Thanks everyone for your input. Awesome advice as usual from the great group here!
Just one comment:
|Your nanny must be bored stiff and desperate for interaction outside of the house. I can understand why she looks bored and unhappy. I bet your kids are too. She and your children are basically stuck in the house all day long with no yard to play in, no place to go and no other children to come over and play. They can't even go out for a walk??
All of this is so true...but they can go for a walk. We have a beautiful very nice double jogger style stroller, and two single strollers - nice ones with the big wheels, and a wagon and/or my son likes to walk. I took them for a few walks, so did my husband to show her a few routes. I also bought a climber for the backyard and a sand/water table, (and showed her how to set it up). It has not been set up yet, and they have not gone for any walks other than with me or DH. One of her references said she was "a homebody" and didn't like to go out much... again, another red flag that I didn't really listen to up front. I was just so glad to have my baby away from the germ infested daycare...(she does pull them around the playroom in the wagon...).
The real road blocks with outings are that she doesn't drive, I don't want them taking the bus, (we are not in Toronto, but in a suburb), there are no good parks nearby, and the activities within walking distance are not appropriate for BOTH ages, so she can't do one with both kids in tow. How the HECK do parents with two kids and a nanny who doesn't drive make this work??? As mentioned there are not many kids in our area so no play dates within walking distance. It's really home, go for a walk, hang in our teeny backyard, or stay inside. Not ideal.
Yeah, so I totally agree everyone is bored and unhappy. I am looking at a few possible solutions - one is to put my son in 1/2 day summer camps then school every afternoon so the nanny can walk with the babe over to the rec centre/library and do some programs with him. I like the idea someone posted about letting her help to decide what the outings are - perhaps give her the choices. Tell her she has to pick one outing with the babe per day, but which outing/class can be her choice and then we set up a schedule. That should work fine if she only has the baby with her.
The second alternative is that we have a spot for both boys that has come up at a daycare centre I like; it's still a centre, so I am very scared about the prospect of my babe getting so sick again, but it's worth considering. So now I'm back to that whole nanny vs daycare thing again. Having a nanny has been very good for our family, but just not so great for my older son. (Though I am finding the lack of privacy is starting to wear on me...).
I actually called the agency who placed her and when they heard about the earphones, they said they consider that grounds for immediate dismissal and that they will replace her free of charge.
. I said I wanted to try to work with her first as I do think she'd be better with just the 1 year old if they are able to do some programs, and compared to the other nanny's we interviewed, (who were scaaaaary) she does follow our AP'ing and my 1 year old reeeeally likes her. So maybe there is a happy medium. I dunno....
ETA: I would never just fire her, I would give her two week pay in lieu of notice as required by the contract we signed and as required by our local employment laws. If I could swing it to give her extra time (i.e. give her notice during vacation time when she could work, look for something else but while I'm home with them, I'd do that. I like her as a person and would want to make it easy as I could on all parties.