Have you heard about I Saw Your Nanny ? Apparently, parents, nannies, and general do-gooders/tattletales send in sightings of bad nanny behavior.
I’m conflicted on this one. There have been plenty of times when I’ve witnessed dubious behavior on the part of caretakers- both in my library and out on the street. And often, I’ve wished there was some way to contact the parents of these children.
The bad behavior I’ve witnessed has never crossed the line into abuse. At most, I would say I’ve seen nannies being negligent and just plain clueless.
Case in point: I knew a nanny who brought her two charges into the library almost every day of the week after school. For the most part, the kids were fairly well-behaved. But even the best kids have off-days and need, you know, adult supervision. This particular nanny would stare into space, chat with her friends, try to sneak-eat McDonald’s from out of her purse, and generally do anything except interact in any meaningful way with the two children she was being paid to look after.
The kids would climb the bookshelves, topple the furniture, scream out obscenities, run around barefoot. The pretty standard stuff kids do when left to their own devices. My co-workers and I were on constant patrol with these children and tried to impress upon the nanny time and again that she needed to take a more active role in watching them and perhaps show them a bit of attention once in a while.
Now, the kicker to this story is that despite her rampant neglect when it came to reprimanding the kids for things that were blatantly inappropriate, there was one thing she would not allow the kids to do: “annoy” the librarian by asking for…..wait for it…..BOOKS! That’s right. It was totally okay to knock books off the shelves and draw on the furniture- but ask the librarian to help you find a book? That’s where this particular nanny drew the line!
I don’t know what to tell you. I wouldn’t believe half the things that go on in the public library had I not witnessed them myself.
But getting back to I Saw Your Nanny. As much as part of me is tempted, I’m not convinced this is the most appropriate way to deal with negligent nanny behavior. What do you think?