Nanny in NYC

A modern day Mary Poppins

Friday, September 29, 2006

I Saw Your Nanny

Last week I stopped to get coffee before Luke's music class. Next to the register in the little shop we frequent there is a display of Slim Jims which I don't believe I've ever given much thought at all. Luke, on the other hand, has apparently been giving them some thought, or at least decided to that day, because he looked up at me, pointed clearly at the Slim Jims and said, "Lukey like dat!". To which I immediately replied, "No you don't, you've never had one," and I proceeded to purchase my coffee--as if that was the end of the conversation.

But, of course, Luke was not so easily persuaded. He stood up in the stroller and began chanting "Lukey want dat! Lukey like dose!" He went to that critical point of shrill hysteria almost immediately. I stood there in the store thinking. I knew he had to be making it up. There was no way his parents had ever bought him a Slim Jim. Truckers eat Slim Jims, not proper little boys. But, after tears and a near tantrum, I gave in! I felt defeated and like a terrible nanny, but I just couldn't handle the tirade that day.

As we left the store, with Luke sucking happily on a chemical treated stick made from god knows what animal byproducts, I was terribly frightened that someone would see me. Who wants to be that nanny? The meat byproduct nanny? Not me, that's for sure!

And now, thanks to a recent article in the New York Times about conflicts between nannies and parents over the feeding of children, I am too well aware that Big Brother is watching. In my case, Big Brother is the website I Saw Your Nanny. On it you will find people reporting every imaginable nanny offense, but the majority go something like this one:
White, brunette nanny with very bothered disposition who took two children about 2 & 4 into starbucks so she could get a coffee at a kind of busy time. Nanny also selected some sort of bread type pastry and waited for a seat. The children had nothing, not even water. The nanny sat and had her coffee and pastry and kept correcting the children who were not content to sit still in a coffee shop on a busy Saturday morning. (Why were they even asked to?). The boy was blonde (and needed a haircut unless he is trying out to play a younger brother on The Suite life) and his name was Daniel. He called the nanny "Em" ( I think). I wanted to tell the nanny to take the kids to the park and plop her butt on a bench so that the kids could at least run around! It is a beautiful day outside. And no, taking a break at Starbucks is not a bad thing, but it seemed rather obnoxious for the children to sit there with nothing!
Without going to the archives I counted 7 postings that all involved the, apparently shocking, offense of drinking while caring for children, and yes, that's drinking coffee!!

I can't really work myself up to be outraged over the site, though. Reading all the various posts was good fun, and the comments seem to be frequently written by people who are sane and realize that frequently caffeine is a large part of enthusiastically caring for children. Plus, I will admit that I've seen behavior (by nannies and mothers) in the parks that is abhorrent to me. Perhaps I'll become a contributor . . .

Technorati Tags: , , Whistle Blowers, Slim Jims


Blogger patricia said...

i have power with my job and noone can take it away. not some nonimous tateltale

4:16 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow, Jackie..
For you, it's all about power...? Well, guess what? Someone can take it from you, and if I were your employer and saw your spelling ability as represented on this site, I'd not want you supervising any of my children over age six. The nannies I've known and grown to respect don't feel "powerful". They feel wanted, needed and loved, give back in kind. They are also there to give guidance to their charges. Sometimes this includes help with homework. They are there for the children and because of the children and because of their kind and loving hearts.
I must admit being somewhat concerned over your self-proclaimed "power". This is probably the main reason I'd not want you anywhere near my children.

5:45 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

As an expert on nutrition, I can say Slim Jim's aren't the best. But, having an infant too, sometimes it's best to let them have a "treat" so that they won't obsess about forbidden foods later in life. If I had a nanny, I would suggest guidelines, and include foods allowed on occassion.

On a different note, my brother (who was raised with a mother serving a wide variety of vegetarian food as well as meats) loves beef jerky. Is this an extension of early Slim Jim intake?Not sure - but everytime we take a trip together he has to stop to purchase his beef jerky. I guess nothing satisfies the primal hunger like dried, chemically treated meat products!

9:16 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

While I think the Slim Jim episode is far from horrible, I agree there is behavior that should not go uncorrected. So often I see caretakers in the park handling their charges inappropriately. What makes matters worse is that people don't know who the parents are so they are unable to report the behavior. They are left to posting and praying as I like to call it. Now there is a better way. Last week on Donny Deutsch's The Big Idea, they talked about a new service called They have a small license plate to attach to your stroller with a number on it so people can get a confidential message to the parents via a registered email address. Hopefully this will put an end to all of these bad nanny sightings and nannies will instead be noticed for their loving care.

7:28 PM  
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6:50 AM  
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5:55 AM  

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