30 October, 2010

CL-WTF?

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.... WHAT?!

Feature:
1) Help for single parents (New York)
Sweet, mature female offering help around the house, errands, babysitting, driving kids, cooking, massage, or just companionship. I am here for you and ready to take care of your needs. I follow instructions well and am eager to please. Open to discuss per hour rates.
URL: http://newyork.craigslist.org/mnh/hss/2031861098.html
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Special thanks to the following Readers that Submitted Ads this week: noenanny, Rocket Scientist, MissDee, bethany0920, Cinder38 and Denise... all of you did a fantastic job! Please send next weeks Ads HERE or use MEEBO. Don't forget to include the Links and the Body of the text, if possible!

TO READ THE REST OF THIS WEEKS CL-WTF: CLICK HERE!

Music Together in Ridgewood, NJ

Received Saturday, October 30, 2010
nanny sighting 7 This is not a necessarily a horrible nanny sighting, however, it has been going on for several weeks.

Nanny/AuPair? is most likely early to late 20's. Sandy blonde/brown hair, medium build, 5'8" or so. Wears tight clothing and Ugg type boots. European accent.
Little girl is very blonde, about 3 years old.

Music class started in early October and this Nanny/Au Pair comes late every week- about 10-20 minutes. She is constantly texting throughout the class.Does not pay much attention to the little girl, rarely does she really interact or participate in the class- which is supposed to be an adult/child class where everyone sings and does the motions for each song.

When class is over she bolts out of there (actually she is ready with her purse, even before the last song is over.) Not sure if she has to drop/off, pick up other children- so that may be the reason she is late to class, rushes out the minute the class is done. However, her constant texting and lack of interest and inter-action with the little girl bothers me. The few times I’ve seen her interact with the little girl- it seems likes it’s a huge effort for her and its clear to see she really does not enjoy being there, so I wanted to post about it.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Observe how closely this NY nanny is walking with her charge as a stranger attempts to abduct him:

Way to go nanny!
Anyone with information in regards to this attempted abduction is asked to call the NYPD's Crime Stoppers Hotline at 800-577-TIPS.

29 October, 2010

Harbor Island Park - Mamaroneck, NY

Received Friday, October 29, 2010
nanny sighting 7 Friday afternoon, 10/29, Harbor Island Park, Mamaroneck, NY, 5 pm. Your nanny is Carribean, wore a short black jacket, skintight blue jeans/leggings, heavyset, short hair pulled back tightly off her face. She was in charge of 3 Caucasian girls, approx 9-10 yrs old. One of the girls, dressed only in a white tee and pants (it was a very windy and chilly 50 degrees) fell off the playground equipment (spinning disc) and was writhing in pain on floor, sobbing, wasn't getting up. I asked where her mother/babysitter was, and her friend told me they were under the care of her babysitter. (Apparently the injured girl was on a playdate with that friend and her friend's babysitter.) I told the friend to get the babysitter, and she proceeds to run down to a parked car at the end of the lot, nowhere within view of the playground. Several minutes later, the nanny strolls - VERY slowly - toward the playground. I asked if she were in charge of the injured girl; she said yes and then immediately unleashed a barrage of expletives about me getting involved in her business and telling a nanny how to do her job. Mind you, I merely asked if she were in charge. Also, at no point during her screaming did she even CHECK to see if the girl was ok. She demanded that the girls tell her what they said that prompted me and other concerned adults to get involved, and then sped off. Another parkgoer took down the babysitter's license plate number, and I hope she posts it here.

Nancy Ann Kline

Warning 4 PHOENIX -- Robin Squires said she still shudders at the thought of what her son and daughter went through while riding with their nanny before police said they arrested her on charges of drunken driving.

"My children could have died." Squires said. "I felt very betrayed because she was part of our family. And I loved her, I really did." Not anymore. Squires said her feelings now for her former nanny, Nancy Ann Kline, are only disgust.

While Robin and her husband were out of town, Kline admitted she took the kids to a pool party. According to police, that's where she started drinking alcohol -- a lot of it, according to court documents. Once behind the wheel, she struck a car on Glendale Avenue, but took off, according to the documents. Officers finally caught up with her on Seldon Lane in Phoenix.

"They clocked her going 65 in a 35, and when they got her, (police said) she resisted arrest," said Squires. Inside the car, officers found a water bottle full of vodka and Squires' two children, ages 2 and 8, in the car and not wearing seat belts.

"They had to get physical with her, and this is all happening (while) she's crying and screaming at the top of her lungs as my children are in the car watching and crying," Squires said.

According to the police report, Kline blew a blood alcohol level of .201, nearly three times the legal limit. This happened Sept. 6, and yet just Wednesday, Kline's nanny profile was still listed on Care.com. "I want to make sure that Nancy will never work with children again," Squires said.

CBS 5 News tracked down Kline's address. She wouldn't come outside, but her daughter gave an answer about whether Kline is still working as a nanny. "Not that I'm aware of. But you know, no comment. It's a sad sad thing," said Kline's daughter.

Kline is facing three felony counts of aggravated and extreme DUI, police said. She entered a plea of not guilty in court Thursday morning. Her next court date is set for December.
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Special thanks to Phoenix for Submitting this News Article.

Walker Elementary School in Skokie, Il.

Friday, October 29, 2010
nanny sighting 7 While this isn't the most horrible situation, if it were my child, I'd want to know so that I could deal with it.

Your nanny has very short white/blonde hair that's often a little disheveled looking. She often wears sweat pants and a red and black plaid flannel jacket. My guess is she is in her early 30s or possibly late 20s. I overheard her introduce herself as the nanny once, so she's definitely not the mom.

You have two children (at least) I've only ever seen her with your adorable baby boy, approximately 9 months old, but she's there for pickup and dropoff on the K-2 side of the building each day, so there's at least one more child.

I have seen this situation a handful of times with the baby. He is often quite under dressed for the weather. This morning, however, it was 33 degrees at drop off. The baby was dressed in a pair of pants and warm up type jacket (black and red) and nothing else. Bare feet, no hat, and no regular/winter jacket. The nanny also had no blanket or anything else to keep him warm. I watched as she stood out on the playground for 10 minutes holding him as his little toes, hands and face froze. I was dressed in jeans and a jacket and was cold, I can't imagine how he felt.

It takes a Village… and then some

By Feature Writer Rebecca Nelson Lubin
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guest This past weekend I went to Santa Barbara to represent for Parents Weekend for one of my favorite old charges, Sierra, who is sadly down one parent these days, having lost her Dad a little over two years ago. I was a little nervous as I set out for the airport, as I had worked for her Dad for about ten years, but for the first time ever would be staying with her Mom. It is an awkward situation at best, to be employed by only one of the parents of the children you provide care for, and feel a sense of loyalty towards that parent, as both your employer and your friend. Sierra’s Mom Gila and I were never able to forge a true friendship over the years, but I held her in the highest respect as the Mother of the children I cared for. I wondered, as I flew from San Francisco, how did she feel about me? Here I was, her ex-husband’s ex-employee, bonded with her daughter to the extent that she wanted me at her school for the weekend as a parent. Would she see me as some sort of usurper? The Other Woman? All these years I wanted nothing more to tell her that providing care and support for her girls was one of the most rewarding things I have done with my life, and that it was always done with her best interest in mind, although sometimes with deep feelings of guilt as while she was their Mother, there were times when I was the woman helping them into their pajamas and putting them to bed, because a judge had determined a joint custody agreement that decided when she could be the one bathing them and caring for them, and when she could not. I would have resented me.

But the wonderful thing about being bonded over beautiful children is that it gives you common ground, and a shared goal, for their goodness and their health and their growth. And I found that while Gila and I had never had the opportunity before to kick back and really talk, now that the chance was here, we grabbed it and found that we adored each other. Why should we not? The truth is that we have been part of the same family for over ten years now; we just never got around to hanging out together. For three days we talked, and laughed, cooked goat cheese lasagna, and reminisced about all of our shared history, and spoke fondly towards a future of support for her girls – and deeply for me – for her. Divorced or not, It can’t be easy to lose your co-parent when your children are young, and be left alone to guide them through the world. It has to be the world’s most difficult job. I hope that the knowledge that there is someone out there who has her back will make it easier for her. I now look forward to future weekends of goat cheese lasagna and chatting lightly over homework and helping her girls find their way in the world. It ain’t gonna be easy. It’s going to take a village…and then some, and their former Nanny is looking forward to being a member of that village.
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Rebecca Nelson Lubin is a writer and Nanny who resides in the San Francisco Bay Area. You may read more of her articles at http://www.abandofwives.ning.com/

28 October, 2010

Call for Halloween Photos

Thursday, October 28, 2010
Happy Halloween from Lefty H. Lereauz 
(Lefty Lereaux)
We would like nothing more than to post a slew of Halloween photos from our readers. Kids, nannies and pets in costume, apple bobbing and spookily decorated houses, anyone? Send your picture to Jane at isawyournanny@aol.com now.

Ew...just ewwww

Thursday, October 28, 2010
Opinion 4 Hi, I have a question I was hoping you could help me with. Maybe it is just something I have to deal with. I work for a good family. They are kind of eccentric, but they pay well and change plans a lot, which usually means I get sent home or called off, with pay. So, I'm not about to quit! My problem has to do with the father who calls himself retired but stays home and makes and composes music most days. There is a housekeeper who comes three times a week for 4 hours each morning. The problem is the stuff the father leaves behind. Examples are wine glasses with wine in them, beer bottle caps, beer bottles, tweezers, fingernail and toenail clippers, nail clippings and in addition to what I consider disgusting and dangerous, just routine messes, such as leaving pee on the seat that I am potty training their son on. He doesn't even remove the child's vinyl insert- he just pees all over it! This father is nice enough, he is very relaxed and doesn't have a lot of boundaries so sometimes, I think I could approach him but on the other hand, it is his house. Lots of times when he calls me in to ask me something, he is sitting on the sofa (usually in bare feet and jeans) playing with his toes and peeling skin and nails off. Given that I have just told you I have a pretty good job, do I just suck it up and stay quiet?

27 October, 2010

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To send in your Nanny Sightings or to Contact us for Press Related Issues:

1) E-mail: isawyournanny@aol.com.

2) Leave an Anonymous comment here.

3) Leave an Anonymous instant message using the MEEBO toolbar on the main ISYN page.
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A local Newspaper in Hampton Roads, Va. did a Story on ISYN. To read the Article, please click here.

26 October, 2010

Old Navy at Dadeland Mall in Miami, FL

Tuesday, October 26, 2010
nanny sighting 7
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This woman walked out of Old Navy at the Dadeland Mall, left a baby in the stroller next to the parking lot and a toddler with the stroller. The Nanny (maybe even the mom) left them both, walked about 15 steps to throw something away and the toddler pushed the baby into the parking lot and almost made it across two lanes.

If cars were going by, both kids would have been injured or killed.

I haven't ever seen anything so irresponsible.

23 October, 2010

CL-WTF?

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.... WHAT?!

Feature:
1) Part Time Nanny (Boston)
Part-time nanny needed for post-school pickup and care for two awesome kids for about 15-20 hours/week in lovely East Cambridge home. The kids are 3.5 (girl) and almost 6 (boy), they need to be picked up around 2:30 and kept from killing each other or the dog for about 4 hours until folks get home. Keeping them from killing the dog is easy -- they're all very sweet, funny, smart, and happy to do art, read, snuggle, listen to music, or follow you around, annoying you with questions about dinosaurs, yoda, princesses and why they can't kill the dog.

You need a driver's license, although not a car; you need a sense of humor and creativity, and the ability to prepare dinner, do some laundry and other kid-centric light housework, and keep them away from poisonous stuff.

This is a good gig for a grad student or part-time professional who wants some fun, love, humor and laundry in their life. Firemen would also be welcome. The house is nice, the kids are nice, the parents and the dog are fairly neurosis-free and we'd all love to meet you. Scheduling interviews now -- job starts in Dec./Jan., although early get-to-know-you babysitting sessions will be a good idea. Please, no freaks or drunks.
URL: http://boston.craigslist.org/gbs/kid/2015869550.html
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Special Thanks to jessicamparra for our very funny Feature! Also, to the following Contributors: noenanny, mbargielski, emjoyneely, MissMannah, nc, hijabiniqaabi, Cinder38 and MissDee... thank you for a job well done! Please send next weeks Ads HERE or use MEEBO. Don't forget to include the Links and the Body of the text, if possible!

TO READ THE REST OF THE SUBMISSIONS: CLICK HERE

22 October, 2010

Chinese Woman Forced to Abort 8-month-old Fetus

reader submission A pregnant woman in south China was detained, beaten and forced to have an abortion just a month before her due date because the baby would have violated the country's one-child limit, her husband said Thursday.

Construction worker Luo Yanquan said his wife was taken kicking and screaming from their home by more than a dozen people on Oct. 10 and detained in a clinic for three days by family planning officials, then taken to a hospital and injected with a drug that killed her baby.

Family planning officials told the couple they weren't allowed to have the child because they already have a 9-year-old daughter, Luo said.

For the last 30 years, China has limited most urban couples to just one child in a bid to curb population growth and conserve its limited resources. China has the world's largest population, with more than 1.3 billion people. Couples that flout the rules face hefty fines, seizure of their property and loss of their jobs.

The case is an extreme example of the coercive measures Chinese officials sometimes use to comply with the strict family planning regulations. Though illegal, police and judicial authorities often look the other way when forced abortion cases are reported and the heavily censored state media shy away from such news.

But in recent years, victims have begun to speak out about their ordeals with the help of the Internet and text messaging. Aiding them are social campaigners and lawyers who have documented cases of forced late-term abortions. Similar abuses have been reported in Hebei and Shandong provinces and in the Guangxi region.

An official with the Siming district family planning commission, which oversees Luo's neighborhood, confirmed there was a record of Luo's wife, Xiao Aiying, undergoing an abortion recently but said the procedure was voluntary and that she was about six months instead of eight months pregnant at the time. Like many Chinese bureaucrats, he refused to give his name.

China bans forced abortions, but doesn't prohibit or clearly define late-term abortion.

The Siming official said Xiao's husband had approved the abortion, a claim Luo denied.

"I never signed anything. No one in our family did," he said by telephone from Xiamen. "I called the police but they said family planning issues weren't their responsibility. I want to sue, but lawyers I've asked here say they can't help me and the media won't report on our case."

Luo set up a blog last week to let people know what had happened to his wife, and satellite broadcaster Al-Jazeera posted a report about the couple's case on its website Wednesday.

Photos on the blog show a pained-looking, and clearly pregnant, Xiao sitting on a hospital bed after the injection but before the baby was stillborn 40 hours later. Other images show a large purple bruise on her arm and scratches on her leg, which Luo said were caused when family planning officials hit and kicked her as she struggled to get away.

Ordinary Chinese reacted with anger and disgust to Luo's online account, posting comments that called the family planning officials cruel and inhuman.

Xiao delivered the dead baby on Oct. 14 but remains hospitalized and may require emergency surgery to remove pieces of placenta still in her uterus, Luo said. The couple, both 36, were not informed of the sex of the aborted baby, Luo said.

A man who answered the phone at the obstetrics ward of the Siming No. 1 Hospital confirmed that Xiao was still a patient there. He refused to provide more details or give his name.

Telephone calls to the press office of the National Population and Family Planning Commission in Beijing rang unanswered Thursday.

Interview with Luo Yanquan


Xiao Aiying's injuries
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A very special Thank you to Chquita for Submitting this News Article.

Bye-Bye

By Feature Writer Rebecca Nelson Lubin
guest A couple of weeks ago ISYN had posted a request for departure stories and I wanted to share a double whammy. Mine was getting unceremoniously dumped by both of them. It began very nicely. I began with Family #1 over the summer of 2002. They lived in Pacific Heights, had adorable blond twins and the Mom was heavily pregnant. The job was to be only a temporary gig until she delivered. We all got along wonderfully and I quickly bonded with the children, taking them on outings to park, swim classes, and creating countless art projects. When the Mom went into labor, I took the kids to the San Francisco Zoo for the day, and then accompanied them to the hospital, where they met their new sister. As it happens with those who work closely with families, I began to feel a deep bond with them, and was delighted when the Mom asked me if I would continue on with them indefinitely, beginning set hours in September. The only hitch was that it was mornings only. She tried to fix me up with an afternoon family but I didn’t feel a good fit with any of the friends she had me meet. My agency told me that they had many potential full time families for me, but no afternoon part time. I gave myself two weeks to find an afternoon family on my own, and did, through a sort of low rent babysitting agency in Marin. Family #2 lived in Tiburon and really just needed a driver for their two youngest children, aged 12 and 9. The older two were teenagers and had their own cars, so my entire job would consist of picking the two younger kids up from school and driving them to their various sport practices, bringing them home and overseeing their homework while making the dinner that the Mom would leave both ingredients and detailed instruction for, and then cleaning up the kitchen.

So September came, and I began working a full day split between two families. From 9am to 1pm I would play with the sweet, adorable twins in the city, and the morning just drifted by peacefully. They were truly wonderful kids. At 1pm I would head over the bridge to be at the afternoon job by 2pm. I would be met by a long list of chores that had not been previously discussed, such as doing the children’s laundry and food shopping and some odd bit of household organization. I wasn’t sure when to fit that in with all the children shuttling I was required to do in the family’s Suburban, but I tried. I would be running around the house collecting dirty clothes and sports bags, clutching the shopping list and the Mom would breeze in and ask me coldly, “Shouldn’t you already be going to get the children?”

The children spoke to me in that same cold, detached manner. Let me correct myself. The younger two did. The sixteen-year-old girl never spoke a word to me. The eighteen-year-old son only hit on me. It was a miserable job, but I knew I could not afford to only work for family #1.

And then, about two months after this two part time job thing started, I received an e-mail from family #1 Mom. She wrote that their previous Nanny had decided to move back to San Francisco and go back into childcare, and if she was going to be in the city where they lived doing childcare, they wanted her to be doing it for them. It was a very short e-mail. Sorry, but we’re taking our old Nanny back. We like you but we liked her first. My services were no longer needed and she would send me my last check. I totally understood, but was seriously bummed out. They were a great family and the kids were sweet. Over time we stayed in touch, they sent Christmas Cards and I was a backup babysitter for about two years, but at the time they let me go I was stressed out over their decision. Now I was down to only one part time job with family #2. The job that I had only taken so I could work with family #1. Holiday season as coming and it was a hard time to look for a new full time job. I decided to tough it out. And it was tough. I watched all four children for a weekend and the 18-year-old constantly begged me to buy him beer for him and his friends.

“I thought you were cool!” he yelled at me as he stomped down the hall.

There was a severe winter rainstorm storm that night and all the power went out. The younger kids camped out in the living room with the flashlights, and me, shivering, trying to sleep. The parents came back much later on Sunday than they had promised. I decided that I at least needed to speak to them about the oldest kid’s behavior.

Their response to their 18-year-old berating the Nanny for Beer?

“I don’t believe he would do that.”

Besides, they said, I had broken their computer. The children had told them I had been responsible when they noticed that something was wrong with the browser window. I told them I had done no such thing. They asked if I was inferring that their children were liars. I hesitated and suggested that perhaps they weren’t aware of their children’s computer activity as the two oldest ones and their friends had been trying to upload pictures to the website “Hot or Not” the previous weekend.

They said, “They would never do that.”

The job with family #2 was disintegrating and I wanted out, and I had an incredible job offer, on Oahu, for a family that I knew from Mill Valley who lived in Hawaii during the school year. It sounded amazing, but it would mean moving for a time, and leaving behind a fledging relationship with a guy I really liked. If I moved 2000 miles away, we’d be done. So I trudged on.

In late November I drove up to work in the rain and sighed, thinking of all the cold looks and rude whiney voices I would be forced to deal with over the next five hours. As I walked to the front door I thought, I wish that they would fire me. I wish that they would just fire me and I’ll move to Hawaii and be done with all this.

As I pushed the front door open, I heard the Mom call my name. She was sitting in the living room appearing extremely tense. She told me to sit down, and began to list all the reasons why I was not working out for the job, the first and foremost being my mistrust of her older children. I put up my hand and interrupted her.

“You’re not a good fit for me either,” I said, “except I didn’t want to leave you hanging. But I agree, we shouldn’t work together anymore.”

She looked totally shocked, but she quickly regained her composure and handed me an envelope that she had been holding. She had written me two checks, one for my salary, and a $1,000 check for severance.

“Thank you,” I said, “this is very generous.”

“You’re welcome.” She said, very uncomfortable.

“Okay.” I said, standing back up, “I guess I’ll go now.”

And that was it. For the first time in my life I had been fired. Twice, technically. But I could not have cared less. I was elated, and had a phone call to make to my new employers on Oahu.
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Rebecca Nelson Lubin is a writer and Nanny who resides in the San Francisco Bay Area. You may read more of her articles at http://www.abandofwives.ning.com/

Dirty Rotten Shame

Received Friday, October 22, 2010
A day in the life 10 I really like the family I nanny for. I've been with them for two years. However, there is one major problem. Their house is incredibly dirty, cluttered, and unorganized. When I first started it was just a little messy, but she did have a cleaning lady who came once every two weeks. She let the cleaning lady go for some reason and has not hired a new one (its been over a year now). She says she is going to do the cleaning but she doesn’t. She (my boss) does not want me doing any of the cleaning and honestly, I wouldn’t know where to start if she did. I do empty the dishwasher, take out the trash, and clean up after the kids. If I didn’t do it, I don’t think anyone else would. When I come in on Monday the house is disgusting. Trash is piled up everywhere, dirty dishes are overflowing the sink. When I come in every morning there are still dirty dishes sitting on the kitchen table from the previous night’s dinner. Most of the time there is still uneaten food sitting on the plates. If I don’t clean it up immediately, the 3-year-old boy will come down from his crib and sit at the table and begin eating the old food (he has done this in front of the mom before and she didn’t bat an eye). He also picks up old sippy cups that have been left out and drinks the old curdled milk. He has gotten sick a few times from doing this. The mother is a pediatrician so you’d think she’d know better. She thinks nothing of letting the gallon of milk sit out for several hours and then just putting it back in the fridge or serving the kids rotten fruit and vegetables or expired meats. I DO NOT eat a thing from their house. Their fridge looks like a science experiment. If I don’t have time to pack a lunch then I don’t eat that day. The baby flings food from his highchair all around the kitchen and it doesn’t get cleaned up. There is food caked onto the kitchen floor that I can’t even get up. They have problems with mice and rats and I have found rat turds in the kids’ toy box! They also don’t believe in baby proofing anything so there are no cabinet locks or baby gates anywhere and the baby is given free reign of the house. Most of my day is spent chasing after him cleaning up the things he has pulled off of the shelves or out of the cabinets.

I also think they are borderline hoarders. Their 6,000 square foot house is packed to the gills with toys, toys, and more toys. Many of the toys are broken or have little tiny pieces that I am constantly pulling out of the baby’s mouth. The kids have so many toys I have trouble buying them birthday and Christmas gifts because there is nothing that exists that they don’t already have. The neighborhood association sends them letters all of the time about how the outside of their house looks (if only they could see the inside). Clean clothes (which she does not want me washing) are not folded and put away, but simply thrown in piles all around the house. I often cannot find anything clean for the kids to wear. The kids are only bathed once a week so they are often dirty looking. Library books go missing never to be found, homework gets misplaced, doctor’s appointments get missed because she doesn’t remember when they are. Two of the kids are struggling in school and having some social issues due to the lack of structure. Overall, it is very chaotic. I really like the family. The mom is a sweetheart and I’m very close with the kids. The dad is kind of odd, but they treat me well and always spoil me at the holidays. I’m torn because I don’t want to leave, but I can’t stand these working conditions. I know I could find another job in a nice clean organized house, but the parents could be a total nightmare. I know I should be thankful for a steady job and income (although I do have to ask for my check every week or she will forget), the mess is just really getting to me. What would you guys do? I feel really awkward saying anything to my boss about it. I think she is a bit embarrassed by the mess (has commented on it before). Would you just suck it up and deal with it and keep telling yourself it could be worse somewhere else?

21 October, 2010

Size Matters

Received Thursday, October 21, 2010
A day in the life 10 I wanted to share with you what passes for Nanny housing in Hong Kong. Mind you, EVERYONE lives in small spaces, but for this Westerner it was an eye opener.

I thought the top photo was a storage closet, but soon realised that it was actually considered the Nanny's room. At the end of her duties I guess she is banished away to the closet? I don't know, but I treat my pets better than this, I can't imagine putting a human being in the closet unless we were waiting for a tornado or hurricane.

The second photo feautures what is considered a luxury suite, as it also has its very own bathroom. (third photo) Aren't you the lucky one to get these digs. No, really. It beats the closet without a bathroom or window like most the nannies are alloted.
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How about a nice Hawaiian Punch?

Thursday, October 21, 2010
Opinion 4 So I'm unsure how to handle this situation and I'm sure it is quite common among nannies. Recently, about a month ago, I took a job working for a family near my home. They have three boys, 8. 5 and 2 1/2. I'm mainly responsible for the 2 1/2 yr old since the other two are usually in school all day. I am a live out nanny. I was told that the 2 1/2 year old is used to redirection instead of time outs, taking away toys, or any other forms of discipline. I was completely okay with that being as his age, that seemed appropriate.

Little did I know that when I started their form of 'redirection' was simply giving him anything he wanted, even after they told him no. The parents work from home so during lunch they are sometimes around the house when their son is at the table eating. Today I made him a sandwich and juice but he kept asking for a pop. I was told from the get go that they didn't want me to give him soda, so I said no. He started whining for it at first and I stayed firm and kept my no. Then he started crying for it and yes, I still said no. I reminded him that he had juice and his sandwich but the soda wasn't an option. He started wailing and then screamed "POP!" over and over again. The dad charges in like something is on fire and asked what was the matter. I explained to him that I simply wouldn't allow his child the soda and get this, the dad turns to his son, who was clearly crying and goes "maybe just today" and gives him the pop. I couldn't believe it. Then he turns to me and says "He's only two, he doesn't know what no means yet". I was upset on two accounts. 1. now the child won't ever know what 'no' means really and 2. the child will have a hard time listening to me since his dad 'over rided' me.yeah, I know he's the parent and I'm just the nanny but it would be like someone walking into his office and knocking over all his papers to make his job harder.

Another example of this is when one morning I was playing with their 2 1/2 yr old and 5 yr old downstairs in the playarea, which is right outside of the dad's office and the 5 yr old wanted to play monopoly, so I agreed and him and I played while the 2 yr old played with legos right next to us. I was teaching 5 yr old how to play and he was having so much fun and loved it. The dad walks out and goes "maybe you should play candyland with him, this is too advanced" and i replied "at first I thought so too, except he seems to be having a lot of fun and understanding enough of it to play"...despite that and his son saying it was his choice, the dad himself put the game away and brought out candyland. It makes me wonder if he underestimates how smart a child really can be.

One more example includes a morning where I had all three kids and they were eating breakfast and each have their usual seats they sit in. Well the 5 yr old came down to breakfast first and sat in his regular seat and then the 8 yr old did the same. Their mom brought the 2 yr old down to the kitchen and for some reason he wanted to sit in the 5 yr old’s spot. He started screaming about how he wanted that seat and for his brother to move. At this point their mom went back upstairs to change for the day and I told the 2 yr old he should sit in the open stool, his usual spot, because the seat he wanted already was taken. He started crying and would refuse to sit in the stool that was open. I tried distracting him with cereal boxes and fruit, asking him what he wanted to eat, but that didn’t work. He then ran over to his brother and started pushing him off his stool. The 5 yr old got upset and started whining that it was his spot. I was in the middle of telling the 2 yr old that he couldn’t have that spot when their mom walked down and goes “what is all the fuss about” so the 5 yr old goes “he wants to sit where I’m sitting but this is my spot” and the mom goes “then switch spots for today” I COULD NOT BELIEVE IT. She then left for work, leaving me with a very upset 5 yr old, who had to switch with the 2 yr old. I know this sounds silly, like no big deal but it’s just another example of the 2 yr old crying to get his way and the parents giving in.

In situations like this I normally have no problems giving a child a time out or taking away a privilege like dessert, a toy, etc at least for a certain amount of time. Whatever is fair, but I feel like they see me as a bad nanny because I don’t give in to their son every time he asks for something I think he doesn’t need, like a sugary snack right before lunch, a pop or something else similar to that. I took child development classes, I know this 2 ½ year old is completely capable of learning the word NO. I also don't view a nanny position as a babysitter. I view it as more then that.

Also, in my interview with their mother she had told me that their son wasn’t potty trained yet and that I was to potty train him once I started with them. So I had taken the 2 ½ yr old to the potty and he was curious, he didn’t want to go on it but then after a week he did try it. After that, which was before nap time one day, I walked down stairs after putting him down for his nap and told the dad that he went on the potty. He goes “I think he’s too young to start potty training” and I replied “All due respect, but he’s at the right age. I was told I was supposed to start potty training him in my interview” and he goes “He’s not ready”…well a little boy who just went pee in the potty seemed quite ready to me, but he’s the parent and my boss, so I stopped the potty training and went back to square one.

Basically, I want to know if this is common, if there is anything I should talk to them about and maybe I’m seeing this wrong, maybe its okay that they give in? I personally feel like its going to teach their child bad manners and its kind of spoiling him, but I’d like to hear what other people think before I decide if its an actual issue or not. Thank you.

20 October, 2010

Now I Lay me Down to Sleep...

Received Wednesday, October 20, 2010
Opinion 4 Hello all! I am live in nanny in Chicago, and I love it! The kids are excellant and the parents are sweet which is great because I moved 2000 miles to take this job. Any way, the one problem I am having is that the oldest of the two boys sleeps with his parents. Usually I
wouldn't care. In my mind it is to each their own. But because of these sleeping arrangements he doesn't sleep until 10 or 11 at night. And I have to wake him up a 6:30 to get him ready for school. It is such a nightmare!

First I have to drag him kicking and screaming over a parent to get him up. The parents only give a half awake "behave" as a way of help. Then I carry him (still screaming) to his room where I literally wrestle him out of his pjs and into his uniform. By the time he dresses, brushes his teeth, and eats breakfast we are usually running late and I have a new bruise.

Now please understand this boy is a sweethart at all times except for when he first wakes up. I couldn't ask for a better kid to watch. But he is only 6 and he is lacking much needed sleep. I have mentioned my observations to the mother in a constructive way but she was deaf to suggestions. She claimed "he can't be pushed" but I have heard him say on several occasions that he wants to sleep in his room. It seems to me his sleeping arrangments are more for the parents than him.

Have other nannies dealt with this? I love every other aspect of my job and am not planning on leaving it anytime soon. But I would really like some suggestions on how to handle this. Thanks!!

Bait and Switch

Received Wednesday, October 20, 2010
Opinion 4 I took a job with a new family at the end of August. What I signed on for, and what we put in the contract, was that this was a full-time position and would have me working 30 - 40 hours a week. Although I understand possibly slow hours the first couple of weeks, this "full-time" position has yet to materialize - at this point, I'm lucky to get 10 hours a week and go some weeks without working at all. I CANNOT afford this any longer. I've already started looking at other jobs, scarce as they are in our area, but I'm not sure how to broach the topic of moving on with a family that I've only been with for 2 months. Any ideas on how to discuss this with them?

19 October, 2010

Congratulations, I guess...

Received Tuesday, October 19, 2010
Opinion 4 Hello all. I am a nanny working in a nanny share for the past two years. I have been with family#1 for 2 years, since there daughter was 4 months old ( she is now 2 1/2). Family #2 I have been with for the past year since he was 3 months( he is now 15 months). The share has worked out great and I love both families. Family #1 has just informed me that she is pregnant and expecting a baby in March. Although I am thrilled for them, I cannot help to be concerned about two issues. The first is, I am not sure a share will work with three kids. I am not positive yet if family #2 will want to continue with the share once a new baby comes because that means less individual one on one time with their son and they could probably put him in daycare for a lot less money. So, I am not even sure yet if I want to take on all 3 and if I do, I definitely need to do re-negotiating of salary and a contract, etc. The second issue is maternity leave. My boss said that they would not be needing me for 3 months and would want me to come back to work for them in July but they really want to keep me on and love me being their nanny, etc. Obviously. I cannot afford to not be paid for 3 months. I would love to gain some insight into what other nannies or families have done with maternity leave issues. We did not put it in the contract because I honestly did not think they would be having more considering the mother's age-lesson learned! Anyway, I really need some advice on what to do in this situation. I really love this family and the little girl but I also have to look out for myself. Its not easy to find nanny jobs and I do not want to be stuck out of work. Thanks for any thoughts, opinions, etc.

18 October, 2010

Most of you love your employers!

Monday, October 18, 2010
111 of you voted in our last sidebar poll. To those of you, (the majority), what exactly is it you love about your employers?

Nannies-how do you feel about your employers?
I love them! 55 (49%)
Love the children tolerate the parents. 25 (22%)
No feelings either way. 4 (3%)
I'm not a fan. 11 (9%)
We have a solid work relationship, but no more. 16 (14%)

Have an idea for a poll? Email isawyournanny@aol.com now.

How do I handle this?

Received Monday, October 18, 2010
Opinion 4 I took a job as a live in for a family with 3 children. I read over the contract, discussed it with 2 other nannies and a previous employer to make sure it sounded okay. I was moving out of state for this job and wanted to be sure before I took that step. Everything seemed to be in order.

Between 40-50 hours a week, 1 Saturday every 2 months, 2 weeks paid vacation, 3 sick days, 1 month notice to end the contract from either party, and the only downfall no benefits but one of the parents was a doctor.
I met with the parents first and liked them right away. They invited me to their house to meet the children and I agreed. They were so cute and so sweet and we got along really well.

The trial was 1 month and everything went well so I thought I had found my dream job. The way the contract was laid out I was not only a nanny but a household manager. I took care of all the household laundry, made all the beds in the home, did the grocery shopping, ran personal errands (returning clothes and other things that weren't needed) and was responsible for light cleaning of community areas (living room, kitchen, dining room).

Eventually things started going south.
I had a hand written monthly contract made by MB. Some months the hours were much higher than I was told and the weekend work started becoming much more frequent (I worked 17 weekend days in 10 months). I hardly saw MB cause she worked so much so one night after I got a hand written schedule I sent her an email outlining a few issues I was having (hours, overtime, work being added on) and she emailed me back saying we would talk about it.
Eventually she explained to me that I was to work 200 hours for a 4 week month, and 250 hours for a 5 week month. Which meant I worked 50 hours per week or more some weeks and less others. Once they even took a 4 day trip and left me home alone with the 3 kids. She considered my hours from 7-9 instead of counting it as a 24 hour day. I obviously had no time off during that 4 day weekend and was not paid overtime. I did get a $100 bonus and a 6 page note of things I did wrong, even though the kids had a great time and i did all I was asked.

Eventually things just started piling up and becoming too much. The weekend work, the extra chores (cleaning the big family closet, cleaning and organizing the basement, cleaning out the garage), the oldest child wasn't disciplined after kicking me and telling me to shut up, when I picked my week for vacation (over a month early) I was told I could take it but it was extremely inconvienant to them, anytime I brought up something that I thought was going against the contract I was told they needed someone "flexible". The dad always having to go do something at the time he was suppose to be letting me go at night. It was just a lot of things like that.

I finally decided enough was enough and even though I'd tried talking to MB three times nothing changed. When I gave my notice i just said I wasnt very happy and no longer felt I was a good fit for their family. I had already started applying for other jobs and had accepted one when I gave notice. I told my new MB I had to give 1 month notice and she was okay with that. I gave my one month and went on about my work. On a Friday I was sent a text telling me that it would be my last day, that was 4 days after I gave notice. I was so glad I had found another position because if I hadnt I would have been living in my car until I had.

I packed my things and was moved out in 5 days. I was so happy at my new job and even though I missed my former charges I knew I made the right decision. A few days into my new job I started receiving emails from previous MB. She had found out about my new job and accused me of leaving her kids for other kids and that I shouldn't talk badly about her to her friends, which I would never do and had never done. I babysat regularly for some of her friends and if I was talking badly about her to them I doubt they would have continued using me. Eventually I got so tired of her harassing emails that i just apologized and wished her well and she did the same.

My problem now is I'm applying for jobs and I emailed all my previous employers (nanny and babysitting) to get my references in order. She responded by telling me she was still disappointed in how I left and couldn't promise she would only have good things to say. I still have all the hand written schedules, notes she left me, emails and the original contract from the family. I'm unsure of how to present this to prospective employers. I don't want a big gap in my employment but obviously I don't want to use her knowing she wouldn't say good things. How do I handle this?

17 October, 2010

Weekend Nanny Feels Needed, Needs Advice

Received Sunday, October 17, 2010
Opinion 4 I have been a weekend nanny for a family with two doctors. They are a really nice family and I just crazy about those babies; but they use us nannies so they can do want they want and when they want. They have 24/ 7 days/week "help" They have 4 month old infant twins. They have a nanny for during the week when they work- that I understand. They have a night nanny so they can have regular night sleep. They don't work weekends (maybe one weekend every two months)- so why do they need me? Why do I have to be there at 7am, in the morning. If they have to work- I understand. Dad has been at home- while I try to play, change, feed and entertain two infants. Not an easy task- they have to be on the same feeding, change and nap schedule. The dad (and mom when shes at home)- go to the gym, dad practices guitar and watches football (24-7 if he could) and they go out do errands, shop, lunch- without the babies. The parents do come up and "help" me when they are both crying- but I have to ask for their help and they give me last then 5 minutes of their time. Just enough to comfort them. Especially dad- he is home most of the day and spends time by himself. Not with his babies. Makes me so angry. The pay is good- but I want to quit. I don"t want to do.... I do have a full-time job during the normal work week- but I do not make a whole lot. Working 7 days is draining me. But I feel like those babies need me... Please tell me what you think. Thanks.

16 October, 2010

Chelsea Piers in NYC

Saturday, October 16, 2010
nanny sighting 7
chelsea piers nanny2
Where: Chelsea Piers

When: Saturday Oct 16th 9:30 AM

Who: Female Hispanic petite nanny with two Caucasion girls about 3 and 5 years old, see picture

What: Your nanny was on the cell phone sitting against the wall the entire time. Even when the girls came over to get her attention, she stayed on the phone and didn't stop the conversation. She seemed very nice and clearly she is working on their Spanish when she speaks with them (she let one practice her Spanish by speaking to whomever she was speaking to and reminded her to speak in Spanish as well). She wasn't unkind, but I think the length of time in conversation was excessive.

CL-WTF?

Saturday, October, 16, 2010
Photobucket
.... WHAT?!

Feature:
1) Nanny Needed ASAP (Seattle)
Im looking for someone that is available to watch my 2 kids 3&5 overnight tonight so I can gain some rest Im fighting a cold im compleatly wore out an feel like im neglecting my kids by just laying around and my family is too busy doing thier own thing to help out even thought they know i sure could use the help since my hubby is deployed. please send me a message would rather pay a flat rate than per hour can pick them up anytime you'd like just really would like to go to bed at like 6 an sleep forever!
URL: http://seattle.craigslist.org/oly/kid/1991063604.html

* Response by angry CL readers:

2) RE: Nanny Needed ASAP (Seattle)
I don't usually respond to things on CL, but I had to this time.......Are you crazy? You posted at 3:51 for a stranger to watch your kids from 6:00 until sometime tomorrow. Have you lost your mind? Do you have any idea the disgusting people out there that are just waiting for people like you to do something stupid like this so that they can get their hands on your kids? Any wacko could respond to your ad. How are you going to know they're not wacko....in the 5 minutes it takes them to pick up your kids from you? Not to mention, you clearly have no regard for your childrens' feelings. How do you think they'll feel being left with a complete stranger, not for an hour or two (which is still wrong), but all night long!!??!!? Unbelieveable! You say you feel as though you are neglecting your children because you are sick. "Honey, mommy doesn't feel good" is a whole hell of alot easier to explain than "Honey, I'm sorry you were molested by a stranger, but mommy really needed a break." I hope no one responds to your ad and I hope your husband knows what kind of woman he's left his children with while he's fighting for our safety. He's risking his life under God only knows what conditions and you are putting his children in harm's way so you can take a nap. You are a horrible, horrible mother and if I had any way of knowing who you are, I would report you to CPS. Suck it up and take care of your kids.
URL: http://seattle.craigslist.org/oly/kid/1991063604.html

3) RE: Nanny Needed ASAP (Seattle)
Whoever responded to that womans posts needs to mind their own business. Who are you to say anything to this woman about what she should or should not do with her kids!? If you usually don't respond than why start now?? I was actually going to respond and say I could watch her kids, you want to know why? Because there are good people out there! You need to mind your own business! If you want to fly off the handle go do it to YOUR husband! Her husband is married to her for a reason, mind your own business and focus on your own life!
URL: http://seattle.craigslist.org/oly/kid/1991129781.html

4) RE: Nanny Needed ASAP (Seattle)
Let's get a few things straight, shall we? First, learn the proper use of the words "than" and "then" and THEN you can at least sound somewhat intelligent when you speak.

Second, I chose to respond to this post because it may be THE most outrageous thing I've seen on CL. Also, at last check, it's still legal to express an opinion in this country.

Third, let me make sure I've got the rules straight. I'm a jerk and should mind my own business, but you are allowed to express your opinions about my post. Just wanted to be clear.

Lastly and most importantly, every day children are abducted, molested, and killed. It's our job as parents to protect them from that, not to deliberately put them in a situation where any number of horrible things could happen to them. Several times I have been sick and still took care of my children. Once, I knelt in front of the toilet puking with my 4 children standing around me asking for things. I finished puking, got up, wiped my mouth, and took care of my kids. That's my job and what a good mother does. I know tons of moms and not one of them would consider dropping their child/children off with a stranger for 5 minutes, let alone all night long. Anyone that thinks that is OK should not have children because clearly they are incapable of conscious, meaningful thought. Anyone with connected brain cells knows that type of behavior is reckless, dangerous, and inexcusable. I understand that having a husband deployed and raising kids on your own is difficult and I don't begrudge this woman taking a break when she needs it. I do, however, take issue with HOW she chooses to do it. She should begin a search to interview, meet with, and hire a babysitter that she can call on those occasions that she needs child care, NOT let any random stranger take her kids overnight.
URL: http://seattle.craigslist.org/oly/kid/1991191557.html

5) RE: Nanny Needed ASAP (Seattle)
I have NEVER posted anything on craigslist. I felt driven to actually create an account just so I could respond to this deplorable "mother" who wants rid of her kids tonight so she can just "sleep forever". I completely agree with the outraged woman in the previous posts. In fact she took the words right out of my mouth...we have all been there as mothers... horribly sick, head in the toilet, taking care of needy little ones, all alone all day!!! No mother I know would even contemplate such a ridiculous idea as to post a craigslist ad at 4pm for a stranger to come at 6pm and take her kids OVERNIGHT!!!! This is a 3 year old and a 5 year old!!! How do you explain to a 3 year old that he will be spending the night with a total stranger, in a total strangers home!! I am sincerely hopping that this woman took too many cold meds and is not thinking clearly, because if this is really who she is as a mother then she should not BE a mother....she needs to be reported to dshs for neglect...she is extremely lucky that her identity is hidden, because I would love to report her myself.
URL: http://seattle.craigslist.org/oly/kid/1991129781.html
___________________________________________
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TO READ THE REST OF THE SUBMISSIONS: CLICK HERE!

15 October, 2010

M.

By Feature Writer Rebecca Nelson Lubin
guest In our Nanny profession we usually have very few co-workers, but there is one relationship that more often than not, causes a great deal of stress, that being the relationship between the nanny and the housekeeper. This week I wanted to share my most terrible experience with a truly awful housekeeper, and in return, invite you to write in response with your experiences.

M came to the household where I worked as a Nanny after I had been there a little over two years. The housekeeper she replaced had been just wonderful, a hard working, quiet, polite man in his thirties who left to become an Estate Manager. I met M at her second interview as my boss wanted to get my opinion on her. She was in her mid-fifties, with a broad, solidly built body, and a very thick European accent. She seemed shy and sweet as she told me that she was from Croatia and was considering leaving a long-term job in the South Bay as they had seven children and it was just becoming too much for her.

“Three sets of twins,” she said, rolling her eyes, “they do in-vitro four times. Only one time make one baby.”

M sighed and looked exhausted just talking about it.

She was hired and my boss asked me to assist her with getting used to the neighborhood. I spent the first week driving her around Pacific Heights and showing her the market, the drycleaners and the special butcher my boss liked. As live in housekeeper she would be taking over all the food shopping and errands (she had her own car) and I would be responsible for chaperoning the children around after school to their various activities. That first week she was friendly and chatty as I drove her everywhere in my car, even to places that we did not usually shop, such as the Costco 20 miles away. She loaded the cart with a couple of bulk rolls of toilet paper and then finally found the item she had really come for, a huge bottle of discount Brandy. She loaded six bottles onto the cart.

“This is best brandy.” She said by way of explanation when she caught hold of my startled expression. Obviously, I didn’t think work time was appropriate for stocking up on liquor. But she just staunchly pushed the cart to the little cage where they sold cigarettes and bought two cartons.

“Okay,” she said, now fully stocked up, “we go.”

Her friendliness towards me took a hit when she announced the third week one afternoon at 3pm that she was ready to have me drive her to the market.

“M,” I said, “I have to go and get the girl’s from school right now.”

The expression on her face was not kind. She turned heavily on her heal and stomped away.

The same thing happened the next afternoon. I was getting the girl’s soccer bags and snacks together and M appeared at my side, looking gruff.

“You need to take me to butcher.”

“M,” I said, “I’m leaving right now to get the kids. You can’t drive?”

“The city is scary.”

I totally understand that driving on the hills of San Francisco can be daunting for some, but where they lived it was a straight, flat shot to the market. And besides, she had been driving every weekend to see friends in the South Bay. Her aversion to driving was only limited to working hours.

I had my own driving incident later that evening, driving over the Golden Gate Bridge after I had put the girls to bed. In the middle of the span I got hit with a horrible cramping feeling in my stomach, one that I was all too familiar with, being severely lactose intolerant. I was sweating by the time I made it to Mill Valley.

“M,” I asked her the next day, “is it possible that you put butter in my food last night?”

My boss had specifically told her that I couldn’t eat any dairy when she was hired, and he had stressed that it would make me very ill.

“I put no butter.”

I let it go, but that night too, driving home, I got sick again.

The following night she held out a plate of rice to me and beckoned for me to serve some to myself.

“Uh, M?” I asked hesitantly, “Are you certain that there is no dairy in this?”

She shook the plate at me. “Eat.”

I took a small spoonful.

“Eat!” She said, and heaped more on my plate.

I took a tiny bite. It was delicious.

“What’s in this?” I asked.

“Spices.” She said.

I didn’t even make it to the bridge that night. I was in the bathroom a half hour after eating, in severe pain.

I decided that it might be prudent to make my own dinner from now on, except M was furious when she saw me steaming vegetables in the kitchen before the family dinner. She demanded to know what I was doing. She complained to our boss that I didn’t like her cooking. I told him that I was simply on a diet and trying to eat very healthy. He laughed and told M that her cooking was very rich and that he himself had gained some weight in the almost month that she had been working, and to let me prepare my own dinner if that was what I wanted to do. He left the kitchen and went to call the kids to the table. M glared at me and slammed pots into the sink. I had defied her. As far as she was concerned it was war. Any trace of pleasantries towards me was long gone. When I left that night she stood in the alley between the house and the neighbors, smoking a cigarette and giving me the stink eye. Smoke was wafting up into the children’s open bedroom window.

“Uh, M?” I said, warily, “ I think you might want to smoke somewhere else. The kid’s window is open right above you.”

I don’t understand exactly what she said to me, but it translated, no matter what language it was spoken in.

At Christmas time we were given the joint task of dismantling the Christmas tree while the family was on vacation. She refused to help, but kept walking into the living room to snap and bark at me while I wrapped ornaments in bubble paper. I had to drag the ten-foot tree out to the curb myself. She screamed at me when she saw that there was a trail of dry pine needles and called me a bitch for messing up her living room. I vacuumed it up and left, refusing to engage with her.

In January, she got worse. She yelled and kicked at the dog. She berated Sierra, six, for getting her white socks dirty.

“Yooooooooou need to have white socks so my hands get dry with bleach!” she said, and Sierra looked confused, but asked sweetly,

“M? Are you pissed at me again?”

I took her aside and asked where she had learned the word “pissed.”

“From M,” she said, “she’s always saying that I make her all pissed.”

I went to my boss and explained that M was increasingly hard to get along with and that I wanted his assistance in smoothing out some troubling workplace dynamics. He did what most overworked, overtired employers do.

He said, “Work it out yourselves.”

Of course M showed him a totally different side of herself. She could be kicking the dog and slamming plates and yelling at me and as soon as the front door opened and our boss would stroll in she would put on a huge smile and warmly welcome him home. He had no idea what she was really like. He did not smell the brandy on her breath because she did not lean into his face and scream until she was spitting. She stood at the back of his chair at a respectful distance at the dinner table and asked almost demurely, “Do you like your chicken tonight?”

When I gave notice to move to a job that was more hours, M seemed remorseful. She took me aside to apologize.

“I was bitch at Christmas.” She said, “and I put butter in all your food because the children liked you better.”

I told her to try not to smoke directly under the girl’s window.

Three months after I left, she gave notice and moved back to the family in the South Bay with all the twins. I think about her sometimes, and I wonder if she still works as a housekeeper, and if somewhere out there, she is busy terrorizing some other Nanny.
_____________________________________________
Rebecca Nelson Lubin is a writer and Nanny who resides in the San Francisco Bay Area. You may read more of her articles at http://www.abandofwives.ning.com/

13 October, 2010

Whole Foods Parking Lot in West Orange, NJ

Wednesday, October 13, 2010
nanny sighting 7Who: Young (25-35 years old), Hispanic nanny and her female charge (3-4 years old). Child was wearing coordinated purple outfit with white tights and black patent leather shoes. Her hair was chin length and held back with a purple bow.
Where: Whole Foods parking lot, West Orange, NJ
What happened: I was waiting in my car for a friend to arrive for lunch when the nanny pulled up in a red GMC Envoy. Your nanny caught my attention because she was talking on a cell phone with walkie talkie capabilities. She stood by the trunk of your car for 5 minutes or so, chatting with the person on the other end. My window was open so I could hear the beep of her cell phone as well as the person on the other line. It caught my attention because I haven't seen a cell phone of this style in a long time. After approximately 5 minutes, she walked around the side of the car, removed your daughter from her car seat and walked through the parking lot (not holding hands) while continuing her conversation. This lot is extremely busy and your daughter was skipping, twirling, barely keeping up with her nanny who would occasionally glance back and bark at your daughter to keep up. I should have written the license plate number down but got caught up with my own little one.

Hotlips Pizza in Portland, OR

Wednesday, October 13, 2010
nanny sighting 7 At Hotlips Pizza on Hawthorne in Portland, OR I saw two AA women (one pregnant) with two blonde hair blued eyed kids...one boy and one girl who may have been twins since they appeared to be the same age (~2.) Both women were interacting with the kids, laughing and seemed to really enjoy being with them. Originally they were sitting outside but then went inside. The little boy tripped and fell on the way in and one woman (the one I think was the nanny) held him and comforted him until he stopped crying. It was a lot of fun to watch both the women interact with the kids and giggle at what they were saying and doing. I hope the parents realize what a great nanny they seem to have! (For what it's worth, I was there with my charges)

Sick Days...

Received Wednesday, October 13, 2010
Opinion 4 I was just curious as to on how everyone handles sick days. I know as a nanny if you aren't at work then your employers can not go to work but where do you draw the line between "oh just relax on the couch as much as you can" and "stay home!"

12 October, 2010

Floored and Pissed...

Tuesday. October 12, 2010
Opinion 4 I have been working with my family for over 5 1/2 years now! We have a pretty good relationship, or so I thought! Mom normally tells me everything, even private matters and dad is quiet but always pleasant.
I am working 11 hour + days and am more of a personal assistant than nanny, as I tend to everything that regard the children, as well as shopping, taking the pets to the vet, helping out in their office, etc.

I get 14 days of paid vacation, 5 sick days and normally get all federal holidays off.

Well, I forgot that it was a holiday yesterday and came to work in the morning as usual. The dad was home and did not mention anything, but send the kids off to school with me (they go to a private school and did not have the day off). I then proceeded to go to the office to help out, only to find the office closed! When I text the mom and tell that I am going home, since obviously it is a holiday and everyone else is off, she tells me that i will need to pick up the kids from school, since the office will be open in the afternoon and all employees will be working a half day. As much as I would have liked to have the whole day off, I agree with her to work a half day, since I thought if the other employees have to work a half day it was only fair for me to do the same.

Well, to make a long story short, the mom totally lied to me! I just talked to the office employees and found out that they were off the whole day and that there was never a plan to open the office in the afternoon!

I was floored. Why does the mom have to lie to me? The dad was home the whole day, the mom was home in the afternoon. They could have taken care of the children no problem (mind you, one of the kids only got out of school at 5 pm).

I am beyond pissed that they would go behind my back to make me work on a holiday that I am supposed to be off.

Should I confront them about that? Should I ask for double pay, since I was not supposed to work? Any suggestions are greatly appreciated!

10 October, 2010

Tales from the Other Side...

Sunday, October 9, 2010
trial by fire I have been looking for a nanny since our wonderful nanny moved back to Honduras in May. As such, we have had a half dozen trials. I utilize these trials so I can assess the nanny's compassion, work ethic and common sense. Keep in mind these nannies come in to my home to in essence try out for my nanny position. They have been told in detail what is expected of them in advance and the choice to partake in a trial is of course their own.

I may be recalling these out of order, but allow me to try. The first nanny boasted of her education, she had a bachelors in sociology and five years nanny experience. She presented clean and ready to work, dressed appropriately in jeans and tennis shoes. She greeted the children warmly and set about playing with them just out of site. She was very good with children as I have an ear for such things. I let them play uninterrupted for nearly 90 minutes before poking my head in. When I did, I realized every single toy and art project was out and strewn all over. The nanny met my expression with shock with a huge smile and said, "they showed me everything". I suggested I take the children in to the kitchen for a snack while she straighten up the playroom. She stated that the children would be helping her. I explained to her that the playroom was ogranized by a professional organizer and everything needed to go back just so. She stood there and argued with me and stated she was not a housekeeper.  I tried to calm her down but she asked me repeatedly, "is this how it's going to be, is this how it's going to be". I explained to her that my children were only three and five and yes, I would expect her to pick up after them. She stood up and put her hand out. I said, "what's this?". She said, "this won't work, let's just end this now". I said, "If you feel that way.." Well to make a long story short she threatened to call the police if i didn't pay her. I told her that her trial was to last until three and she had barely been here two hours. I never saw her again.

The second person I recall had no formal education but eight years of nanny experience. During the interview she was soft spoken and conservative. She arrived at my home dressed in skin tight black jeans and a crop top. She had earings hanging from her ears the size of hula hoops.  Again, I let her play with the children in the playroom. The children were setting up a train track. The nanny could barely bend over in her tight jeans to help. I saw her at various stages of bent and it was obscene, never mind I woudln't want to be liable if one of my children ripped one of her earings out of her ear. I paid her for the day and kindly let her know 'it wasn't a good match'.

One of the others I had arrived on my door step with a kind smile and a black eye. She explained that her niece kicked her in the head while roughhousing. She started at lunch time and begaan by helping with lunch. She talked to the children the whole time, sang songs and after lunch began playing chutes and ladders at the kitchen table. I noticed her cell phone go off repeatedly, upon closer examination it was a texting alert. I asked her if she could please silence that during the rest of her trial. She politely apologized, did so and continued playing games with the children. About twenty minutes later, there is banging on my front door. I go to answer it and it is an angry looking young male demanding to see the nanny. I explained that she was working. He insisted he needed to talk to her, that it was an emergency. I alerted the nanny and she stepped outside on the stoop to speak to him. I heard him yelling at her for not returning her texts. Turns out he was parked three houses down just waiting for her because he had some weird trust issues. When the nanny came back in, she apologized. I told her I could not have these sort of scenes in my home around the children and asked her if she needed help. She assured me she didn't. I paid her for the day and she left, with the boyfriend who was now standing outside my door.

I hired on girl for a trial who seemed like a good fit, lots of experience both as a nanny and daycare provider. She started her trial a week after the interview and hand to God, it was like she hadn't showered in all that time. The smell was nauseating. This was in July in NY and her perspiration was immense and thick like onions. I feigned a change of plans, paid her for the day and ignored her calls.

I hired a manny because he was well reccomended and the idea seemed appealing. Well he was a marvel with the children. I can't complain there. I noticed he caught his reflection every chance he could. I was okay with his narcissm, what I was not okay with was what appeared to be a very serious eating disorder.  When he took off his sweater, I realized just how thin he was. He was midway through a one week trial when I realized I cannot have this behavior in my house.  Although he worked from 8-6, he never ate and our home is stocked with nutritious food. The only thing he would drink was hot lemmon water. I began to grow concerned that he would have the children out somewhere and simply pass out.

And still another nanny I hired for a one week trial had taken my children out with the promise she was taking them to a park and taken them instead to a residence where there were atleast two males. My five year old revealed they sat and watched (what I deduced from his explanation) were daytime television shows like Jerry Springer. The children were given whole cereal boxes and allowed to just eat handfuls of cereal from the box. When I asked the nanny about this, she flat out denied and assured me they had been at the park. When I demanded to know which park, she stated "Thomas Greene" which makes no sense as we live between Prospect Park and JJ Byrne. I fired her on the spot and paid her for two days, although she had worked two and a half days, I told her I wasn't paying her to take my children to unfamiliar neighborhoods and hang out with strange men!