I think it was Metrodad who first alerted me to I Saw Your Nanny. For those of you not familiar with it, it's a site where people document bad nanny behavior they observe at local parks, playgrounds, etc., around New York City. Since I have a generally low opinion of the majority of humanity, I initially considered this a useful service, exposing what I assumed to be rampant neglect and disinterest among the majority of care-givers in the world (ignoring, of course, my own occasional neglect and disinterest, which I'm certain is wholly justified during those moments I feel it).
We don't have a nanny per se, so it's easy to sit back and judge the choices of others. But Oodgie doesn't get much of a break taking care of Cheeky, so we do occasionally hire a nanny who works down the hall from us as a part-time babysitter during the day so she can focus on
her knitting her business and maintain some shred of humanity get some personal time. We've known her for a long time and observed her with kids, and felt confident that she takes good care of Cheeky. That's not to say that she doesn't occasionally spend more time on her cell phone than necessary, or that she gives Cheeky the same love and attention that we would give her, but considering the alternatives we're pretty happy.
A couple days ago she came back from the playground with Cheeky traumatized. According to her, she was at the local playground right by the Promenade, and Cheeky wanted to see the boats on the river. Cheeky, being tired, irrational, and three insisted on staying strapped into her stroller, so the babysitter pushed her down towards the river. According to her, a woman, apparently perceiving a child trapped in a stroller against her will, began yelling at her and taking pictures with her cell phone. A shouting match broke out, and the sitter, visibly upset, left as quickly as possible. Cheeky was asleep within two minutes of the altercation, and the sitter came home quickly and told us about it.
My first thoughts, upon hearing this, were:
- If someone--anyone--was taking pictures of my kid without my permission I'd yell at them, too. And if they threatened me about it I'd break every bone in their face.
- If she was taking pictures, they'd no doubt surface on I Saw Your Nanny.
- What the fuck right does she have to intercede in our child's life unless there's imminent danger involved? I may look down on your as a parent, but I've got no right to lecture you on how to raise them. I leave that to the La Leche nazis.
Oodgie and I have been checking out the site to see if something would get posted. Sure enough, it showed up yesterday. As I expected, the story was one-sided and judgmental, although her description of the battle of words definitely gave us pause and made us worried about who our sitter is hanging out with. We obviously don't know the real story and can't disregard everything this woman said, but we know 80% of the players better than her, and feel like our sitter's side jives better with the personalities involved than the paparazzi.
But what troubled me was the comments. Holy Christ, people are small-minded and awful. Attacks were initiated, accusations were made, and tiny little egos were bruised. It quickly devolved into the sort of name-calling and brow-beating you normally see on that sphincter of a website, UrbanBaby (which I won't even dignify with a link because simply thinking about connecting it to my blog make my skin crawl). Oodgie even went on to the site to make a comment, and was yelled at for being a bad parent and accused of being the nanny covering her tracks.
WTF PEOPLE HAVE YOU NOTHING BETTER TO DO WITH YOUR BRIEF, COWARDLY TIME ON THIS PLANET THAN TO VERBALLY DEFECATE ON OTHER PEOPLE WHILE CONSTANTLY REFRESHING YOUR BROWSER IN A MASTURBATORY MANNER IN HOPES OF SOME VALIDATION FROM YOUR EQUALLY SELF-SATISFIED "FRIENDS?"
OK, got that off my chest.
Anyway, maybe I'm being unfair...I acknowledge that I don't know shit about anything besides ancient Greek history and 80s movies. And the whole Rashoman angle of he said/she said to this tale definitely makes a guy wonder if he's being blind. So at the risk of inviting unwanted scrutiny and bile upon this blog, let me ask you...what do you think? Is my distaste for this behavior making me stupid? Am I justified, or a dick? Is there a salient point to this madness that my feeble mind cannot grasp? And should we be more worried than we are? Let me know!