Houge Park in San Jose, CA
This incident occurred approximately a month ago (end of May) at Houge Park in San Jose, CA -- I've only recently (re)discovered this site and thought that although this sighting is a month old, it might still be worth a post.
Nanny: A young (early 20s) Caucasian female, slightly overweight, average height. She had pink hair and was wearing a sleeveless striped button-down blouse and a bowler-type hat of some sort.
Charge: A male child, approximately 4 years old, Caucasian, with blonde hair.
When: I initially arrived at the park with my charges, I noticed this woman because of her unusual hair and her very distinct, loud voice. She was talking to a mother (or perhaps another nanny) who was pushing her child/charge in the swings. The pink-haired nanny was sharing "funny" anecdotes about her charge, and the way that she was speaking, I initially thought that she was the child's mother. While she was talking, her charge roamed the (relatively large) park freely, and she never once stopped her conversation to make sure that he was nearby and safe. Initially I filed the sighting under the "unfortunately typical inattentive nanny" category, and just tried to periodically visually locate her charge and make sure he was never in danger, since she seemed more intent on having conversations about him with the local mothers than she was on actually paying attention to him.
However, about 20 minutes into our visit to the park, I heard this nanny shouting expletives over her cell phone. She continued her loud, heated argument for a good 10 minutes while sitting at the corner of a picnic table, again completely ignoring her charge's whereabouts. Meanwhile, the boy had found another boy his age to play with, and that boy's mother seemed to have more or less taken over care of the child, supervising their game of catch and engaging both children contentedly (the way the nanny SHOULD have been). At some point my older charge wandered over to their ball game, and I noticed the nanny was nowhere to be found and I could no longer hear her arguing. Her charge was playing without any of her supervision -- she totally and completely allowed a stranger (a mother, but a stranger nonetheless) to take over care.
Eventually she returned and told the boy it was time to get going to "meet mommy". This was the point at which I realized she was NOT the child's mother. I, of course, can't guarantee this was a nanny -- could have been an aunt, a family friend, a big sister. I have no idea who was caring for this child, but whoever this woman was, she was clearly far too distracted by her social life to be involved in the care of a preschooler, ESPECIALLY in such a busy, public setting.
at 9:17 AM