Thursday

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?

Saturday

I need to vent.... and want opinions please!

I need to vent (and ask opinions of other fellow nannies)

I am the nanny of a 3 year old and now 4 month old baby. I was working 60 hours plus a week and the parents recently hired a pt nanny who comes 2 half days a week. I like the parents I work for; but the parenting sucks.. It makes for my day pretty rough. Currently training the 3 year old on the potty. Parents have him sitting on his little potty in front of TV. Child was doing fabulous until a few days ago where he just refused to go. I (the nanny) have him in big boy pants all day and he (the child) loves the idea. He wants to be the big kid. When mom has him it's straight to the pull ups- although child doesn't want to. Yesterday (child was going to school with mom- it's a preschool/ parent involved class) He was in big boy pants and I told him he needed to go potty before he left with mom. I mentioned that he had big boy pants on. Mom said I don't want to deal with that at school- he needs to be in pull ups. Child had a total melt down- he wanted his big boy pants.. Parents don't encourage at all.

Other ways she really makes bite my tongue...

Since we hired the new person- I thought it would be nice for the older child to spend quality time with me- I've been with him since he was 5 months old- so I asked mom if it would be okay to take C out while new person was at home with baby- doesn't want baby out in cold- mom refused. "I don't want new person to do nothing while baby sleeps. All he (older child) wants to do is play". No he wants someone's attention!!!! And that's really hard with a little one...

Since new person can set her own days (I'm okay with this) she set to work M and W of next week. Mom has an important conference (C school day) at work; and so I asked her if she wanted new person to come over on that day and I would take C to school. She refused.. "I don't want to change her schedule if I don't have too- um she was changing it anyway as she is going out of town... Really?

Every since baby was born and mom has gone back to work- things in her have changed. I know she is stressed about work and I give her the benefit of the doubt; but I am so frustrated.

Help! I'm in a Pickle!

So I'm in a pickle. I started working with this current family a little over a year ago. I was at the time working about 45 hours a week but they were very flexible. I was paid a weekly salary. I had vacation but never had to use it because I worked most of my hours in a few (long) days and the other days were a few hours here and there. The long days were rough but having the early long weekend was worth it. Well when I was interviewed they said no cleaning would be involved. If I had time, I would clean a little and do some dishes. I would also take the kids out to activities, something else they never asked for. Well suddenly if I didn't do the dishes they would mention it as if it were a requires duty. Also if I didn't take them out one day I was grilled about it. Then the hours changed. I was told i would still get out earlier one day a week but when the time came I was still pulling 5 long 10-11 hour days. I'm also in school at night and they knew this when I was hired. When I finally mentioned this they seemed very annoyed. They've seemed to be trying to work with me but only temporarily. So after a while it will go back to the other hours. I'd love to work with them but I need shorter days or maybe 4 long days and 1 regular one where I can just get out a couple hours early. I've nannied and worked in centers for years. I also don't get paid for the overtime that I've started working and she had promised a nanny contract but still hasn't "gotten to it" over a year later. Those are all things I should've mentioned before and now I'm so burned out. Idk what to do. Any advice? Am I being crazy or is this not ok?