The Day Our Nanny Watched Our Son Hang Himself

zacharie neck burnsIt was one year ago, and he still bears the scars.

It looks like a wrinkle you or I might have in our neck, but when I see that track of white scar tissue around the front of his neck, it brings shudders.

My wife and I are not uber-baby proofers. She is a little crazy with the wipes and disinfectant, but when it comes to baby gates, we’ve never had any. We put Bumbo seats on tables and counters when they were infants and didn’t have a problem. There is no lock on the doors for the kitchen sink. Our kids fell when they were learning to walk, but we didn’t make them wear thudguards. We are active and engaging parents. When our kids are somewhere – so are we.

Then, last November, my son was almost a statistic.

The nanny in NY headlines of a few weeks ago brought back memories of last November. Working parents put a lot of faith in other people to become our eyes and ears and have that I-would-step-in-front-of-a-bullet unconditional love for our kids like we do. It’s a lot to ask.

zacharie neck burnLast November our Nanny sat on a couch 9 feet from our son and watched him climb onto a play table, wrap a cord around his neck, proclaim he was “JUNGLE GUY!” and jump.

She said that she asked him to come down, but she didn’t have that instinct to JUMP UP AND RUSH TO HIM when he climbed on the table. “No thank you, Zacharie,” was all she mumbled at him.

He jumped.

Thankfully it was a very nasty rope burn that we were left with after the incident. The table has been moved away from the blinds. The cords are now hung up high, and my son knows all too well what can happen when you wrap a cord around your neck.

I could die like Nan,” he sighs.

Could. But didn’t.

I got another reminder of the story today after reading this post from Meagan Francis about hero Nanny’s who put themselves in harm’s way to save their kids. And I don’t say “their” kids lightly, because those of us who employ caregivers expect them to behave as if our children were their own.

Sometimes, that’s just too much to ask.

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Article Posted 4 years Ago

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