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Old 02-06-2020, 02:32 PM
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Babysitting mishaps


Finding a good sitter can be quite challenging. Often (but not always) you get what you pay for. One time we went to an awards banquet and hired a babysitter that came highly recommended by multiple sources. She was in her mid-late 20's and was pursuing a graduate degree in education. She had been recommended by a friend who couldn't say enough good about how her children found her to be so entertaining while engaging in educational activities. Sounds like a dream, right?

She showed up promptly at the agreed upon time and we gave her the usual sitter instructions. For her part, she exuded comprehension and asked intelligent questions. One of the specific things we asked her to do was to warm up the dinner we'd prepared ahead of time and put in the fridge. She did not mention at that time she had no – and by no I mean ZERO cooking skills.

When we returned later that evening I opened the front door and a cloud of smoke billowed out along with the awful smell of burned food. The sitter apologized profusely and explained that while removing the food we had prepared from the fridge, the bowl and its contents spilled onto the floor, so she couldn't serve it. She decided instead to 'cook' a new dinner herself using ingredients we had available. Sooooo…..we looked in the fridge and figured out that she attempted to make a box of Kraft mac n cheese. She evidently managed to successfully boil some water (!!!) and add the noodles. Then without draining the boiling water she apparently added the cheese powder (and did not add any milk and/or butter per the instructions) to the boiling water, stirred it up and proclaimed it ‘done’. For some strange reason my son did not want to eat this cheese powder soup concoction, so she found some frozen bean soup we had placed in an old margarine tub in the freezer. The tub was labelled “b. soup” and had the date on it. She evidently did not read the label because she placed the frozen soup onto a cookie sheet and placed it in the oven. Naturally, when the soup melted it ran off the cookie sheet and onto the bottom of the oven where it proceeded to burn!

She was truly gifted when it came to engaging with kids but I don’t think I’ve encountered such an otherwise intelligent adult with so little cooking knowledge or skill.

Have you ever experienced any babysitting mishaps?
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Old 02-07-2020, 09:53 AM
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Okay, I can't cook for shit, but...WTF?? Seriously?? The microwave is a non-cooker's best friend!
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Old 02-07-2020, 10:34 AM
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When I was about 15 I was babysitting for one of my usual customers. One adorable, red-headed and freckled 3 year old and a basset hound. After a very pleasant evening the little girl was in bed and I saw they had some laundry to be folded so I decided to fold while I watched tv. I had made a pile of about 5 pairs of socks that suddenly disappeared. I then noticed the dog in distress, choking, gagging and coughing.

He had swallowed all the socks! I don't remember if I called 911 or an emergency vet clinic but someone on the phone told me to force salt water down his throat. I quickly mixed water and salt and sucked it up into a turkey baster and crammed it down his throat. He puked up all the socks immediately.

I went to get a plastic bag to pick up the disgusting socks and, when I was gone, he ate them again!!

So I was in the middle of repeating the whole process when the parents came home. They opened the door with a look of "ahh, what a lovely evening" which quickly turned to "what in the holy hell is going on here???"

There's me, crying, sitting on the floor with my legs wrapped around their dog while I have a turkey baster jammed down his throat. Spilled salt water and dog puke all over. I remember the mom, bent over, holding her tummy laughing with tears running down her face once she knew what had happened.

As a Christmas present that year they gave me a pair of socks with dogs on them.
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Old 02-07-2020, 10:38 AM
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I hated babysitting! It was boring, it was hard to stay awake until the parents came home and the worst was riding in the car with the dad. SO AWKWARD! Especially for me - I was really shy.

These are the instances that still remain in my memory from the mid-70s:

The dad came to pick me up. He was dressed kind of young (bib overalls!). I'm guessing he was probably just in his 20s but to me, he was an old dad. When I got home that night, my mom told me that my dad had been quite upset. He asked her, "isn't he kind of old to be taking her out?" He thought the dad was my date.

I was babysitting my little cousin. My aunt had been having issues with her ex-husband coming over and harassing her. After my cousin went to bed, as per usual I was gabbing on the phone with my friend most of the evening. This was back in the day when if you called someone and they were on the phone, you'd just get a busy signal and that was that. No call waiting, no caller ID. So unbeknownst to me my aunt had been trying to call me all evening to make sure everything was ok. When she couldn't get in touch with me on the phone she got worried that her crazy ex had come over or some other horrible thing had happened. As I was yakking away, I suddenly heard feet pounding up the front stairs and someone banging on the door. I was scared out of my mind. I hung up with my friend and immediately called my dad and told him what was going on and that I thought it was probably the ex. He told me he'd stay on the phone while I answered the door. There stood a stranger! Turns out it was just someone my aunt had sent over to make sure everything was ok. So after letting my dad know I was ok, I dialed up my friend!

The time the parents came home earlier than expected and my boyfriend was there.

The time I had permission to have my friend babysit with me. We were probably 15 and were good kids but were itching to break out of our straight-laced lives! We made a big plan to sneak some beer. I took one(!!) can from our fridge. Her dad bought beer in returnable bottle cases, so if she took a bottle her dad would know it was missing. So she emptied 2 bottles in an empty milk jug!! We waited until our charge was in bed and then we broke out the booze. The beer in the milk jug had gone flat but we drank everything we brought - so a total of 1-1/2 beers each. We laughed a lot and then promptly fell asleep!
  #5  
Old 02-07-2020, 12:52 PM
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When #1 daughter was a toddler, the missus and I went to Las Vegas for a weekend away. Our daughter stayed with my mother in law, but the nanny went over there to help with child care.

My MIL heard my daughter crying for and thought the nanny was dealing with it but went up to see what was happening. She found my daughter playing with a small ceramic sculpture that she had dropped, smashed, and cut herself with. The nanny was IN THE SAME ROOM as my daughter, studiously ignoring the cries and blood.

Needless to say, we fired her as soon as we got home (this was not the first issue!)
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Old 02-07-2020, 01:27 PM
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We almost hired a 19 year old nanny who was very highly recommended by all and sundry, past employers, former teachers and even a co-worker who was a friend of hers from church. Criminal background check came clean. Was going to night school studying early childhood education.

She was supposed to start full time in two weeks when my wife was supposed to return to work. Was supposed to come over for a couple hours for kid to get used to her. Showed up for two visits than completely disappeared, didn’t answer her phone, emails, texts. Her mother (emergency contact) hung up when we called her. The references and friends were no help either.

Months later we found our she had checked into rehab for heroin detox. This was 13 years ago, this was a lot less commonplace than it is now. Later also found that she had a juvenile record for driving while impaired, which apparently does not turn up on the criminal background check.

Dodged a bullet.
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Old 02-07-2020, 01:50 PM
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Another babysitting story. Our next door neighbor has a son the same age as ours and they are Bestest Friends in the World, and we wanted to have a night out, so we were delighted when she volunteered to babysit for the evening. We had a few misgivings because she has some physical limitations that raised questions whether she would be equal to the task of keeping up with our ultra-high energy ADHD kid, and also had doubts she was up to dispensing the necessary discipline if push came to shove (and make no mistake our son both ‘pushes’ and ‘shoves’ the envelope with a vengeance, while she is very much a go with the flow kinda gal) but we figured our son would have his best friend there to occupy and hopefully moderate his worst impulses and that it was only for a few hours anyway – I mean how much mischief could occur in such a limited time, right?
We dropped our son off next door and went out to dinner. Just to make sure everything was going okay we called our neighbor again right after dinner to ask how things were going and she reported just fine, so we felt comfortable in going to see a movie for a couple of hours. When we got back we went to the neighbor’s house and knocked. No answer. So we rang the bell. No answer. So we called her on the phone to ask where the heck they were. Turns out they had moved operations into our house at my son’s urging so he could show off the new game he got to his buddy up in my son’s bedroom. Meanwhile mom stayed downstairs all the while to watch tv. I wasn’t super freaked out about them spending part of the evening in our house, but when we got up to his bedroom we found hammers, chisels, screwdrivers, nails, saws and all sorts of other tools all over the floor the kids had brought up from my basement work bench….. And there was about a two-foot section of drywall that the two of them cut and removed from the wall!!!!
I recognize this was not entirely the babysitter’s fault, but I wonder to this day how those two little demons could have knocked out that section of wall without her hearing it or noticing it downstairs.
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Old 02-07-2020, 02:08 PM
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When I was a kid, I HAD a babysitter that was a little off.

She had a newborn baby herself. While nursing her kid, I got currious and started asking questions. At one point, she pulled her boob out and squirted a little milk out to show me how it all worked.

I don't think she was a creep or anything. But I'm not sure if my parents would've appreciated that.
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  #9  
Old 02-07-2020, 02:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TRC4941 View Post
I hated babysitting! It was boring, it was hard to stay awake until the parents came home and the worst was riding in the car with the dad. SO AWKWARD! Especially for me - I was really shy.
Sometimes I think the best mistake I made while babysitting was not thinking and letting the kids (or at least the older one, closer to my age and a friend of my brother) watch Tales From The Crypt and some very, very, very softcore porn.
Never babysat again after that night. I didn't get 'caught' but it was the last time I babysat for them so I'm guessing someone said something.
It was fine with me.
  #10  
Old 02-07-2020, 05:17 PM
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Once I was babysitting, and was told to have the kids watch a "King Arthur show for kids" on PBS. (The kids were about 7 and 5.) So I put on the show, figuring it was along the lines of Disney's The Sword in the Stone.

Instead, it was live action, and opened with Arthur's father drinking and singing loudly while upstairs, Arthur's mother was screaming in pain as she was giving birth. I sprinted to the TV to turn it off. (Nothing else suitable was on.) The kids wanted to know why they couldn't watch the show. Oh, and why did one of the women with the screaming lady say that "It was all the king's fault!"?

I said, "Oh, the lady has a headache, and her husband is being loud, which is making her headache worse. Uh, let me read you a book." The kids were okay with that.

When I told the parents, they were horrified. They'd thought the show was The Sword in the Stone, too, and approved my actions.

Last edited by Dendarii Dame; 02-07-2020 at 05:17 PM.
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Old 02-07-2020, 05:57 PM
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Now for something a little different.

When I was very young, my family was friends with another family in our congregation. They had a teen-age daughter and a son about my age, with whom I was superficially friends. They lived within easy walking distance.

When my folks went out, they commonly had that teen-age daughter come over to baby-sit. She always let me stay up late, well past my bed-time.

My big brother graduated from high school and promptly ran off to join the Army. He spent most of his hitch in Germany, in the early 1960's, a tense time during the Cold War. There was a photo of him, if full dress uniform, on top of our piano.

Baby sitter fell in love with that picture. (Can you see where this is going?) After his hitch was done and he came home from the Cold War, they started dating. They got married not long after. That must have been circa 1965 or so.

They lived in several places over the years, including a kibbutz in Israel for a while, and raised four children. My brother had major long-term health trouble for many years later on. He passed away in 2004. I still kept in touch with former baby-sitter for a number of years after that.
  #12  
Old 02-07-2020, 06:31 PM
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My brother and his wife asked me to babysit their child while they attended a seminar for financial planning. My niece was at the stage where everybody except dad (yes, including mom) was a stranger and she would bawl and bawl her head off until she saw him again.

So, Auntie Carnut, is talking to crying baby, giving her apple juice, trying to entertain baby when she quickly discovers that baby doesn't cry when auntie is singing. Oddly, she would just watch my mouth without crying. Aha. Auntie Carnut became a caberet singer for the evening, singing this song and that until my brain could come up with no more songs except... dirty ditties. I know lots of them. Bro and Wife come home just as Auntie Carnut is digging into some nasty number. I got quite a look. Bro said, "Bee take a long look at your Auntie Carnut, because after this, you are never going to see her again." Naturally, my niece took the cue and started bawling again.
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Old 02-08-2020, 06:11 PM
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I was my niece's nanny for a few months when she was a baby. Just 2 days a week. It went okay since she was in the infant, sleep all day stage. So I could just hold her and sit on the couch and watch JAG marathons. This was a few years before my diagnosis. Not sure if knowing would have made a difference or not. I was 20, and they were trying to help me out by getting me away from my parents. Anywho, the babysitting went okay, except one time I was holding her and I accidentally dropped her on her head. She landed on carpet, and didn't have any injuries or anything. I never told my brother though. She's like 15 or 16 now and doesn't have any mental issues that I know of. *Phew!* But I was really worried for a while.
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Old 02-08-2020, 06:32 PM
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When my nephew was little (perhaps a year or eighteen months old; he's about to turn 26 years old), my father, who adored him, picked him up from my brother's house, to spend the afternoon with him. Normally, they'd take a certain well-known route between my brother's house and my parents's house, but my father deviated from that. My nephew noticed this, even from the car seat in the back of the car, and started to wail, "You're trying to kidnap me!" I can't remember whether my father just returned him to my brother's house or just resumed the usual route to his house, but eventually my nephew calmed down.

Later, I asked my father where he was going when he detoured and he said the university where he taught. Thinking about it, that's actually a little sad, because I'll bet that my father intended to show off his grandson to his secretary Marlene, the dean and probably the university president. I know my mother brought him to her office and showed him off to everyone, so I think my father wanted to do the same thing.
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Old 02-08-2020, 08:25 PM
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The worst babysitting mishap I had happened while I was babysitting my brother. Mom worked until five or so, and Dad worked a rotating shift so he was home when we got home from school every other month. Beginning when I was in 6th grade I babysat my brother after school for a couple hours a day until Mom got home when they were both working.

Anyway, this particular day was a couple of weeks before my thirteenth birthday, and I did something dumb - I tried cutting something with a box cutter while I held it in my other hand. This didn't work out well, and to my utter shock, I cut my right hand at the base of my thumb. I didn't scream or make any sound at all. My hand bleed a lot.

I was really convinced that it was going to stop bleeding, but after 15 or 20 minutes some still rational part of my brain decided that calling Mom was a good idea. So I did. She was a lot more upset about this than I was, and I tried to share my theory that it would stop bleeding on its own, but she disagreed and said she was coming home immediately. I protested mildly, and then hung up.

My brother, meanwhile, had been playing in the living room while this was all going on and came to see what I was doing. He then asked something which is going to haunt me until my dying day "Where did you get that red washcloth?" I calmly explained that I'd cut myself, and he, being not quite seven, got understandably upset and insisted we should go to a neighbor's house. They weren't home, I explained, but Mom was on her way.

The whole time I couldn't understand why they were so upset because it was going to stop bleeding any time now, I was so sure of it.

In the end I got seven stitches.

Last edited by elfkin477; 02-08-2020 at 08:27 PM.
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