Friday

CAN YOU KEEP THOSE CHILDREN QUIET?

New nanny here!

I had a third party suggest me as a live-in nanny for a family in Philadelphia. We met, interviewed and they hired me. And now I live in Philadelphia!!!

I have never worked as a nanny per say, before. I worked in a daycare and at a camp. I have never lived with anyone that wasn't family.

I figured it would take awhile to adjust but I am also afraid the family is not happy with me. I really want to keep this job.

One complaint I have heard to my face is that I do not keep the children quiet.  The father is a musician and works late into the night and likes to sleep very late in the day, sometimes until dinner. It is summer time and I like to keep the kids busy but it isn't always possible to be out of the home. What do you do when a parent says, "Can I get some quiet in this house?" all of the time? Like I said, it is summer. He seems to be a very grumpy person, like he yells a lot. Then when he does wake up, sometimes things are going on. One time, he woke up and his son and I had built a tent in the dining room with blankets and chairs and stuff. He walked in and got mad and said, "what the fuck is this? This is why we have a playroom, a backyard. This is why they have their own bedrooms." Then he kicked at the fort and went and made something to eat, but slamming drawers and cupboards the whole time.

I don't feel he likes me. I really wanted to make this work at least for a year. The mom is a physician and doesn't yell or stuff. She seems to like me.

Trouble on the job? Email isynblog@gmail.com.

Thursday

#Nannylife in 27 Tweets, #4

 #nannylife in 27 Tweets


























Literal Confirmation on Why I was Fired

I understand that you have the right to terminate me. Just for the sake of closure and so I know for next time, I'd like to know if I did something wrong or offended you.

I really don't want to get into this with you. Good luck.

So I'm fired after two months, no warning you were unhappy, no severance and no explanation.

Apparently.

You're professionalism is astounding.

Your appetite is astounding.

What does that mean?

Steel Cut Oats? Vodka sauce? Pretzel bites?  Chuby Hubby ice cream? Lemon Wafers? Genoa by the block? Since you insist to know, I could not afford to continue to feed you.

I responded after that, but not as nicely or succinctly. So let's stop here. But.... Why are all these skinny, boobless, hipless, soulless New York women so consumed by what the live in nanny is or is not eating?

Send your experiences to isynblog@gmail.com.

Bad Nanny Sighting in Rye, NY

Location: Rye Recreation Park in Rye, NY
Date: 7/29/15, approx 10:45 am
Description of Nanny: I'm not sure if she was an American or an au pair, but she had no accent. She  was white, had blonde hair, large round face, big forehead, wearing mom style blue jean shorts (no pockets & elastic waist band) and a white t-shirt with a peach/orange abstract design on it. If it was a logo, I did not recognize it. She was on the taller side and slim, built like a boy.
Description of Child: The child was 4 years old and had dark curly hair and bright blue eyes. She was a little chunky and wearing a yellow pair of shorts overalls with a striped top underneath it. The little girl at some points was wearing a denim baseball style hat with a white flower on it.
Incident: I arrived to see the nothing out of the ordinary but some adults sitting and walking around and children climbing. After ten minutes, the nanny said "Nina" or "Lena" come here for sunblock. I didn't know what child she was speaking to. I saw your nanny reading an US magazine. She went back to reading, but occasionally would shout "Come get sunblock, NOW" very loudly. She did not even look up. After about ten minutes, she stood up, exasperated. She realized eyes were on her and she softened and went to find her charge. The little girl ran from her from one side of a structure to the other, and then to the swings, through the swings, etc. It could have been comical if the nanny wasn't on my radar for being angry at the child. The little girl, and I mean little, pushed an empty swing and ran past the nanny. The empty swing hit the nanny and could not have hurt her in the least. The nanny grabbed it and slung it really hard and fast towards the child. It hit the child MUCH harder than the swing had hit her.The little girl yelped and stopped and turned to her and said, "that wasn't funny". The nanny said, "running from me is not funny. When I call you, you had better come." Now she looks at me and another mom and said in a sickening sweet voice, "I don't want your sweet little face to get sunburned". The nanny grabbed her hand and the child resisted but the nanny led her to the bench. I pretended to look away but watched her apply the sunblock roughly and haphazardly. And what happens next>? The little girl starts crying that she has sunblock in her eye. Like hardcore crying. The nanny told her, "oh stop, I told you, you have to have sunblock on". The kid is crying, "You put it on my eye." So the kid is crying and the nanny nudges her away and says, "go play". The child is rubbing her eye frantically. And doesn't move. A mom near her says, "maybe rinse it with some water, do you need some?" The nanny goes to a white Toyota SUV with the child and gets a gallon of water and is working on the child with the door open. The kid is crying. The nanny is saying things like, "oh calm down, this is going to make it better". The kid and nanny come back from the parking lot and the kid is soaked, her hair is soaked, her shirt is soaked and she is still rubbing her eye. And crying. The nanny again nudged her to go play. The girl again started to cry. The nanny then kind of yanked her and said, "that's enough" and loaded her in the car-seat,. I didn't like how she treated her in public. That nanny has no patience or empathy!  PS Side note...It is possible she is one of those Mormon specialty nannies.

Send nanny sightings to isynblog@gmail.com.

Placement Fees

Roger Vaughan Picture Library
I recently opened my babysitting service-nanny agency, and one of my babysitting client families is contemplating hiring a part time nanny through my agency. DB is in residency, works insane hours, and MB is a graphic designer who currently stays home. They had a nanny who quit without notice, which forced MB to be a SAHM. From what MB said, the nanny quit without explanation via text. This family is incredibly sweet, and I'm sad I can't babysit for them in two weeks.

My search fee is $300, compared to the $450 and $500 that my competitors charge. My part time fee is $600, while my competitors charge $1100-1500. Doing the math, it's obvious I am cheaper, yet I'm not super cheap. I love this family and want to help them, because MB is essentially a single parent with DBs hours. They were my first family signed up with my babysitting service, which is why I'm unsure how to bring up the subject of fees. I don't want to break them, but I don't want to screw myself and I won't place for free. I'm thinking waiving the search fee and 30% off finders fee. I have a candidate in mind for them with terrific experience, and I mentioned this to MB. What would be a fair fee to both and how do I bring this up? MB said she had to talk to DB about budgets, etc. This family gave me a glowing recommendation, and I love the idea of my first placement.

Wednesday

Father's Helper.. A Lame Gig

Taylor Price
Hi, A question and a rant, maybe. I don't know.

Background: My best friend and I were both looking for summer nanny jobs together. I ended up taking my job first, and it was for a mother's helper at $12.00 per hour.My friend got her job two weeks later and it is a nanny job at $18. an hour. I took the first job I was offered because I wanted to work.

As it turns out, we are 15 minutes from each other in towns on the Hudson River. I work from 7-6:30. She works from 7-6. My first complaint is that I do more, not less than her for my money. I am a mother's helper or father's helper. Whichever parent is with the kids, and it is mostly the mom, I am her right hand. I cook, clean, toilet, make beds, do laundry, play games, read, run, swim, etc. My friend does all of the same but without a mom staring her down the whole time and for $5 more per hour. I'm just saying, mother's helper jobs are a scam and a half.

Now I can do the work and do the work without complaint. It isn't this family's fault, I have a great job to compare my job too. The kids are sweet. We're doing lots of fun things.

I do have a problem with the father. He takes the mother's helper role to the extreme. He is always sending me for something. Literally told me to "go fetch the sunhat from the trunk" and he said that in front of people. Also, he is a bit overweight and hairy and he wears what look like football under shorts for his swimsuit. I can clearly see the outline of his wiener, as can everyone. I mean, I can see veins, it's that clear. I'm hoping that August ushers in a new swimsuit or I might just have to spend some of my pitiful earnings and get him something from Target.

Another problem with the father is that we go to the beach a lot. He doesn't communicate well with me at all. Like he will take one child in the water for a far out swim and not tell me.. or he will set out with two children to go the snackbar and send one back, and meanwhile, I wasn't expecting it or looking out for the child.

The father also has asked me every day to put lotion on his back and it isn't the spray stuff. He hands me a tube of banana boat and says, "Laurell isn't here, so I guess you're up, go crazy". It's just weird. And usually other people are around.

Lastly, when with the father, we meet up with other families at the beach. And if someone like needs to take their child to the bathroom, he says to them, "let the nanny do it". That would be me, taking a strange child to the bathroom. I said as much as, "I don't know this child, I think that would make her uncomfortable" to which my boss said, "oh Nina's been through so many nannies, the kid won't even care". and then I find myself doing it, which is wrong on so many levels.

My job goes through labor day. I have let this go on too long. Rather than involve the mom, I would like to handle this directly with the father and practice being assertive. Any ideas of how and when to start the conversation? We are also going away next weekend for a Thurs/Fri overnight at Hershey Park. I feel I need to address this in advance because his brother and sister in law are also going and I can just see myself shepherding 5 kids!

Tuesday

The Hungry Chef

Jan Brewerton
     My nanny often complains that there is nothing to eat in the house. I don't understand what "nothing" means. She knows we don't keep soda and chips and ice cream in the house. I feel like we are not in balance nutritionally. I come home and everyday she has made something. Peanut butter fudge, chocolate cake, cinnamon babka, pudding, smores, etc.  I get that she tends to cycle more towards always hungry, but I think all of this baking to feed her appetite is churning an appetite in my own children. We always have plenty of fruits and vegetables in the house. I even left out a recipe book with fun children's treats like insects on a log (celery with peanut butter and raisins). She's even made ice cream (chocolate berry) out of our fresh berries and chocolate. The problem is not that her creations are not good, they are. I would just prefer that my children eat fresh peaches plain, and cut up bell peppers, and strawberries with no sugar.  How can I get her to understand that I don't want my kids to go down this path? Does anyone keep junk hidden in the house for the nanny so they don't bake themselves silly? How does that work out? She is a live-out but works long, 11 hour days, M-F.

Nannies, what's the food situation like at your job? Email isynblog@gmail.com

Excessive Selfies on the Family Desk Top

Kamile Karadeniz/ BlackBlackSea
 My nanny has been uploading pictures from her SD card to our PC to use the editing software. These are not landscape or children photos but a whole lot of pictures of herself, posed around our property. The time stamp on the photos seem to indicate they were taken fairly consistently during morning nap or afternoon nap. I just wonder how normal this is?

I really wish I could include the photos so you could see. They are a little risky, many showcasing her abs, artistically edited to be black and white or high resolution. The more concerning pictures have to do with her holding things that belong to us (bottle of champagne, fireplace poker, frying pan, etc. There is one picture of her with her tongue stuck very far out and on it is the cake topper from our wedding. (?)  There are pictures of her  posing on railing or sitting rather provocatively on the swingset and more than a few with her doing handstands and back bends in strange place (sandbox, bathtub).

I viewed these photos from the recycle bin of the computer. Do I need to address this? She's been taking care of our twins for 7 months without issue.

Bad Nanny Sighting at Indian Road Playground




Location: Indian Road Playground in NYC
Date: Monday, 7/27/15
Description of Nanny: African American black nanny with short, fluffy hair, medium skin, tall, long neck, wearing gold bangles, white jeans with rips in both front thighs and white t-shirt with a gold cat on it that said "My Pussy". (really)
Description of Child: Chubby white girl in red short sleeved dress, with blunt bob haircut, bangs, brown hair and blue eyes. The girl was wearing a silver ID? bracelet on her left hand.
Incident: I Saw Your Nanny mistreating your child! I saw the little girl asking to go home and complaining that she was tired, hungry and thirst. The nanny told her, "oh you always hungry, go play". She said that to her multiple times. Finally the girl came back and said, "But I really am thirsty". The nanny took out a Mott's Apple Juice box, popped a straw in it, took a long drag and then handed it to the girl. The girl said, "But you drank it." The nanny said, "Yeah, so, you can share." The little girl said, "But I am really thirsty. I am playing, you are just sitting". The nanny said, "Yah you're playing, I'm working, go on now." On this day, it was really warm and muggy out. I brought my child to play but we only stayed for 20 minutes because it just felt unpleasant. This nanny and child were still there.
Email you always anonymous nanny sightings, good or bad to isynblog@gmail.com.

Lila's Nanny in Hoboken, NJ




Location:Hoboken, NJ at the Monroe Center
Date: July 22, 2015
Incident:
I saw your nanny at Monroe Center in Hoboken on Wed. July 22. and Monday, July 27. Your daughter (named Lila) was in a blue stroller. Both times the child was upset and crying. The nanny was yelling at her to stop crying and was saying mean things to her, threatening her and mocking her.. I heard her say “your mommy told you not to cry and I will tell her you didn’t listen” She gave your daughter food and yelled at her for getting crumbs on herself the first time. On Monday she was telling her that she wasn't thirsty that they would be right back home. I tried to assess if an older sibling is going to theater camp there or maybe Mom works at the Monroe Center, but could not.
Submit your nanny sighting, good or bad to isynblog@gmail.com. Always Anonymous.

The Rash Reveals the True Colors

Jodi  Cox
     I have been debating on whether or not to share my story, but all of my hurt feelings have led me to share. I apologize for the length, I just really wanted to get it all out there.

     I was with a family for two years and I absolutely loved them. We amicably parted ways when the girls started school, back in February. I picked up a part time temporary office job while I was interviewing with other nanny families to keep up with my bills. Everything was going fine, I hadn't had as many nanny interviews as I would have liked, but I was holding out for a full time permanent position that I could be happy with. After the office job ended, I still hadn't lined up a nanny job, and I was going to be behind on my bills soon if I didn't find one. I was panicking, but one day I found great luck! I had interviewed with a family the past week and they called me to tell me that although they had chosen to go another way, they thought I would be a great fit for their friend who had just lost their nanny, and she gave me the mother's number. I called the mother immediately and she told me I could come for an interview that morning. At the interview I met both parents and the twin 18 month old girls. They told me that I would be their fourth nanny, but, save for the last nanny, they divulged the reasons they were let go and my worries were gone (They later told me that they did not know why the last nanny suddenly quit). The interview went great and they asked me to start the following Monday. I was so excited! I would be working 45 hours a week for a salaried $650. Less than what I was making before, but not horrible. On day one of the job, MB and DB both stayed home to show me the routine and it went fine. The next few weeks MB left for work before I arrived and came home after I left, but DB worked construction and would go to work at different hours, but he was usually gone 2 hours after I arrived, and would be in his home office until he left. He would occasionally come into the playroom randomly and talk to the kids, but they never really fussed when he left so I didn't mind, but it did feel like he was kind of checking up on me.

     It all changed when one of the babies developed a slight diaper rash. She was teething and although I told DB the rash could be linked to that, he said "no, diaper rashes are ONLY caused from yeast, you aren't changing them enough, so no more outings for the week". I felt like I was being punished but I kind of understood so I let it go. I even started a diaper changing log so the parents could see that the girls were getting changed regularly. The rash went away after a day of using cream and powder and DB didn't mention it again. Fast forward to the next week. DB's construction job ended and while he had another job lined up, it wouldn't be starting for a month. In the time between jobs, he started staying home ALL day. He would not leave the house. It made me a bit uncomfortable, but I tried to deal with it. I went into his office one day to ask him if I could take the girls to the library, and I saw one of his computer screens open to the nanny cameras that were in the playroom and nursery. It was open again the next time I went in there, too. I was kind of freaked out. Every time I was in the playroom after that I felt constantly watched and uncomfortable. I know the nanny camera was there before, but there was definitely a difference between parents checking in, and being watched. There were also things he did that I thought were odd. He would brag about the things he bought in a way that made me think he was trying to make me jealous (even though he was definitely not the most wealthy person I have worked for). And he would bad mouth his wife and mother in law to me! And, on the rare occasion the mom was home, they would have fights in front of me. It made me very uncomfortable.

     One Monday when I came in, DB said (in an almost threatening tone) "the girls have a rash again, its bad, but we're gonna give you one more chance to fix this problem". The only problem was, there was no rash when I left on Friday, and the rash was very severe. That week, again, there were to be no outings. He was checking in on me every hour to make sure I was changing the girls, and even counting the diapers in the diaper genie. He was very rude and made every day I worked that week feel like a hundred hours. The rash didn't go away for about a week, even with medicated creams, and I got the blame.

      The event that made me realize this was NOT the family I wanted to work for was so ridiculous, but it really showed DB's true colors. On Monday after the rash, I brought up to DB that I might be taking an evening cosmetology course to finish my hours so I can become licensed, and I may need to start leaving 30 minutes early in a few months. His response baffled me. "That should be fine but you should know that cosmetology is a dead end field, you won't make ANY money there, you should get a real degree like an MBA, because you're never gonna make as much money as I pay you without a real degree, this is EASY MONEY and you should be more appreciative". I was shocked, but he went on to say "Oh , and when you get your purse ready at the end of the day, you're way too eager to leave, you should come 15 minutes early and stay 15 minutes late". Then he left. I wrote up a resignation letter after that but threw it away after I calmed down.

     Every day that week I was miserable, from the time I got off the time I went in the next day, I would be extremely anxious about going to work. I couldn't get my mind off it. That Thursday, I overheard him yelling and cussing at his neighbor for something that, frankly, was none of his business. That night I decided to write up another resignation letter, and I was going to give it to him sometime Friday so we could talk about it. Friday came and I chickened out. I decided to just leave the note on the counter as I left. I couldn't even work up the courage to do that. So, although I felt bad about it, I sent both DB and MB the same text a few hours after I left that evening, detailing in a professional manner why I was quitting. I received no response from MB, but the text DB sent me actually made me cry with anger.

      "You are not as good as an employee as u think you are. You young and immature. Your generation has a huge sense of entitlement. The kids had constant diaper rashes, you took too much tome off, and all your excuses were pretty lame." (copy+pasted)

     I took 2 days off. One because I was legitimately sick, and one because my grandmother had a stroke, and I don't think those reasons are "lame". I now am looking for a nanny job again, but I will definitely not work for a 4+ nanny family.

Share your own experience on isynblog@gmail.com.

Monday

Bickering & Emotional Abuse

art from the Irish Times
Does anyone else have fighting parents?

My female boss is bitchy with her husband but only as needed, because he doesn't seem to get anything or do anything. He is mean to her, like cruel. He says terrible things to her in front of me and the children and I don't know what to do. I'd like to leave the room, but the last time this happened, I was literally frying fish. 

She was complaining about him not being around this weekend to take the kids to get swim team supplies. He said to her, "You want me to play the Dad role, but you have no problem subcontracting out your mom role" and some other stuff ending with, "don't kid yourself, you're no mom."

How do you handle it? I feel myself getting nervous, my heart beating fast and almost feeling panicked. I'd rather not deal with this at all, but imagine that I will be so I am hoping for advice!

Have a question, experience or sighting? Email isynblog@gmail.com.

Keeping Mum and Sending Mail in The Hamptons

Estiu_Iv Orlov
I am in the Hamptons with the family I work with. Dad comes down three days a week. It's mom and I mostly. She has a large circle of friends with children 2-10 that her children play with. My job is to follow the kids wherever they go. Even if they are playing at Mrs. Mack's house, I am there. If they are invited to the beach with Mrs. Jack, I go.

I see a lot. One thing I saw that I know I should not have seen is Dad in town on Thursday before he even announced his arrival to his family. I can't use any location specifics because I have a non disclosure agreement so I can't say more, but I saw him on Thursday day with the nanny of one of the families that their children play with. Because of where they were and what I observed, there was no mistaking that they had a physical involvement.

I sat on this morsel of information all weekend and watched Mr. Big as her went about his Dad and husband duties. As a woman, it scared me, because there was not a clue that he had just been finger pleasuring a nanny that he separated from with three meaningful kisses. 1,2,3.

On Saturday, I took the kids to the beach with Mimi, Mrs. Smith's nanny. Mrs. Smith showed up and sat up her chair next to us and began reading. Then my boss came with her chair and sat next to Mrs. Smith and began talking and reading. Next, Mrs. Jones, her child and the nanny that was with my boss on Thursday came to the beach. Let's call this nanny Annie. Annie got in with us and introduced herself to the other moms. I didn't catch any pause or anything, and believe me I was watching. Annie was great with the kids and we made the sort of nanny chit chat that nannies make in front of the parents.

My male boss calls my female boss and they have a conversation, He says he is going to stay over one more night and drive to the city the next morning. We all heard this conversation. When my boss hung up, she said he was staying and she was going to try and get a dinner reservation.  One of the details confirmed the identity of my boss to Annie. Then Annie's whole demeanor changed. She started doting on my charges. Rubbing their hair. She was looking at them all dreamy eyed, I swear like she was imagining them as her own. Out of the corner of her eye, I could see her assessing my boss.

Annie made a big show of talking about taking her charge to see a movie that night and inviting my charges, As an after thought, she invited the other child in the group. My kids were not interested because it is more of a boy movie. She then tried to convince them to go. Telling them it would be so much fun, that they could go get ice cream after.  I interjected that maybe we could meet up for ice cream because I might take them out that evening. This shut Annie the nanny down.

My boss then left the next day for the city and is due back Wednesday night for the weekend. This Annie nanny has been stalking us, I feel. Like, she has a bike and I  have seen her ride past our house very early in the morning. I don't think the situation is dangerous because Annie seems insignificant, especially to my boss. I don't know what he was thinking. I don't see a way for me to share what I saw, especially because the details are crude, and the people would no doubt deny it and I would look foolish.

At the same time, I am feeling very territorial over the kids, the house and my female boss, like I don't want to let her near. So this morning, I went to the post office and mailed a letter to Mrs. Jones at her residence here. It says simply, "Please talk to your nanny. She is throwing herself at married men and behaving like a depraved whore".

Now I wait. I figure I did the best I could with what I had to work with. What would you have done?My boss is totally composed, polished and professional and this nanny is just skanky. Watch your men, women. If I hadn't seen it with my own eyes, I would not have believed it.


School Supplies

Keillly
     I have been with this family for 7 weeks and my boss is still trying to show me what a good person she is. I am a single mom and my 5 year old will be starting kindergarten in the Fall. Friday evening, she went through the whole "how was your week thing" and then got a serious look on her face. She said, "I have given this some serious thought and I want to take care of the school supplies for *Jane this year. We could get her set up with everything she needs and it would just make me feel good to be able to do that for you."

     Okay, nice right? Except that I don't know what she is thinking. My daughter is starting public kindergarten. At best, she needs $20 of supplies. Is she suggesting coats and shoes and clothes? She really had this conversation with me using a whole lot of drama, like it was a big thing. I am paid fairly, but not overpaid by any means. If she is offering to help, I want to take her up on everything she is willing to do because it is less for me to have to do.
I wasn't sure how to bring it back up, so on this last Friday (a week after the original conversation), I told her I wuold probably start shopping on the weekend. She said, "Oh no, wait, I want to take her." Now I am more confused!

The Things Parents Say and Do

I have worked in early childhood ed for seventeen years, have a degree in education, and extensive classroom experience. What would your reaction be to the following things parents have said and done?

A few weeks ago, I sent in the submission about the parent who had to deal with her child being sick, and her refusal to acknowledge our center's sick child policy. Her now 2 year old is adjusting nicely, and a support staff member mentioned to the parent we are doing everything we can to console him, and nothing is working regarding his crying. She drops him off at 715a the next morning, and hands me his favorite toy, bus-bus (a toy bus). I mentioned to her that he was doing better and it would only be a matter of time for adjustment. I mentioned he woke up during nap crying, and only slept for 45 minutes.

Her response: " 'Try giving him a bottle of milk before naptime. The bottle is like a pacifier to him. If that doesn't work, see if you can get T to come and help you. She is a whiz at stopping his crying' '.

My thought: 2? A bottle of milk? Huh? Have his 8 year old sister come in and help? How can she help, more importantly, who actually takes care of your kids, because you obviously don't.

This same child was dropped by MB's boyfriend, whom is like DB to him. I made a comment to BFDB, stating that he is doing a nice job adjusting to the routine, but there are still tears. BFDB told us (me and my co teacher) that he had to talk to MB about their schedule and putting her foot down about the waterpark.

His comment: " 'I have to talk to her and tell her we can't do this anymore. They (the 2 and 1 year old) are in daycare from 730a-800p, because the girls want to go swimming, and they (the 2 and 1 year old) can't go, so they go to the club's daycare for two hours while the older kids are in the pool. We pick them up around 530-600 here, go to the club, leave at 8p, feed them dinner and put them to bed.' "

My thought: No wonder why he craves attention, and has no listening skills. Try paying attention to him for once and see what happens.

MB had said something to one of our directors about having four kids being too much work for her. Tell me why she had four kids?

This family drives a brand new car, gets state assistance for childcare, has four children enrolled full time (two are full time summer) and drops them off at 730-800ish picking up 530-600ish at night. They drive school buses during the school year.....I don't think they work during the summer. And MB has a small claims suit against her for over $2K from their previous center, which was dated in March of this year....Interesting.

A new child recently started this week; we had no idea she was starting. A director walked in with the parent and introduced us. This child, 2.5, has been in group care before, and it will take time for her to adjust, but does she scry (screaming cry)! We attempt to redirect the scrying by engaging her with toys, which she sometimes throws because she wants to scream. Yesterday was terrible-a director came into help us and see if they could help the child relax, the child did nothing but scry. The director suggested we call MB to see what she would suggest to help calm the child down.

Her response: "I don't know how to get her to stop crying, so I will come and take her home' ".

My thought: Nothing. I didn't know what to say.

I don't know MB that well, but from what I can see, she is a flake.

Care to share your own? Email isynblog@gmail.com.

The Grandparents

The Kyrie Gallery

I am just starting to get nervous because I am taking the kids to their grandparent's house in Illinois for the second time this summer. I agreed to this in April when I started. Besides this, the job was great. My first week in Illinois was terrible.

The Grandparents have a regular house and live very frugally. I don't think they have to. I shared a room with the five year old girl. It was hot. There was a fan in the living room I asked to take to use in the room. The grandmother came in at midnight and turned it off, fearing the 5 year old was freezing. I had no privacy. I had no space at all. They have two grandparent cars. I was told I could use them. Then the grandfather insisted on driving me when I said I wanted to get to town. I just wanted Burger King! Then when I asked him to drop me at the Mall, he suggested he would just sit and read the paper while I looked around. This gave me no freedom. I felt completely stressed the whole time. And I feel bad about that because they are very nice people. I never had time to make my bed or do a dish before it was done for me. The grandmother cooked every meal and doted on me. They aren't at all bad people.  This next trip is ten days. These grandparents are almost eighty. And advice from anyone about how I can make this more bearable?  I have no responsibilities while I am there. My biggest contribution is flying out with them and flying back. I don't want to hurt anyone's feelings either. I was almost thinking I should just have a coffee cup full of Seagrams 24/7.

Has anyone ever done a job like this?

Monday


We were prevented from posting anything yesterday due to a glitch within the system. Stay tuned as we catch up from our day off!

Saturday

Delicately Unbearable Racism

Pedro Henrique Ferreira
It occurs to me that White women, for the most part, don't know how to manage their black employees, especially when we fill domestic roles, which seem to come eerily close to being mammy or slave positions. And friends of White women surely don't understand how to deal with the black domestic in the room.

I have worked as a nanny for 9 years and as many families. I am a Brooklyn Born, Rutgers College Educated African American Nanny with lots of friends and a great sense of humor. I have great references. I work as a nanny because I love it, it pays well and I am great with children.

I seem to notice that a lot of racism rears it's head on the beach. I spend a lot of time on the beach and meet my employer's friends and children. I see some of the same people all of the time. I am quietly friendly and polite. I don't cower or crouch in the background. I play with the children and speak openly.

But the questions get tiring. So let me answer everything you seem to want to ask me while I am chasing a three year old into the Ocean or taking a break and reading a French mystery on my pink flamingo beach towel.

Yes, I swim. No, I don't know why so many people seem not to swim. Yes I am aware Jamaica is an Island with miles of beach. I have heard that many Jamaicans don't swim. I swim. Also, I am not Jamaican, nor am I Caribbean. I'm an American.

No, I don't play tennis. Yes, I have strong thighs. I am not a particularly fast runner, but I do wonder are you asking because of my strong thighs or because you imagine I've had so much practice running from the law? No, my parents don't live in Trinidad, remember, I am an American. My parents live TOGETHER in Brooklyn, DUMBO. My father is a retired machinist and my mother is a NYC kindergarten teacher.

No, I don't think I have that "steel wool hair" or that "good black hair". I have my hair. Yes it gets wet. No, I am not afraid to get it wet, did you see me in the ocean? I don't want to answer your questions about whether or not this is my real hair. Is that your real hair color? I don't want to educate you on hair extensions and weaves. No, I cannot approximate the cost of a full weave.

No, I have never gotten sunburned, Yes, I wear sunblock religiously because my health and skin is important to me. Yes, most of the children I care for are white and tend to be fair. No the parents don't need to worry about me "remembering" sun block. I get it. Did I mention I have a Bachelors of Art in Mathematics? And I'm a fairly functional member, of society? And I've worked with children for over 12 years.

No, I don't have children. No, I don't send money home to my children in Jamaica, remember, I'm a Brooklyn gal? Yes, I imagine that would be hard to work here and send money to support your children in another country. I have no other information about said arrangements, but thank you for your concerned and sympathetic eye contact.

I can't speak to whether Black Women are notoriously hard to work for, but you phrased it in such a way that you clearly don't need my answer. I have worked as a nanny for a rainbow of families and they have all treated me well. Why would any nanny stay with a family that didn't treat them with respect and appreciation.

No, I don't think my boss hired me because she could be sure that the kids wouldn't accidentally call me Mommy or the Mommy and me teacher would assume I was the baby's mom. I think she hired me because I was the best. It's horrifically offensive to assume that the mother hired me because the father "wouldn't be tempted."

Yes, there tend to be a lot of Black Baptists. No, I don't care to talk about religion with you. And on that note, unless I know you and we are having an actual political conversation, don't ask me about Obama. "Let me guess you voted for Obama both times," what is that, humor? I love to talk politics and religions but I also believe in tact and grace and the place for that isn't with people I just met on the beach surrounded by shovels and sandy Chips Ahoy cookies.

"You've got that good black skin," I was told at a barbecue last week. As opposed to what? The regular, garden variety, bad black skin?

I am not hardened. I have not lived a hard life. I did not grow up in public housing. My parents graduated high school. My mother had her Master's degree. I don't have a recipe for fried chicken for you nor can I tell you "the secret to good grits." What is my favorite food? Bacon, lettuce and tomato. (No, I'm not Muslim and no, I don't know why young black men seem to be popping up as Muslims.)

Yes, this is my real nose. Are you asking because it isn't as wide as you think it should be? What music do I listen to? Jazz and 70's soul. I don't have an opinion to share with you on police brutality or #blacklivesmatter. Thank you for clarifying that all lives matter.

And my favorites, how do you spell your name? THE REGULAR WAY!
and "you are so well spoken." True That.

Thanks for listening,
Stephanie


Friday

Am I Being Ripped Off?

Igor Braggin
I have been working for a family for about a year now. This is my first full time nanny job although I have extensive child care experience. The family has 3 children and the children as well as the parents are extremely rude and difficult. I often leave work stressed, overwhelmed, and frankly sad that these children are going to grow up thinking it's ok to treat people like garbage. Anyway, I'm getting a bit off the issue here. Although the family clearly has a lot of money, they don't pay me very well for the bs they put me through. Since I've started working for them, I've traveled with them several times. It has always been extremely stressful and they seem to think there's nothing wrong with making me share a hotel room with the three children. They act like I should be thanking them for taking me on their vacations. I was relieved when they said that they were planning a 9 day vacation that they would not need me for. However, when I looked at my schedule for the upcoming months, I noticed that they have tacked extra hours on to each week. My boss stated that they did this to make up for the hours I have off while they are gone. Is this normal? I was under the impression that since it was their vacation, I would not be penalized but I guess I was wrong. Am I unreasonable for being upset by this? The thought of weeks and weeks of overtime with kids that fight constantly makes me want to scream.

Things You shouldn't Say for $100

This is semi in response to the post from the mom looking for wording on how to ask for a specific nanny. I have noticed my boss make subtle hints about my weight over the winter as it climbed. Subtle meaning, "you should try running", "Do you play raquetball, it's a great workout". Last week, I came upstairs in shorts and I could see my boss literally grimace.

My boss is about 5'1 and 95 lbs. I am 5'10 and 210. After sat about making my breakfast, she ambled over to me, looked at what I was making (steel coat oats, slice of cheese) and said, "I really wish you would make more of an effort to keep yourself healthy. Are you going to be able to play soccer with Evan in the Spring?" I was not prepared for that and chocked back my emotions. I gave a her a confused look. I know I have gained weight but I am not built like her, nor am I unhealthy, nor have I have an outrageous amount of weight. I bike ride about 5 miles per day, every day.

I'd really like to address how she makes me feel about my weight with her in a sensible way. She also has two daughters, one who is a chubby 5 year old and one who is a rail thin 10 year old. I don't think her attitude about my weight is good, and I can't imagine she is not messing with the kid's heads. Having said all this, she is not a bad person. She has been a kind and generous employer.

Advice? I want to make her THINK about the things she says and looks she gives so she makes changes, not make her mad, not show her, etc.