When the Fired Weekend Sitter and Regular Nanny Meet Up

I hired a babysitter to work Saturday & Sundays. She worked for us 6 weekends. Things seemed okay. I was home most of the time so I saw how she interacted with the children. Three Saturdays ago, I came home and my son had a quarter size bruise on his neck, right underneath his chin. I noticed it when I went to kiss him goodnight. In the morning, I asked what happened and he said the "Beth squeezed my neck". I had him show me what he meant. I didn't want to believe it but I could see where that could be a bruise from a thumb.

In the morning, I waited for Beth to arrive. My husband took the children in the backyard. I told her I needed to talk to her. She seemed chipper and unworried. I sat down and told her about the bruise and what my son had said. She told me the she absolutely would never squeeze him or any child anywhere, let alone on his neck. I asked how this happened. She said the only thing she could think of is she was putting on his pajamas and he started to run from her, but she said she didn't think it would have pulled on his neck. She showed me what she was talking about. I didn't know what to do. I told her that I needed to speak to my husband. She said, "should I stay here?" I told her that I would call her and I paid her for Saturday and the full day Sunday. She was very quiet and looked very sad, and wounded.
Rosa Comelles
So I called her on Monday and said that I didn't know what happened, but that we weren't going to have her back. She started crying on the phone hysterically and said, "I can't believe you would think I would do that. I work with children all of the time, This is my reputation you are talking about." It took me five minutes to get her off the phone. I told her I only observed great interaction, but as a mother, I could not let an un-explainable bruise go without explanation. To be honest, at this time, I felt really bad and really torn. I was not sure what had caused the bruise.

Yesterday, my weekday nanny took the children to our neighborhood park and the nanny was there. My son went running up to her and gave her a hug. He introduced the nannies and they talked for awhile, never mentioning a bruise. She said she had babysat my kids before. I told my weekday nanny about the bruise and what happened (and asked her not to share it with anyone). She told me that it was weird and that she "didn't get that sense at all".

So, what is my role here? They are going to run into each other, my son greets her and the nannies talk- I am not going to tell weekday nanny to avoid her. The weekday nanny agreed that she might have done the same thing. She said the nanny didn't seem to have any bad feelings and didn't say anything negative. I feel like this is a loose end and I should tie it up?


Ali said...

How old is your son? Kids make things up for various reasons, whether logical or completely non-sensical. Example: if nanny goes away, he sees mom more, or he did something wrong and if you think nanny did something wrong he won't get in trouble. He may have made it up or completely misinterpreted something. It does seem you may have been wrong but intended to keep your child safe No Matter What. And that's understandable, but personally I think you over reacted. Kids get bruises. Kids play hard.

Jean said...

How old is your son? There are ways to ask children about incidents so that you don't inadvertently use suggestive language. The fact that he isn't afraid of her and is willingly giving her affection seems to discredit the abuse incident. One of my charges once told me to not to hit her while on the swings. I'd obviously never hit her or anyone else for that matter ever in my life, but it was during a big Linguistic development phase. She meant to say, don't push me (the swing). I'm glad noone heard that and assumed the child was being abused.

It's great that you're proactive and felt like it's better to be safe than sorry, but I feel your weekend sitter got a raw deal. I advise you to get a nanny cam. As a nanny, I love cameras as I feel that they protect me more than the child. Parents can see day to day how I interact with and love their kids.

As to your current issue, you are within your rights to choose to keep her away from your kids. You can ask the weekly nanny to avoid the xweekend nanny while your children are with her. Nothing you can do about their socializing on their own though. The fear for me - if I were your weekday nanny- is that at any moment you could decide I hurt the children and let me go. If I were you, I'd show a little trust. Add cameras for your peace of mind, but show trust. And if her judgement is sound, it will work out.

Kara Ivy said...

I think it was a misunderstanding. The fact that your son is running up to her to give her a hug shows he is not afraid of her. If she hurt him he wouldn't show that type of excitement to see her. Things get misunderstood all the time. With my current family the 22month old told her mom (in a 22 month old way) that I gave her

Anonymous said...

I think you overreacted. I understand your concern but this was ONE incident and the child didn't even have any issues with the firednanny. Children get bruises! Yes, even unexplained ones. I get bruises all the time I couldn't even tell you where I got them. Active households get bruises and skinned up,fact of life. Now, if the child was scared or upset with the nanny, change in his behavior and there were several incidenses, then I'd get it. You rushed to judge and now you're going to have to deal. GL!


Kara Ivy said...

An ouchie, the reason she said this was because she was with me when she tripped and scrapped her knee. Luckily, the my MB knew and trusted me that I didn't hurt her daughter and we laughed about it. See how things can so easily get taken out of context? I'd hire her back. She's seems like she really enjoy your children and also because she didn't seem worried at all when you first approached her shows a lot as well, you can usually easily see right through guilty people.

nannyrobot said...

One time recently at my job as a nanny, I was burping the newborn when the toddler came over and said, "don't hit my brother!" The toddler sometimes cries ehen she wakes up from a nap and when she is asked why she cried she says, "nanny got me." See how easily that could be misunderstood? Your child is excited to see her, which shows me that he doesn't think of her as someone who hurts him. I think it was a serious misunderstanding and instead of forbidding them to see her, you should admit your mistake and move on.

Jean said...

Your decision was unfair to the nanny. Great that you put your kids first- as you should- but it doesn't seem like she hurt him. He's in no way afraid of her. I hope you didn't complicate matters further by defaming the nanny. Did you share your suspicions with your friends and family? If so, her reputation is at risk. I don't think rehiring her is an option. There's no coming back from abuse allegations, but write her a glowing letter of recommendation and hope she's able to move on. In future, please remember that young kids are still very much learning vocabulary. Their ability to express isn't 100% accurate. There are books that will teach you how to ask without leading. Learn that in the -Heaven forbid- chance that your son reports anything else.

I will say I'm glad you took action though, it's good that kids see us responding to their needs.

RBTC said...

You were not unfair - we've had mothers on this sight wish to defame the nanny, you were very discreet, paid her etc. It's better to be safe than sorry. None of you was unreasonable, all had your son in mind and he is the most important consideration. If you feel a mistake was made - open communcations, but the idea of writing a great letter is a good one

You were not wrong to have your child be your focal point - don't let anyone say different

Anonymous said...

i love how a bunch of nannies rush to tell this mom she made a mistake. as a mother myself, i think an unexplained bruise is a huge red flag. and even if it wasn't caused by the nanny, this mom would always be wondering if her child was safe. always better safe than sorry.

as far as the nannies meeting up, i think you should just leave it alone. it's better that they're friendly and things aren't weird.

Some-Young Lady said...

I've seen bruises on kids that -I- thought were suspicious as a nanny.

I've also seen bruises APPEAR MAGICALLY on kids I was watching like a hawk, that didn't even fall.

Some people, children or adult, are more susceptible to bruising.

That being said, he's your child and of course he should be the top priority. I would say honestly you obviously have some reservations about nannies based on the incredibly fast knee-jerk response. But I don't think it was uncalled for or unwarranted, and I'm also NOT the nanny so I really don't know what happened.

If your kid ran into the street I may bruise them because I might grab them with a swiftness that you'd never seen before. Do I deserve to be fired because I saved your son from certain death?

If he had been in the pool drowning and nanny had grabbed him by whatever she could get, the neck being the first and a bruise subsequently there, would she deserve to be fired?

I think you should call her, talk to her, and offer to write her a letter of recommendation based on the fact that you'd learned your son didn't show any hesitation to run up and love on her, and that is a huge indicator of nothing bad having transpired. Explain the knee-jerk reaction; you are a parent, your child is everything, etc. I'm sure a nice gift card to a coffee place or music store if she's into stuff like that would be appreciated, or even just some cash if you felt so inclined, would be appreciated too but really the letter of recommendation and keeping your lips sealed about the incident further is probably the manner to handle this in.

I would additionally speak to the current nanny and inform her she is to under no certain circumstance share that information lest you BOTH be liable for slander/libel under your state laws. Make sure she knows if she told anyone to keep that going down the chain because it will NOT be just you, but everyone who knows anything about it that will end up under scrutiny over something that was never proven and therefore cannot be substantiated in court.

Good luck, please keep us updated. :)