Cooper’s baby, Anna, often takes her afternoon naps in her stroller at the park. Cooper practices cry-it-out sleep training, and everyone in the house including her nanny, Nicki, is fully aware that the baby may cry before she sleeps. Cooper told Yahoo Parenting: ”My daughter has a strong set of lungs, and she sometimes cries when she’s put down to nap, as I imagine many kids do,” she says. ”Since we did sleep training with her when she was very young, we’re fine with that ”” as Nicki knows.”
They may be fine with it, but a local mother was not. She approached Nicki and asked why the baby was crying and why Nicki wasn’t doing anything about it. She wasn’t satisfied with Nicki’s explanation (not sure what it was, but if it were me it would be something along the lines of, ‘Babies cry, you idiot’) so she called the police. She called the police to report a crying baby. You really can’t make this stuff up. I’m sure the police were thrilled to show up at the park because there’s pretty much no other crime happening in Brooklyn. Cooper says that when the cops showed up, they laughed at the fact that they were called in.
Cooper did what any Brooklyn parent on a listserv would do — write an awesome letter, knowing the nosy mom and every other mom in the neighborhood would see it. She says in her letter, “While I appreciate that parents in the neighborhood are keeping a watchful eye while some of us are working, let’s remember that getting the police involved is a serious decision and one that should be reserved for obvious cases of neglect/abuse, not merely situations that exemplify child-rearing styles different than one’s own.”
I commend Cooper for being so level-headed and gracious. My letter would have been something like, “Whoever called the cops on my nanny for letting my child cry for two minutes needs to get a hobby.” Most parents would appreciate a fellow mom stepping in if there were actual neglect happening, but crying?
When I lived in Brooklyn, I was one of the moms in the park with the nannies during the day. On more than one occasion I heard judgy comments by other moms at the park regarding the amount of playing the nannies were doing with the kids — and other annoying observations. So I’m totally not surprised that some mother would think it was okay to totally overstep her boundaries and make a ridiculous decision to call the cops because a baby was crying a little. I’ve heard the chatter – nannies get a lot of judgment. Hopefully this meddling mom will be humbled by this experience and realize she was wrong.
I’m not holding my breath though.