I figure I don't really go off on rants all that much (maybe Mark will disagree), but this really set me off today.
Where we live is a pretty well-off demographic area, and we see lots of nannies with their charges at our playground. For the most part, they're lovely women who are involved in their kids' lives. One bad one can ruin the day for everyone, though...
Sam and I arrived at the park, and he made a beeline for the sandbox, which contained two brand-new plastic wheelbarrows. Anyone who knows Sam knows that it would be a chilly day you-know-where before he'd pass up a chance at one of those. Trouble is, two kids - a girl about 3 1/2 and a boy about 4 - had them cornered, and they were not about to share. "Noooo!" yelled the little girl. "I'm using that!" whined the boy. I glanced around - no one watching these kids, apparently. Lots of moms chatting on the bench, a few grouped around the slides, all spoken for by kids. Except for that one girl on the bench zoning out in the other direction listening to her IPod. I had a sinking feeling. Fine, we'd find something else to do. What ensued was me taking a gradually escalating Sam repeatedly away from the sandbox where he was making a grab for the wheelbarrows, the kids continued to refuse to share, and I started making louder statements about how "maybe we can all work out how to share, since you two have had a long turn now." I was getting sympathetic looks from the other moms. IPod girl was still zoned out. I eventually went over to the bench and asked pointedly, "Does anyone know who's with those kids? Because I'd like to work out a way for us to share the toys." Nothing. Finally, I became bossy mom. I went over to the sandbox and said "Look, guys, Sam has been waiting for a turn, so let's figure this out. Can you guys share a wheelbarrow while Sam pushes one around?" Sure that was fine - just "not mine." Grrr. Finally, I was noticed by IPod girl, who came over, and managed to drag Lauren, the girl, away from one of them. "How about we play with it for 10 minutes and we bring it back?" I asked, in the absence of any constructive input from the nanny. She petulantly agreed. So, Sam finally got his turn, and the kids had snacks on the bench. After 10 minutes, I told Sam it was time to return the wheelbarrow to Lauren. And he did.
Look, lady, the point of nannying is not to just make sure that the kids don't get killed or kidnapped at the park, which you were barely doing anyway. It's to provide them with guidance and attention until their parents get home. I wish I could talk to your employers about how you did your job today, but unfortunately I don't know them and probably wouldn't have the guts if I did. All I can do is write my little scree and feel a little better, and hope that this isn't representative of the rest of your day.
Whew. I feel better.
6 months ago