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#61 of 123 Old 05-13-2008, 02:38 PM
 
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Originally Posted by BusyBeeMom View Post
I so agree here. If you start scheduling & planning, that puts you in the position of doing childcare remotely - impossible. You'll get calls..."it's raining, should we still go for a walk...Kathy's kid is sick, so they can't meet us at the park..." etc. and be in a position of finding solutions. I say provide the tools and authority for her to have activities - a map, phone #s of a few friends, membership cards to local attractions, etc., lay out your expectations, and then she should really go from there. She can meet other nannies at the park.
Not commenting on the OP's situation but just from my own experience - my nanny and I planned the weeks together. I registered her and my son for some rec centre programmes, she had taken him and collected when any other programmes were (story time etc.) that she was interested in, and we just sorted it out together.

It was nice. I knew what the Plan A was and where to find them. Sure some days there were Plan Bs - they didn't go because of something, or it was a super nice day and they went outside rather than inside, whatever. But I don't think it's unreasonable for a mother to have a hand in planning the week together with the nanny at all.

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#62 of 123 Old 05-14-2008, 12:44 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Ugh, see this is part of the problem. I do wonder if I have unrealistic expectations of her. She is kind of housebound. We do have a beautiful playroom in our basement, but she can't stay there all day. I have to figure something out though.

I am very nervous of her going to the park or outings as we do not have a fenced park nearby; the only parks within walking distance are across very busy 4-lane roads and they are "teen" hangouts literally filled with broken beer bottles, etc. There are not many kids in my area. She does not drive and I'm not comfortable with her taking the two boys on the public bus. We are near a recreation centre, but most of the activities start around 9 or 9:30 and she doesn't start work until 10am. They also do not have activities for both ages, so she couldn't take my 1 yo to anything as my 4yo can't be left alone, and vice versa. I am also nervous of her taking them for walks as my 4yo is inclined to run across the road if they are walking, and he hasn't quite mastered stopping on his bike yet and we are near several very busy streets.

As I'm reading the posts and thinking this through, I think that we either should move to a neighbourhood more condusive to having a nanny, (ie house with better yard and/or parks nearby) or just accept that given where we live, my children might be better at a centre.

Hmm... Lots to think about. I really appreciate the comments. My original question about whether the earphone thing is an issue still bothers me...but first I think I need to decide whether having any nanny is going to work for us, and then if so, try to work with this nanny. (BTW, days I'm home and we go to the Early Years Centre or indoor playgrounds, etc. she plays with the kids but doesn't honestly look like she enjoys it).

And to answer the one question - she actually gets paid very well - quite above the going rate for a live in nanny in our area, plus time and a half for all time beyond her 44 hrs/week, plus sick days, paid vacation, she gets to leave early days I make it home early and still gets paid, etc, and we don't deduct room and board, (which most live in employers do) - from that perspective, we actually treat her better than any other nanny's I know.
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#63 of 123 Old 05-14-2008, 03:15 AM
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If I felt the need for a nanny cam, I would fire the nanny instead. That would mean there was something very wrong.

I don't know your sitch, only what you write here but it sounds like your nanny might be bored stiff and feeling housebound. I was briefly a nanny and if I couldn't take the kiddos to the park to play ball with them, I would have gone insane.

Another thing, do you think the tv and discipline issues you have with your DC could arise from lack of exercise? I was a little shocked when you said they were inside pretty much all day without playmates or park days. Kids need outside, unstructured play time to get out their excess energy IMO.

Your situation doesn't really seem to be meeting anyones needs. Maybe you need a nanny that can drive or to move but your kids need to be running around and your nanny needs downtime so she is watching but not actively involved all day.
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#64 of 123 Old 05-14-2008, 03:41 AM
 
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OP - I'm the one who has hired nannies for the past 5 years. Live-in and live-out. I have a few comments:

Quote:
Originally Posted by monkeybum View Post
Ugh, see this is part of the problem. I do wonder if I have unrealistic expectations of her. She is kind of housebound. We do have a beautiful playroom in our basement, but she can't stay there all day.
No she can't. I do think it is unrealistic to expect a nanny to stay home all day with children.

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Originally Posted by monkeybum View Post
She does not drive
I would never hire a nanny who couldn't drive - in fact it is a requirement of mine. We also provide a car for the nanny to use to take the kids on outings. We think this is good for everyone - kids and nanny both.

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Originally Posted by monkeybum View Post
As I'm reading the posts and thinking this through, I think that we either should move to a neighbourhood more condusive to having a nanny, (ie house with better yard and/or parks nearby) or just accept that given where we live, my children might be better at a centre.
Or... you hire a nanny who can drive and make sure she has a car available to her.

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Originally Posted by monkeybum View Post
And to answer the one question - she actually gets paid very well - quite above the going rate for a live in nanny in our area, plus time and a half for all time beyond her 44 hrs/week, plus sick days, paid vacation, she gets to leave early days I make it home early and still gets paid, etc, and we don't deduct room and board, (which most live in employers do) - from that perspective, we actually treat her better than any other nanny's I know.
Well, the nanny-employers I know would not deduct room and board, either. In fact, that is not an acceptable practice in the professional nanny world - so I agree with you on that point.

About you offering a well-paid position - if you are, then you shouldn't have a problem finding a better nanny. I would consider adding health insurance and use of a car to sweeten the deal. And I assume you are paying on the books - that is important.



And... I don't want to vilify this nanny of yours - she could be very nice and all that. She might be feeling very housebound because of not being able to drive. I wonder - how does she get around on the weekends? Does she get out? Do friends pick her up and take her places? Does she take public transportation?

Being a live-in nanny has its downsides - there can be lack of privacy if you are living in a bedroom near the family, a feeling of never having your own space to hang out and relax, and dating can be a problem. Giving a live-in nanny things that make her life more comfortable is a must.
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#65 of 123 Old 05-14-2008, 04:06 AM
 
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About you offering a well-paid position - if you are, then you shouldn't have a problem finding a better nanny. I would consider adding health insurance and use of a car to sweeten the deal. And I assume you are paying on the books - that is important.
Just a note, the OP is in Canada so health insurance is not an issue.
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#66 of 123 Old 05-14-2008, 09:20 AM
 
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Or... you hire a nanny who can drive and make sure she has a car available to her.
It really doesn't sound like the OP *wants* the nanny to do those things.

Monkeybum, I think you hit it that given your preferences, your current situation with your children, and your location, it's probably not going to work with any nanny. This is how the situationr reads from an outsider:

- She doesn't drive.
- You won't allow her to take public transportation.
- You won't allow her to walk across the street to the park.
- You have a very small yard that you don't even like to be in with your children.
- You and your husband cannot get your child to turn off the TV without a tantrum but you want the nanny to do so.

I think if I were your nanny, I'd be losing my mind.

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#67 of 123 Old 05-14-2008, 09:27 AM
 
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First let me say, that I respect you and your right as a parent to choose what risks you are willing to have your child raised with.

I think being afraid of your children going to the park with Dad and on mass transit with Nanny so that they can do stuff might be a key issue for your family to work with or around. That you may have to move, or change something else.

You live in one of the greatest cities of the world, and your kids have a lot of time right now to enjoy it that they will not have again unless you plan to home school them.

I think the ideal of the caregiver playing and engaging a young child in childhood play for a significant portion of the day is not particularly usual. Nor do I think it is better for child development than the caregiver being around, playing some, working some alone, allowing the child to learn the adult work alongside her. Taking the children into different environments: restaurants, swimming pools, farmer's markets, walks in the woods; these are enjoyable for adult and child. Facilitating play with other children, play-dates and spontaneous. Having a regular read-aloud time. Pausing in her activities to note what the child is doing.

Interacting with kids should not be dreary. And it really is if you are expected to do it inside, for every minute that you are not cleaning, cooking, feeding, bandaging, and the tidying, tidying, tidying that comes from having kids inside.

I have a four and a half year old daughter and in any given week she may take 3-4 dance or gymnastics classes, do storytime at the library, go swimming, sing in a Sunday church service, ride her bike around the neighborhood and down to the pizza restaurant, see friends and start play sessions because they are outside playing too, have a set playdate, help me mind a younger child whose mommy has a meeting, go to a concert. She enjoys being integrated into the community. My 3 year old does many of these things too.

In the Atlanta area, there are quite a few classes for children starting at about age 3 where the parents and nannies sit in the waiting room with younger children or take them to nearby playgrounds until class is dismissed.

You have to have peace of mind though. No matter what I say or anyone else says, it is your job to make these decisions. Since you are comfortable with the relative lack of parental input at day care centers, but you still have the health concerns, I wonder if a more British style of nanny might suit your needs and give you confidence in her ability to keep your children emotionally, intellectually, and physically safe.
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#68 of 123 Old 05-14-2008, 09:51 AM
 
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I am going to proceed cautiously here so as not to offend. I read the original post and skimmed the reply's since there are a lot of them. After reading the original post, I couldn't quite understand what the complaint was and though I understand a little more now about wanting her to be do more fun things with the kids, I still couldn't help feeling that her behavior is rather normal. I have three kids myself and I am a stay at home mom. There are many days of mothering that are less than fun, when kids are boring and irritating. There are plenty of days when I am just going through the motions. My energy changes day to day. There are days I too, might sit my kid in front of the tv more than I should or heck, I might tell my kids to play by themselves today while I watch tv most of the day to "escape". This doesn't make me a bad parent. It makes me human. I'm not always smiling. I don't always feed them nutritious foods or "interact" with them, etc. Still, they are loved and I make up for that with all the days they are going out, going to activities, to the park, eating well balanced meals, etc. Also, and this is where I may be "attacked" I believe that this normal reaction to raising children full time an be heightened when it's not your own children. You nanny will never be as emotionally or biologically attatched to your kids as you are. That doesn't mean she doesn't like them or won't grow to love them on some level, but that deep drive to raise them will never exist the way it does for a biological or adoptive parent. So on those days when she just doesn't feel like being a mother (again, a normal emotion that all mothers feel from time to time) those negative emotions might be enhanced for her. The best care your children can get is from YOU! Period. If given a choice, I'm sure they would pick YOU to be their nanny. Knowing that, just do the best you can to find someone that will never fill your shoes exactly, but comes close enough to put you at peace.

Just my two cents....

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#69 of 123 Old 05-14-2008, 10:07 AM
 
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Do you have a sit and stand stroller?

I find it really helps with a new walker and a runner here myself. I take kids in my home.

Oh, and your kids aren't going to learn to not run away if they are never walked with out and about. In a daycare - the first few walks with any new kid is always crazy trying to keep them with the group.

Also, maybe an Ergo for the baby for her so she has hands free on busses with the older child.

Good luck. it seems like both of you are in a no-fun situation

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#70 of 123 Old 05-14-2008, 10:13 AM
 
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It really doesn't sound like the OP *wants* the nanny to do those things.

Monkeybum, I think you hit it that given your preferences, your current situation with your children, and your location, it's probably not going to work with any nanny. This is how the situationr reads from an outsider:

- She doesn't drive.
- You won't allow her to take public transportation.
- You won't allow her to walk across the street to the park.
- You have a very small yard that you don't even like to be in with your children.
- You and your husband cannot get your child to turn off the TV without a tantrum but you want the nanny to do so.

I think if I were your nanny, I'd be losing my mind.



I sort of agree with this, and OP, I don't mean it to be mean. It's just that I've *BEEN* a Full-time Nanny, and it is really, really difficult to have that cooped up feeling all day. Frankly, when I was a nanny I would not have worked for you having all these restrictions b/c I know I would have gone crazy.

I agree that her listening to headphones was not a wise choice. And she obviously felt guilty. But still...put yourself in her shoes on what it would be like to be her, in your house all day, not being able to go out, etc...

You're right. Your family is not living in a home that is very conducive to having a nanny. I do think that maybe the kids would be better off in a daycare setting where they are getting the interaction you desire for them.

Maybe if you were to move to a more "family friendly/nanny friendly" area then a nanny situation would work better for you.

You sound like a nice person, and I'm glad to hear you pay your nanny fairly, and treat her right.

I just think that a nanny is not for you at the present time.
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#71 of 123 Old 05-14-2008, 10:39 AM
 
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Oh, and your kids aren't going to learn to not run away if they are never walked with out and about. In a daycare - the first few walks with any new kid is always crazy trying to keep them with the group.
Yes, some people I think believe that self-regulation is an issue that only time can improve. While time will improve it, not running into the street without looking is a fairly basic skill. I have read that in not too much earlier times and in other places currently children are allowed to navigate the streets by themselves by 5 or so.
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#72 of 123 Old 05-14-2008, 10:45 AM
 
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And the other thing is I don't think she deserves *firing*. I think if you decide to do something else, consider giving her a month's notice and active assistance in finding another position. This must be very frightening for her.
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#73 of 123 Old 05-14-2008, 01:34 PM
 
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I wonder if the strictures you put on the position (home all day, no car, no outings) may tend to attract candidates who are not particularly energetic and motivated to interact heavily with the kids?

I would suspect that an energetic non-burnt-out nanny candidate would be less likely to take a job where she couldn't get out and do activities with the children.

Something to think about if you do decide to find someone else...
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#74 of 123 Old 05-14-2008, 01:44 PM
 
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My original question about whether the earphone thing is an issue still bothers me...
On that narrow issue I think that you are fair to request no earphones as it makes it harder for her to hear if there is an issue (child choking on something, for example).

But I think you are right -- an overall re-evaluation of your expectations and requirements for your nanny might be in order, and perhaps trying to solve some of the issues that have been identified here might be helpful as well.
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#75 of 123 Old 05-14-2008, 01:54 PM
 
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Just a note, the OP is in Canada so health insurance is not an issue.
Missed that - thanks for pointing that out.
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#76 of 123 Old 05-20-2008, 01:13 AM
 
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I didn't read the other posts so it would not cloud or influence what I have to say...

You have standards which are obviously not being met by her. You really could do better.

Also, you are paying her to take care of your precious children, not watch tv or talk on the cell phone.

Go with your instincts... gl!
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#77 of 123 Old 05-20-2008, 08:43 AM
 
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I was a nanny all through college, and I can tell you something is not right there....especially if your gut instinct is to run home and hide, or do surprise visits, that's not comforting. Honestly, I would steer away from the nanny cam, as you all ready know your answer, there's no need to pay for something and install something that will only make you feel more guilty over the issue. I would reccommend interviewing someone new, without the nanny knowing (or she will slack even more) and then when you have a replacement who can start (say on a monday) on that friday, let the nanny know you no longer need her services. If you are uneasy about the new nanny, feel free to stop by unexpectedly to gain that trust. You have been hurt, and the new nanny should completely understand.... I LOVED it when the parents would randomly stop by.... usually because they would laugh at what they caught me doing (singing songs and dancing like monsters was a good one) I think I scarred the dad for a while over that one

Just trust your gut! And get someone new before it affects the kids negatively.
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#78 of 123 Old 05-20-2008, 10:17 AM
 
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I didn't read the other posts so it would not cloud or influence what I have to say...
The problem with that is that subsequent messages provided additional information about the situation.

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#79 of 123 Old 05-20-2008, 11:07 AM
 
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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?? I am surprised she hasn't quit. Actually I am surprised she took the job in the first place.

I was a nanny and now am a sahm. I can not tell you how important it is for everyone to get out for awhile each day!!! When I was a nanny I would work together with my boss to pick out some activities at the local YMCA for me to take the kids to. I would also plan trips to the park, library, pool, etc and set up playdates with other kids. They also provided me with a van to transport the kids around in. They also left me "mad money" to pay for activities, purchase craft/baking supplies or to pay for a meal out or a trip to the local icecream stand. The kids were happy. I was happy. My boss was happy.

You need to find a nanny you feel comfortable with taking your children out and about. You also need to make your backyard more friendly. Add some kind of an awning or a gazebo or big umbrella or something the kids and nanny can get some shade under while playing. She needs a stroller she can safely strap your little one in so they can get out for a walk. Are there other kids with nannies or sahms that your nanny can get together with? How about a neighborhood playgroup? Let her know what is available in your area.

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#80 of 123 Old 05-20-2008, 10:21 PM
 
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In my experience that sort of behavior is a lot more common with nannies than at daycare centers. Over the years I've had friends who have had similar experiences with nannies (e.g., came home at an unexpected hour and found situations like you describe) but never with unexpected drop-ins to daycare centers.

If I was in your situation, I would be looking for a new nanny now, but in the interests of full disclosure I would have a hard time trusting any nannies and we'd go to a lot of lengths to avoid nanny-care for DS. I feel like my alarm bells would be ringing all the time, and that's not fair for anybody.
:

I am a FT WOHM and I am personally more comfortable with a center than having someone unsupervised at my house - actually you don't even know if they are at your home at all when you're not there. At most centers there are other providers and/or supervisors there which provides checks and balances.

I don't think you need a nannycam - you've already witnessed what you've witnessed and the question is whether or not you are comfortable with it. If you want to give her another chance lay out more exact expectations. I have kids the same ages as yours - could you/she provide a larger safe space for the 1 year old to move about more freely so the nanny wouldn't have to chase after him/her all the time. The 4 year old probably needs kids to play with. I don't think I could keep my 4 yr. happy all the time - he needs more than me.

Good luck.
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#81 of 123 Old 05-20-2008, 10:51 PM
 
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It really doesn't sound like the OP *wants* the nanny to do those things.

Monkeybum, I think you hit it that given your preferences, your current situation with your children, and your location, it's probably not going to work with any nanny. This is how the situationr reads from an outsider:

- She doesn't drive.
- You won't allow her to take public transportation.
- You won't allow her to walk across the street to the park.
- You have a very small yard that you don't even like to be in with your children.
- You and your husband cannot get your child to turn off the TV without a tantrum but you want the nanny to do so.

I think if I were your nanny, I'd be losing my mind.
Cancel my previous posts. I agree with this. I missed these restrictions. I think it's really hard (and frankly a moot point) to determine whether a nanny working with these rules is "good" or not. I definitely think daycare would be better.
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#82 of 123 Old 05-21-2008, 09:42 AM
 
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The problem with that is that subsequent messages provided additional information about the situation.
I am not a newbie to forums and over the years I realize my judgment of the situation will be clouded by what others have posted or repeated. Of course, I read the OP's posts because she added to the story... that's how I roll when it comes to these advice posts.

I hope you (OP) make the right decision.
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#83 of 123 Old 05-21-2008, 11:08 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks everyone for your input. Awesome advice as usual from the great group here!

Just one comment:
Quote:
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.
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#84 of 123 Old 05-21-2008, 11:11 PM
 
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I'd take the company up on the free replacement offer
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#85 of 123 Old 05-21-2008, 11:13 PM
 
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Why can't they take the bus?
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#86 of 123 Old 05-21-2008, 11:24 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Re: the bus. I try not to expect her to do something I can't do, (aside from staying home with 2 kids inside all day unable to leave the house ). The bus stop is quite a walk from home so she'd have to take the stroller to get to the bus stop. I just don't see how she could juggle bus fare, a 4 year old, a 14 month old and a stroller on to a bus - where would she put my toddling 14 month old down to fold the stroller and lift it on to the bus, and same thing getting off - where is my 14 month old while she unfolds the stroller, lugs it down the steps, unfolds it, gets it across the median on to the sidewalk....

And while she's trying to maneuvre the stroller and my 14 month old, who is holding my 4 yo's hand to make sure HE gets on/off safely...I just am not comfortable with it. These are all 4 lane busy streets, and my 14 month old is HEAVY. Neither me nor my husband can do it with JUST the 14 month old on our own, (we've practiced getting the stroller in and out of the car while holding the 14 month old - can't do it - let alone also watch the 4 year old, pay the fare, etc.).

I know it may sound like an excuse to some, but there are some things I just am not comfortable with.
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#87 of 123 Old 05-21-2008, 11:24 PM
 
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She doesn't sound that bad to me. not ideal but I have head phones on while I am taking care of my children . . . . You have two kids and a woman stuck in a house all day . .. and not a lot of options.

however if you will not allow them to take public transit (I have been doing this alone with three children since the youngest was a baby. but our bus allows you to take your stroller on and leave your child in the stroller if there is a handicap place available. if not you can get on and then take them out of the stroller. the four year old can pay the fare. this is super fun for them also a pass eliminates the hassle of money. They don't have it here but in Chicago you didn't even have to take your pass out of your pocket. you just aimed your butt toward the scanner. here you just show your pass. most people wear it on a lanyard. We used a harness on the baby once she was past stroller age but still impulsive. She is five now and doesn't have any trouble following directions at the bus stop and can easily walk 1 1/2 miles between stops. We just started with some practice rides and built up. Not to mention just the trip becomes another activity to amuse the kids. they love the bus. ) perhaps it would better suit your family to find someone who drives.

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#88 of 123 Old 05-21-2008, 11:37 PM
 
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Okay I don't have time to read all the posts but being a professional nanny I do have some advice. First spell out IN WRITING exactly what you expect the nanny to do (and NOT do) TV time etc. Earphones are a BIG no-no. IF you get a nanny-cam don't make it a secret I know many a family who have lost good nannies after they found out they were being secretly taped. I never had an objection to a nanny-cam and a good nanny won't BUT secretly taping is a bad idea. You don;t WANT to catch her doing something you don't approve of you want to STOP her from doing what you don't approve of. You don't have to tell here where it is but inform her that one exists. Many can transmit to a website and let you look in while you are at work (If you want an "excuse" to give the nanny that is a good one, you miss them and want to be able to see them during the day. And DO drop in unannounced from time to time. Provide some craft type activities for the nanny to do with you LO's. And if you are still uncomfortable discretely look for a nanny. Also introduce her to some of the other nanny's or SAHMs in your area. DO trust your gut instinct but it sounds like you have a nice lady who needs some guidance as to what to do all day.
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#89 of 123 Old 05-22-2008, 03:42 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by monkeybum View Post
Re: the bus. I try not to expect her to do something I can't do, (aside from staying home with 2 kids inside all day unable to leave the house ). The bus stop is quite a walk from home so she'd have to take the stroller to get to the bus stop. I just don't see how she could juggle bus fare, a 4 year old, a 14 month old and a stroller on to a bus - where would she put my toddling 14 month old down to fold the stroller and lift it on to the bus, and same thing getting off - where is my 14 month old while she unfolds the stroller, lugs it down the steps, unfolds it, gets it across the median on to the sidewalk....

And while she's trying to maneuvre the stroller and my 14 month old, who is holding my 4 yo's hand to make sure HE gets on/off safely...I just am not comfortable with it. These are all 4 lane busy streets, and my 14 month old is HEAVY. Neither me nor my husband can do it with JUST the 14 month old on our own, (we've practiced getting the stroller in and out of the car while holding the 14 month old - can't do it - let alone also watch the 4 year old, pay the fare, etc.).

I know it may sound like an excuse to some, but there are some things I just am not comfortable with.
It really isn't that hard if you practice and are resourceful. I do it several times a week. Mostly I carry DS in the Mei Tai and DD walks with me. My DS is the size of an 18 month old, about 25lbs. If she wants to use a stroller you can get one that collapse one handed. If I bring a stroller I usually put DS in the Mei Tai and then collapse the stroller.
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#90 of 123 Old 05-22-2008, 10:46 AM
 
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Are there low-floor buses on your routes? Then there is no need to collapse the stroller, and it keeps the babe contained during the ride. Heck, downtown people lug babies and strollers up and down the streetcar steps all the time.

I think the problem is that, given the nature of the position, you attracted a homebody, so now you're going to really need to prod her and be clear with your expectations in order to get her out the door with them. Walks and bus rides are absolutely necessary.

Why not get a big bike trailer/stroller that both kids will fit in? I know some people go nuts at the idea of a larger kid in a stroller, but for long walks they're great. We don't have a car and for shopping trips dd fit in ours happily with a stack of books and a snack through the age of 5. And they come with straps for 2!

Pulling them around the playroom in the wagon?? Oy - all 3 will be stir-crazy!!
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