The Long Story with the Big Wicked Smile

    I have a really different and embarrassing situation. If I shared just half of it, I don't think you would understand why I am so hesitant to say anything. Last summer, we hired a summer nanny. I work for myself, so I set my schedule but was trying to put in extra hours to free up midsummer to go to our summer house for a month. During the first three weeks, I was in and out often. My children are school aged, were fresh off for the summer and had a lot of activity and desire to do things. The nanny seemed to assimilate immediately. The children had no complaints of her. I noticed some things that I would have minded if she was going to be long term, such as her messiness and lateness, but as I said that first three weeks was very busy. The nanny would take the children to the club to swim, to lunch, even to a Yankee game. I provided petty cash and a credit card.
     This is a lot of background, but kind of essential. The first week at our summer house, she and I went up with the kids and my husband was due to arrive Thursday. The week went fine. I had other help to combat the messiness and since we are vacation and she was living with us at the house, punctuality was not an issue. I can't even say I minded spending time with her when we were all together. On Thursday night, my husband came up, we went out to dinner. The next morning, we provided her transport to her home (about 90 minutes away).  I had a car service pick her up on Monday morning and she arrived as scheduled. My husband was going to go back to work the next afternoon, so we were going to have dinner out again. The nanny watched the kids again at night, not a problem. It was a late night that night as we met up with old friends. Everyone was asleep when we came home. The next afternoon, my husband left and things seemed to go on as planned.
     The housekeeper was straightening up and the nanny and kids were out at the beach when I walked in. The housekeeper was complaining about the room the nanny slept in, that there were food wrappers in there. I told her just to throw it out and that I would say something to her tonight. I heard the housekeeper say, 'I don't know what is trash and what isn't'. So I walked in behind her to see if it really was that big of a deal, There were food wrappers and postcards and magazines everywhere. Also souvenir bags and a bag from a fudge shop. I asked the housekeeper to hand me the fudge shop bag, remarking that I would tell her to keep the food in the kitchen. Curiously, I looked to see what she had bought and noticed a charge slip in the bag. This only stood out because the nanny did not have a charge card.  It didn't set off any alarms at first, since she took the kids for ice cream and candy, and of course she should have gotten something for herself. Right? What is the difference between an ice cream and a box of chocolate.
     After I heard the housekeeper leave, I went back in the room and looked in the other bags. Trying to wrap this up, but she had bought herself about 1000.00 worth of stuff on my credit card, just on the receipts there. I knew I had a problem. I called my husband and he said I needed to confront her. He was meanwhile going to check the charge card for previous balance. I didn't confront her until after dinner when the kids were upstairs.
     She immediately began to yell at me. I came at her calmly. She asked why I was in her room. (This is why I provided the back story). She didn't just yell at me about going in her room. She yelled at me about being an absent parent. She made remarks about how much time I had spent with the children on vacation. When I told her my husband was checking the charge card for other charges, she got mad and said, "you told him?". I told her of course that I did. She claimed that she only bought the things because she didn't have a charge card and she was going to pay me back with my salary and if I had a problem with "our arrangement" why didn't I say something before we came out to ____. She then went to her room and slammed the door and started packing her things. The children were alerted to the argument by her loud voice and I sent them outside to roast marshmallows. My husband calls back and asks about some charges. There wasn't anything especially alarming as they were all places she took my kids, but clearly by what she said to me, some of those purchases had been her own. I told my husband how she was acting and he told me to hang up and call the cops about what happened there, since those charges were there. She stormed out and said, "either you need to get me transportation or give me money and I'll find a ride,but I cannot stay here like this". I told her my husband told me to call the cops.  She then got a big wicked smile on her face and said, "oh, okay, do that." I looked at her funny and she chuckled and said, "I took pictures of what was left outside on the patio table, the alcohol, the drugs." I stared at her blankly. She says, "yes,before I cleaned up the cocaine residue and the card used to cut it and threw out the magazine with the powder traces on it and threw out all the beer bottles, I took some pictures. Because, I certainly wouldn't want to be blamed for child endangerment or possessing illegal drugs." Now she never showed me any pictures, however, the truth of the matter is that last night we were out late, some friends had come back to the house with us for drinks and they are cocaine users. I didn't admit or say anything but called  a local taxi for her and paid cash and sent her on her way. She then demanded that I pay her. I was alone, nervous, and didn't want my kids to hear this, so I wrote her a check for the full week. She left. Later I explained some parts of it to the children. My husband came back out. He didn't like how I handled it and assigned blame to me. All of that was last July.
Wicked Women | Rosemary Valadon
So, now to my point. I have an acquaintance I know in the neighborhood. Our regular nanny has play dates with her youngest child at my house with her child and vice versa. Because I set my hours, I know this nanny and she knows me. I happened to see the child who is in the same school, but not grade as my oldest with a new nanny, who is, you guessed it...the nightmare nanny from last summer. She really did steal from us, as much as $2200 in credit card purchases and possibly cash too.  I don't feel I can say anything to my friend because the nanny came at me with such vengeance when I confronted her. Then of course, I too am worried about any pictures she might have taken. What would you do? When we saw each other at school pick up, she looked right past me, but didn't say anything. My husband assures me she won't do or say anything, that I am overreacting, but he wasn't there. My confrontation of her for stealing from us was the worst moment of my life. I felt completely powerless and foolish.
    Your  thoughts?
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mary said...

Nanny sounds like a psycho, but you should have come harder at her. I think she sensed weakness. You got to come hard this time around.

Anonymous said...

It's terrible that the nanny stole from you. There's no excuse for what she did.

BUT What kind of crazy parents are you having friends over who use cocaine around your children. Even if your children didn't see it it's totally irresponsible of you and CPS should be investigating you and your husband. Your children could have been removed from you and both you and your husband could have ended up in prison.

Considering your lousy judgement as parents I'm not suprized you chose a crazy nanny.

s mann said...

You made a bad call bringing her into your home, she stole from you and got the goods on you. If she has a picture, she can still turn it over.

DO NOT EVEN THINK about warning the acquaintance.


Forget the people trying to shame you. This is your home, your family, your town. She needs to lose the job that brings her proximal to you. I wouldn't even go through her current hire. I'd bury her through contacts at the school. I'd dig up any dirt on her that you should have gotten before you brought her into your home and slip it to people connected to her current employer. I'd call the current employer and say I was calling from the bank about some suspect credit card charges. I would bring that bitch down with such a vengeance, she would piss herself on her way out of town.M

Anonymous said...

Report her stealing from you. Even if she has pictures of what was supposedly there how do they know she didn't use? Why didn't she call the police if she found something like that and why did she clean up evidence if she wasn't guilty? You shouldn't be allowing cocaine users at your house especially since you have children. If you weren't aware of what was going on besides some drinks and you didn't use drugs then I wouldn't worry. Don't allow her to blackmail you.

Angi Martin, nanny of 30yrs said...

The moment you allowed drugs in your house is the moment you lost any leverage, respect or standing. When you paid her a full week, you essentially "forgave" her theft. She is a wretched nanny. If you confront your friend, be prepared for CPS to come knockin.

Anonymous said...

If you don't want to be investigated by social services, I would let it go. Dude, you shouldn't have coke lying around when you have kids.

Anonymous said...

I don't think the coke incident has any bearing currently. Honestly all you would have to say is you have no idea where that came from and for that matter you think perhaps it was the nanny's, since she was the only other resident STAYING at the home.

That being said, if you don't use drugs you have no reason to worry about CPS so I say call the cops on her, warn your friend, and get that bitch nanny fired.

I've nannied for plenty of families and omg I wouldn't even DREAM of doing something like that! Charging over 1000 on someone else's CC?! HOLY CRAP!

I'm lucky to make 12.50 an hour at most of my jobs, jesus.