Cummings/Zoo Playground, Chicago, IL

Received Friday, March 26, 2010
112009 sad face
Time/Date: Tuesday, March 22, around 5pm
Location: Cummings/Zoo Playground, Chicago, IL - They left heading north on Lincoln Park West
Child: Girl, probably around five years old, didn't hear her speak, pink jacket and hat, brown (?) hair (hard to see, due to hat), name possibly started with a P
Caregiver: Older woman, non-descript build. Spoke to child in what sounded like a Slavic language. Did not move at a fast pace and seemed a bit tired.

Events: Apologies for not posting this earlier. It's been niggling at me for days. I am not sure if the caregiver was nanny or grandmother to the child. The first occurance of question was in the sandbox. My charge and I were playing in the sandbox. We'd brought plenty of toys to share (it's easier to share your buckets when you have three) and the little girl ran into the box and grabbed some - which we were not using. (They were chilling near us in the sandbox, unused - reasonablly mistakable for park toys.) The nanny came in, pulled them out of her hands and threw them back in our pile. She then gave the little girl a smack on her bottom. The smack did not sound hard and the girl did not react to it, but we were in a public place, so the parent(s) might want to be aware. The pair then left the park, with the girl on her bike (training wheels) riding a solid ten feet ahead of her caregiver. She was not wearing a helmet. She fell over - still on bike. The caregiver ambled toward her and sort of helped her up. I know that not everyone is vigilant about helmet usage (although everyone should be) but again, it seemed a bit off to me and I would want to know if it was my child.


are you kidding? said...

Really? You posted this because she wasn't wearing a helmet?

OP said...

Nah, I predominately posted it because the nanny smacked the child (in the sandbox). My impression is that a fair number of parents would want to be aware of any physical discipline of their child. My secondary concern was that she showed no interest or regard for the child's safety while riding her bike. Ten feet away was being generous toward the adult. In addition to the kid not wearing a helmet, she had to wait around WITH HER BIKE STUCK ON TOP OF HER while the caregiver took her time getting over there to help her. Again, if this were my child (and that's the standard I used to decide whether this was worth posting or not) I would want to talk about biking with my child's caregiver if this happened. It's a busy area and a busy time of day, in addition to being rather unkind. I'm not advocating helicoptering a kid, I'm just suggesting that if this were my kid, I'd want to have a conversation with my caregiver about being more attentive and alternative options for discipline. The kid seemed very novice at riding a bike, and while an attentive adult is not a substitute for a helmet, it sure wouldn't be a bad idea.

VAnanny said...

I think it's a great post, OP. A swat on the butt? For what? That makes zero sense. If the child were in danger then MAYBE a swat would be warranted. But for playing with a bucket? No. Not even if she did take it from another kid.

observer said...

I live and work directly across from that park on 2100 block of Lincoln Park west and I am sure I know who that person you described is, She is a housekeeper that only occasionally watches the child.

I too have noticed her basically ignoring the kid to the point of the child wandering outside the gated area onto the main lawn while the older lady reads and yes, she is harsh with her.

your post has spurned me into watching her more I know which building they come from .she certainly has no business striking the child

Mar 28, 2010 12:17:00 AM

Manhattan Nanny said...

I agree this is a good post. I was thinking that this woman doesn't sound like someone who should be a nanny. Observer's comment that she is actually a housekeeper makes sense. I hope the parents see this, and take it seriously.

OP said...

Observer, Thank you so much for your reply. While I'm not glad she seemed very disconnected and harsh with the little girl, I am glad that she does not watch her much. I'll keep my eyes open as well, and post on here if I see them again. We probably get to Cummings once or twice per week, usually in the afternoons.