Loehmans on Broadway in NYC

Received Monday, May 11, 2009
nanny sighting logo This totally slipped my mind because of my personal situation but I just found this photo on my phone when I synced it and remember how sad I thought the situation was.

On or around Friday, April 17 2009 this nanny was shopping with her friend at Loehman's between W73 and W74 on Broadway with her nanny friend. The little boy, blond, white, maybe 18 - 14 months, was in a red Bugaboo stroller and left to his own devices. I caught him SIPPING/DRINKING FROM A PURELL BOTTLE (Purell in it, not water or anything else) and took it from him. The nanny did not see this as she was holding several hangers with clothing standing around the corner.Her nanny friend did not see her charge either, parked right behind the boy behind a clothing rack. I called her and told the nanny what had happened - in case she was wondering why this strange woman (me)was talking to the toddler. She did not come across as very worried and turned around quickly again, checking out more dresses for herself. I tried to snap a photo as they were paying for the clothes.
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I saw this same Nanny and her friend a year ago just before Memorial Day before when a much younger child (it could easily have been the same child) was in a buggy not appropriate for his age, screaming it's head off for 20 minutes and they were trying out flip flops at Tip Top shoes on W72nd street. Even my husband was annoyed.

Nanny had long black curly hair, light brown leather-like coat,sunglasses in her hair. Age hard to guess, could be end 20's early30's but I'm guessing. Quite tall, lean. Other nanny was shorter and older, short black hair.


M said...

What disturbs me the most is the fact the nanny's back is facing the toddler. I am just thinking how easy it would be for someone just to stroll off with the toddler.

ohwhynot said...

Can we please have a moratorium on "how easy it would be for a child to be abducted" type fear-mongering? For Christ sakes, people, it doesn't happen! I mean, yes, it does happen, but not nearly as often as, say, a child being killed in a car accident. Yet despite the fact that a child is MUCH more likely to be killed when teh nanny drives him to kidsgym, or wherever, then he is to be abducted while the nanny turns her back or sits on a park bench, these same stupid posts come up. No one would ever write "just think how easy it would be for a drunken driver to slam into her car" even though the actual risk of that is so much higher than this boogey-man abduction scenario.

Get a reality check. Get a grip.

oh well said...

I pray that the parents can see this. This is really what it is all about.

DenverNanny said...

Drinking purell and nanny didn't do anything?! I really hope the parents see this one...

ro said...

Your logic is failed. There is nothing you can do to prevent yourself from being hit by a drunk driver. There are many things you can do to prevent your child from being snatched, in fact normal people do them every day. Yes, all across the world, mothers, fathers, grandparents, nannies and sitters do keep their children in their line of sight so that you, token dumb ass can flaunt the very statistics they made possible by being diligent caregivers.

Ha ha ha said...

Token dumb

ohwhynot said...

Right, and child-snatchers are just prowling around waiting for un-vigilant caretakers to turn the other way. Be within 3 feet of a child with your back turned and a child-snatcher will sneak up behind you and wheel the stroller away. NOT.

There just aren't that many child-snatching maniacs out there, sorry to burst your fear-mongering bubble. Most people who kidnap, molest, or otherwise abuse children are well-known to the children. They're not fiends lurking in the shadows of every public store, park, or restaurant, just rubbing their sweaty hands together and waiting for the caregiver to wander away a few feet.

There are many good reasons to keep your eyes on your charges. But these trumped up fears are just plain stupid.

Portlander said...

It's not just that diligent caregivers are keeping their eyes on children, it's that stranger abduction is extremely rare. It's not like the world is crawling with wannabe kidnappers who are thwarted everyday. This nanny should have been keeping her eye on this baby because it's her job, and she could have prevented him from drinking purell. I agree that it's getting ridiculous how many people pipe in with comments about how someone could have taken whichever kid is being discussed.

Portlander said...

Sorry ohwhynot, your new comment posted while I was still typing. My comment is sort of redundant now.

ohwhynot said...

Thanks, Portlander!!!

THINGS happen said...

Once again, you are wrong. Pedophiles hang out in areas near where children are. They can no longer hang out in parks, because many parks now have rules, that unless you have a child, you cannot be there. We are not simply talking about abduction, we are talking about the kind of creep that follows your six year old to the restroom and molests her once she is out of your sight. There are a whole lot of sick people out there. Because people are more diligent about watching their children, these creeps are now getting off on taking pictures with zoom lenses far away from parks. But if they could get close enough and had two seconds to take you child, bet your ass they would!
And yes, alot of these pedophiles work their way in to the child's life by befriending them. That is still up to you to be diligent.

ohwhynot said...

Yeah, sure, THINGS happen, sure. That's exactly why there used to be thousands of them every year, until the parks got so diligent and started keeping out the predators.

Used to be, a parent couldn't turn her back for 2 seconds before a molester would grab the kid. There were so many kids grabbed off the streets back then, it was as if a gigantic vacuum cleaner was roaming the streets, sucking up the children of the momentarily distracted.

Luckily things are so much safer now than they used to be, thanks to the nonstop diligence of parents, grandparents, and good nannies.

Clo said...


You're an idiot.

PTown said...

I can see using your logic if I didn't care about my child. I mean....what the heck?!?! I don't agree (AT ALL) with being a helicopter Mom/Nanny, but watching is VERY important in this day and age.....Child sex traffickers, pedophiles, drug addicts, wackos, etc. These kind of creeps favorite spots to hang out at are malls, Parks, and Fairs

Portlander said...

The vast majority of child sexual abuse and kidnapping cases are caused by relatives. Come on y'all- obviously we all want to keep children safe, but it's hysterical to act like there are molesters hiding around every corner. Why can't we just focus on more realistic dangers, like this baby swallowing a bottle of poison. I would love for someone to cite just one real case of a baby being kidnapped from a stroller that was one foot away from the child's caregiver.

StunningAnnaK said...

Oh my gosh, how repulsive!
Drinking Purell? That poor baby!

Clo said...


This is more than 1 foot away, but still a real case:,%20James%20C.%20Jr.

This was in their own yard...

This wasn't a stroller, but was a hospital.,,20097581,00.html

Portlander said...

Thanks, Clo. Those stories are pretty outdated, but you still made your point. It's true that bad things can happen, obviously, but the truth is that these extreme cases are the exceptions- family and acquaintance kidnappings still make up over 80% of the cases, and the number of missing (as in, not returned) children taken by strangers are in the double digits annually.

I just don't get why are we constantly focused on the remote possibility of kidnapping when so many other things could happen while the caregiver's back is turned. Maybe instead of always getting worked up over potential kidnapping, we should focus on the fact that unsupervised toddlers could easily get hurt on the playground, or run into traffic, or swallow something toxic.

WTF? said...

I don't think anyone would question that very small children need to be supervised for their own safety. I do find the overblown "fear of kidnapping" weird. What about when kids are older? I refuse to teach my children that it's dangerous for them to walk or bike around our own neighborhood. The fact is, it's not actually any more dangerous than it was when we did it as kids. The crime rate is down. People are just more paranoid. I'm not going to deprive my children of being able to do age appropriate things out of misguided fear. I don't think that's any way to raise a child.

Kim said...

I agree with the kidnapping fear being out of control on here. I'd be more worried the child would drink purell, pull a clothes rack down on them, or something else dangerous.

The truth is there aren't kidnappers around every corner. They aren't that common. Most children are molested or abducted by someone they know, not a random passerby.

SAHM said...

There aren't thieves around every corner either-but you wouldn't go shopping and lay your purse down somewhere and just walk away hoping no one would take it. These are children we are talking about (and since this is a nanny site-OTHER people's children). No one wants to be the unfortunate person that tragedy strikes- and children are may not be common but it's not unheard of either. Better safe than sorry.

WTF? said...

SAHM, your kids must be young. It would be weird to watch older kids evey second.

M said...

I still stand by what I see in the picture. How easy it would be to take off in the stroller. My rule is children are always in front of me. She is clearly distracted by her shopping.
The whole purell bothers me as well.

My sisters niece was almost abducted at a local mall. She was taken from parents and was down the escalator. The parents just looked away for 2 sec. This is all it takes. Luckily they were able to get their daughter away from him. He unfortunately did get away.

Safety is first and that is the bottom line. I only hope no nanny will ever have to be in a situation where the child is taken.

Mizah said...

Drinking purell and nanny didn't do anything?! I really hope the parents see this one...

Nanny Taxi said...

Drinking Purell is disgusting, it's a wonder the kid didn't throw up. Didn't Adam Walsh disappear in a department store? When my 13 year old goes out to get the bus, he is the only one there, and I worry. Most abductions are carried out by people the child knows. Sure you teach stranger danger, but do you tell them NEVER get in a car with ANYONE? Even if it's moms best friends younger brother?

mom said...

There are approx 500 STRANGER abductions of children in this country a year. that is a lot of innocent kids who suffer needlessly, and many never come home again.
I hope you are not a nanny with this misinformed attitude. ONE child stolen or murdered is too many. 500 is tragic. People need to keep their eyes on their kids at all times.

the original gimmeabreak said...

Yes, because we know that all nannies and all moms who have their children out in public just stare directly at the child every second of the day and never, ever turn around even for a second out of fear of kidnapping!

Seriously, yes, kids get taken, but, it is not that common at all, (you have a much better chance of getting purse snatched then someone grabbing a stroller and running) and yes, sometimes people have to turn around for a second or two. I agree with ohwhynot, can we stop pulling out the "oh how easy it would be to take that kid' card every 2 seconds?

the original gimmeabreak said...

and, not to say that you shouldn't be watching your child, but, seriously, turning around for a second while the stroller is right behind you?

MinuteMuggle said...

To me, the picture shows the nanny being awfully close to her charge. I doubt the child would have been abducted. I don't know this nanny, so I don't really know if she is as bad as OP described. This really is just a snapshot in the life of this child and nanny.

I don't think I would want my nanny shopping for clothes and beauty products with my child while she was on duty, depending on the situation. Going out to lunch with the child or for coffee and donuts, the bookstore, the mall, is one thing. But to be so engrossed in clothes shopping that you are ignoring the child is pretty bad. Of course nannies do deserve downtime to read, eat, go on the internet, etc. especially if the child naps, which it looks as if this child is still young enough to nap.

As far as not noticing the child getting their hands on purell, well that's pretty spacey, especially if they were confined to a stroller. The stroller was obviously too close to the shelf with the purell.

Portlander said...

In the year 1999, there were 72 million minors living in the US. That year there were 115 kidnappings by strangers and "slight acquaintances". Of that, 44 percent were killed or never found. These rest were returned. So that's approximately 50 children that year killed or missing, out of 72 million. I can't imagine the overwhelming loss felt by those families, but I don't think we need to hover over our 8 year olds. Of course young children should be watched- look at what this baby did while the nanny's back was turned. Let's just be realistic about what the dangers actually are.

Jane Doe said...

Most good nannies will tell you that they take extraordinary precautions with their charges because they are not their children. Mom and Dad might let a child climb here or walk a half a block away, but a diligent nanny works from a different stand point.
The statistics you quote are really not relevant, because a parent needs to feel that a nanny on the job is doing everything she can to ensure the safety of the child, and yes, sometimes this means going overboard. With regard to this post, the child was drinking Purell, the nanny was not concerned when a child approached and interacted with a child. Rather than obsess on the random comment of one poster, why not reiterate the importance of focusing on the child in your care, regardless of whether you are in a park, in a boutique or on a sofa.

And speaking of fear mongering, it never hurts to know who your neighbors are:
DOJ Sex Offender Search.

Thanks to the OP for the concern she showed for this child.

Portlander said...

I stated multiple times that the nanny should have been paying attention to the child.

jack b. nimble said...

uhh, the fact that the kid had no visible reaction to drinking the so-called purell tells me that maybe the poster is mistaken and it wasnt really a kid drinking purell. and i agree with ohwhynot-- kids dont get snatched because a nanny turns around for ten seconds... worry about protecting your kids from drunk drivers by not driving, or sending your kids out in a suit of armor... or staying inside the house all day... then you can be sure no random boogeyman will abduct your kid... most abductions and molestations are not from total strangers anyway

MinuteMuggle said...


why not give OP the benefit of the doubt? Even if the child was not "guzzling" the purell, he was still holding it. And that clearly shows that nanny did not have her eyes on him.

As far as the abduction discussion, we've already covered that. I can tell you this: I don't leave my child unattended in a public place, and I certainly would not leave the child I was beng paid to care for unattended. That is just good sense.

jack b. nimble said...

MinuteMuggle, i agree about leaving kids unattended, but the picture doesnt really show the kid beibg left unattended. the nanny just turned away for a few seconds

MinuteMuggle said...

true, but OP clearly states that she snapped the pic as the nanny was checking out. OP says that the nanny left the child unattended.

mom said...

Minute Muggle makes great sense in her last two posts.

OP saw what she saw.

CollegeNanny said...

To those who are writing about how child snatching doesn't happen that often:

Yeah, maybe there isn't an abductor (etc.) waiting around at every park or department store you go to. HOWEVER, it does happen occasionally. Saying that since it doesn't happen very often, you don't really have to worry about it as a possibility, or address how easily it could have happened is ridiculous. It does happen. It has happened. It will happen again.

Just because the possibility is very slim that a child will be abducted when you aren't watching him doesn't make it okay for you to not watch him or mind the possibility. It is 100% possible to prevent a child getting snatched, and that is to watch them at all times.

Just recently in Seattle a man (a stranger, at that) picked up a young elementary school child and ran with him when his mom stopped to tie her shoe (looking down for just a second), the guy put the kid down when the parents made a scene, but the fact remains that he easily snatched the child when the parents weren't watching.

If your charge gets abducted, go ahead and tell the parents how rare it is, I'm sure they will understand why you weren't watching their child closely (aka the job you are paid for).

WTF? said...

Your children also a price for choosing to let fear guide you. Don't kid yourselves.

DowntoEarth said...

Home Megan's Law Amber Plan About the Foundation Legislation Print-A-Thon Newsletter HT Report Child Safety Cyber Safety Missing Children Homeland Security Links Donations Trial Journal Missing Child Statistics

Kidnapping: Whenever a person is taken or detained against his or her will, including hostage situations, whether or not the victim is moved. Kidnapping is not limited to the acts of strangers but can be committed by acquaintances, by romantic partners, and, as has been increasingly true in recent years, by parents who are involved in acrimonious custody disputes. Kidnapping involves both short-term and short-distance displacements, acts common to many sexual assaults and robberies.

According the FBI’s National Crime Information Center (NCIC)

85% to 90% of the 876,213 persons reported missing to America’s law enforcement agencies in 2000 were juveniles (persons under 18 years of age). That means that 2,100 times per day parents or primary care givers felt the disappearance was serious enough to call law enforcement.

152,265 of the persons reported missing in 2000 were categorized as either endangered or involuntary.

The number of missing persons reported to law enforcement has increased from 154, 341 in 1982 to 876,213 in 2000. That is an increase of 468%.

According to the United States Department of Justice, Office of Juvenile Justice Delinquency Prevention Juvenile Justice Bulletin, June 2000

Kidnapping makes up less than 2 percent of all violent crimes against juveniles reported to police.

Based on the identity of the perpetrator, there are three distinct types of kidnapping: kidnapping by a relative of the victim or "family kidnapping" (49 percent), kidnapping by an acquaintance of the victim or "acquaintance kidnapping" (27 percent), and kidnapping by a stranger to the victim or "stranger kidnapping" (24 percent).

Family kidnapping is committed primarily by parents, involves a larger percentage of female perpetrators (43 percent) than other types of kidnapping offenses, occurs more frequently to children under 6, equally victimizes juveniles of both sexes, and most often originates in the home.

Acquaintance kidnapping has features that suggest it should not be lumped with stranger kidnapping into the single category of non-family kidnapping, as has been done in the past.

Acquaintance kidnapping involves a comparatively high percentage of juvenile perpetrators, has the largest percentage of female and teenage victims, is more often associated with other crimes (especially sexual and physical assault), occurs at homes and residences, and has the highest percentage of injured victims.

Stranger kidnapping victimizes more females than males, occurs primarily at outdoor locations, victimizes both teenagers and school-age children, is associated with sexual assaults in the case of girl victims and robberies in the case of boy victims (although not exclusively so), and is the type of kidnapping most likely to involve the use of a firearm.

CollegeNanny said...

Oh, and another thing:
Stop trying to make the point that "most kidnappings are committed by someone the child knows," that means NOTHING when it comes to a nanny always keeping an eye on a child.

As a nanny I have definitely not seen or heard of a lot of people who are acquaintances to my charges or their parents. I feel like when child is with nanny would be a wise time for someone, who is an acquaintance and knows that fact, to take a child if they are wanting to do that.

I don't suggest that you hover/helicopter (unless the child is under a certain age on play structures). But never will I ever sit on a bench and talk on the phone (unless I am still watching the child) or read, etc. while I am on the job.
If a child is 2 or under- I am going to be following them around constantly not letting them out of a two feet radius of me. This is mostly because I do not want them to fall.
If a child is 3 or 4 I'd stay pretty close and wouldn't stop watching them.
If the child is K-early elementary (and they don't want to play with me at the time) I would back off, maybe sit off to the side, make sure they are always in my sight, and probably do some people watching...(for fun :) )
Upper elementary, they can do their own thing as long as I know where they are.

I am not constantly afraid of kidnapping, it is not even something I can remember thinking about when I am with my charge...probably because I always know where they are and what they are up to. However, that doesn't mean I can't be aware of the fact that it does happen, and that it could happen.
Don't make any "it doesn't happen very often" excuses. If you have to make excuses for not watching your should be fired.
You are robbing the child of NOTHING by keeping an eye on them. Up into middle childhood children will be thrilled (most of the time) that you are watching them.

Don't take a nanny job because you want to sit around on your butt all day, or go shopping, or chat with your friends... or any number of those other things all these crappy nannies do! Being a nanny isn't an easy slacker job, it is serious.
Is it such a crime to tell people that they should be aware?? Jeeez, people.

futcha said...

The term "helicoptering" was created by a lazy Jamaican nanny and a drunk mother, both of whom were too damn narcissitic to dare to take an interest in their children and so they decried that no one should, lest the child be spoiled.

mom said...

College Nanny,

Your last two posts are excellent. You sound like a very competent, rational nanny...which is the only kind I would have ever allowed around my kids.
If I paid somebody to watch my kids, I would expect them to watch them at all times in public.

We had a young girl killed here several years back at a soccer field on a very busy Saturday afternoon. (Here in Texas it is common for cities to have huge, multi soccer field parks for the purpose of running multiple city league games at a time.) She was on a play structure in full view of her parents as they also watched her brother play soccer (in an upscale wealthy neighborhood, BTW.) There were also many other soccer siblings on the playground and literally hundreds of other adults nearby. Between the disappearance and the discovery of her body, the police requested anybody who had videotaped a soccer game on that day turn in their film in case they had inadvertently caught something of the abduction in progress. What they discovered in looking at the tapes was horrifying. They identified in the park that same day SEVERAL KNOWN child predator/sex offenders, who were lurking there for seemingly no other legitimate reason than to be where children were gathered...presumably just in case an opportunity arose. If I remember correctly, I believe one had somehow managed to become a soccer team coach...even though he had no child of his own. So yeah, it may not happen every day in every park...but what are the odds that that day at that soccer field was any different than any normal day in any normal park or public place where children are likely to gather? That is the only time I ever heard of a child actually being kiled at that particular field...but the guys were there, probably week after week....and one day one of them saw his chance... (And who knows how many may have been approached or molested in bathrooms, but were too afraid or too ashamed to tell?)

If you're a parent and you choose to be careless, shame on you. If you're a nanny and you don't do your job, there's simply no excuse.

I don't like helicoptering older children either, but you can keep a constant eye on a child without physically hovering over their body if they are old enough to play usassisted in a crowded park. And I would prefer helicoptering to indifference or neglect any day.

DenverNanny said...

High five, Mom!

WTF? said...

If you feel that things like letting an 9 year old walk to a neighborhood friend's house or to school or letting a 12 year old bike a few miles to the library or park to meet friends qualify as neglect or indifference, then I just don't have anything in common with you, I guess. Children gain a lot from having appropriate, independent experiences when they are ready. I'll have to your word on the nanny business. Just another great reason I'm so happy I get to take care of my own children.

MinuteMuggle said...


You wrote: "I would prefer helicoptering to indifference or neglect any day."

I couldn't have said it better myself! Great post.

And WTF, I don't care what you think: 9 is too young to walk to school. As far as letting my 12 year old ride their bike, it would depend on when and where it is. If you think it's safe all the time and in every situation, you are living in WTF la-la land. Mom never said it was neglectful anyway, she merely said, to sum it up, that you need to be careful at all times. At all times. And that is the best advice regarding children. It does not equal helicoptering to ensure that your child is safe. Perhaps you are just making excuses so that you lessen your guilt regarding being so removed from your child's lives. Or maybe you're not. I don't know you. I just disagree with your line of thought.

chick said...

WTF, if you choose to allow YOUR OWN KIDS to walk alone to school, rides bikes for several miles, etc., that's fine. You don't mention where you live, so maybe you are not in an area where heavy traffic and the occasional predators co-exist in a murky stew of less-than-safe condidtions?

But unless your EMPLOYERS give you very specific instructions that you are to allow THEIR children to walk/bike alone to various locations, you'd be nuts to allow that sort of freedom.

Why? Because when the worst happens, you will be the screw-up loser nanny on the news and you will be 100% blamed for whatever happens. The parents will be getting sympathy, because they had the bad luck to hire a stupid and careless nanny.

My older charge's parents allow her to play outside unsupervised. I do not. I am always 110% aware of the fact that the kids I care for are someone ELSE'S children, and I do everything I can to keep them safe. If the parents make different decisions, that's on them. I refuse to take the chance of having to live with the guilt of a child under my care being hurt or worse because I wasn't careful with their lives.

WTF? said...

MM, when your child hits 9 and then 12 you can can comment all you want on the typical level of maturity those kids have. Your child is still a babe, so you really have no clue. You really think a fourth grader can't walk to school? WTF, indeed. That's just nuts.

mom said...

How did we get exclusively onto the topic of eight or nine year olds? The boy in this photo hardly look eight or nine.
Obviously people need to use common sense and apply it to specific children, specific ages, locations, etc., etc. There is no one formula that works for every child or every situation. A good nanny ought to realize that basic fact at the very outset.
And I believe I said you can keep an eye on an older child without helicoptering them.
And WTF, what about this thread has you so hot? This is common logic.

MinuteMuggle said...


Just because my child is not of school age, you can bet that I would certainly not let my fourth grader walk to school alone. It is not the way things are done around here, and it will not be the way things are done in my home when my child reaches school age.

I am entitled to my opinion. To say I have no clue is just plain rude. I have an extremely good handle on the maturity level of children of all ages as I work with pre-teens and teens. You do not have to have a child of school age to have good common sense.

WTF? said...

LOL @ "hot." You're such a snot lately, mom. I think it's pretty obvious that young children require supervision. It's the older ones you let out of your sight.

I understand that nannies need to be super careful. I just don't necessarily argee that that's the best thing for the KIDS as I'm much more of the free range philosophy myself.

WTF? said...

MM, Eh. Opinions grow and change as your child matures.

BTW, MP says *hi* ~ he's tied up in my basement, but I took out the ball gag long enough for him to say, "Help! He..! er, Hi."

MinuteMuggle said...


I hope that "free range" philosophy works for you. Good luck with that. And some opinions don't change as your kids get older: common sense is not an opinion, it's just something some of us have and some do not.

And are you referring to MaryPoppinPills? I don't think Jane would be too happy to hear she is tied up in your basement. She is female, by the way.

WTF? said...

Uh huh. So that's how it's going to be. Fine by me.

Try not to common sense youself in to a child who is afraid of her own shadow and afraid of the boogey man by junior high. That's what happens when kids are smothered "for their own safety." I see it all the time. The point of parenting isn't JUST to keep them safe. It's also to guide them in to independent adulthood, step by step. That, my friend, is comon sense.

WTF? said...

***common, even. bah.

ChiNanny said...


I completely agree, however I tried to make that point in a thread earlier and was accused of being a lazy park bench nanny whose charges were going to be kidnapped.

As a nanny it's my job to supervise and keep the kids safe and in my view at all times in public. However, I don't think I need to be on top of them.

However, I think Ohwhynot was making the point that every post people start talking about how easy it would be to abduct a child, instead of the more likely and probable dangers, like drinking purell. It seems to be an obsession of some posters.

mom said...

It's probably not so much an obsession as it is a continuing series of shocks every time we see that there is yet another person out there who still doesn't seem to get that its NOT OK to do things like park an infant in a stroller and go about your shopping as if he isn't there...even if they are in the "general vicinity."
As my grandpa would say, "They have rocks in their heads."

MinuteMuggle said...


I understand what guiding children to indepedence means: I totally believe in it. I still would not let my elementary schooler walk to school by themselves and I certainly have common sense. Perhaps in smaller, less urban communities it would be a different story. But around here, nobody does that, and there is good reason for it.

It is good to trust your child and to let them know you trust them. But in my opinion, it is not good to go through life with blinders on. You need to keep your eyes open with kids, pre-teens and teens. If you let them know that you will never be around and never be checking up on them, they don't feel safe: and they start doing things that most parents would not approve of. But maybe you will encourage yours, as they grow older, to have sex, smoke pot, etc. etc. etc. Because that is what kids do when they see their parents as "cool" and more importantly, if they think they can get away with it.

You are not their friend, you are their parent and they need to know that you are involved in their lives, and that while you do trust them, you are still their main protector.

As I said, good luck with your philosophy. I hope it works for you and your family.

WTF? said...

If your child is a teen and the extent of their moral development is "I'd better not do that because Mommy might check and then I'll be in trouble" then, IMO, you've failed miserably as a parent, as children should be past that stage by about the time they exit kindergarten.

Also, I'm not sure why you're relating allowing appropriate personal freedom to some sort of neglect and lack of involvement. I'm a SAHM. Two of my three children go to co-op schools which require heavy parental involvment. My other child goes to a regular public school where I volunteer in the classroom and have a regular assignemtn helping his teacher grade papers. We often participate in community events as a family. My kids are involved in year round swim team and dance programs. All three kids are happy and healthy and getting good grades. If you think they're going to become sexually active potheads because they get to ride their bikes to the public library, then I guess your common sense isn't quite what you trumpet it to be, now is it? ::eye roll::

mom said...

Not getting into the current argument...and BTW WTF, it sounds like you do a lot of nice things for your kids and spend a good deal of time parenting. I am guessing you live in a more rural area and that you and MM are probably talking apples and oranges about the bike riding. We could never do that here either...but there are still places where it's OK for older kids.

However, I disagree about kids not needing a close eye and parental supervision as teens. Sure, you can take your eyes off without fear of them drinking Purell or being snatched from a stroller, but you better darn well know where they are and who they are with at all times. While it is nice to think that kids learn good manners and to follow the rules from all of the effort we put in as parents...everybody knows that teenagers are probably the least likely group of people on the planet to show great impulse control in the face of great, unsupervised, temptation. I would trust your nine year old more than I would a teenager to "do the right" thing when faced with an awkward situation or temptation to do the wrong thing amongst a group of his peers. There's a period of time when our children like to please us and follow the rules and get a great feeling from doing the right thing. This time almost never coincides with adolescence...when the going theme is "rebel."
The good news is that those obedient, rule following kids we once knew and loved tend to return to us before it's time to send them off to college...where they absolutely need to have the life skills to survive on their own and make rational decisions without us by their sides protecting them.

MinuteMuggle said...

Great post, Mom.

WTF: it seems that you feel the need to explain yourself and defend your children and do not like to be judged because of your philosophy or way of thinking. Why not take your own advice and not judge others for theirs?

I don't necessarily feel the need to list my child's activities or my involvement in the things I do with her in my posts. Let's just agree to disagree and respect each other's line of thinking without implying that they are stupid and do not have common sense.

You obviously care for your children a great deal and I completely respect SAHMs more than you realize. I myself am a work from home mom, and have been since she was born because I did want to be involved with her.

As far as the fear of "getting in trouble", well I disagree. A child needs to know what their parents approve of and do not approve of. Yes, they need to make mistakes. Lord knows I have made so many growing up and I expect my daughter to make mistakes as well. That is just human nature. But I do want her to think twice before she does something, and think, "What would my mom or dad think of this?" I think that "fear" goes a long way. It is a healthy fear, if you ask me. I would not love my child any less for her mistakes. And you're right: she is small, and people grow, as will I as she gets older. However, I will say that my value system is strong, and she has two parents who love her. I hope she grows to be smart, confident, and discerning when it comes to peer pressure.

Let's all send good karma to each other, and respect each others' descisions on how to parent. I may have been a little too harsh at first in my responses to you and I do apologize for that. As I said, I completely respect stay at home moms fiercely. I wish to God I did not have to work and could devote every second to my child, but I am, (and I know you will be pleased to hear it) excited that she is pre-school age and will now soon be exposed to other people and be able to be "away from mommy" to explore under other people's rules and out from "behind my skirt" so to speak.

To be honest, WTF, I am overprotective. I admit it. It's been hard for me, being a single mom. My child did not walk until she was almost 15 months because I never put the kid down! lol people would say "let me take the baby" and I would say NO! lol

I think we can all learn from each other. But at the end of the day we are all our own people and have to be ourselves.

Peace, and I really am sorry if I ever jumped down your throat. I tend to post before I speak at times.

mom said...

Another good one. (No tongue involved...hehehehe)

OK so here's another mom story...but about myself, not my kids.
When I was a kid and a young teen I had a lot of freedom, as kids generally did in those days. When other kids smoked, I thought to myself, "I don't even want to think about what my parents will think or do if I get caught doing this, so no thanks." Same with pot smoking, sex, you name it. Not that they would have beaten me...although I suspect the punishment would have been something I would have LONG remembered. Another large part of what kept me from doing stuff was knowing my parents value system, the one I had witnessed them live by for my whole life, knowing they thought better of me than to do certain things, and not wanting to ever see the look on their faces, or experience their disappointment at knowing I had done something awful. And I knew they would probably catch me at anything I did because they were involved in my life. Those fears kept me safe and sane while my peers went off the deep end.

Later, they got a divorce just as I was old enough to learn to drive. Their attention was diverted, they were less involved in us kids' lives and didn't ask too many questions...choosing instead to trust that we were pretty grounded kids (based on our previous longstanding record of stellar behavior and good grades) and could mostly take care of ourselves. With that microscope off and nobody minding the store, I suddenly lost all fear of getting caught at anything and did pretty much anything I wanted to...not all of it good. When a decision to do or not do something that I wanted to do, but knew was wrong,came up I would often think to myself, "I won't get into trouble, so why not?" Thank God I was old enough to have at least some reason, old enough to have some sense of long term consequences beyond lack of parental punishment, old enough to let my parent's life of teaching guide me to a certain extent and old enough to have gained a degree of self respect that kept me from doing a lot of worse things that I saw others doing.
So yeah, I do believe that at certain times in a kid's life, whatever it takes...even fear of what it takes to protect them from life and themselves.

mom said...

OOPs, I meant MM good one.

Although I did like WTFs last post too. (And I'm sure she's quite curious about the tongue comment...sorry!)

CollegeNanny said...

ps WTF:

Theoretically, children are still in the preoperational stage of development until they are 7, and though the importance of one's peers is rapidly growing, the rigid respect of authority that children have remains well into the concrete operational stage. (aka NOT Kindergarten)

In the primary years development theorists like to say that children are in the "I-can-do-it-myself" stage, however, the importance of parents in a child's mind is still huge, and they need to be good role models in terms of attitudes and behaviors, because children DO care what they think and do.

Anyway, that being said... obviously as children grow and age you give them more breathing room. If it is legitimately safe to let your children ride their bikes to a couple miles can make that call, you are the parent. However, not letting a child do that isn't going to hurt them either. In adolescence a child will really rebel against the parents wishes, especially if they don't feel like they have enough freedom or that their parents dont understand them. But, in elementary school and below... well those children are still in the heteronomous morality stage, and that means what the parents say is law, and they aren't going to be damaged by being watched over.

Err that didn't make much sense I don't think... but I hope I at least made my point, haha.

WTF? said...

CollegeNanny: My kids are just advanced. They got it at 6. Ha ha. I'm totally kidding.

Mom: I saw the tongue/butt comment on the other thread. What the hell was that about?

MM: That was a nice post. Thanks. Of course I felt defensive that free range was being equated with neglect! I'm very overprotective when my kiddos are young too. My youngest is just four and I would never leave him unsupervised. He's got no impulse control! I live in a suburb of Seattle, nine miles north of downtown.

cash or credit said...

In the picture I don't really see a grave risk of kidnapping, although the OP may have said that the nanny walked away from the stroller. However, it really just bothers me to see nannies shopping when the child is awake. I could understand running a brief, essential errand (like the bank of PO) but nobody else goes shopping when they're on the clock. They are being paid to enhance the child's development, not their own wardrobe.

ChiNanny said...


I agree in most circumstances, however in my situation, the parents have asked and appreciate me taking the kids on personal errands so that they get the experience. They do the grocery shopping on the way home from work, so the kids never see a grocery store, therefore I take them and do my personal shopping with them and they're learning about "shopping". That you pay for your food, how it works, etc.

I do this with other errands too, but all in all our shopping trips are once a week max and I use them as educational experiences, not times to ignore the children. Plus, you have to have parent approval, I couldn't imagine taking my charges somewhere without it.

cash or credit said...


you make a great point. Most errands can be educational, so I may have spoken too broadly when I said "nannies shopping." However, if I saw you in the grocery store with your charges, I probably wouldn't think "nanny shopping" I would think, "enrichment activity" for the kids, because you are using it as a learning experience more than for your personal time. Keep up the good work :)

Mascha said...

The photo was taken after the incident, when they had moved on to the cash register. My first priority was getting the TOT to stop sipping Purell. This is about a nanny who parked the buggy and child out of her sight and went shopping around for herself (I presume, since she was eying adult sized dresses, not kids clothes) Ever been to a Loehman's? Large areas with racks, not many aisles.
The nanny friend did the same thing, so there were actually two tots more or less parked in the aisle while nannies were roaming the clothing racks.

Bad are: time that TOT (or nanny) was out of sight, TOT's acces to the Purell (not a toy).

I hope the parents stumble upon this site and check for sightings in their neighborhood or that someone warns them.

Everyone with a job needs time to shop and relax and do whatever, it is nice that nannies have the kind of job that will allow them some time to run certain errands for themselves, they should just know what the limits are to that.
And really: it is NO FUN to be shopping for clothes with young children in tow.

Jack B. Nimble said...

If the kid is sipping Purell more than once, doesnt anyone worry he might have some kind of deelopmental issues? Im not doctor but it just doesnt sound normal to me.

fox in socks said...

Yeah, he got developmental issues as a result of being ignored all day long for his entire life by his "nanny."