Scary Incidents...

Recently a friend of mine posted an article on Facebook talking about the uptick in child trafficking in certain cities in the US. The article talked about a foiled snatching and the mother's sense early on in the encounter that something just wasn't right.

It reminded me of an incident a few years ago while I as out with my charges (triplets, then two years old). I had offered to do the family grocery shopping since MB was having a busy week at work (and I enjoyed getting out of the house haha). She texted me a list, I packed up the kids, and off we went to Costco.

Since the shopping cart only had two seats/seatbelts, I had two of the kids buckled in and carried the third one on my hip. We got to the checkout and I pulled up to the self service kiosk, put the child down by my leg, between me and the cart (with the cart angled so she'd have had to climb through my legs to wander off) and began checking out.

I was not distracted at all, I had the cart full enough forward so that I could put things from the cart to the belt without breaking line of sight with the kids (because even though kidnapping was the LAST thing on my mind, I'm a bit paranoid lol). The kids and I were chatting as we checked out - stuff like, "Oh, here are the oranges! You like oranges, don't you? Here's the broccoli - what color is it?" Etc.

Two women were standing over by the other checkout line, hanging out. They had sodas from the snack bar but no shopping cart or items. They looked over at us and watched for a bit (which I'm used to when we go out - triplets are a bit of an oddity and my charges are CUTE). They walked a little closer and the first woman started asking questions - are they triplets, how old are they, etc. I answered politely but shortly and did not encourage the conversation.

At this age, one of the triplets was much smaller and fairer (and to be honest, "cuter") than the other two. Suddenly one of the women stepped right up to the cart and put her hands around her in a way that just scared me without being able to articulate why I was so freaked out (I realized later that the way she touched her was like she was figuring out how heavy she was, like how much effort would be required to pull her out of the seat).

I'm generally a person who gives everyone the benefit of the doubt and not a "scene" person at all, but I basically went into mama bear mode. I picked up the child by my legs and stepped between the kids in the cart and the women. I said, "Please don't touch my child. I don't know you. You're making me uncomfortable." They didn't immediately back off or apologize or any response that a normal person who accidentally scared someone might have. I kept repeating it, getting louder each time.

By now people were definitely looking, and the women left. I was freaked out, threw the groceries in the cart while still blocking the kids, and went out to the car, being hyper aware of my surroundings. I opened one door, put rhe kids inside, tossed the groceries in, and locked us all inside to calm down.

I definitely didn't realize while it was happening why I was reacting the way I did (a lot of warning signals I wasn't consciously aware of and only realized later) and I'm sure I looked like an easy target (single adult, three young kids, trying to check out and keep everyrhing together). But it was actually kind of a good feeling after to know that I instinctively responded the way I should have, if that makes any sense.

Has this ever happened to any other nannies or caregivers?


Leigh Raymer said...

This could possibly be one of the most important posts this site - and the internet - has ever received.

I know this is not the same thing - but my neighbor has a beautiful chihuahua and people are always trying to grab/hug the dog. When I met the dog I asked my neighbor and the dog "Is it OK if I pet you? ?" My neighbor said "wow you get it! It's not ok to touch someone without permission"

kudos to this nanny - she can protect me anytime

Anonymous said...

This is my first time on this site, and I'm already very unimpressed. Maybe this nanny shouldn't have had three kids by herself at Costco. I would NEVER send my nanny out by herself with three children that aren't all old enough to walk on their own. And honestly, not for a second do I believe she pushed a huge Costco cart with two children and groceries in it AND carried a child on her hip. Dramatic for the sake of being dramatic. You know, I can make up stories too and submit them to sites like this. I was excited to check this site out until I read some of these stories. I thought it was a site about nanny warnings and things to watch out for in your nanny. My bad.

Anonymous said...

I was at Krogers with my charge who was 2 years old at the time. I realized at the deli counter that i left my purse in the car. I asked the counter person if I could leave my cart (obviously take the child with me)- she responds by saying " You can also leave your child- we will watch him" Um I think not!!!

nc said...

I'm pretty sure this story has been posted before. I remember reading it previously...

Leigh Raymer said...

this post was written by a member who contributes regularly on giving well thought out advice to other nannies on this site. Her writings are always sincere and helpful, we also posted it on our facebook, also we do not make rules that posters cannot post in other forums, we post 99% of what is sent to our email which includes bab and good nanny sightings and advice to nannies from moms and other nannies, and more

Anonymous said...

I think so too. I remember it.