The Nanny Index

Off to Wyoming, to find a new home

I was out all day with a client and, while obviously he’s still in the housing market, many of his peers are not, he said, because they are, at least temporarily, sidelined as they watch their cash bonuses converted into paper promises of future payment.

And that conversation, in turn, yielded the information that my fellow agent showing a house mentioned: she’s been receiving emails from mothers she knows at Brunswick, trying to find a place for their children’s beloved nanny – there’s no longer money to pay for that luxury.

That’s a bummer for the poor girls involved, of course, but I wonder if there is enough of that happening to serve as an economic index? If so, add another weight to the down side of the balance.

50 Comments

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50 responses to “The Nanny Index

  1. Anonymous

    Boys. Not Girls.

  2. horse jock

    Brunswick, maybe. Country Day, not so much.

  3. anon

    Those Brunswick parents should apply for financial aid so they can keep their nannies. Or else they should stop pretending they are rich and send their kids to public school.

  4. boog

    surely “walt” has a solution…

  5. Catch a Falling Knife

    nannies are a luxury – getting the best education for your kids (if you can afford it) is probably not considered to be one

  6. Walt

    Dude –
    Why yes, actually. I do have a solution. Let no nanny get left behind. We divide them into two groups. First cut is male or female. Any male nanny gets deported, or shot. Your call. They are all boy diddlers. YES THAT IS RIGHT!! And you know it. The man boy nanny’s are pervs. DIE I SAY!! Who hires them anyway?
    So now all the Nannies left are female. Right? Which is how it should be. Correctamundo my friend? So now we go by weight. Over 150 pounds, they either get a job in retail, or they stay with you. OK? You little chubby lover. Under 150 pounds, I will interview them. There is a large demand for Nannies who have large cans, bubble butts, and wear short skirts with no underwear. Bald is better, but we may make exceptions. Agreed?
    I think I can help these Nannies. Make a list and send it to me. Pictures preferred.
    Doesn’t it feel good to help others Dude? You load.
    Your Pal,
    Walt

  7. Anonymous

    Spending $50K/yr/kid on private schools to turn them into economically illiterate, innumerate but perhaps articulate, commies: such parents deserve the rather predictable outcomes of their mindless spending on outsourced parenting whether private schools or nannies

  8. Anonymous

    Wow people are going to have to check in and raise their own children. It is so hard to get off the pills & booze and make a lunch here or there. And how can I go to the gym, then tennis, next the spa and still have time to lunch. It is so important that I impress all my frenemies. Plus, what if my kid needs help w/ homework or may need to talk or something. I wish people understood, it is very difficult to farm out ALL my responsibilities as a mother and look anorexic in Hermes. Who’s on first?!

    PS the people from country day are even BIGGER fake assholes

  9. Real Estate Junkie

    Geez. There’s some passion behind some of these comments. Everyone’s all fired up about the nannies. Let’s bring it back to RE shall we? Chris….how many houses in the 4 to 5M range are on the market now? Is that the biggest pool of inventory (I think you’ve shared this information before, so excuse me if I’m asking you to repeat yourself). I’m just thinking the same people who are dumping the nannies, must be trying to dump the houses too, no? Apparently the nannies are easier to dump than the house. What’s the chances of those 4 and 5 numbers to hit 3 in the next year?

  10. why so bitter about the schools??

    ha! while some truth to the generalizations you guys have way overstated the case here. not every private school parent is rich (amazingly enough we still also have to make choices and then sacrifices after that). funny how my private school friends would never denigrate the Greenwich Public Schools but the public school parents can’t wait to tear down/slander/make assumptions about their private school counterparts. lots of people i know are giving up vacations or camps or selling their more expensive homes to afford to continue with their school of choice. seems like a healthy priority to spend on education instead of that vail ski house or nanny or flying business class????

  11. Oh, man. As pissed off as I get at every “Anonymous” on this site — can’t you guys be a little creative? — I have to thank the two who posted at 6:42 and 6:50, above, especially you, 6:50. Love it, love it, love it.

    P.S. Love you too, Walt, as always.

  12. Anonymous

    Anonymous @ 6:42 PM & Anonymous eight minutes later @ 6:50 PM (I assume you are the same person, but that it took more than one posting for you to empty your spleen.):

    I’ve been a parent at both of these schools, and you just don’t know what you’re talking about. You sound like a dimwit who is pea-green with envy of those who can afford to send their children to these schools. There are, unfortunately, bad parents at every school and at every income level. Your stereotypical descriptions of private school parents reveals your ignorance.

    And what’s with the “people from country day are even BIGGER fake assholes” remark? BIGGER than what? And how on God’s green earth would a creature like you know anyway?

  13. Anonymous

    6:50, chances are most parents couldn’t even do the homework of their 8th grader, let alone know what to do with them beyond drive ’em to very expensive day care 5x/week. who needs to think so hard when hubby brings home the wampum?

    oh woopsie daisy, turns out that wampum is now reformulated to be tied to hubby having to create something of long-term intrinsic economic value.

    GAME OVER!

  14. Catch a Falling Knife

    it is still early, but once local budgets get drop-kicked and public school funding slashed due to the horrible economy, private school demand will explode any price will seem reasonable to those who can afford it; Greenwich public schools are already a roll of the dice as is

  15. Let the qualified nannies moonlight at Beamers 3 or 4 nights a week.

  16. anon

    those who denigrate the private schools are typically the ones who argue that ivy league educations aren’t that much better either

    unfortunately for them, employers think differently: as globalization continues, signalling will be all the more important in differentiating yourself

    • I disagree with you’re evaluation of the quality of education provided at the Iveies these days, anon (check out the occupy camp – in in Harvard Yard, jsut as a for instance) but you’re right about main stream employers looking for their graduates, and isn’t that what it’s all about?

  17. anon

    if you think the kids at harvard and yale are idiots, wait till you come across the ones at the other schools

  18. 6:50

    Hi,

    I am 6:50 and not 6:42. My kids are in private schools and I went to Columbia University (just in case you didn’t know that is ivy league) and I clearly understand the value of these education systems for good and bad. I also am not confusing a great expensive education with GOOD parenting. These 2 are not the same!!!
    But, parenting is something that is our responsibility regardless of monetary items. My experience stems from outsourced park visits, to baseball games, to birthday parties and play dates/sleepovers. These are all filled with children that have NO sustainable boundaries and reliable guidance and confidence of unconditional love. What they have in common is that is all fleeting and can be easily trumped by parents’ materialistic responsibilities or worse the kids are in charge. That is not a reflection of school private or not – it is having means and access to not do our job as parents. Working is hard. And I see a lot of spoiled kids and parents that don’t know how to do it when they can just pay for it to go away. Wait until the real world hits and daddy warbucks isn’t there to bail these kids out. There are many articles and books on this topic. It shouldn’t be a surprise to any of us. How many of us were really raised by nannies. Here it is just a notch on your belt with an awful price to pay.

  19. AJ

    All you anonymouses and anons are like decuplets, all running around looking exactly the same. It’s enough to melt anyone’s brain. Why don’t you think of more singular identities like Blubber Fish, or Tuna Baloona, or Jelly Head. You could still be very anonymous unless you’re so secretive that you don’t even want anyone seeing any continuity in your posts?

  20. anon

    6:50,

    no we are idiots and didn’t know Columbia was an ivy (although bordeline safety ivy); your sarcasm just oozed of condescension but it’s a bit hypocritical since you profess to be one one of those “fake a**holes” you mention

    most parents are doing their best; having a nanny doesn’t mean they are bad parents – maybe they have demanding careers or have a lot of kids and need help; if one values time properly, there are a lot of things that can be “outsourced” that don’t have a massive impact on a child’s development

    • Wow, outsourcing child rearing, really? I’ve outsourced exercise, yoga, Whole Food take-out ordering and dog poop picking upping but I hadn’t thought to send my nanny off to cheer on Buster at his Little League/travel team baseball game. Cool.

  21. anon

    shuttling kids around to school, practices or friends’ homes, especially in Greenwich, is probably the best example of something that is a massive drain on time

    try that with 4 kids

  22. 6:50

    you tell yourself that……by the way babysitting is not child rearing which most nannies are doing. I am talking about priorities and raising emotionally intelligent children that also matches their education. A child’s development incorporates a lot of that “outsourced” stuff. By the way, I am not talking about parents with careers and you all know that.

  23. Anonymous

    oh great Chris, now I am a failure at outsourcing too. Our nanny is Polish and does not drive….

  24. Anonymous

    everyone knows the real work horses are the Filipinos –

  25. why so bitter about the schools??

    There’s more racial and ethnic diversity at the private schools than some of our public elementary schools. Also, with the huge number of teachers’ kids you have a true middle class element there which is missing at north street etc. Some of the anonymous post-ers here are really just operating on myths and suppositions instead of actual experience with the private schools.

  26. anon

    the private schools are ultimately about maximizing a child’s potential, by ensuring the best resources/teaching and making sure they don’t fall through the cracks (which is not hard to do at a high school with thousands of kids)

    it is an insurance policy on the child’s education – no guarantee, but increasing the odds

  27. Shoeless

    Columbia obviously did not consider punctuation to be an essential requirement.

  28. Krazy Kat

    We have had several nannies or live-in cleaning women (part nanny, part housekeeper). Some became very close to the family and we have visited them in their home countries upon their return. Others have been cordial relationships but always distant. Some were outright poor. In our experience, the Polish were the best combination of worker and jovial personality. YMMV.

    As for private schools, Chris, I am amazed how polarizing this subject is whenever it comes up every quarter or so. Three of my four kids are in private school with the other going public (private curriculum was not “right” for him). Each system has its advantages and disadvantages. In our case, we made the decision years ago to give our kids the best primary school education we could in the hope that they would be better students, thinker, etc. That is not to say public school can’t deliver that, we just made the decision that we saw was right for us (my wife has three cousins that went through Greenwich system including GHS in the 1990s so we had valid input). Our plan has been, and continues to be, to send our kids to solid non-Ivy schools since Ivies are increasingly become credential factories rather than institutions of higher education. Go to Instapundit and search for “higher education bubble” if you need any convincing that a bubble has formed and is slowly but surely leaking (higher ed can not collapse like real estate for a variety of reasons).

    As for those wishing doom on private schools, the school my kids attend just received the largest number of applications in its history. In fact, each of the past three recruiting seasons has seen a record number of applications. So, while some of the families in such schools may be experiencing difficulty, there is plenty of demand out there for $30-38k tuitions (or multiples thereof).

    BTW, Walt, we have had two male nannies, referred to by my kids as “mannies”. One (Czech) was gay and liked adult men and we cut him loose rather quickly (not a judgement on his choices, he was lying to us on a range of matters). The other (German) turned out to be a stoner and was OK but not great. I would not recommend mannies.

    • On a related matter, Krazy, I was writing to friend this morning about more or less this topic and said this:

      yeah, I’m always surprised at the class warfare and resentment that goes on here in town – seems to me that most of us grew up at least middle class and therefore had the resources to actually have choices. So what’s the beef? My peers went on to be failed builders, successful restaurant owners, poor musicians, rich musicians, financial whiz kids, felons (a category that does not exclude the former), even lawyers, for Crissake- the entrepreneurs seem to have done the best but those friends who found themselves on Wall Street did okay, too, but in the end, we all pretty much did what we wanted to do, with varying results.

      Same thing for most Greenwich folks, so again, what’s the beef?

  29. anon

    as the great philosopher Ice-T once said:

    Don’t hate the playa hate the game

  30. Krazy Kat

    IMO, there are subsets of each group that are militant in their view and that taints much of the discussion. I too grew up middle class in Yonkers, went to public schools, took out loans for the half of an engineering education my folks could not pay and then put myself through b-school for my MBA. I still have a Yonkers accent but that has not penalized me too much over the past decades. In the grand scheme of things, our family is pretty humble though we live a good life. Many families at my kids’ private school are similar, though many of those are faculty kids.

    On the other hand, I have met some of the most obnoxious, egotistical, full of themselves, “my kids’ farts don’t stink” parents at our kids schools. And, it is often the wives who are the worst offenders. I can EASILY understand why anyone in town that has to observe these Godesses of Greenwich would be tempted to paint the entire school population with a broad brush. Get cut off one too many times by a big SUV or small $100k sports car with a WCK or GCDS sticker on the back and it is easy to “hate” a class of folks.

    I am oversimplifying and generalizing here but it is true. Sadly, many of these kids do pick up on these mightier than thou vibes from the parents and that in turn alienates their public school peers. How we don’t have fights at Arch Street during their “open” high school nights is beyond me.

    As for the higher ed bubble, two from Dr. Reynolds today:

    http://www.mindingthecampus.com/originals/2012/01/has_the_higher-ed_revolution_begun.html

    http://www.forbes.com/sites/brettnelson/2012/01/25/why-you-should-postpone-college/

  31. AJ

    Mannies? I have one word: NAMBLA. Hide your children right now.

  32. anon

    When I went to Country Day in the late 60s there were six, count ’em, six, Jewish families and no, that’s zero, blacks.

  33. anon

    Yeah, those WCK and GCDS stickers are pretty obnoxious. Sort of like those ACK stickers. It’s like saying, “I’m such a D Bag because I fly into ACK instead of taking a ferry with the peasants…”

  34. Anonymous

    How many Jewish and black families are there now?

    • In the mid-sixties, Jews (forget blacks!) were barred from buying houses in most areas of town, all of the clubs, and so forth. Greenwich residents have nothing to be proud of from that era in terms of treatment of minorities, whether they sent their kids to public or private schools.

  35. Greenwich Gal

    Yes, there is a great deal of animosity in this town regarding schools and school choice. It is unfortunate. There is not enough space in the private schools to meet the demand. The schools can’t even begin to take all the qualified kids who can pay full freight, so they take the kids with money and connections or a guaranteed championship sealing athlete. Rejectees get their nose out of joint, understandably.
    GHS, in my opinion, offers an excellent curriculum but when is comes to teachers it is a crap shoot. Classes are packed to the gills. Because of the size, many kids are left out of being part of a sports team. You could not possibly make the football team, golf team, tennis team, lacrosse team – you name it- unless you have been playing since a youngster. The sense of community in a school that big is also somewhat lacking – dances are routinely cancelled due to disinterest. There is little to no supervision or guidance. You are on your own. This town would be much better served by having two high schools as most towns of this size have. But apparently, it is too late for that.

  36. I wanted to keep up with all social X-rays who sport Harvard, Yale and Princeton banners on their assault vehicles. So I got one for my 12-year-old Town and Country. It says FU.

  37. Anonymous

    Chris, BFD stands for Big F-ing Deal. Meant as a diss against those WCK, ACK, MV, HH, etc. stickers put on their vehicles by “look at me” class.

  38. buckley

    you people need to get a life.