16 July, 2011
Mariner Playground, Central Park, (85th & Central Park West) NY
Friday, July 15, 2011
Mariner Playground, Central Park, (85th & Central Park West):
I arrived at Mariner playground around 1pm and sat next to the nanny who was chatting with her friend, another nanny. It looked like they were there a while already. They were settled there, their stuff spread out, already deep in conversation. The canopy on her stroller was pulled all the way down so I thought her charge was napping. As I sat putting my son's sandals on, there was movement in the nanny's stroller. The nanny's charge was actually awake and squirming around. Suddenly, the nanny violently flipped up the canopy and observed her charge trying to get out. She picked her up, threw her back into the stroller, then flipped the canopy all the way down again in disgust. It was very disturbing. It looked like she actually felt contempt for her charge. She threw the toddler back into the stroller like a sack of garbage that she couldn't wait to get rid of because of the stink. I thought how sad for this child to be taken to the park, only to be kept in her stroller because her nanny would rather talk with her friend than allow the child to play around the playground. The toddler did not look old enough to just allow to roam around. She would most likely have to be monitored closely. But the nanny was too lazy to carry on her conversation while following and looking after the toddler.
Anyway, my son and I left our stroller and made our way to the sandbox. From the sandbox, I was relieved to see that the nanny finally let her charge out of the stroller. It was a little girl, maybe 2 or so, blonde or light hair, wearing a light or white dress and pink sandals. The little girl seemed excited, hopping and skipping. But I was disappointed to see that after 5 minutes of hopping in the area right in front of her nanny and her stroller, the girl was put BACK into the stroller again! After about 30-40 minutes, my son got hungry so we went back to the strollers. As we sat and had a snack, the nanny was yelling at her charge to sleep. She shouted at the girl, "Go to sleep Emma! It's nap time!" The nanny was very angry that the girl was getting whiny and interrupting her conversation with her friend. She was very cross and continued yelling at the girl, "Take your nap! Don't look at me Emma!" This was really bothering me by this point. The poor little girl was taken to the park where she was NOT allowed to play. Now she was being forced to nap in her stroller in the 85-90 degree heat. The girl became quiet. After a while, the girl said something again and then suddenly the nanny flipped up the canopy, smacked her two times and then whipped the canopy down again. I could not help but glare in utter shock at the nanny. Soon after, the nanny and her friend left my side and walked to the benches on the other side of the fountain. At this point, I took a picture of the nanny. She was wearing a black shirt dress. Dark skin, black hair, and black rimmed glasses. She had a hot pink protective skin on her iPhone or cell phone. She had an orange trim City Mini stroller, and matching orange trim diaper bag hanging in the back. My son started playing in the fountain. After a while, I could see that Emma moved or said something and then the nanny smacked her again. This time, Emma started crying loudly. The nanny ignored Emma while she cried. After a while, Emma finally fell asleep.
I feel very sad and worried for this little girl. Based on the fact that she tolerated it quietly until that last smacking, it seems she is regularly treated this way and used to it. The girl knows not to cause much fuss. If the nanny smacks her in public for whining about being kept in the stroller all afternoon, I can't imagine what she does in private for really challenging behavior. I hope Emma's mom or someone who knows Emma informs the family. Emma is not being cared for properly. The nanny does not even take care of basic needs. Forget about playing, teaching, or caring! It seems the nanny actually has contempt for her. I arrived at 1pm and left at 3:30pm and the nanny did not interact with or look at Emma, or even lift up that canopy except to smack her, and let her out for 5 lousy minutes. All the yelling was through the canopy. At no other time did the nanny speak with Emma, offer her a drink or snack, check her diaper, or check to see if she was sweating or had her neck straining while she slept. If I ever saw my nanny treat my son this way, she would be fired on the spot.
at 8:00 AM