Follow up to Seneca Park in Chicago

Tuesday, December 21, 2010
0 update On Monday, 12/20. the mother of the children described in this ISYN sighting post contacted the blog requesting additional information. I contacted the person who submitted the sighting and passed on the mother's contact information. The poster telephoned the children's mother. Below is a follw up as submitted by the mother of the children involved.

"I am the mother of the children. I recently found this website by accident, while performing a Google search for Borders on Michigan Avenue. I am shocked and horrified by the actions of our former nanny and also shocked and horrified by some of the reactions towards the person that posted the information. First, about our former nanny. She no longer works for us because she gave birth to her first child about five months after this was posted. In our presence, she was loving and attentive. She even named her son the same name as our baby. So it was with complete shock to read about her actions. After having spoken to the person that posted the information, I believe every single word. She described the time of day, the clothing, the actions, and has many other pictures to back up the information. The information as posted is undoubtedly true. We live in Chicago, in a safe part of Chicago. That park is across the street from where we live and it is also across the street from the Ritz Carlton. The Park Hyatt, Peninsula, Four Seasons and many of Chicago's priciest and posh hotels, condominiums, shopping and restaurants are all within a few blocks radius of this park. The Museum of Contemporary Art is directly east. Even so, there are homeless people hanging out on the benches in front of the park. Some passed out drunk. Or high. It only takes an instant for tragedy to strike, much less TWO hours. There is NO excuse for her behavior - our older son could have been abducted or injured, our younger son should not have been left alone to cry a foot away from her. No, it was not me who was texting her. I don't believe so, but even if this was the one and only time she neglected to watch and care for our children, once is enough. She was paid the market rate for two children in Chicago, even though she primarily only watched our younger son, as our older son attends school. I don't wish any ill will on any mother, but I do believe things have a way of going around. Anyone that mistreats children will get a reckoning in due time. Perhaps now that she is a mother, she will realize how horrific and reprehensible her actions were. In hindsight, I should have known that anything too good IS too good to be true. She seemed like such a loving and caring person, but I believe that was a ruse. A cover-up to hide her true behavior. The stereotypical wonderful nanny in front of the parents, but the worst when alone - selfish, lazy and not to be trusted. Now, about the person who posted the information. I WISH she could have found me. In this day and age of "bystander effect" when no one bothers to help others in need (see video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KIvGIwLcIuw ) THANK GOD that she helped my sons, that she tried to find me, that she posted this info. THANK GOD nothing happened to either one of them. This park is located in between two busy streets and Michigan Avenue (a 6 (SIX) lane major avenue) is directly west of this park. Even if our son was not injured in the park, even if no one abducted him, even if he just accidentally wandered out of the park, he could have nearly certainly been injured in the traffic. There should be more people in this world like the person that posted the information. She should get nothing but praise and gratitude for her actions. She went out of her way to help my children - complete strangers. What if it were your children? I hope that anyone that witnesses such behavior will also do the right thing and try to help. I didn't know this website existed. The person that runs this website should also be praised. All working mothers should be grateful for this website. A heartfelt THANK YOU, to both of you."

Send your nanny sightings to isawyournanny@aol.com or MppISYN2010@aol.com.


MissDee said...

I am so happy you found this site and gave us your opinion, based on what you read about your children and former nanny. The original post by OP submitted in the summer was scary, not to mention depressing to read. The fact that this nanny who clearly jepordized her charges' safety and well-being, along with "charming" the parents into hiring her clearly show she is unfit to be a nanny and mother.

Did you happen to find this nanny through an agency? If so, could you please let us know so we can avoid them?

I hope your new nanny is better than this one and that your children are getting the care they deserve!

xfileluv said...

WOW on so many levels! I am so sorry that your children were put in positions of danger, but I am very happy that something good has come of this site and from a concerned citizen. Yay for ISYN and for the original poster, as well for MB for taking the time to follow up with the story!

a mom said...

As a working mom who had a similar experience with a bench nanny (also paid the going rate-on the books- for nannies where I live in NYC) I am so glad your children are no longer under the care of this woman. I am also disturbed at the nannies on this site who come to the defense of any nanny in a 'bad nanny sighting'. It's just bizarre. It's alway "well she isn't being paid enough/her employer is a cheapass" or "how do you know she wasn't TOLD by her employer to do XYZ?" Come on, I SAH now and I can spot a good/decent nanny or bad nanny at the park or at TJ Maxx within a few minutes of being there. And yes, I fully believe a nanny CAN shop and do her personal errands once in a while AND still be a good nanny or sit on the bench and take a breather and still be a good nanny. I can always tell which is which. And even if a nanny is having a bad day (yes, we all have them), the good ones still manage to provide bare minimum quality care. The bad ones having a bad day? Look out poor kids!

former nanny said...

I think many nannies on this site are hesitant to automatically believe a "bad nanny" siting simply because they have at one time or another been the victim of being misunderstood and attacked by a stranger.

I am now a mom who employs a nanny: I was once a nanny. I think I come to this blog with a different perspective than most moms who have never been in childcare.

I think all perspectives here are valuable if they are intelligent and come from experience. Like it or not, moms, there are many, many instances of nosy moms who have nothing better to do than to meddle in the lives of others. Still more instances are seen in which mothers DO hire non-qualified nannies, and pay them less than a qualified nanny deserves.

That's the truth. I think many nannies get upset because it is the bad nannies that give us a bad name. I know the working moms here do not like the stereotypes of a disconnected mom who "pays someone else to raise their children." Likewise, nannies and former nannies do not appreciate being referred to as "park bench, unfit nannies" and being lumped in all together.

Any intelligent person should be able to see this.

mom said...

MissDee - An agency was not used. She was recommended by my previous nanny, who regrettably had to leave to finish her studies. A somewhat costly and extensive background check was performed (criminal, motor vehicle) and came back clean. I also checked all her references, who had nothing but glowing things to say about her. All I can do is shrug my shoulders and again say, if someone seems too good to be true, it is because it IS too good to be true. Perhaps a nanny cam, which I don't have, would have clued me in earlier. I'm heartsick over thinking about what else she did (or didn't do) when I wasn't around.

nycmom said...

OP, just wondering if you added any other words to your search? I tried googling Borders and Michigan Avenue (and Ave; with and without quotes) and couldn't find this post on the first 5 pages.

Wondering if you added other common terms as I think it's actually an interesting way to search for reports on areas your dc commonly goes. Might be something to suggest to non-blog readers.

nycmom said...

Also, OP, just wondering if you have forwarded the link to your former nanny? Or in any way confronted her?

Did you give her any positive references after she left? If so, I'd call them and let them know about this too.

mom said...

Search: borders michigan avenue picture of ladder. It appears on the 1st page near bottom, next to last result. I needed a picture of the ladder at that Borders to show my contractor and thought I'd see if I could find one online instead of walking down and taking a picture. No confrontation yet. Did notify all past references she provided before hiring her. No additional references, as I believe she has quit working entirely, to take care of her 1 month old.

nycmom said...

That is eerie! Thanks for the details. I was hoping there would be a isyn search term we could spread to message boards for people to search.

I would not be able to resist a confrontation here, if nothing more than to make her aware that you know. I would at least forward her the link in email. You definitely did the right thing by notifying her past references. So sorry you are going through this. I've had really terrible childcare experiences in the past, and it makes you (unfairly) question your judgment and just wonder what else you might have missed. At least you are done with her!

Just My Two Cents Just Now said...

Mom..a nanny cam would have worked in your home, but what would you have done at the park and other outings? As with many things in life, you took a risk and did the best thing you could. Nothing more could be done more on your part. You did EVERYTHING you were supposed to do and this situation was just out of your hands entirely it seems. When my kids were younger, I had a babysitter who was all nice and loving in my presence and it wasn't until my kids were older and could speak that they started telling me how she fed her daughter pizza for lunch, but wouldn't allow neither of my daughters to eat anything. No wonder they were always starving when I came home!! I never connected the dots before!!
Anyway, I also worked for awhile in a private elementary school too and there was this mean teacher I used to do crafts for 3x wk. She would yell and berate the children, yet when the Dean or Principal would come in, she would smile all sweet and her attitude toward the students did a 360. I see this a lot and it makes me sick since as a nanny, I would NEVER do things. The way I am in the parents presence is how I always am. I am proud that I do not put on any airs around parents and I think any family who employs me is fortunate to have me.
Maybe next time try an agency OP. This way, if something happens, the nanny is more accountable to someone other than just you. Though I think filing criminal charges would be impossible. I have seen nanny footage on T.V. with nannies throwing crying babies on the couch, yet strangely enough the news always states that no criminal charges can be filed since actual abuse is not documented. I.e., assaulting a child, etc. *Shudder*
Thank God your kids are young now and will not be affected by this.
Karma will get your old nanny. I am sure of this.

Jacqui said...

Former Nanny, I couldn't have said it better myself.

AZ said...

OP - I'm saddened that you now have the "If someone seems too good to be true, it is because it IS too good to be true" attitude.

I consider myself to be a WONDERFUL nanny as do all of the amazing families I have worked for.

Don't give up...there are wonderful nannies out there; however, they may be few and far between. :)

San Diego Nanny said...

AZ..just as there are many good nannies out there who are far and few between, so are families as well. I think that the majority of people are good and that this nanny is definitely in the minority. OP, please do not let this one nanny cloud your judgment on all of us nannies. I would never in a million years do what this nanny did. And I think there are many others who would not either.