When news came out about the horrific double murder/attempted suicide committed by a Manhattan nanny last week every parent I knew got the chills. It was an image impossible to shake: a trusted caregiver in your home, hunched over your own bathtub where your two precious children lay dead in a pool of blood. Surely this stomach-boiling incident was isolated. We assumed that much. Anything as monstrous as the violent murder of two children, babies really, under the charge of a professional nanny was just a horrible fluke. We could chalk it up to an anomalous incident occuring under specific, isolated circumstances. Besides, it happened far away. To other people.
Then the nanny double murder happened in Naperville yesterday. Same basic scenario, same number of kids murdered by a caregiver wielding a kitchen knife in the home. That happened here. It's now happened twice. Is this grisly scenario, dare I even say it, a trend?
This can't be blamed on the created narrative of the 24-hour news cycle. Sometimes crimes that happen regularly are suddenly highlighted and called a trend. But this? Kitchen knife nannies? The only explanation is it's a copycat crime for attention. What world did we create where people murder children for attention?
I'm clutching my pearls high and tight, thank-you-very-much. We need to start paying attention to each other. We need to start seeing other peoples' pain and reaching out to our neighbors and nannies and all the people around us. Also, we need to reward positive behavior. Where's the fame and news coverage of the nannies who do a great job?
I'll tell you where. Right here. Today. My nanny's name is Lynne. She's a wonderfully patient, devoted professional and I completely trust her with my kids. (Disclosure: I'm only gone a few hours a month.) I'd post her last name and picture so everyone can see the wonderful person I'm talking about, but I don't have her permission as of the time of posting. An example of her good deeds? Just yesterday she put together the same wooden puzzle about 40 times because Buh-Stell is obsessed with it. Kids are maddening. Not everyone takes a kitchen knife to them.
I don't have to say it. I love my kids more than effort can show. I can't imagine hurting them, even at my most angry. I certainly love them more than the promise of fleeting infamy. It's got to be hard watching other people's children, but a slashing anyone with a knife? My brain doesn't comprehend.
There just has to be something to turn this boat around, guys. We had copy cat "zombies" and copy cat mall-shooters. We can't have copy cat kitchen knife nannies too.