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Should I say something to AP?

(16 Posts)
Cupofteaplease Sat 01-Nov-08 12:06:13

Last night I went trick or treating with dd1 (aged 3), her best friend (aged 4) and her mum.

Whilst we were walking, friend's mum (she is a 'friend' of mine, although not close, we used to be neighbours. If our dds weren't so besotted with each other, I doubt we would be frinds, iyswim) told me about an incident that took place during the week at a play session at the leisure centre.

She said the girls were piling on top of my dd2 (17 months) and pulling her about etc. Apparently dd2 had taken it with good humour, but had started to get upset.

Friend was feeding her new born and couldn't get up so was shouting to the girls to leave dd2 alone, but they were ignoring her and carried on hmm (dd1 is very protective of her little sister, but does tend to carried away with everything when playing with her friend) In the end, another mum had to plough in and tell the girls to go and play elsewhere and leave dd2 alone.

According to friend, throughout all of this our AP just stood by and watched it all go on and did nothing...

Now, I don't know what to do. I am surprised about this, as AP adores dd2, far more than dd1, and I would have imagined she would have been the first person to pull dd1 away. Coupled with this, friend is rather gossipy and loves telling tales. Also, she was very cynical about us employing an AP and told me lots of horror stories etc to try and discouage us. She also seems a little jealous that I am at uni/on plcements full time, whereas she was made redundant whilst pregnant and doubts she will return to work, despite admitting that she is not really enjoying having the new baby.

So, should I mention it to AP (I'm surprised she and dd1, who is very honest about her behaviour, didn't mention it to me), or take the recount with a pinch of salt?

Incidently, despite AP being a lazy flake around the house, I trust her implicetly with the girls as she has proven herself to be a great child carer... I'm thinking perhaps she didn't feel it was her place to discipline another person's child, although she should have pulled dd1 away, no question.

WWYD?

Bubbaluv Sat 01-Nov-08 12:23:14

I would guess your "friend" was overreacting, otherwise the AP would have stepped in surely? Your friend probably annoys the AP so the AP felt no need to pander to her overreaction. The other mother might just have been reacting to your friend's shreaks rather than the actual situation?
Who knows, you weren't there, the girls aren't bothered, the AP wasn't bothered...

Blondeshavemorefun Sat 01-Nov-08 12:40:14

ask dd1what happened and go from there

does sound as if your friend did over exergratte(sp)

i didnt think AP's were meant to have sole charge care of under 3's?

Cupofteaplease Sat 01-Nov-08 12:45:20

Thanks for the advice. I might speak to dd1, but I doubt she would remember the event, one week on.

BHMF- we hired our AP on the basis of her having sole charge (although one of us is often at home anyway!) For that reason, we chose someone with childcare experience. We are confident in her abilities- hence this thread, it seems very unlike her!

zeee Sat 01-Nov-08 14:38:46

Sounds like this other mother could be trying to get a dig in at your au pair. Your dd2 wasn't hurt, dd1 didn't mention it so it sounds like no harm done. Maybe your au pair was allowing them a bit of rough and tumble play but would have stepped in if she felt it was getting out of hand.

MarmadukeScarlet Sat 01-Nov-08 14:43:45

You left a possibly unqualified youngish girl in sole charge of your 1 yr old and 3 yr old, she didn't look after them like a well qualified (and paid) Nanny - and you are surprised why exactly?

Cupofteaplease Sat 01-Nov-08 14:55:13

Thanks for your opinion, MarmadukeScarlet

catepilarr Sat 01-Nov-08 15:05:49

it's absolutely up to everyone what they ask their ap to do, incl looking after young children. there is nothing to that doesnt allow aps to look after small children.

savoycabbage Sat 01-Nov-08 15:19:08

Sounds like you trust AP more than this other mother so I would follow your instincts. It would have been socially awkward for your AP to have to tell the other little girl off when her mother was right there so perhaps she was hoping that the other mother would say something. Your AP might also feel that the other mother might not like her that much and worry that if she said anything to the little girl that her mother might not be happy.

Even if it did happen like the woman said it did it is not that much of an incident I would say. They do tend to get all excited and silly at play centres. My two dds are always on top of each other - but not in an agressive way. 'No wrestling' is one of my most used expressions!

NumberFour Sat 01-Nov-08 15:22:17

I think that if you have a good relationship with your AP (and it sounds like you do) then you could raise the matter with her in a similar way to way you have mentioned it here: you are concerend but trust her etc but would like to hear her version just to put your mind at rest.

From what you say of the other mum, I would take her version with a pinch of salt while clearing things with DD1 and AP

Good luck. Nice to have another MNetter that does not take the bait - here or in RL.

Cupofteaplease Sat 01-Nov-08 15:27:46

I think from the last postings that my initial feeling was right- friend was making more of the situation than perhaps was necessary. I don't think I'll mention it to my AP- what I will do is remind dd1 that her sister, although a robust little thing, is still a lot smaller than her and her best friend. I think I'll drop into convo with the AP how tricky the two older girls can be when they are together, and say that she mustn't be shy about telling them who's boss!

Thanks for the support, it's tricky to make a judgement call when you aren't present at the time!

Cupofteaplease Sat 01-Nov-08 15:27:49

I think from the last postings that my initial feeling was right- friend was making more of the situation than perhaps was necessary. I don't think I'll mention it to my AP- what I will do is remind dd1 that her sister, although a robust little thing, is still a lot smaller than her and her best friend. I think I'll drop into convo with the AP how tricky the two older girls can be when they are together, and say that she mustn't be shy about telling them who's boss!

Thanks for the support, it's tricky to make a judgement call when you aren't present at the time!

MarmadukeScarlet Sat 01-Nov-08 18:32:50

My opinion is based on having employed Housekeeper/Nanny, Mother's Helps and Au Pairs and also on your recent posts saying she is not doing her job properly.

No, there is no legislation to say an AP should not care for a child under the age of 2 BUT it is NOT recommended.

I'm not baiting you, I'm certainly not saying you shouldn't do it, but I am saying you shouldn't be surprised when she doesn't deal as effectively with a situation as someone with more experience.

Cupofteaplease Sat 01-Nov-08 18:58:28

MS- I do appreciate your opinion, I don't think you are trying to bait me. As you may have noted from my profile I'm (only!) 26 and therefore my AP is only a few years younger than me. Therefore, the problems that I have had with her, and that you hae rightly pointed out, that I have posted about, are more to do with my problems in managing her and her issues with taking instructions from me. I have never doubted her abilities with my children, trust me, if I doubted my childrens' saftey, she would be out of the door in a shot.

That is why I posted here, to ask for advice on what, if anything, to say to the AP, not because I can't trust her.

I feel I must also point out that when I had my dd 3 years ago, I had very limited experience with children, and have learnt as I go along- as I'm sure most parents do. For that reason, I didn't particulary want a nanny (nor could I afford one!) who knew everything. Instead, I saught out an AP with childcre experince. Luckily, that is what I found in my AP. She has experience, first aid certificates and a police check. She does not have a formal qualification in childcre- but neither do I! I repeat, if I didn't trust her with my precious bundles, she wouldn't be here.

I thank everyone who has taken the time to respond, and I hope I can continue to post in this section, whether people agree with my child care decisions or not, as I find it a great source of support.

BTW, my dcs go to a nursery and childminder after lunch, so at least I can be 100% confident after 12pm- or can I?! grin

MarmadukeScarlet Sat 01-Nov-08 19:03:32

smile I've got Levi's older than you and a car, for that matter!

I know it is hard to gauge the tone with an AP close to your own age. I was in my late 20's when I had DD and my HK/N was 50+ but actually she managed me rather than the other way around, which was fine at the time but I realise I could have handled it better!

I tend now to go for quite young APs as I find them easier, so I dodge the confrontations too!

Cupofteaplease Sat 01-Nov-08 19:15:53

Ah, that made me smile that you have Levi's older than me! They must be threadbare by now! grin

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