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Nanny Accused Of ‘Crushing’ Girl’s Dreams After Refusing To Continue Pretending To Be Moana

Nannies are expected to handle a lot when it comes to the kids they take care of, but is there a point where a family is just asking too much?

And if a nanny reaches that point, is there a wrong way to handle it?

Redditor amithe_the_ahole isn’t a hundred percent certain they handled a really … unique … conflict correctly.

What better place to turn than the AITA (“Am I The A**hole?”) subReddit?

“AITA for refusing to role-play as Moana and crushing a little girl’s dreams?”

Before we get into the story, let’s go over how the AITA works. People tell their stories as posts. Other users respond to those original posters (OPs) in the comments, sharing their thoughts and casting votes.

Voting options are: 

  • YTA – You’re The A**hole
  • NTA – Not The A**hole
  • NAH – No A**holes Here
  • ESH – Everyone Sucks Here

Now back to the little girl’s crushed dreams and how the adults in her life let it happen. 

“I’m (22f) a part time nanny and currently work for a wealthy couple. I look after two kids – 3F and 5M.”

“The 3 year old is absolutely obsessed with Moana. When I first met her she immediately asked me if I’m Moana.”

“I hesitated but her mother gave me a look and I kind of said yes. The little girl got so excited and at that point I had NO idea what I was in for.”

“Ever since that day, I’ve had to pretend to be Moana. The woman actually paid me extra to keep up the act.”

Disney How Far I'Ll Go GIF by Moana - Find & Share on GIPHY

 

“I only responded to the name ‘Moana’ and told the girl all about my sea adventures. It quickly turned into a nightmare as I always had to be in character and make up stories.”

“The girl became convinced I am Moana so if I did something a little out of character she would get very upset.”

“I’ve discussed with the mother that we would have to phase out of this Moana thing at some point in the near future as I don’t want to continue anymore. She said that this would be fine.”

“A few days ago the mother texted me a picture of a Moana costume and told me I would wear it for the family’s upcoming ‘Moana Day’ (seriously, when is it not at that house?) I’d have to bring the cake out and afterwards there would be some pool activities with the kids.”

“I told her immediately that I would not wear a costume or swim in the pool as Moana or continue role-playing. I was well aware that I could potentially lose my job over this but at that point I did not give a sh*t.”

“She said that she understands that this was ‘a bit short notice’ but it would really make her daughter happy. I told the lady that it’s actually racially insensitive to shoehorn me into this role as I’m not even Polynesian.”

“I told her that not all people with tan skin + wavy, black hair are from the same place. Her only response was that she’s not racist and that she just wants the best for her children.”

“Yesterday I was with the kids and I gently told the little girl that I am not Moana and I never was. She immediately started crying.”

“Her brother hugged her and she just continued screaming. It was an absolute sh*tshow. My ears are still ringing from all that screeching.”

Screaming The Rock GIF by Moana - Find & Share on GIPHY

 

“Her mother was pissed off of course.”

“Afterwards the father spoke to me in private and said that although he understands that they’re asking for a ‘little too much,’ I should’ve known it’s Moana Day soon. I was furious and asked him ‘When is it not Moana Day?!’ “

“Afterwards he went out to get some ice cream with his daughter while I stayed with the son.”

“Miraculously they have not fired me yet. I guess it’s because their daughter calmed down, though it’s still a very sensitive subject.”

“So am I the a**hole for crushing this little girl’s dreams? Could I have solved this issue in a less a**hole-y way?”

Reddit was beyond baffled. 

“I’m a career nanny who’s done this for over a decade. I’ve worked with hundreds of kids and truly have seen some wild a** sh*t and been asked so many unreasonable requests.”

“I have never, ever encountered anything remotely like this and I cannot find the words. NTA.” – Ratthewmcconaughey

“NTA but I am more alarmed that they don’t consider how their daughter will feel when she grows up. I remember my 2nd birthday, honestly.”

“There is a strong possibility she could remember this, reflect on it, then wonder why they thought it was okay to have someone pretend to be a character the entire time they knew her.”

“If it were me, that would make me question their parenting skills.” – applesauceeyes

“ESH except for the kids.”

“So here is the thing, I get that it is racially insensitive of them to be doing this to you and I understand that you have a legitimate point there.”

“So, knowing all that, why in the world did you ever agree to this??? You didn’t want to do it, you knew it was wrong, and you agreed to it anyway. In fact, you agreed with it so much that you accepted extra payment to play this role.”

“Furthermore, instead of handling this professionally and insisting to the parents that this was going to stop and sitting them down with the girl so you guys could explain this situation in a compassionate way, you let your feelings get the better of you and you crushed this little girl’s feelings instead.”

“The parents clearly need to get a grip on reality and realize they can’t ask a human being to pretend to be a Disney character forever. But you need to learn to behave as an adult and as a professional.”

“Stop agreeing to things you don’t want to do – and certainly don’t accept money for doing those things ffs.” – savvy-librarian

“NTA”

“I don’t know why the parents couldn’t acknowledge something like you resemble Moana, but Moana is a fictional character so she’s not going to see her in real life.”

“I have little family members in that age group. Their parents encourage playing dress up and make believe, and even have character-themed day.”

“They don’t lie about things, though. That’s just weird and setting up the kid for trust issues.” – worldsbestapril

“ESH, she accepted something she was not comfortable with and lashed out at the kid. Anyone knows that 3 year olds would cry and be upset at something like that.”

“Ethically she should have just refused extra payment to act as Moana and instead said that she doesn’t want the girl to believe in a false reality, especially one she herself can’t maintain.”

“Why would you accept payment for playing a role then wonder if it’s sh*tty of you to basically throw it out in one second and hurt a child?” – Marcelitaa

“They literally were paying OP extra to pretend to be Moana.”

“That said, it’s fine for OP to not want that job. It’s fine for OP to say I am willing to be a Nanny but I don’t want to be one of those professional Disney Princesses who are always in character.”

“This does not make her an a**hole. She isn’t forced to do it forever because she agreed at first. NTA.”

“Also, on a personal level, I think it’s sh*tty to the kid. It’s one thing to play pretend sometimes and another to have someone in your life who is lying to you every day – even for ‘fun’ reasons.”

“No wonder this kid was crushed. She loved and trusted Moana as one of her caretakers and it turns out the lady was lying about who she was the whole time, every story she told was a lie, ect.”

“That’s got to be pretty upsetting. And how is the kid going to trust their nanny now when they know most of what she tells them is just lies? (And yes, a three year old is old enough to realize someone is a liar.)” – TheHatOnTheCat

“NTA I thought this was going to be a sorry of ‘Oh, I didn’t want to play dress up one afternoon with a young kid.’ I was fully ready to say Y T A”

“But after reading this…shit. This is wrong on so many levels. The lying, the racism, the false hope. What is wrong with these parents!? NTA!”

“This isn’t Santa, the tooth fairy, or the Easter Bunny. It’s a Disney character, it seems weird to tell the kid you are a Disney character. Would they tell her every blonde white girl is Elsa?”

“Did they hire you for your race so they could be the cool parents that got Moana to be the babysitter? How could you even Nanny?”

“Moana doesn’t follow rules she broke the rules (all be it cause the Ocean called her, but still) ‘Hey Susie don’t go near the sidewalk. It could be dangerous’.”

“Susie: ‘But the pavement calls me like the ocean called you!’ Boom dead kid.”

“What benefit does this kid get from being in this fake world? I mean Santa, Disney World/land, Tooth Fairy, Easter Bunny are temporary. But in her mind she will see Moana every day. That can’t be healthy!”

“Racism…that is all.”

“I really feel like they planned this. From eyeing you making you say you were Moana when you met the kid, her even asking makes me think she was told that’s who you were, asking you to play along, the party stuff.”

“Feels like they wanted a full time Disney Cast Member for 1/3 the cost.” – JoeCrip2000

“ESH (except the kids). I mean, you say yourself that you crushed a little girl’s dreams.”

“I have a ton of empathy for you in not being able to handle this after (what sounds like) a very long time of putting up with it, but that doesn’t change the fact that you didn’t handle this well.”

“You lashed out at a 3 year old child and clearly hurt her very much, when in fact the adults in the room (yourself included) are the ones who are responsible for the situation.”

“It was especially hurtful to do right before ‘Moana Day;’ the holiday may seem silly to you, but consider how the child feels about this. You basically told her Santa isn’t real a few days before Christmas.”

“The parents didn’t handle this well, either, however. When you told them you were uncomfortable with the role, they should’ve helped you plan a way to phase the Moana charade out in a way that was less damaging to their daughter.”

“They failed to be accommodating in that regard.”

“However, I think many commenters are being too harsh on the parents; they’re paying you extra for this extra service, and you agreed to do it. It’s the same thing as being paid to do any other difficult job.”

“As for racial insensitivity, the kid is the one shoehorning you into the role. It’s not her fault if she can’t distinguish different races yet, especially if she’s not exposed to much racial diversity yet since she’s three.”

“And you went along with it, so you’re unfortunately as guilty of any racial insensitivity as the parents are.”

“TLDR; you broke a kid’s heart because her parents weren’t accommodating, instead of approaching the situation like an adult.” – antique-prosecutor

“I’m gonna go with ESH. While I agree with everyone who’s saying NTA, I can’t help but think that you share some of the blame for this, OP.”

“I have worked in child’s care for years and have studied it for almost twice as long. As soon as that first ensuing moment happened you should have known not to start your relationship with the children off with a lie.”

“How hard would it have been to giggle and say ‘aw no honey I’m not Moana, but thank you so much for compliment! We can play Moana though if you’d like?’ ”

“Part of being professional in this job is knowing when to say no, and I feel that you’re putting too much emphasis on your opinion that this family has a lot of money and that maybe they’re a bit spoiled.”

“For all I know, that may be the case, but it’s your job not to take that seriously and just get on with it. My advice would be to stay with the family if they don’t fire you and use it as a learning opportunity for the little girl.”

“If they let you go, take it as a learning opportunity for yourself and move on.” – PottyLottie1996

“NTA- Is anyone else thinking about that scene in parasite where Kim Ki-taek had to dress up as a native american for the rich Dad’s birthday party he was holding for his son?”

“Just because you work for them as a nanny, doesn’t mean they get to impose on your life like that. There are Moana impersonators and entertainers all over the internet they could hire if they really want Moana to act for their daughter.” – MoodyBloom

“ESH”

“The parents suck for making you lie to their kid and play a role in the first place. It was racially insensitive and had you doing two jobs at once: nanny, and princess impersonator.”

“And the moana day… yeesh. That is definitely crossing so many boundaries.”

“You suck because you committed to the role yet got annoyed and didn’t see it through; and then went around the parents to just dump on a three year old. Stuff like that seriously f*cks up kids.”

“When you tell a child something like this you HAVE to follow it through or find a different way out.”

“This 3 year old girl was FULLY convinced that she had the real life Moana in her house. You told her stories and built up her fantasy.”

“That little girl’s heart is probably shattered and her trust is broken. You basically told her the equivalent of Santa isn’t real.”

“I don’t think you should have agreed to pretend to be Moana in the first place but, after you did there was no going back. At that point, I would have just started to look for different jobs and once I had another prospect I would tell her you have to go sailing again or something and resigned.”

“I would have left the parents with a few choice words tho.” – halfemptyoptimist

It seems the only thing everyone can agree on is that the real victim here is the little girl.

Erica Diaz

Written by Erica Diaz

Erica is the consummate cool-kid. She’s so cool that she’s been talked about in magazines, on blogs and on the radio after losing her left eye because of a piece of glitter. She is still actively mourning the passing of Prince and hopes to one day do an all-iguana remake of Graffiti Bridge since iguanas are plentiful near her home in South Florida. She has yet to find one that can really nail the “ahhhyayayeaheaheah” that Tevin Campbell does in Round and Round, and everyone knows the music is the important part of any Prince film. She’s a mother, singer, writer and (if the internet is to be believed - which we all know it is) a Nigerian socialite mid-ranking member of the Illuminati. She prides herself on being the most popular one-eyed rock star under 5 ft tall in pretty much any room she walks into.