Inattentive, Menacing Nanny at Barnes and Noble on Broadway & 82nd

This isn't really a nanny sighting, but it is. I was at the bookstore with my own charge and we were in the children's section looking at books. I take him there about once a week. We usually read a few books and then, per his mother, he gets to pick out a book.

While I was sitting there reading the picked out books to my charge, a little girl who was maybe 2.5 came and sat very close to us, She put her hand on my thigh and really leaned in to me. I let her sit next to me but carved some appropriate space between herself and the stranger. I noticed right away when she came to sit down that she was very congested. I tried to focus on reading the story but was watching her for sneezing and where she put her hands and watching her very clogged nose.

After I finished reading three stories, we still saw no one approach or even look in on this girl. I wasn't sure what to do. I told my charge, "now do you want to go pick out your book" and the little girl said, "I want to go pick out a book". My charge was excited and flew to the section with the plane books and I had to follow him. Meanwhile the little girl grabbed my hand. At this point, I am just catching up to my child, my responsibility. When I got to my charge I let her hand go (it wasn't easy).  I then bent down to look at the books with my charge. When I did this, I went down on one knee. The girl hopped up on my extended leg. By this point, atleast 10 solid minutes had passed.

Just as that happened, I was about to fall off balance because I wasn't expecting anyone to sit on that leg. She was about to slide off the back of my leg and I reached up to stop her. Just at that exact moment, because that's how my life goes, her nanny comes around the corner. Looks at me. Looks at us bent down in what must have looked like a hidden posture and saw my hand very basically near her backside and she said, "WHAT THE FUCK". I continued steadying the girl and helped her off my leg and I was shocked. I didn't have time to think of what to say because this nanny went on with her. "What the fuck are you doing with this child. Who are you? Do you know this child?" It went downhill from there. I stood up, picked my charge up at the same time and hoisted him on my hip for protection because he was covering his ears to block her out. She looked at me and my charge and said, "Who he? Is this your boy, hey, is this your mom?". This made me charge burst into tears and start crying, "I want my mommy, I want my mommy". She tried to stop me from leaving the children's area, which I did leave, and left the book there, which my charge then stopped screaming from. She asked me "Are you abducting that child? I am going to ask you one more time, are you abducting that child?" I told her she needed to calm down and watch her language because she was scaring all the children. With that, she whips out her phone and says, "its about time to get the police involved". I kept walking. She started to follow me but her charge burst into hysterical crying and she had to bend down and comfort her. She told me, "Dont you dare leave this store" and "Girl I will
follow you to the street" and "Don't make me get rough".

As I am walking away from her, trying to sooth my charge who is now crying for his book, I'm looking at the other shoppers. They look at me like I must have done something to have this woman so outraged. I couldn't get out of the store fast enough. I was shaking and about to burst into tears myself. I went in a deli, got some tea and then took a cab to another bookstore where we picked out another book. This time, we were in and out.

So, how does a nanny leave a child for over ten minutes and then come and yell at anyone who is providing the child attention? I was about to wipe her snotty nose, for no other reason that I was afraid that she was going to get snot on my leg. She sat next to me, tried to hug on me while i was reading, grabbed my hand and even hugged my leg at one point. The whole time I was looking around for where her mom or nanny was. I did nothing wrong but this horrible, lazy nanny humiliates me and makes me look like a fool and terrorizes my charge.

When my boss got home, I told her the whole thing and my voice was still shaky.  I am so glad that there are security cameras in most places. If you have 2 1/2yr old-3 year old, white orbi racial/asian child with dark hair and brown eyes who was wearing a blue striped sundress on 7/9/2015 at 3:20 and was at the Barnes and Noble Bookstore on with your Black American nanny wearing a short sleeved denim shirt, denim jeans and gold flip flops, you need to assess your childcare arrangement. I would never hurt a child, but that child was alone for so long, that someone could have left with her or taken her to the bathroom or who knows what. I think the nanny knew that and she was deflecting. I'm, wondering if she went home to you and told you a story that painted her like a hero?

Send your nanny sightings and the like to


nc said...

That's crazy! I don't understand how she can be so worried about her charge when she leaves her alone in a book store for that long! You could've easily walked out of the store with her charge in that time. I hope her parents read this.

this_nick said...

This is definitely a sighting. This woman ignored her charge then got aggressive with you. At any rate, you need to be bark to stand up for yourself and your charge.

At the point this woman started accosting you, it would have been better to immediately seek out store employees to handle her crazy. Let her call the police; if things went down like you say they'll have access to the store's security camera to back you up. This shouldn't have led to you breaking down in front of your already scared charge. Buck up - some people are horrible. Better to learn how to navigate through them calmly so your charge feels assured.

RBTC said...

the HERO is yourself - number one for being so great and attentive to your child and super- teaching reading and 2. for taking the time to make us aware of that evil woman - the word 'nanny" does not apply

you got it right - she was 'deflecting" - which is too nice a word - there is actually a psychological term for it - when someone who is narcissitic and evil accuses others of their exact own bad behaviour

keep on doing a good job and let us know any updates - your charge is lucky to have you

this_nick said...

How the hell did autocorrect get "bark" from "able"? Though it would have been epic if you just started barking at her -- woof woof!

RBTC said...

"PROJECTION" that's the term i was looking for. She was projecting her own behaviour onto you

RBTC said...

i agree that if at all possible you need to confront this person, but i also know how people like them are - she can read you in a second and tell that you are gentle and kind - if you were a barking bad-butt she would have known immediately and ran away

if you see this person again - be very careful, get a pic, a name, anything- it may save that little girl, but do not let her bully you again

Angi said...

You did everything wrong and thus put yourself in this predicament. You need to stand up for yourself and be voistrous in these situations.

The first mistake was allowing this child to cling to you and do nothing. You should yelled out "who is tending to this child?" And then address the problem. If no one answers, walk over to the librarian and discuss the issue. You also had an opportunity to say something to her about her lack of interest in the child and that the child is putting herself at risk (not being properly taught or looked after) for a real nutjob to take advantage.

You acted unprofessional, put your own child at risk of illness and dealin wtih the unnecessary stress and didn't even speak up.

As a nanny, you need to toughen up and learn management skills.


Bets said...

I think some of these posters have it right. You let her rattle you. There's nothing scary about a confrontation. I wouldn't have run. The other nanny probably thought she was rescuing her charge (and quite possibly your charge) from an unidentified kidnapper. By running you 'confirmed her story. Let her call the cops. You could've then told them about the unattended child. B&N has security.

My friend works at a B&N. Lots of parents/caregivers use it for childcare She says many of them drop their kids there unattended for awhile. It's a horrible habit. Very dangerous.

If it had been me, I'd have notified an employee right away that this child was unattended. If for no other reason than not letting your charge miss one on one time with you.

What a horrible nanny! Leaving her child and then trying to shift blame on to you!

Deb said...

Angie, I have to say I disagree with much of what your comment said. This nanny is responsible for no child but her own and was not required to do anything about the little girl but make sure she wasn't in immediate danger. No, the child shouldn't have been alone for so long, but that isn't the author’s fault.
Once confronted, OP put the needs of her charge first, removing him from the situation, attempting to calm him, and doing what was necessary to keep herself together so she wouldn't break down in front of the little guy, scaring him further. The are other decisions she could have made but it's very likely that, as confrontational, agressive, and unpredictable as the irresponsible nanny seems, alternative decisions could have worsened the situation.
She could have stayed and yelled back or even just calmly tried to set her straight but that could have resulted in a verbal or physical altercation. Her charge could've been even more terrified than he already was, he could have been forcibly removed from OP in a misguided attempt to rescue him, or he might have even been injured.
She continued about her day, satisfying the promise of a book to her charge, fulfilling the parents' wishes, and was open and honest with her boss, preventing many possible surprises. She could have done things differently but there is absolutely no evidence that things would've turned out better and, while it was a negative event, the child is safe and will probably forget the incident in a week. I think the way she handled this unfortunate happening was far from "wrong" or "unprofessional." She stayed as calm as she could (really, as calm as could be reasonably expected from her under the circumstances) and refused to engage her hostile accuser, diffusing the situation by leaving and not escalating it.
Kudos to you, OP, for keeping that little boy safe and calm in a no-win situation.

RBTC said...

well stated Deb

Anonymous said...

^^^^ Exactly!!

nc said...

Great points Deb!!

Anonymous said...

Disagree all you want. I've been in this situation may times as kids are drawn to mw and have done exactly what I've said. Her lack of action put her in the spot of being speculators of child abduction and public accusations JUST like what happened. This story is living proof of what can happen. If the other nanny had her way, the OP could have been taken into custody for questioning. You don't have to agree but this is just one scenario of what happens when you allow this to happen without taking action.


Deb said...

She did take action by taking care of the only child for whom she was responsible. The other nanny didn't get her way because OP refused to escalate an already hectic situation. The aggressor didn't have her name, number, or address and didn't follow her so there was no way for the police to take her in for anything, or for the other nanny to attempt to contact or harass her or continue the issue. You accuse OP of single-handedly causing this incident, assigning no blame or responsibility to the catalyst. It is not her fault she was wrongly accused of child abduction, but the fault of the accuser, wildly and thoughtlessly projecting her fear and anger at the possibility of her charge being hurt.
I'm glad your tactics work for you but, based on the other nanny's reaction, this is very likely the best possible outcome, and it's a pretty good one; everyone is safe. Is it possible for someone else's techniques to work as well? There is no single right answer anywhere in childcare. Things that work out aren't mutually exclusive.

Anonymous said...

By not separating herself from the child from the get go....she put herself in this predicament. Had she gotten am employee involved, the rest wouldn't have happened. Instead, she let it continue and thus the rest was born.


Deb said...

I'm going to repeat myself: the one in the wrong here is the nanny who let her charge go unattended and overreacted. OP did say she tried to put distance between herself and the little girl. I'm not saying getting an employee would have been a bad idea, but would've been very easy for the missing nanny to become angry and offended by the immediate involvement. It would've been just as easy for her to see that, in reality, the child was in no danger when she found her, thanked OP for keeping an eye on her (though she has no obligation), and been more careful in the future. Instead, the volatile nanny reacted intensely and she was the one who caused the situation.
OP did not lure the child away from the other nanny. She did not attempt to abduct or hide the girl. She did the job for which she was hired and focused on her own charge. She could've immediately told an employee when she saw the other child, but there's no guarantee that would've gone well. There is, however, a guarantee that if the other nanny hadn't lost track of the child or hadn't completely lost her cool, everything would've been fine.
Again, I'm glad you've found things that work for you. They may or may not have help here, we'll never know. Some people are unstable and overreact very easily no matter what you do. OP did not, as you insist, make the worst possible decision. It's not as if she was actually kidnapping kids. There is more than just one right way to do your job, to be a good nanny and look after the child for whom you were hired.
I've said all I have to say on the subject and don't wish to repeat myself further, nor do I intend to continue this conversation. Have a lovely day, Angie.

amanda said...

Hooray Deb, boo Angie.

this_nick said...

Angi while there were things she could have done differently (namely, not panic), you're being unreasonably hard on her. OP did not cause the situation. She simply didn't know how in the moment to deal with Crazy Bitch Nanny's behavior. Lesson learned; I'm guessing in the future she'll think to immediately get an employee to take over their unbalanced customer should something like that occur again.