Friday

Going Down?

opinion dec
While in a busy Wal-Mart my charge decided she wanted to use the elevator to go to the lower level. I noticed a mother and baby were already in the elevator and the door was closing.. I waited for 30 seconds, the door closed fully, and I felt it was safe to allow my charge to press the button to make the elevator come back up. She pressed it! To my surprise the elevator opened up and it was clear we had delayed the mother/baby from doing down. We quickly hopped in the elevator and apologized; briefly explaining that I had thought they had went down already. My charge, 3 years old, is a huge fan of babies! She went over to the lady's baby, and as I have taught her, asked before making moves on anything or anyone said "may I touch your baby" by this she meant "shake her hand, a pat or something very gentle and innocent" the baby had her hand outreached in my charges direction... and the LADY FREAKED OUT! and began talking sternly in my charge's face.... "DONT TOUCH MY BABY, DON"T LOOK AT MY BABY. YOU CANT JUST GO AROUND TOUCHING PEOPLE AND THINGS!!!"

My charge was shocked, looked up at me with tears in her eyes. I was horrifed by how the lady was speaking to her. The elevator had finally closed and lowered. The door opened, and the lady stepped out. My charge was off in dreamland, probably trying to figure everything out, and I questioned the lady asking her "What is up her ass?" She replied, "You could have used the escalator" ...and stormed off. I called her ridiculous and walked away. I used this situation as a lesson for my charge, and explained to her that not all strangers are nice... and this is exactly why we don't talk to strangers, that if I or an adult says its okay then proceed, but please don't talk to any and everyone [which is a hard request for a female 3 year old]. I also apologized for that happening to her, she looked at me and deemed that the lady was 'crazy'. LOL, and we went about our Santa Photo's. But still, it took a lot of self control not to loose it on that lady!

Have you ever been in a situation where a perfect stranger is beyond rude to your charge? What did you do? What would you have done if you were me in the elevator yesterday?

47 comments:

Nanny J said...

While that lady would have infuriated me if she talked to my charges like that, I really would not have swore in front of my charges, either. (or at least, I hope I wouldn't do that!) What kind of person yells at a child she doesn't know for no reason, like that lady?? But what kind of response was that, also? It's kind-of a weird thing to say. I would have just asked her to stop yelling at my charge and to go through me if she sees something she thinks is unfit for my charge to be doing. She probably would have responded with hostility or just continued to yell at my charge, seeing as how she seems "crazy", but short of physical violence, you probably wouldn't be able to stop her until the elevator opened and you could part ways. As the PP said, all you did was stoop down to her level, you didn't "show her" as you probably were trying to.

Jedd Meir said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
MissMannah said...

OK, you weren't entirely clear but did you just wonder in your own dreamland what was up that woman's ass or did you literally ask her? I was wondering what was stuck up her ass too but I would never, ever say something like that in front of a 3-year-old! Nor should you have called her ridiculous, you set a very bad example for your charge, though it was great that you turned it into a teachable moment...eventually.

MissMannah said...

Jedd, I thought the same thing! Whoa, an elevator in Wally World? They must be rich! hahaha

alex said...

I really hope you didn't cuss in front of your charge... but that lady obviously had issues. Your charge was THREE and she asked first. Germaphobe maybe. I remember being at church with my mom one time and they shook hands. Someone shook the babies hand and the mom immediately got out wipes to wipe the hand. Some people are crazy and fear any germ will hurt their child when they are actually making it worse by not giving their child the ability to build anything up.

The other thing is that she said you could have used the escalator? I'm sorry lady, do you need an elevator to yourself? I would have bit my tounge though as not to say anything in front of an impressionable charge. :)

StrawberryShortKakes said...

OP I think you handled the situation well, minus the swearing. I don't understand why the lady would yell at your charge. If she had a problem, she should have said something to you. I mostly feel sorry for the lady's baby. The poor thing will probably have no friends cause mom is afraid of anyone touching her baby LOL. The best thing that came out of this situation was that it was a teaching moment for you and your charge.

Phoenix said...

Um, you better explain to your charge that ALL strangers aren't nice. They are strangers. But if she is in your presence and you say it's ok then it's all good

some women do not like their baby touched. To them, their child is not on public display nor should everyone have the right to touch it or look at it. People have germs and toddlers have lots of germs. I bet you that's why she freaked out.

lexeael13 said...

poor kid getting talked to that way. I have had some experience with unkind people when I was out with charges. The kids I worked with are Arab and I would notice them getting dirty looks thankfully the children never noticed and no one ever said anything rude. You did a great job handling the rude women and sound like a great nanny!

Tales from the (Nanny)Hood said...

So, are you angry she yelled, or angry she didn't let your charge touch her baby? I have some sympathy if it's the former, although I'll echo others and hope you weren't swearing in front of your charge.

If it's the later (not letting your charge touch her child), then you are being kind of self-centered. It IS winter, you have NO idea if her child has been ill a lot, was a premie, or what have you. In addition, that mom had no idea what your charge had been touching and playing with. Maybe there was a very good reason she didn't want your charge touching her baby?

Bottom line, I don't think anyone is obligated to allow random kids to touch their baby, regardless of how nicely the random kid asks. And I don't think her yelling or your swearing were at all mature.

LAK said...

I agree with Tales. Many new moms (including my MB) are crazy about germs. If your charge asked, I would actually lie and say something like "oh the baby is getting over a cold and we don't want to spread germs" (putting it on us and not the child). I would never yell at the child, even if they did touch the baby without asking! That's rude. That mom didn't handle it well. If you are taking your baby to a busy Walmart you are already exposing them to germs! What a crazy! Let's hope she was just stressed with holiday shopping

Just My Two Cents Just Now said...

I would have tried to set a good example in front of my charge by being as polite about the situation as I could. (Not an easy thing to do OP...I agree...this woman sounds like a nutcase to me!) If I did want to say anything rude to the lady, I would have waited until my charge was out of ear and eye shot. Then I would tactfully tell my charge that not all strangers are friendly and this particular woman might have been having a bad day and that her reaction had absolutely NOTHING to do with my charge.

I don't think in general you should teach children that it is never okay to talk to strangers...I always talk to people whether I am in the grocery store, the post office, etc...and 99.9% of the time they pretty much are friendly. VERY rarely will I come in contact with someone as rude as this elevator lady was.

Say something nice? said...

There have been quite a few times that I would have given some people the what for if it hadn't been for the presence of little ears. The worst was two months ago a very mentally ill lady yelled at my charge (who's three), "you're gonna die little girl." Honestly I said nothing and quickly pushed her past the woman and into the building (we were right in front of their building). We live in a downtown area of a city that unfortunately, has lots of homeless mentally ill Well my brother is mentally ill so I do know, you can't argue with crazy. My charge was upset and confused and asked why the lady yelled at her. I told my charge that some people are sick in their brain and the sickness makes them say or do strange things. It's bummer, but it's something she will grow up watching if they don't move. I guess the wise thing to do is say nothing and explain to your charge that she should only expect to touch babies that you know. Its pretty rare that moms want their babies touched or coughed on by germy children during cold and flu season. Interactions like the one you had drive me crazy for days after, I think it's when I know I could have handeled things better. Like Mom always said, "if you can't say something nice,"...well dont say, "what's up your ass," either.

nannykeeper said...

I can honestly see this from several angles. So I will be criticizing quite a few as I go. First off, you and your charge are not in a voluntary play group. This woman is shopping with her baby and some random 3 y.o wants to grab at his/her hands, WHAT? That's just bizarre in itself. They might have been exchanging goo-goos, but come on, really. I can't stand anyone in my "space" like those that get too close to talk, or you can feel them breathing down your back in line somewhere. Or what about when you're in a completely empty theatre and someone strolls in and sits, where else, but on the same row as you. Maybe it's human nature to want to touch and be touched, maybe I'm sub-human, because it just gives me the willies. To the mom who may have germaphobe issues, could be like the mom I sit for who has taught her obnoxious 4 year old to use his well-shoe'd foot to flush the commode when he and I go out to eat or out in public in general. Wonderful right? Only problem is that I'm a little more worried about what he might pick up eating ice off their nasty kitchen floor, as he's done since he was oh, maybe 2, and what he might attract eating his snacks and bowls of pasta with dog hair flying rampant throughtout their kitchen. Oh, and I can't forget about the uncovered casseroles and cheese in the cheese drawer that has hardened the laziness of both adults. People that use paper towels to grab door handles and flush are just so silly. Do you also use utensils out in public that have been passed around from kitchen to table without using a cover for it? What a ridiculous world. I'm 48, never grab anything with a paper towel and my mom never scrubbed our childhood toys after company kids played with them, and my brother and I never, ever contacted any communicable diseases.

Village said...

The kid called it. Crazy. Kids know more than we think.

calcuLATER said...

I agree that this lady was definitely unnecessarily harsh with your charge, however, she did have a point. Your three year old charge is not entitled to touch everyone and everything that she wants.

While learning to ask before touching other people's babies is a great lesson for her to learn, I really think that it is only applicable to situations where she is familiar with the parent/baby, for example, a friend's younger sibling, or one of her parents friends babies. But she really should not be going around asking strangers if she can touch their kids.

If i were you, I would have said calmly something like "I am sorry if we offended you, but there is really no need for you to yell at her. If you just say no, she won't touch the baby"

world's best nanny said...

A 2 story Walmart scares me enough here, all the more room for the Wally World Wackos! This woman is obviously one of them. BTW touching strange babies is like touching strange dogs, you ASK first! If you asked first you would've discovered that touching a hungry, rabid pittbull would've been a safer choice!

Dingo said...

World's best nanny, she DID ask first. By 3, both my charges at the time had had more than a few experiences with rude people, not only with myself, but with their mother as well. The oldest, P, is learning delayed (not severely, but enough so that at now nearly 8, she's still socially only about 4). After the first time P was yelled at for no reason by what she deemed "crazy goose mommas", we started encouraging her to say what she felt. Her go to phrase has always been "Please do not yell at me, that is mean and rude, and I don't like it." Granted, it did take a long time to get her to differentiate normal scolding and unfair scolding from strangers (Still get this phrase thrown at me every now and then when she's having a rough day even though I never raise my voice, lol).

A is 2 years younger than P, and went through a baby phase as well. Same deal, she always approached parents because she was drawn to their babies. Her go to usually was "Your baby is beautiful, can we play?" But for the most part, -I- tried to keep her from touching other people's children. Peek-a-boo, and making silly faces to make the baby smile, but after having her end up sick an awful lot through her infancy, I always opt not to touch.

As far as people going off about not LOOKING at their baby, if they're in a stroller in clear view....honestly, wtf? Now if it involved craning your neck to see or moving the visor or whatever, I can see that, but you can't dictate what people look at. If you could, there would be no PeopleofWalmart website.

OP HERE... said...

OP HERE!
Thanks everyone for your posts on the matter. It was a very interesting situation to say the least.

My charge knows to ask before you do or attempt to do anything to invade someone's personal space and she was so sweet about it. I agree that maybe the Mom was a germaphobe which is fine, but there was no need to be so rude to my charge....

I did in fact question what was up her ass? She didn't seem what to know. It may have been unprofessional or rude, however, I felt the need at the time to step in and defend my charge as I feel tat saying nothing would be allowing someone to walk all over you and shows the charge that I will allow people to speak to her like that.... I don't think so. I can say this much, if that was MY child things would have gone very differently! I find that now a days a lot fo adults feel that it is okay to talk down to children etc, it is never OKAY.

Thanks for the great comments whether you agree with me or not I really apperciate the feedback!

Great Blog!

Skater of ponds said...

This story is very similar to something that happened to me about 3 years back. I was out with some friends having a drink or two. I saw a pretty lady who was giving me the goggly eyes. I asked...would you like to touch my crotch. She said NO WAY YOURE NOT ATTRACTIVE. Whatever...it happens. Later that night this lady comes up to my friend, Titio, and gives him a little squeeze. Titio of course returned the favor and realized she had a crotch! Lucky for me - I have never been groped by a man or a tranny.
TRUE STORY!! ASK TITIO!!!!!!

ericsmom said...

OP

I would have done the same thing. If someone talked to my child like that, I would lose it. Maybe, if this was a mother that posted this on this blog people would be more understanding. I think because you are the nanny people expect you to be cool and calm at all times. Forgetting we are all humans.
Come on people kids are kids. To me three years old is like a baby herself. You wanna bet this woman's child will do the same thing when she gets a little older. All kids are curious about other kids. Its actually better to be exposed to some germs when you are young. The child will build up their immune system.

Anne said...

You could have told the lady off without the language. I wouldn't want to be you if your charge decides to repeat what you said to MB or DB.

It might be a better idea to teach your charge just to smile at babies or say hi, and save the asking for babies she actually knows.

ericsmom said...

Oh god stop acting self righteous. If someone was rude to your child especially a young child at age three. I am sure most would react worse than the OP did. She used one curse word ASS not even that bad of a word. We all have asses, whats the big deal.

Tales from the (Nanny)Hood said...

Yeah ericsmom, I am sure that when OP's charge says to her grandma/pastor/doctor/teacher "What's up your ass?" the parents will chuckle fondly and think, "That funny OP! She does love to expand our darling girl's vocabulary!"

Because employers are always understanding about caregivers teaching their kids to curse. {eye roll}

Britney said...

I think OP said the word "ass" out of earshot of the child. If I am wrong, then she did a very bad thing.

unicornsparkleprincess said...

@skater of ponds:
not only is the term 'tranny' incredibly offensive, but you have a lot to learn about how to treat people that are different from yourself. you need to get YOUR head out of YOUR ass.

Dingo said...

Sometimes curse words slip. They shouldn't, but they do. Nannies are human, after all, and not impervious to making mistakes.

My charges' father let the word asshole fly once and the 7yo P has decided it's her favorite word. It happens.

Mrs. Billy Lamar said...

@Dingo...while I agree that sometimes curse words slip, as a Nanny, you have a responsibility to not let any curse words slip around your charge. It's common sense.

Imagine if a teacher accidentally let out a curse word in the classroom, chances are he or she would be fired right away.

MamaLaywer said...

Quite frankly, the absolute dregs of society shop at Walmart. So I wouldn't be surprised by any bad behavior encountered there at all. The lesson I'd have taught the child is, "...and this is why we don't shop at Walmart."

It's possible she had spent the day fighting crowds with her baby to get holiday shopping done and was hot, tired, hungry, etc., and this was just the last straw for her. Let it roll off your back.

Phoenix said...

My regular vocabulary is cussing. My husband and I do it without even knowing because its so frequent. I even cuss at work. Someone once told my manager that I "talked like a trucker"

My step-son doesn't even notice really. I he doesn't cuss at all. Even in his time without parents around. I think it depends on the kid whether or not they are going play parrot.

**I finally updated my profile photo! YAY! no more tired face.**

MissMannah said...

Phoenix, I see no problem with that. When I'm at home, sometimes I curse like a sailor too. But you're not a nanny, you can get away with it at your workplace. In this case, Mrs Billy is right, nannies are being paid to be a good role model for young children, cursing is just not ok, even if they are pissed at someone else for yelling at their charge.

MamaLawyer, I guess I'm the dregs of society because WalMart is about the only place I shop. You're a fuckin' snob.

PS: Love the new pic, Phoenix. You have really pretty eyes. :)

Jedd Meir said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
AMom said...

YOu all need to relax, the woman said "ass", it's not the worst thing in the world! It's barely a curse word in my book (yes, I said "curse" word, not "cuss", I'm from NYC, lol).

I think you were right, and, your charge did ask first, that woman was VERY out of line, while I too would have curbed the language, I can totally see how it would have slipped out and it's not the worst thing in the world! Even if the parents find out you said "ass" in front of their child, once explained the situation, I bet they would understand. and, all you have to do is tell your charge that "ass" is a naughty word and you shouldn't have said it and neither should she.

Just My Two Cents Just Now said...

@Phoenix....I like your new pic....you should keep this one.

You're very pretty.

Phoenix said...

Oh thank you. I plan keeping this one for the compliments. Surprisingly I took this with the camera on my phone. I didn't think it'd turn out that great.

OP said...

Update:

Due to my close relationship with the family I work for I told them the story of the lady in the elevator and about my comment back to her.

They were OKAY with it and even said, GOOD FOR YOU, for not only standing up to someone who was clearly being offensive to a child but for myself. It is clear, when I am with the child that I am her NANNY, and I honestly wonder if this lady would have went on to act like that in front of her mother or grandmother etc.

To those people whom clearly may have something up there themselves, we are nannies, we are human! I honestly believe it is my duty to protect my charge from anything and everything including the jackass in the elevator! If I could do it all over again I would have created more of a scene and made the lady look horrible for verbally attacking such a young child. What I don't think is being understood here is that she was IN HER FACE, basically yelling at her. It wasn't just a simple comment under her breath, my charge was telling her friends at playgroup about it with pride on her face that we stood up to that lady, and not to let people put you down, you must stand up for yourself...

@ Tales from NannyHood and others whom feel that they are or must be the "perfect" nanny at all times... it isn't realistic once so ever and I feel bad for you that you feel that way.

Phoenix said...

OP I'm glad you stood up to her. I would have done so myself. But I don't think making a scene would have been the best role model for a child. Not only would you look like you were throwing a tantrum; you are teaching your charge to rat people out, and its ok to pick a fight essentially. Then you would look bad for showing your chagre the wrong way to resolve conflict.

Teach passive agressive. LOL. Just kidding.

Tales from the (Nanny)Hood said...

OP, you don't seem to be getting the point that if you didn't allow/encourage your charge to approach random strangers with babies and ask to touch said babies, this incident wouldn't have happened.

Just as an example, I don't let my charges go up to *dogs* to say hi unless the owner invites us to step forward. I owe even more courtesy to parents with children, IMO.

And it is possible to make an emphatic point and protect your charges without being a beeyotch. For example, you could have moved your charge behind you, and told the mom, "Do not yell at her. She is a child. If you have something to say, say it to me," and stared her down. If she had kept yelling, you then could have said, "You seem to be having a very bad day. I hope things get better for you," and then walked away and explained to your charge that the lady was not feeling well and she didn't act kindly because she felt yucky inside.

And, FYI, I have no illusions about being perfect. Maybe if you took things out of your ears and eyes, you would comprehend that fact and so much more.

StrawberryShortKakes said...

I agree with Phoenix that it is perfectly fine to curse when you are in the privacy of your own home. But I also think there needs to be a filter there for when you have company or you are around other children who are not your own. I personally would try not to swear around my kids (when I have them in the future) but sometimes it is just not possible to stop yourself from swearing when something happens. For example, when I drop something or I am unusually angry, etc. it is more of a reflex for me to swear. When I am around kids I try not to say it but sometimes it just slips! Swearing is not part of my everyday vocabulary though, unless I am around my friends, then I have no filter :)

As a nanny, I think it is important to be as filtered as possible, trying not to swear or say things that parents might not like (i.e. shut up). It is just more professional and better for the children. In the situation that the OP had, I don't think I would swear at the lady because I am a more of an under-the-breath- swearer but I am guessing I would have raised my voice a bit. While I am not about teaching yelling to children, it is a normal human emotion to be defensive when someone yells at you for no reason! I would just be sure to explain to the child, in simple terms, what happened so that she understands. It is not realistic to be all nicey-nice and brush everything off.

ericsmom said...

Where could the OP go? Remember they were together on an elevator. It wasn't like she could just walk away. OP I think you should be proud of yourself for having that "motherly instict" for sticking up for the child. Like they say don't mess with a Mama Bear. I feel you were in that mode.

Phoenix I love your new picture!!


On another note: Merry Christmas to all you guys!! I hope you have a wonderful day with your family and friends.

From a mom freezing in New Jersey

ericsmom said...

opps sorry for mispellings

Phoenix said...

@Tales - I think you have a point about not teaching the child to go up to strangers in the first place. That was what I meant when I said to teach the kid that ALL strangers are not nice. My friends daughter loves everyone. She would go anywhere with anyone even if she didn't know them. Very scary. She was just very sociable. So if I was in charge of a little childn I would not allow them to approach people with babbies or not.

@ericsmom
Thanks for the compliment. You have a good Xmas too! You are in NJ, and freezing. I can only imagine. I'm shivering in my 66 degree weather. I couldn't imagine being in colder climate.

Vanessa said...

OMG GOD FORBID SOMEONE EVER CUSSES BY ACCIDENT!

Please, get over yourselves. We all know we've cussed at least once in front of them, accidentally.

I mean for goodness sakes, the parents themselves cuss in front of my charges sometimes. They also don't realize it until they've said it.

I don't think she directly asked the kid that but probably asked herself that out loud. And yes, I would call someone ridiculous in front of my charge, especially if they're being insane like that lady.

Vanessa said...

"I agree that this lady was definitely unnecessarily harsh with your charge, however, she did have a point. Your three year old charge is not entitled to touch everyone and everything that she wants."


I don't think she's bothered by the fact that the lady didn't want her to touch the baby, but the approach. Why would she yell at a 3 yr old who is innocent and doesn't understand the implications of touching strangers? No adult should ever yell at a child unless he's being scolded for something he did wrong.


The lady acted unreasonably.

NANNY OF ONE said...

OP HERE!
Thank-you Vanessa and other supporters.

I feel that what a lot of people are not understanding is that my charge knows she must ASK before she touches somebody, and she very kindly walked up the baby outreached her hand and my charge said your baby is cute, can I touch her? It was very clear she was asking if she can touch her hand as the baby was reaching out to her.

The various mentions on this post regarding my "character" and my use of language was a major upset. As I am sure others are not perfect, and correct I am mother-bear around my charge (whom has a single father) and I would do anything for her, including protect her from a crazy lady!

Mea said...

I skimmed the responses but one thing not mentioned is the possibility of a cultural differance.. If grouchy mom was Mexican there is the whole "evil eye" thing. Some Mexicans believe it is bad luck to look at their baby and not touch it? Explains the screaming "don't look at my baby. " (but they usually they WANT you to touch their babies hand if you look at it.) Combine that with the elevator being accidentally recalled and mom probably felt invaded upon twice by Nanny and Charge. Mom reacted poorly but Nanny did also.

CompulsiveComplainers said...

All you compulsive complainers of wrong-doing are FUNNY. I wonder what your opinions would be if OP did that to stand up for YOUR child. And if she told you in real life what happened i'm sure most if not all wouldn't be ranting like you are on here. She did the right thing and if it was me i would of said alot more then ''whats up your ass?'' if that makes me a bad nanny then so be it, its your opinion and i could care less, I'd still say it.

CompulsiveComplainers said...

Good for you OP, I would of said it as well. And you're most likely alot better then the compulsive complainers on here at your job because you have that instinct to protect and not let others talk down to your charge. And you have a backbone. Kudos!