her hand in the air to suggest she wouldn't be bothered with such a thing and I let it go. Two days later, the child's nose was all plugged up and I suggested we try it. I took him in the bathroom and followed the instructions and he went ballistic. He was squirming and crying bloody murder. I figured, okay, he didn't take to it. I told the mother when I left that I tried the netti pot and his reaction and I made a remark, "I wish there was something else we could do". Yesterday, I see that the netti pot is out on his bathroom sink. I asked him about it and he told me that Mommy did it. Mommy did it because I was bad. After further questioning, I find out that this is the second time Mommy has used the netti pot as a punishment. The last time was because he took too long getting his pajamas on and was asking for too much help. I am furious.
Do I have a leg to stand on to say anything? In retrospect, I think I saw a glimmer in her eye when I told her how he reacted to the netti pot treatment. This is her only child and I pick him up from school most days. It doesn't appear to me that she has much affection for him.

47 comments:

night nanny said...

How absolutely sad. I think I'd "accidentally break/drop" the netti pot so she can't do use it in this manner again.

mom said...

Contrary to popular psychological myth, kids don't ALWAYS tell the truth.

Check into it further before jumping to conclusions about cruelty or abuse.

My three year old son, who was completely angellic and had never been spanked in his life announced in front of a whole tour group that "mommy would like to spank me with that" when we were shown a whip in a sharecroppers cottage on a slave plantation. I could just hear everybody thinking inside their heads, "Kids don't lie about abuse." Where he got that idea I'll never know and he's was too young to have any memory of it so I guess I'll never know. I didn't even bother to try to explain and just finished the tour with my eyes glued to teh floor.

Once a mother confronted me angrily about the handguns her three or four year old boy had described handling in my home. We owned ZERO guns, which she declined to believe when I told her that. (She insisted that he son was extraordinarily intelligent and above making up stories.) The only way she was convinced was when I said to her that we could go straight to my house and have her son show us where the alleged guns were kept. He marched straight into my bedroom with great purpose and confidence(where he had never been before in his life)...all the while his mother was urging him on in a baby talk tone that I knew meant she was expecting her poor baby to be vindicated at any moment. He turned in a few aimless circles and then admitted to making it up.

ohwhynot said...

EXACTLY what night nanny said. I'd destroy the neti pot.

However, you seem pretty judgmental about the mom - a "gleam" in her eye? That rings a little untrue. And yes, even sahms can have places they need to be and can "run late" as you are arriving. Maybe she's meeting a friend for breakfast? Or has a meeting for a charitable foundation?

seattle said...

she might seem "a little judgmental" because she was upset about what she heard. you seem to be doing the same. "a gleam in her eye? HOW UNTRUE!!"

why dont we take it for what it says and just leave it at that. its not like anybody will ever know.

and i agree with 'mom'. it is totally possible that the child made it up and OP should wait on taking any kind of action until she knows for sure.

but it is equally possible that it did happen. so any arguing done is going to be going in circles.

Phoenix said...

This is actually really serious if the child is telling the truth.
But being five don't trust him right off the bat. When my step-son was lying and I knew he was I would trick him into telling the truth. It's not that hard to outsmart these little people.

If you find out that he is telling the truth, be watchful don't be suggestive to him. His mother could be abusive, but if you say something like "does mommy ever hit you?" then he could get is in his head that she does and start saying. Keep a close eye, but don't trust everything he says.

Village said...

Instead of a netti pot, try using Simply Saline. It is a sterile saline nasal mist. It is described as a gentle irrigation of the nasal passages, but you are still shooting salt water up your nose. I like it way better than a netti pot though.

I think the kid is trying to keep you from using the netti pot on him, and so far he is succeeding.

ChiNanny said...

I agree with mom. He could be lying. However, I still might "break" or "put away" (hide) the netti pot so in case he is telling the truth she doesn't do it again. If you think she's abusing him in other ways, keep watching and log any suspicions you have.

Angela said...

What is the big deal? Just tell the kid that if he behaves his mom won't have to do it again.

kc said...

That is horrible, if it's true. I think Mom has a point that kids DO lie. But if he's not lying, that's terrible. I use the netti pot and it doesn't feel great, I can tell you that.

Wicker Park Nanny said...

kids do lie. I had a 3 year old tell her mom I pushed her down the stairs (when she had actually fallen of her own accord) - they mix things up sometimes.

Breaking the netti pot sounds like a good idea. I don't know what you could say or do, I'm afraid you would be seen as overstepping.

mom said...

Wicker Park...you just made me remember another one. A little boy I babysat for (about age 3-5 at the time as best I can recall)was caught by his dad entertaining the neighborhood kids by pulling his pants down. This was just after I had arrived to babysit but before the parents had even given me my instructions for the evening, so I wasn't even actually babysitting yet. He apparently told his dad I had told him to do it. The dad reported this to the boy's mom and me at the same time as he came in the house after catching him...and we all sort of laughed because he was so young and, well, kids do stuff like that from time to time. I never even dreamed they might think I would do something like that. No biggie...or so I thought. They went out, paid me, and continued to ask me to babysit for their child. I forgot all about it until another family from the neighborhood reported to my parents that the kid's parents were telling the entire neighborhood that I was telling their child to show his penis in public!

mom said...

PS If these netti pots (I have no idea what that is) are made for some sort of medicinal purpose, as it sounds like they might be...I doubt they are considered illegal torture devices or child abuse implements.
My kids acted like that when I tried to give them amoxicillin (except, of course, for the one son who found it so incredibly delicious that he got up at the crack of dawn, whittled off the childproof cap somehow, and drank the entire bottle one morning.) My daughter and I were just laughing about that the other day...what an incredible ordeal it was. Seriously, if you couldn't see us but only could hear, you might have imagined I was cutting a hole in them with a butcher knife and pouring the medicine in the hole...instead of pouring in carefully measured doses, trying to correctly estimate just how much they had swallowed and how much they had spit out, and then trying to readminister the remaining necessary dose.

mom said...

PPS My husband once objected to the fact that I would hide the kleenex in my hand and ambush my unsuspecting kids when they needed a nose wipe or blow. I happily offered to let him wipe the next nose using his superior nose cleaning plan.
After trying it his way just once, he quickly converted to more stealthy tactics when approaching with tissue.

seattle said...

mom:

i love amoxicillin. and still ask for the liquid kind when i need it :P

not just cause i hate swallowing pills but... your son has it right.. it IS incredibly delicious!

mom said...

Yes, it's delicious seattle...but I imagine a little less so with the Ipecac chaser that he received!!!!

Now he's 200 pounds and 6 feet tall. I doubt we could afford to dose him up with what he'd need of the liquid.

It's, oddly enough, one of our funny/endearing memories now. He was so proud that morning when I got up to find him standing proudly beside the fireplace with an empty bottle of medicine in his hand and a very pink mustache...and in that split second while I was still trying to take it all in he very proudly proclaimed, "Mommy! I drink the pink!" He must have been two years old at the time...judging by where we lived anyway.

Nanny Taxi said...

Toss the Neti Pot. I would think it would be difficult to use on a kid anyhow. Mom doesn't sound like she's wrapped too tight, but he also could be lying. I found one article online about a woman who used a plastic Neti Pot just once, her 3 year old found it and used it as a teapot for her party!

Phoenix said...

I really don't like the idea of Netti pots and when kids don't want something that bad they won't take it without a fight. My ss had to take robitussin and he hated the taste to instead of swallowing it he held it in his mouth till he threw up.... I couldn't make him understand that swallowing it wouldn't be as bad as not swallowing it/ he refused to listen then told his mom and that I made him drink the entire bottle... that was not true we used the entire bottle because he kept spitting it out!

the only other fight I had was with my kitty--- I one time had a vet tell me to use one of those sucky bulb devices that you use on infants to get the snot out... well he told me to use it on my cat who was suffering from a URI... that was a bad day. I tell you what somehow cats get incredibly strong when they don't want to do something.

Lisah said...

My first reaction was to just throw it away. Mine is plastic, so it would be difficult to break - unless it was stepped on or something.

Mom, a neti pot looks like a 1/4 size tea pot. You fill it with warm water and saline solution then use it to irrigate your nasal sinuses. While standing over a sink, you hold the spout against one nostril and let the water drain through your sinuses and out the other nostril.

I use one myself, especially if I feel like I may be getting sick. I can't imagine using one on someone who was uncooperative, like a child - it requires a fair amount of cooperation. The sensation does feel a bit like getting water up your nose when swimming, although it's not quite as bad, because the water is warm.

mom said...

Oh Lisah, that sounds like an awful contraption. I don't know that I would have the guts to use it on myself, as I have quite an aversion to water in my nose. And I cannot even imagine any child letting somebody use that on them. I imagine they might, in the struggle and panic, accidentally snort the water in...which really hurts.
Isn't there some better way to clear out the sinuses? Isn't there some sort of Children's Benadryl or something that will do it? I'm not a huge fan of medicating kids, but if it's seriously enough of an issue that a netti pot seems necessary, the kid probably needs relief pretty badly. If it's a chronic problem, take the child to a doctor.

Knowing what this thing is I doubt any mom would use this as a punishment on a child, because it is way more of a punishment on the person trying to administer an unwanted treatment to an unwilling child than it is to the kid. More likely the mom tried to use this one evening and the child became frantic, which caused the mom to be stressed and perhaps short with him...which he probably percieved as her being angry at him...which he may have twisted in his memory to her using it because she was angry.

Oh, and I've been doing a lot of snickering about Phoenix trying to force a bulb srynge into her cat's urinary tract! I would pay the vet ANY amount of money to do that before I'd even attempt to do anything like that to a CAT! I'm surprised you have any skin left on your arms whatsoever. Sounds like hilarious YouTube material to me.

chgonanny said...

My four-year-old charge once told his parents that I tried to get a dog to attack him. Thank goodness his dad asked, "buddy, did you DREAM that?" He just sheepishly said, "oh yeah. That makes more sense." Of course, I don't like the idea that my charge is dreaming about me being an evil dog lady. So sometimes kids don't lie on purpose, they just don't remember what really happened. Maybe the mom tried to use the netti pot and it happened to be after her chastising him for taking too long with the pajamas.

Another thing, and perhaps I'm just ignorant. I've never known a nanny to take their charge to the doctor. Also, since you're not the legal guardian, can the doctor legally tell you what's wrong with him (I know it was just sinuses, but what if it were something more serious). I'm not saying you're lying, I just think it's odd. Does this usually happen, and I'm just oblivious to it? I don't think I'd be comfortable taking my charges to the doctor, unless an emergency happened and I had to rush them to the hospital (God forbid).

mom said...

I meant for the MOM to take him to the doctor. That seems smarter than just letting the child suffer with chronically clogged sinuses or keeping him on Benadryl long term.

chgonanny said...

Yes, Mom, I was commenting about the post. Perhaps I read it wrong. It sounded like SHE took the kid to the doctor and told the mom to use the netti pot.

Sorry I wasn't clear or misread the post.

mom said...

PS I also now can understand why the mom of this child may have reacted by rolling her eyes at nanny (or whatever she did that seemed snotty..I don't recall exactly)when she showed her the netti pot. She probably knew in half an instant what her child's reaction would be to using that and was thinking, "Yeah, right!"

Nanny, I don't think she was trying to be mean to you. I suspect it was just a natural reaction.

I'm practically sweating right now just imagining trying to use that on a child.

Lisah said...

Mom, Neti is an old ayurvedic practice, designed to irrigate and cleanse the sinuses of pollutants and bacteria - more as a preventative than a cure.
It's good for people who suffer from chronic infections or who have had nasal surgery and need to keep the area clean.

mom said...

Lisah,

I can see where it would be helpful to a person to do this...but also that the patient would have to be very willing to participate...and able to relax while water goes into their nose.

I've sucked water really hard into my nose too many times at the beach and have too strong an aversion. Ouch.

Christina said...

ChgoNanny, Ive taken my charges to the doctor many times, for everything from ear infections to well visits and shots.

Phoenix said...

Maybe she wasn't using it as a punishmnet... mean as this is going to sound but some times kids develope phobias to the strangest things. Maybe she was teasing him (joking) that he was acting ridiculous. When I was little my sister is about 6 years younger than I, well my sis was scared to death of this little taxidermy (sp?) chipmunk that my grandma thought ws cute. she was scared I mean in tears. I used to put it on her pillow when she was asleep and shed wake up with it next to her.
My dad would tease her with it, and it became a joke. It was just something that was dumb to be afraid of.... maybe the mom could be doing that, and to the child it is the end of world.

MN Nanny said...

chgonanny-

In my current position, I am usually the one to take my charge to the doctor if the visit is outside of a typical "wellness visit". Typically it's for severe diaper rash, infections, or illness. I have taken him for a flu shot (at 1.5 yrs. old...not fun).

My previous family, I was the sole person to bring the little ones to the doctor! And we're talking an infant and very young toddler (starting care 2 mos. and 15 mos.). That family had other priorities outside of their children to be bothered to take a couple hours off from work.

At any rate, I have never been questioned and they were aware that I was the nanny.

the original gimmeabreak said...

Just wanted to say that nannies around here take kids to the doctor all the time. if it is just a simple check up and the parents can't make it-the nanny will go.

amy said...

I take my charges to the doctors for almost all of their visits. The mom is a doctor and her office is down the hall from the pediatricans, so afterwards we go and visit and update her, or she'll pop in during the visit if she can.

OP of post said...

I mentioned the netty pot to the mother and said, so you got 'him' to sit still for that. She smiled at me and uttered a sound like "mmm".

I tell you there is something off about this woman. She sleeps all morning long and gets up and gets ready just so she can be out of the house by the time I bring her son home from school. There is no bond there, nothing. Something missing.

I wish I knew more about how she treated him when I was not around. But I also don't want to know.

BLAH said...

It's not horrible, TBH. You don't know how the child behaves with the mother when you're gone. Because he probably knows you better than he knows his mom (which is sad) he knows your limits. He may not know his mom's limits and might push them. She didn't actually use the thing she just said she would. It's the wrong approach, sure, but it's nothing out of this world. Now if the kid was actually tortured for misbehaving, that'd be another thing. I think it's sort of like taking their favorite toy away for a while. It's still making them miserable and sad and it still tortures them to lose a toy.

OP said...

The mom didn't say she used or not. She just smirked and made a nose that sounded like "mmmm", like a thinking noise.

jennifer lecarlo said...

L,

David will be giving a speech here in Rye at the middle school. I thought you might like to know.

Discipline Deficit Disorder: Why Kids of All Ages Need to Hear “No” and Ways Parents Can Say It.

Wednesday April 1, 2009
7:30 PM
Rye Middle School, Rye, NY

H said...

I took my 3y/o charge to one of those indoor bounce playgrounds with all the blow up obstacle courses and slides.

It was terrific while it was fairly empty and all the kids were his age. As we were winding down some older kids arrived and were being far too aggressive on some of the equipment to play alongside my charge so I told him we had to move on to another area. He kept asking why and I tried to explain the older kids were too rough. Well that somehow turned into some older boy pushing him off a slide according to his grandma- that NEVER happened. I was with him- IN the play areas and ON the slides with him when he was not in direct sight. I had the feeling they didn't believe me when I tried to explain. When it comes to anything dramatic- kids often exaggerate reality.

Wicker Park Nanny said...

OP, originally I was with you on this post, but now after further reading your comments on this thread it sounds like you have some serious issues with how the mom spends her time.

It's easy for you to judge a situation, but honestly, it's none of your business. If the mom wants to sleep all day that's her deal, you're still getting paid. And you know, you're only getting paid because she chooses to sleep all day. But seriously, you need to let go of your bitterness towards this mom for doing whatever the hell she wants to.

Now it seems you might be the one OVER exaggerating a situation simply because you do not like the mother.

alex said...

Kids definitely like to make things up but OP I think since you have always thought something was off about this lady that maybe she started it to clean his nose and he thought it was punishment? No idea, but something doesn't sound right with her. Is the dad around? Maybe you could ask him about his mom? that just seems so sad!

tamiami mama said...

This isn't on the OP's topic, but it is a reply to a few post discussions in this thread -

I think it is inevitable that at least once in their young little lives they are going to try to give you a whopper. When my child was about 3 he told me a lady in the playground kicked him. I asked him to show me where he was kicked and point out who. He pointed to at his calf and at one of two nannies sitting very close to the bottom of the slide. I went over in mother protective mode and verbally dressed down the nanny. She told me I needed to have a chat with my kid because it didn't happen. My reply? Yep, Why would a kid lie about that? Well, on the car ride back I told my child I would always trust his word over anyone else's with no questions asked and that I would defend his word to the death, but - he had to always tell me the whole truth and nothing but the truth. He 'fessed up that the nanny did not kick him and he didn't know why he said she did. I was furious and asked him how would I ever be able to trust him in the future if he was willing to lie to me about something so small and unnecessary? We learned a lesson that day, to include a future bond of unconditional earned trust. I did apologize/thank the nanny the next time I saw her. He has not lied to me about anything important since that day. He understands the importance of being truthful with the people who care about you, especially since they are the ones who are going to have your back in bad times.

fox in socks said...

I like the idea of breaking the neti pot, but why don't you just call the doctor and ask that he call the parents and explain to them how to use it and that it's no big deal if the kid doesn't like it. If you feel confident in the doctor, like you know him/her enough, just tell the doctor that the mother might be using it in a punitive way and that perhaps he can explain to her the proper manner in which to use it.

I have a neti pot but I'm not crazy about it and have only used it a handful of times. I can see where it would be hard for a kid to feel confident that water is not going to get into his lungs. The doctor seems to say it's no big deal if using the neti pot doesn't work for the kid, and this seems to be true for this kid, so it should just be abandoned in that case.

sanfranny said...

We use a netti syringe for the kiddos in this house.

DenverNanny said...

I cared for a four year old and now a two year old who were both premature and had all kinds of issues with their sinuses so they both received sinus rinses. The 4 year-old, and now the 2-year-old, would both very cooperative and the whole process took only a few seconds. That's right-- a mostly deaf, special needs 28-month-old sits on the edge of the sink very calmly while mom or I flush his nose.
It definitely takes some getting used to, but netti pots/sinus rinses/etc are not painful if done correctly... and many docs now prescribe them for children as well as adults instead of pumping patients full of drugs.

chgonanny: With my last position, I was the only one who ever took the kids to the doctor... in fact, I left that job almost a year ago and still get calls from the pediatrician's office trying to confirm appoinments.
The parents just wrote and signed a letter authorizing me to obtain medical care (Which ALL nannies should have, btw!) So yes, I would take the children to the doc and then come home and tell mom what doc said to do...

Anonymous said...
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Moniker said...

Children lie about getting into the cookie jar and other simple things. Children do not lie about this sort of thing (usually I should say). This is a form of abuse. Taking something that is supposed to help him and something that he should be taught to not enjoy, but like the effects of it. He should be taught to not be afraid of something that will help him. This is serious. If she's doing little things like this, you don't know what else she is doing or will do in the future. report her or ask a professional's advice on how to approach this. I don't think that you should be the one to approach her.

cali mom said...

I agree with Moniker, and I'd lean towards believing the child. Too often, people DO get away with doing horrible things to children because it's so easy to just say "oh, he a kid, with an overactive imagination, and doesn't really understand reality vs. fantasy, so he's lying".

Since there is no way to know, or to try and look into it further (if kid may be lying, why wouldn't mom also be lying?) I'd break or throw away the netti pot. I'm not picturing it, never heard of one, but there must be some way to render it useless.

Anonymous said...
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moniker said...

I agree

need a moniker said...

It is abuse