Rebecca Eckler is one of Canada's most talked about newspaper columnists, the author of Knocked Up: Confessions of a Hip Mother to Be, which has been translated into nine languages. Also the author of the bestsellers, Wiped!, Toddlers Gone Wild, and Rotten Apple, the first in a YA series. Random thoughts on life in the competitive world of modern mommyhood. Blog will be loved by trendy mothers who still feel, or often feel, that the most important word in "mommee" is ME!

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Nanny Thief

Sorry, I've been away. I've missed you! I was covering the film festival for Maclean's magazine.

And a completely weird thing happened to me, and not in a good way. I'm still in shock.

I travel back and forth from Calgary to Toronto all the time. Nanny Mimi, who is like my sister, used to travel with me. But now she's getting married and it's unfair to ask her to travel so much. I mean, she wants to spend time with her future husband and plan her wedding.

So when I go to Toronto I have a part-time nanny, who lives in Toronto. Who I really, really liked.

She was friggen stealing from me!

I realized there were a few things missing, namely a Prada purse, a brand new Roots purse, a pair of Puma sneakers, in the last few weeks. But I thought, 'OK, this is weird. But maybe I really am that disorganized."

In my heart, I knew I wasn't that disorganized. I loved my Prada purse. It was new-ish, a gift from the Fiance. And I knew I left it *right* there on my bedroom dresser.

I'm pretty busy too. So when I'm running around and can't find something, I just don't have the time to really look for things.

But then there was a film festival party. I had just bought a new Theory dress two days before this nanny came over. The tags were still on the freaking thing.

As I was racing around to get ready, I suddenly couldn't find the dress. I knew, at that moment, that she was stealing from me. I mean, I had just bought the dress two days earlier. I had hung it in my closet. Like I said, the tags were still on it.

Even in my totally disorganized state, I knew that I wasn't that disorganized.

I called the service which had first set me up with his nanny. I felt awful, because I was 99 % sure the nanny was stealing from me, but there's always a nagging doubt left that maybe, just maybe, the things were somewhere in my place.

And I know people are hard off and I feel for people who are. And who likes to accuse people?

I wasn't wrong. The head of the nanny service called the next day after I told her things were missing. She had told this nanny that I had had a camera in my place and saw her taking things. The nanny gave her back my stuff. Thank God.

Not only did I get back three designer purses, I also got back my jewelry box. Yes, the nanny had stolen my jewelry box!

I wouldn't have even known it was missing until I was going to look for something, like, um, the pearl earrings that were in it, the gold bracelets, my grandmother's engagement ring.

I'm fucking pissed off. I treated this nanny so nicely. And I'm not just saying that. Really. I gave her a ton of extra money for her mother, who needed a heart transplant in the Philippines (Who even knows if that is true?)

If it was dark, I would pay her $40 cab rides home. I gave her a ton of clothes that were old. I really really liked her.

I actually not only feel completely used, but so fucking stupid.

The head of the service told me I have to decide if I want to press charges. Which I do not.

I just can't believe it. I mean, if someone wants something that bad, then fucking take it. Or at least that's sort of how I feel if I leave ten dollars lying around, or you take toilet paper, a box of Kleenex, some food. If it means that much to you, and you need it, than take it.

But I don't believe that now. I believe that people should NOT fucking steal. Also, this nanny lived with her sister in a house. She may not have so much, but she definitely has a lot more than a lot of people.

I just want my things back. The Tag watch, I want it back. And who knows if I will ever get it back. Who knows what else is missing that I won't realize for a long time? I mean, I don't exactly keep inventory of MY things.

The weird thing is, this nanny wants to talk to me, to apologize, I guess. I don't want to hear it. I just want to move on.

I want to forget all this badness. I'm so grateful that The Dictator is OK. I suppose, too, that just because this nanny was a thief doesn't mean she wasn't taking care of The Dictator. Or at least that's what I need to believe.

I still believe in the goodness of people. Because I need to.


Blogger Ali said...

wow, Rebecca, that's awful.
i can't even imagine.
i was very up front with my nanny and told her the two things that would get her kicked to the curb...if she hits my kids or steals from me.

i trust her.
but the truth is, you just never know.
and i totally don't blame you for not wanting to talk to her - i wouldn't be able to face her either.

4:10 PM

Blogger pmb said...

Press charges. If you do, she'll think long and hard before she steals from someone again.

4:38 PM

Blogger Tim G. said...

...which is why women shouldn't be judges...charge her!

5:05 PM

Blogger Cindy said...

Wow! that's brutal, I can't beleive that someone could do that. Oh, wait yes I can, one time I had a bunch of "friends" over to my house when in high school and someone stole $200 dollars from my dresser. I couldn't look at any of them the same again.

8:47 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

i would press charges. your child has been in the care of a criminal. to my mind, if you're selling illegally obtained goods... child porn gets more money than prada bags. sorry to speculate on something so heinous but i feel the need to put it out there. this person is a criminal and your child was alone with her.

9:44 AM

Anonymous Hot Mom said...

What movies did you see?

9:49 AM

Blogger Kirsty said...

Rebecca, that is really awful & feel so bad for you. The whole feeling is so 'blah' when someone you trust breaks your trust.

10:04 AM

Blogger Pendullum said...

Now that just sucks...
I was robbed where someone took two diamond rings from me... They were old and sentimental...
The person that took them had to have rifled through my things...
They had to have gone into my inner sanctuary, my bedroom and have stolen them...
I know the feeling of violation...

10:08 AM

Anonymous Sarah said...

that's the scariest thing when something bad comes close to your kids - i worked as a nanny in London when i was young, and some of the things i saw made me terrified when i had to find someone to take care of my baby. It's such a betrayal - leaving your child with someone is the ultimate show of trust. I'm really sorry that you had to go through that.

10:16 AM

Anonymous BC Fan said...

That is SO shitty! Especially because you actually liked her. I am sure she took good care of the dictator even if she was a thief, and I totally agree if it was a roll of TP or a couple slices of bread, but seriously, how many people "need" a prada purse to live? Well, ok there are a few but they should really buy their own.
I hope you aren't too jaded.

10:18 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow, that's awful! We have a friend who shared a nanny with another couple and the nanny stole their identity to apply for credit. To date said nanny has racked up approx. $45,000 in their name. Unfortunately these few bad nannies give all nannies a bad name.

10:37 AM

Blogger Sheena said...

Oh Lord! That's awful. I had my prada wallet stolen almost exactly a year ago, but he had a gun in my face, yadda yadda yadda so I sort of knew what was going on.

10:38 AM

Blogger Sheena said...

Hmmm... that nanny wasn't actually Jan Wong doing another undercover article, was it?

10:39 AM

Anonymous Kristen said...

I would've flipped. Especially since you were so nice to her. Maybe you should really get nanny cams?

10:51 AM

Blogger Rebecca said...

Holy crap!! I'd be absolutely insane! You had that woman in your house, with your child and she has the GALL to steal from you? It's probably best you don't see or talk to her... I'd have a hard time not knocking her head off!!

4:02 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Although I'd be inclined to just move on and try to forget that she was entrusted with my child...I would press charges. I would worry about other unsuspecting families that she could easily go on working for. She will likely just go to another nanny agency and do the same to someone else. What's to stop her from posting ads or working for another agency if charges aren't filed.....And, I hate to say it but she obviously isn't taking Nanny or babysitting jobs because she wants to look after children...she is doing it because she gets free, un-supervised access and is able to steal easily from her clients. She's a fraud.

I wonder if there is a way of finding out about how many times a Nanny Agency has placed someone who turned out to be stealing or whatever....maybe they aren't screening properly....hmmm...a good question...Good luck.

5:46 PM

Anonymous Naomi (Urban Mummy) said...

Wow. That is my second worst nightmare abotu my nanny, after her doing harm to my son.

As with many, I do have some issues with mine, but she loves my son, and is definitely honest. She found $40 that my son had crumpled and thrown in the garbage, and returned it to me.

I agree with the charges. She deserves it.

6:03 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

this is why grandmums/bubbies and aunties make for the best nannies. a) they spoil your kid rotten so you don't have to and b) they wash your dishes, your clothes, and your crap instead of stealing it.

9:13 PM

Blogger Laural Dawn said...

That sucks :(
I'm sorry. I've never had anything like that happen to me.
But, I do know someone who used to steal all the time - it was a problem and she got counselling for it. But, she wasn't a bad person. When she dealt with the underlying issue it got turned around. And, she really is a kind wonderful person.
I'm not saying you shouldn't feel crappy because I totally would - and be pissed off. I'm just saying you probably were a good judge of character and this is a seperate issue.
I hope.
Poor you.
But, weird that she would be SO obvious.
PS I loved the Macleans blogs - so good!!!

2:56 PM

Blogger petite gourmand said...

oh my god, that's awful!
I just hope the dictator is okay.
no offence to nannies, but this is one of the major reasons I am hesitant to hire one.
Obviously not everyone is like this- i.e.. nanny mimi,
and I know there are many wonderful and caring women out there working as nannies and in child care.
but you just never know.
That just freaks me out.
It's not just the actual stealing of material stuff but the type of character that would actually do that.
so sorry this happened to you.

3:06 PM

Blogger jess said...

how troubling! maybe if it is only P/T, ask a mom friend to do it for you when in toronto.

referral services always freak me out compared to staying within your circle of friends, although jetsetters at film festivals aren't typically looking for childcare gigs.

that totally sucks, i feel for you. don't let it lower your hope in humanity too much though...

4:02 PM

Blogger Mom101 said...

You are lucky. So lucky. My parents had a housekeeper who obsessively stole all these weird personal items from my stepmother - UNDERWEAR! She stone her underwear. Plus jewelry and more. Never got a single thing back.

I would press charges. Well, I say I would. I might not. But I feel like you should if only to protect someone else from this. She sounds like a con artist.

7:12 PM


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