Gowanus Lounge: Serving Brooklyn

Sleeping Nanny Scandal Grips Carroll Park

September 17th, 2008 · 22 Comments

Don’t look now, but a nanny was spotted sleeping in Carroll Park in Carroll Gardens. The Sleeping Nanny of Carroll Park apparently didn’t just catch a few seconds of shut eye. She was quite out for quite a bit of time. Here is a first-hand account via the BoCoCa Parents Group:

Hi, If this person was watching my child, I would want to know: I was in Carroll Park playground this morning at about 10:00 AM and saw a nanny asleep sitting up on a park bench. The nanny was wearing a burgundy sweater with black shirt underneath, denim skirt, and black shoes. She had long braided hair. She was clutching a child’s backpack that was bright blue with red piping. I can’t even describe the child she was with because I never saw one nearby to her!! She fell asleep several times for lengths of 10 minutes or so. Long enough for something to happen! – anyway if you think this is your nanny contact me and I can tell you a little more.

The react on that one is rolling in quickly, including people that say they think they’ve seen the Sleeping Nanny of Park, you know, sleeping in the past. Others say it’s hasty to decide that it was a nanny. One response: “I do not want to drag this out, but I do think it is crucial to warn parents of what most likely, was a sleeping nanny. I have seen this kind of behavior at the park and I think is best to err on the side of caution and post these sitings. If it was truly a parent in distress, who was sleeping, I think they would be happy to know that this community looks out for their children.” More react as it comes in.

Tags: Carroll Gardens

22 responses so far ↓

  • 1 John // Sep 17, 2008 at 10:55 am

    The BoCoCa Parents Group should get a life! Many of these nannies aren’t even paid well, simply because they are poor Caribbean women without legitimate papers. Instead of stirring-up trouble, why can’t you look out for one another. Wake her up, talk to her, keep an eye on her child, find out her story, embrace one another. This is a neighborhood. But no…she is just a colored nanny.

  • 2 Sam // Sep 17, 2008 at 11:28 am

    You said it John.

  • 3 Doug // Sep 17, 2008 at 11:33 am

    In response to John,

    Your sympathy for this nanny is misplaced. You are correct that the person who saw this nanny sleeping the park should have engaged her by waking her and ensuring the child was and is safe.

    However, the parents who emply this person and trust her with their most prized possession, their child, also have a right to know what is going on when they are at work. I don’t get to sleep at my job and I what do isn’t and couldn’t be more important than what she does. The fact, or your belief, that she is Caribbean, a person of color, undocumented, and/or underpaid (a tremendous assumption indeed) does not excuse her from such neglect. The Nanny is first and foremost hired to ensure the child’s safety and clearly, one can not do that when they are asleep on a park bench in a place like Brooklyn.

  • 4 Michael // Sep 17, 2008 at 1:18 pm

    It’s not a leap to assume that the nanny was Black based on the description and the stats. Walk near Carroll Park and you’ll notice that many of the nannies are not only Black, but Caribbean women without papers. It’s weird. It’s like another form of slavery. These women obviously don’t have too many other opportunities so they accept jobs in affluent homes tending to children.

    10 AM in Carroll Park is far from dangerous. There are several parents and other nannies there. True she should not be sleeping, but things like this happen all the time. Get over it.

    If her employers are satisfied with the job she is doing, then let them be. Mind your business.

  • 5 Another Sam // Sep 17, 2008 at 2:42 pm

    “It’s like another form of slavery.”

    Totally. Just like slavery except you get paid around 30k/yr (tax free), get 2+ wks vacation, metrocard allowance, lunch, etc. and you can quit anytime you like. Also, no whips or beatings. But you’re right: Working as a nanny is virtually indistinguishable from being a slave.

    You know what else is a tough job? Being a cab driver. But that doesn’t mean it’s cool to fall asleep at the wheel.

  • 6 Chris // Sep 17, 2008 at 3:53 pm

    Waitaminute – how do we even know that a child was under her care during this time? The writer says that she saw no child near her – why assume she was on-duty? Maybe the kid went for a walk with Mom or Dad, and she was relaxing for a few. On her own time.

  • 7 snot // Sep 17, 2008 at 4:19 pm

    I have a nanny from the Islands and she has her “papers.” She’s a citizen actually, as are all her nanny friends. And she works as a nanny b/c she loves children and is really f’ing good at caring for them. Also, it pays really well and is a personally fulfilling position. Our kids are happy, healthy, well behaved, smart and funny. Our nanny deserves some of the credit for that and she takes pride in seeing them grow and develop, just as we do.

    as for the sleeping nanny, the kid could have been in school or at a class, on a playdate, or old enough to not need to be watched for 10 minutes. If agree with the poster that said if someone was concerned they should have walked over to her and engaged her in a conversation and acted like it was a community. sheesh.

  • 8 GHB // Sep 17, 2008 at 4:54 pm

    “Walk near Carroll Park and you’ll notice that many of the nannies are not only Black, but Caribbean women without papers.”

    Michael, when was the last time you asked a nanny for papers? Seriously, I wanna know!

  • 9 DKW // Sep 17, 2008 at 5:09 pm

    Oh look – a tattle tale kid who grew up to be a tattle tale adult.

  • 10 Ernie // Sep 17, 2008 at 5:14 pm

    I’ve heard rumors of the Sleeping Nanny hooking up with Bigfoot on Saturdays over at the new Ikea…both are quite fond of the Swedish meatballs.

  • 11 Birdie // Sep 17, 2008 at 5:34 pm

    Hey snot, keep telling yourself whatever it takes to justify you leaving your child with someone you have to pay. I’ve been to Carroll Park enough to know that the ladies sit around and chitchat, not paying attention. I’ve been to Big Movies for Little Kids at the Cobble Hill cinema enough to know that as soon as the lights dimm, it’s night night for nanny and hello to sounds of snoring, or constant chichatting from nanny’s cell. I’m sure there are many nannies who love children, but you are still paying them and are not there to know what’s really f’ing going on. Guess you’ll figure it out when they’re older. Bravo to BoCoCa PG, at least someone cares about the kid.

  • 12 P // Sep 17, 2008 at 5:44 pm

    My friends employ a Caribbean nanny. She is legal. They pay her 50K a year, plus vacations, plus sick days and personal days.

    Assuming Caribbean nannies are illegal and low paid and especially likening it to another form of slavery is in itself a form of slavery.

    Think about it, Micahel. Perpetuating racist stereotypes is the same as whipcracking.


  • 13 nibblybits // Sep 18, 2008 at 8:09 am

    P, so your friends tell you they pay her that and so it’s true? And it’s true for all Caribbean nannies? Who’s being the asshole now?

    Instead of persecuting the nanny, maybe the tattle-tale should have kept an eye on more than her own child. We all get tired. We all have moments when we’re not fully alert. Instead of sympathy, this asshole wants to get the nanny fired.

    Hopefully, this tattle-tale asshole will reveal their identity so that we can 1) kick their sorry ass and 2) call their employer (or their spouse’s) and get their ass fired.

  • 14 andy // Sep 18, 2008 at 9:28 am

    glad to see who writes to this blog. interesting the reactions. i guess nobody remembers fran drescher, that was a nanny hoo haaa.
    in the initial description her race was not ID’d, interesting almost every one of you thought she was not white. hmmmm
    enjoy your spoiled racist lives!

  • 15 PLG Mum // Sep 18, 2008 at 10:14 am

    Caribbean women are very hardworking and responsible. Lovely manners and personalities. Guess that’s a generalization but I’ve never seen anything but that in the women I know or have met in our community.

    It’s not outrageous to post this information because the parents really should know about it. But any language that assumes the woman is a lazy good-for-nothing at all times is offensive. How does this witness know this woman wasn’t up all night with a sick child, her own? There are many reasons a person can be so tired they can’t keep themselves awake. This witness should simply report the facts of what they saw, that’s it. No presumptions, no speculation, no personal judgement. To be superior and judgemental like that is exactly what makes people hate the stroller moms of the world.

  • 16 nyccoffeegirl // Sep 18, 2008 at 10:36 am

    How is it a scandal if 14 people engage in a private conversation on a members-only yahoo group? Scandal is really a fear-mongering statement.

    Whatever color/race/ethnic group that the Nanny may belong to, there was an appearance that she was sleeping on the job. I am confident that 99% of parents that employ a Nanny would want to know if she was sleeping while watching their child in the park.

    I employ a wonderful, LEGAL, Jamaican nanny that I trust completely and full heartedly, but I would still want to know from my community if someone saw behavior that was questionable.

    Maybe if everyone stopped trying so hard to be pc, and focussed on what is important here- the childs’ safety- there would be less name calling between commenters….

  • 17 andy // Sep 18, 2008 at 1:21 pm

    PLG mom, why are you assuming the “nanny” was carribean? Were you there? did you see her? if so, wake her up next time.
    grow up people, try being neighborly instead of snitchers

  • 18 d // Sep 18, 2008 at 4:14 pm

    i guess gowanus lounge readers are just as interested as bococa parents subscribers. there are more responses here than there were there!

  • 19 Kansas // Sep 18, 2008 at 4:21 pm

    Birdie – why is it that if someone pays someone else to look after their children while they go out and make a living for their family, that needs justification? Why can’t working parents and stay-at-home parents just get along?

  • 20 elizabeth // Sep 18, 2008 at 7:09 pm

    I am with andy- why did you all assume the woman was a black carribbean? i envisioned i white woman with braids. probably a dope fiend nodding off. haha. stay home and watch your own kids if you are all so worried. as if parents never sleep in their childrens pressence.

  • 21 Esolis // Sep 18, 2008 at 8:15 pm

    If you are so concerned about your children, why don’t you people stay home and watch them yourself? Nanny’s are not Slaves.

  • 22 e // Sep 19, 2008 at 1:16 pm

    Esolis, which alternate universe are you living in? The one where you don’t have children, or don’t have to work to support them? Maybe you don’t think this is an important issue to the community, but it is. (Otherwise, why would you bother to comment?)

    This whole discussion, and the obviously strong feelings are indicative of the child care crisis in the U.S. And the fact that our country is entering an economic depression will only increase the need for affordable child care for families and fair working conditions for child care workers.

    Blogs like this one help raise awareness of important community issues like this, and it seems pointless to waste our valuable energy making inflammatory / snarky comments about important community issues.

    Write your local officials, support legislation, give money to the many organizations that advocate affordable, quality child care. Most importantly, support the only candidate who will fight for working families’ and caregivers’ needs –Barack Obama.

    Check out: