Quick Take: The Hands that Rock the Cradle

While riding on the subway to my small childless apartment, I began peering at the newspaper article being read by a burly superchocolate man seated to my left.  Strange, I thought, why would this guy be interested in a New York Times piece called,  “Spies in the Sandbox”?  

No, it was not a high tech piece on the latest surveillance gadgets used to ferret out local insurgents but a blog, ISawYourNanny.blogspot.com, used to capture caregivers in the act of mistreating their charges.

ISawYourNanny.blogspot.com, which is said to have had over a million views since its inception in 2006, focuses, in part, on “bad nanny sightings”.

In some areas of New York City (most of the comments/sightings are of and by New York City nannies), you would be hard pressed to find a white woman pushing a white child in a stroller.  What is often found are brown women, of varying hues and ethnicities, carrying the book bags and diaper bags of white children whose mothers are absent for one reason or another.

I often wonder how these children will treat adult black women who aren’t caregivers but co-workers and bosses as a result of these interactions.

Regarding bad nannies…I have witnessed some behavior that I look upon disapprovingly.  Nothing so severe that I would call the local authorities.

Here’s some of what I have found:

High Heels and Tight Clothes

I see too many women in too tight outfits and high heels taking care of toddlers. Oh, hell no. Smaller children are excellent sprinters – Olympic caliber in fact. How is she going to run in heels without tripping and falling?  Good forbid a child runs into the street into oncoming traffic and she is unable to reach him/her in time.

And the clothing…Their job is not to bring sexy back but to be a para-mommy. 

Constantly Chatting on the Cell Phone

If you are talking on the phone, you can’t talk/engage the child.   Most people can’t, aren’t, allowed to have endless conversations during work hours.  Yes, they should be able to use their cellphones but only in the case of an emergency and only for short periods of time.

By the way, I rarely hear these caregivers talk to their charges in either harsh or dulcet tones.  I am sure that this having an impact on these children’s speech development which may eventually put these kids on par with a majority of black and brown children who have decidedly smaller vocabularies at comparable ages.

Hanging Out on Park Benches with Friends

The danger here is that nannies may become so engrossed in their conversations that before they know it, little “Tyler” has ingested a handful of pigeon poop. 

Yes, I Went There

By the way, how much do these parents know about these nannies?   Have these caregivers received any parenting training?  Are any criminal checks conducted?   Are hair and nail samples obtained for drug testing? What about their health?  Are they required to be tested for/inoculated against Hepatitis A, B. or C or tuberculosis. If someone was taking care of my precious cargo, I would want everything including a stool sample.

The bottom line is that there is not enough money in the world to make someone love your children, care for them, like you would. These nannies are hired help not your new best friend, “one of the family” or a surrogate mother.  If you need assistance, get together with like-minded moms and share child care duties. 

Parents must ask themselves:  How much is your children’s care and your sanity worth to you?

4 thoughts on “Quick Take: The Hands that Rock the Cradle

  1. I found this quotation interesting —

    “What is often found are brown women, of varying hues and ethnicities, carrying the book bags and diaper bags of white children whose mothers are absent for one reason or another.”

    Interesting because you point out that the mothers are absent, but don’t mention the fathers in a post that seems partially concerned with social equality and responsibility. Just a thought.

  2. The reason she addresses women, of whatever hue, as the main caregiver is because that is the reality. We can not change what we do not admit. 90+ men are not the main caregiver of small children, for that matter, neither are the mothers. It is very difficult, sometimes mind-numbing, backbreaking, long hours of work with “co-workers” who hit you, scream at you, cry, grab on to your every available limb, don’t take no for an answer, don’t speak any language for at least two years, and follow you to the bathroom and WATCH!!!! The author is right; no one will take care of your child like you will (and even you WILL be tempted to harm them at 3 in the morning after two nights of no sleep and days filled with excrement everywhere- them, you, walls!-and the darling screams “I hate you!”). So beware. High heels, tight clothes, chatting on the phone are the least of your worries- real nightmares are shaken babies, pinched chubby thighs, drugged children who “nap” all day and the unspeakable horrors of sexual crimes against children. Is 5 or 6 six years away from your career too much of a price to pay? Ask any friend who “grew up” in daycare or with a nanny. It’s called a choice for a reason. Children are not accessories, ask Brittney. I have three kids (none perfect, but happy and healthy), I hold a M.ED. and have been home with them. It’s not always fun, but I know that if they’re screwed up, I know who to blame.

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