18 November, 2012
Nanny Knows Best
I have been working for a wonderful family for about 3 months now, and MB just had a new baby a week ago. They have never complained about my performance, have done on-paper performance reviews, and have been references for other jobs I take on outside of my work for their family. They are an absolute dream to work for. One problem, however, is beginning to irk me, and I'm not sure how to address the issue with MB.
Their first child is two and a half years old, and still sleeps with a pacifier. While they have indicated they are "weaning her off", they are not following through with their word, and it is making for a strained relationship between myself and my charge (I am the "bad guy" because I actually follow through). I indicated over a month ago that I would try having her not sleep with the pacifier during naptime (they agreed to this, but I knew they were probably still giving her the pacifier during her weekend naps); initially (for 2 days) she asked for the pacifier, but after she figured out that I wouldn't give it to her, she fell asleep (albeit less quickly, but I have been rubbing her back to help her learn to self-soothe without her beloved pacifier).
Now that MB is on maternity leave, she puts her daughter down for naps and, yep, you guessed it, pops that pacifier in her mouth every time, without fail. I addressed it passively with her while we were all at the park and she said the goal for the pacifier is now to have it gone by the time she is 3 years old. This has also been the same process for potty training, by the way. When I put my charge down for a nap that day, she asked for her pacifier and I refused to give it to her. Her mother then said over the camera monitor (it's only on during naptime and is NOT a nanny cam!) to give it to her because "she sleeps longer for her". At that point I gave her the pacifier, rubbed her back to calm her down (she had been crying furiously because she didn't want to sleep without the pacifier so mom would hear and intervene, which she did), and left the room.
I have tried to give up and "not care" about the issue, but I just can't put it to rest in my head and I am internally furious every time I have to hand over that pacifier. This is not helpful or healthy for ANYONE! I am seriously concerned about the oral care of the child, as well as her ability to manipulate her mother (she doesn't behave the same way with DB or me because we say what we mean and follow through). Clearly, these are none of my business, as I am just "the help", but I feel like they are giving her the pacifier for their own motivations, and are hindering her health and her emotional growth in the process. Now that she has to share her mother with a newborn baby, she cries and whines at the drop of a hat, screams, etc. to get what she wants with mom (and it usually either works or results in a bribe, which also bothers me). I know toilet training can be a slow process (and she is showing progress in that area) so I am less worried about that aspect. Am I overreacting? Do I address the issue more assertively with MB and DB, if at all? I am tired of being the mean nanny. - Anonymous
at 7:19 AM