Barnes & Noble at the Towson Circle in Towson, MD

Received Tuesday, July 21, 2009
nanny sighting logo
When: July, 20th Somewhere between the time of 11 and 12 in the afternoon
Where: Barnes & Noble, Children's section
Who: Two nannies-mid to late 20's both had dark hair and dark eyes, average build, spoke with a foreign accent (English is not their first language- I heard them speaking about how it was hard to flip flop back and forth from their language (may have been spanish-but I'm assuming they both spoke different languages because they would be speaking in their formal language).
3 childlren-
Girl about 6 or 7 blone hair, very distinctive blue eyes, medium length hair with a pony tail and tanned skin-her name was Olivia
younger girl named Gabby (about 4 yrs)- very curly blonde hair, wore a red skirt with a blue top and flowered pattern (red and pink pattern) with pink Dora sandals
Boy about 8 or 9-dark brown hair and blue eyes- had braclets that looked like hospital bands on each wrist (one yellow and one orange) grey T-shirt and and black flip flops- didn't get his name but he had a fab vocabulary!

What I saw:
When I came into the children's section with my charge I noticed the two nannies sitting on the floor chatting away while the children had free range of the store. The kids did stay inside the children's section but it's very big and the nannies were not paying any attention to them. My charge and I went to the train table and two of the children (Gabby and the boy) came over to play with us. The kids were not at all misbehaving but it's a shame the nannies were on opposite sides of the room inbetween bookshelves, sitting on the floor, they had no idea what the kids were doing. Finally, Olivia came over and all four kids (my charge and the 3 children) played with the trains. The nannies finally came over to the train table after 15 minutes and told the children they were leaving in five minutes. The nannies cotinued to chat back and forth while standing at the train table and roaming around. Olivia was obvious that she had to go to the bathroom-crossing her legs back and forth and grabbing herself-the nanny had no idea-because she wasn't paying attention! they were busy looking around at the books and chatting away. After five minutes passed, they left. It's such a shame because these children were very well behaved.


MinuteMuggle said...

I understand your concern for the children, OP. Thank you for your siting. My opinion, though, is that the children were of school age, (even the four year old is preschool age) and it seems as if they were able to function in the store with the type of supervision the nannies were giving. I don't think a nanny needs to be on top of the children at all times. I also do not assume that the nannies did not know what their charges were doing. If it was a 15 minute span of time and they were mere feet away from each other, this does not sound like a case of negligence to me. A 6 or 7 year old is in kindergarten and they are old enough to tell a grownup if they have to go to the bathroom.

fox in socks said...

It does sound negligent to me. I can't imagine paying someone to "watch" my children that way.

A 6 or 7 year old would never be in kindergarten unless there was some reason to hold them back. Kindergarten is normally for 4 to 5year olds.

My 7 year old is going into 3rd grade.

I still wouldn't leave the 7 year old in a bookstore the way the OP describes.

Lola said...

My 7 year old is going into second grade, actually. And she would have absolutely no problem playing in the bookstore and letting me know she had to use the bathroom while I read a book nearby. In fact if I try to "hang out" with her she acts embarrased as if I am treating her like a baby.

OP said...

The nannies were not mere feet away..in any given bookstore the shelves are tall and you can't see over them if you are sitting on the floor talking to someone...the children's section in this store is rather large..there were probably atleast 6 bookshelves in between the nannies and the children..given the space of isles and bookshelves you can assume that the nannies were more than just a few feet away.
In a store and especially in such a large city, (Towson is right outside of Baltimore, MD) I would never leave my charge out of my sight. That's the thing, they couldn't even see them nor were they evening pay attention to where the kids were.
I am a nanny and I get paid to care for my charge, no I'm not on top of him like a hawk but I do know where he is, who he's talking to, and what he's doing in any given moment especially when we are in a public setting.

MinuteMuggle said...

i meant to say they have at least experienced kindergarten. and a lot of kindergarteners are 6 years old. sometimes they miss the cut off day because of when their birthday is.

SF said...

A 6 or 7 year-old is definitely old enough to let an adult know when they need to use the bathroom. Also, a 9 year-old is old enough to, inside the kids section of a bookstore, watch over his younger siblings. I think you wanted to pick on these nannies.

mamallama said...

umm? what's the issue?

nannyneedscoffee said...

Other than the little girl having to use the bathroom being unattended to....this is not a bad post. Children the age that you described are independent players and do not need to be followed around constantly. Would it have been nice if the nannies were interacting more? Sure...but we dont know what the rest of their day is like. Maybe this was a 30 minute play date inside to escape the heat and the children were playing/exploring while the nannies took a little much needed "adult interaction time" If the children were not causing problems and were safe I do not see a problem here.

OCsocalNanny said...

Most likely the children were behaving themselves because in the past years the nanny was right there guiding them, letting them know what is expected of them in a public place. Helicopter parents/nannies annoy me. At a certain age you have to loosen up.

boom shaboom shallama lama said...

dude, we're talking about maryland where the Wire was set. I wouldn't let my child out in public in most of that area.

Lola said...

Okay, The Wire is a television show.....my aunt lives in Maryland and used to live in the suburbs of Baltimore, just a few miles from Towson. Now she lives just outside of that area. Yes, Baltimore is a rough city but many parts surrounding it are VERY nice VERY upscale and very family friendly. I have been there many times.

I am sure the children are old enough to holler if anything suspect was going to happen (and should have been taught to anyway).
I don't believe they put the children's section directly next to an exit anyhow.

OP said...

The children could have slipped out of the section in any given moment and walked out the door to a very busy street with the nannies never knowing, that's what worried me.
So you all are right in saying it's not drastic, but I do feel they should have been paying more attention to the children, not as in hovering over them, but atleast sitting in an area to chat with a friend that would allow them to see the children.

MinuteMuggle said...

the Blair witch is also there.
Just saying.


Been there said...

Ummm the issue is these nannies are being paid to do a job which is to supervise their charges not sit and chat. B&N is a place to go and have a snack, maybe let the kids play with the trains and read a book to them NOT go and let them run wild.

No B&N puts their kids section near the exit, but these nannies were not doing their job.

And once again Minute Muggle proves where her/his head is.
Are you not aware that grown men and women get abducted? Are you not aware that children can get molested in broad daylight, in the middle of an aisle of a store like Target, or Wal-Mart? It takes seconds for some pervert to cop a feel or do something equally disgusting. Wake up!

mom in manhattan said...

Thanks for the post OP. I think you were right on the money. If you are paid to do a job, then do it. Keep an eye on kids (that doesn't mean hover, but know where they are and who they are talking to).

BTW-I know that store and that area. Decent area but that doesn't mean nannies should be barely attentive; Anyone could come by and hang out with those kids if their nannies aren't keeping them in their sight. Maybe abduction is rare, but should kids be hanging out with just anyone who feel like talking to strange kids?

As for kid who may have needed to go potty, you never know the issue.

She may have issues that were not apparent making for delayed potty training.... I am aware of this sort of thing happening... If the OP saw this and nanny didn't, it just fits in with the context of the post, that these nannies weren't on top of the details and may have been too engrossed in their conversation...

Bint Ethel said...

I'm a nanny in Md. The wire is just a show. I go to B&n and Borders all the time.
My oldest charge is 4. I let him walk around by himself in the childrens section( I'm in the same section usually feeding the baby).
He knows not to leave the childrens section. And he always comes and gets me when he has to use the bathroom.

Split said...

seems like we have a split decision on this one.
Quite frankly, the nannies weren't doing their jobs. If you're paid to care for a watch a child, then that's what you should do.

MinuteMuggle said...

been there,

I am not the only one of this opinion. Why target me?

Grow up.

Anabelle said...

I was shocked when reading this posting AND the comments! It's like every single posting "minute muggle" starts some sort of quarrel. MM-you say things like "grow up"...well maybe you need to!
On another note I have been to this bookstore in Towson, Maryland. I am a nanny too. The children's section is not too large and is away from the escalators and both exits of the store. It is in a safe area of Towson. There is so much security there, you would have to see it to understand. Towson is far away from the bad roads in Baltimore City...so don't compare Towson to 'the hood' on The Wire. I think that the op is totally blowing things out of proportion. These kids are all old enough to know when they need to go to the bathroom, not to talk to strangers and not to leave unless nanny is with them. It almost sounds like the op is racist when she has to mention that the two nannies are explaining how hard it is to switch between their language and the English language. To the OP: Do you really expect the nanny to stand next to the child while he or she is looking at books? Or stare at the kids, not letting them out of your site? Hey, this isn't a 2 year old and nannies are not superhumans. Bookstores are safe places to roam, especially if they are acting appropriately in the CHILDREN'S SECTION! So I don't see any problem here. It's nice to know that nannies are taking them to the library where they can explore and learn, not just sitting in front of some game or the television.

fox in socks said...

Been there has it right.

OP said...

Are you kidding me? Racist? HAH! This site is to describe the nannies that I saw, so I did. I have absolutely no issue with people of other counties being that my own Mom is from Belize.

Never once did I say I excpeted them to hover over the children, the whole point is that the nannies were paying absolutely no mind to the children for a time span of about 30 minutes! In my first post I noted that the nannies came over to the train table after 15 minutes, that was 15 minutes after the third child joined us.
And if the kids are old enough to know not to talk to strangers then why were they talking to me?
The point is that I was there and I felt like what they were doing was wrong.
I know for a fact if my Mom Boss knew I took my charge to the bookstore and sat down in a secluded area and chatted with my friend for 30 minutes while the child had range of the section and I wasn't looking after him..she would be highly upset with me. I don't avoid doing these things in fear of her being mad either, I do it because I care what my charge is doing and who he is talking to.

MinuteMuggle said...

anabelle and been there and whoever you are,

wow. you are easily shocked. many times on this site, many different posters have taken the opinion that the "abduction fear" is blown out of proportion. I am not the first and I will not be the last.

I stand by my opinion. and my post was far from trying to start trouble. What kind of a world would it be if everybody took everything at face value without questioning it?

you are a troll/trolls. Let people express their opinions without attacking them. yes: you do need to grow up.

MinuteMuggle said...

lol annabelle: just caught the part in your post when you accused OP of being racist. lmao

and you say I'm a trouble-maker?

you have the tact of a moose.

fox in socks said...

to minute muggle, it was NOT just a 15 minute time span and as the original poster wrote, they were not just Feet away from the nanny. I think the op was trying to tell the readers that she, as a nanny, was concerned for the kids' safety. You can never be too careful...especially in baltimore maryland! Where are you from? Lala land? (Where no one grows up obviously...)

MinuteMuggle said...

fox in sox,

I clearly told OP that I understood her concern, and I also thanked her for her post.

In my original post, I said "if" it was a 15 minute time span, and OP later clarified that for me.

I am not the only poster that found the nannies to not seem negligent. Do you have anything better to do than to troll me? Obviously not.

another opinion said...

If this were happening all the time, I would be unhappy with my nanny. But just from this one posting, I wouldn't be terribly concerned. It's not like it was a 4-year-old roaming alone. There's safety in numbers, and I find it highly doubtful that 3 children of these ages could be simultaneously abducted without the nannies or security or somebody noticing.
And as for, "it only takes seconds for someone to cop a feel"- true, but that means your child could just as easily be sexually assaulted when walking down the street holding your hand, or on a crowded subway 2 inches from you.
The children clearly knew how to behave in the store, and didn't wander from the children's section, so I hope they have also been taught basic safety techniques.

fox in socks for real said...


The person who wrote the comment below is NOT ME, the true Fox in Socks!!!! Those who are familiar with my postings will probably be able to see that this imposter's casual grammar doesn't match my usual writings.

fox in socks said...
to minute muggle, it was NOT just a 15 minute time span and as the original poster wrote, they were not just Feet away from the nanny. I think the op was trying to tell the readers that she, as a nanny, was concerned for the kids' safety. You can never be too careful...especially in baltimore maryland! Where are you from? Lala land? (Where no one grows up obviously...)

Jul 22, 2009 7:51:00 PM

I DID NOT WRITE THIS COMMENT, and I am the original Fox in Socks.

MinuteMuggle said...

sorry! I had no idea.

fox in socks for real said...

Now, what can we do about this imposter masquerading as me???

MinuteMuggle said...

I don't know but it is quite rude. You have been posting on this site forever. Anybody who visits knows that.

Marypoppin'pills said...

fox in socks
All we can do is ask politely that they choose another moniker because you have been using it as a regular for a very long time.

Baltimore Nanny said...

I too am a nanny and I too live/work in the area. Yes, not a horrible sighting, and its very possible that the nannies used bad judgement...afterall, they were only human. We aren't dealing with toddlers here. One thing that needs to be considered is that many nannies are over-worked and underpaid, so they wanted to have a few minutes to chat among themselves. At least they were in the store and not at the tanning salon next door or the mall across the street. lol

While Baltimore does have a bad rep, and this B&N is in a good area, even the best areas aren't free from predators (just check sexual predator websites...its scary). And let's not forget that there was a shooting in that mall parking garage a few years back (a fluke, possibly) but this store is located at a very busy intersection.