Helena was training our baby to sniff, bark, and lick like you would train a dog!
If baby wanted to play outside, she had to do dog agility training and so much more…
Recently I started working again after being a stay-at-home-mom. I decided that the best thing for my one and a half year old toddler Kayla would be a permanent babysitter.
Here in Namibia (where I live) we do not have agencies we can call for referrals and the general trend is to hire a domestic helper. Preferably an Herero woman who is a grandmother, because in their culture, the parents do not raise the children, the grandparents do.
When the baby is three months old the parents leave the baby at home with grandma and go to work on farms.
However, my husband decided that we were not going to leave our baby with grandparent. He decided that we will hire a German woman because they are very strict instead.
Our Search for Perfect Babysitter
Phase one: After weeks of interviewing, we finally got the perfect one. Her name was Helena. In her interview she mentioned that she loves children and animals alike and although she is unable to have children she treats her pets like her children.
Phase two: We introduced Helena to Kayla and they got off wonderfully. Kayla especially loved the German nursery rhymes Helena sang to her.
Phase three: For the last few weeks before I had to be at work I let Helena come in during the day to make sure that she and Kayla got along and to see how she handles Kayla. All of which she did wonderfully.
At first I thought she was merely playing games. But after a while it really started to bother me. For example, she would come and press her head against me or my husband when she wanted something, then she started smelling everything.
One day at a play date she (instead of hugging her friend like she normally does) she started sniffing them. With a mixture of mild alarm and amusement I ignored it.
Then when I got home from work Kayla would be covered in twigs and grass and have sand EVERYWHERE. Then one day when Kayla was lying in front of the TV watching cartoons. She was eating waffles and she spilled some syrup on the carpet.
I closed the bedroom door and sprinted to my husband’s office. I told him that Kayla is starting to act more and more like a dog. He tells me that is impossible and goes to see for himself. With a pale and shocked face he returns and simply says “that’s not normal”.
My husband works with home security and surveillance systems so we decided to install cameras throughout our house and yard. After a few days we finally got up the nerve to watch the footage and see how Helena was doing with our child. What we saw on the screen left us infuriated and speechless.
In the mornings when I left for work she would make a call on the house phone. Half an hour later a man would show up with two mixed breed dogs. Helena would then start training the dogs and our daughter. If Kayla wanted food she had to sit on the floor and beg.
Helena would lock the bedroom doors so the dogs don’t get on the beds but that meant neither could Kayla. If she was tired she had to sleep on the living room carpet. If she wanted to play outside she had to do agility training with the dogs and so much more.
When Helena said during her interview her pets are her children we never imagined that she treated them like dogs.
Needless to say we fired Helena on the spot. And told her if she ever even sets foot on our street we would call the police and have her arrested. Now I finally have my Herero Granny and Kayla is a normal happy child again. That is why it is better to hire nanny from reputable firms who do background security checks on potential applicants.