Babysitting is a job that most of us will have to endure. But sometimes it's just so bad, you have to ask: is it worth it? For these babysitters...probably not.Source
A Terrifying Disaster
I am a full-time nanny, and have been for the past 5 years, but in childcare for the past 12. I am primarily a nanny of multiples ranging from twins to quadruplets.. Now, with that being said, you’d think I had run across a handful of demon children, which I have, but dear lord, it’s the parents that are the demons on more than one occasion.
The one in particular that comes to mind:
I started with a morning family that I found through Care.com after my regular family shortened my hours to afternoons only. When I first interviewed, the mom was notably odd, very in touch with emotions, and very particular about food. She stated that she wanted me from 7:00-12, Monday through Friday for her 5 year old son and her 3 year old son while she either ran errands, or worked from the home. Not too weird so far, but then she asked me what my parenting style was. I told her that my style was whatever hers was. I am perfectly fine altering my nannying style to fit each individual families needs. She told me she was wanting the answer of what I was going to do when I was a parent, not in nannying. I told her my philosophy (be kind, be consistent, time outs for bad behavior, etc).
She then told me hers: -we don’t tell our children ‘no’ -we don’t take their toys away -we don’t do time outs -we don’t spank (okay, I agree)
So, to say the least, I was confused about how the hell they run their household. Pretty much, she believed that each child had this “emotional backpack” where they store their feelings, and they need to express them constantly. She also mentioned to me that both of her children sleep in her bed. All well and good, but here’s how her children acted with it once I was hired:
-I asked the 3 year old (still in diapers) to lay down so I could change him. He refused, so I gave him a warning that I was going to pick him up and lay him down to change him. He then ran off to his mother screaming and crying. I told her why he was crying and this is what she said, “did Brittany do something to upset you? You just go ahead and cry, I’ll hold you.” Then once he was done with his tantrum, she said “I’m so proud of you for getting all those big feelings out.” No. Your child threw a tantrum because he didn’t want his butt changed. He doesn’t need praise for that.
-The five year old was very independent, very smart, and very OCD. At one point, his brother and I were coloring. Now, as normal three year olds do, he was scribbling. His brother came in and started taunting his brother and telling him he was doing everything wrong. I told the older brother, “your brother is trying to express his creativity. Let’s encourage him, rather than criticize him” The 5 year old bursts in to tears and runs to his mother, and he has the biggest wail about this, to which the mother responds the same as above.
-The five year old was mad at his mother because she told him to get dressed. He came up, hit her across the face while screaming. She just let him. She kept praising him for getting his “big feelings” out. He’s still hitting her, so she takes him to the shower, turns the water on both of them (fully clothed) and tries to get him to calm down.
She also was really strange with food, too. She was one of those people who legitimately treated organic food as a religion (her words). She had a number system for food 1-5. The only things that were listed as #1 (as in completely healthy) was a vitamin called Chywanprash. Even fruits and vegetables were labeled as a #2. Salads and healthy food? #3. Bread? #4. And anything sweet #5. The thing is, she classified anything above a #2 to be unhealthy, so these children thought a simple salad, or anything normal, was bad for them, so they wouldn’t eat it.. And anytime they did have any sweets, they’d go f—— nuts over wanting more because she deprived them of everything. They’d have full day tantrums because of it.
The last note is that she didn’t allow any electronics in the bedroom. Not even an alarm clock. So this meant that I had to wait every single day in the cold, ringing the doorbell constantly (sometimes up to 45 minutes) for them to come answer the door.
Needless to say, I quit within two months. It was utterly ridiculous. At the end of it, she asked me to review her family and children. She asked me the pros and cons. She was very shocked to hear that the only pro I listed was that they children had a very good vocabulary.
A Love For Everything
Friend babysat a kid with pica. Had to follow him around everywhere yelling “NO DON’T EAT THAT!”. Ended the night watching him chew on her flip flop while it was on her foot.
No Second Chances
I was babysitting a new family. Parents leave, kids turn into demons. Two little boys and one girl. They tormented her until she was literally clinging to my legs. Then one boy gets up, pulls his pants down, and starts pissing in the middle of the living room. I freak out and start to clean it up and send the boy to his room. The other brother followed him, as they shared a room, and just sat there with him. The girl sneaks downstairs throughout all this and unbeknownst to me starts making an F5 grade mess.
After I clean the pee, I go to get them out of the boys’ room. Surprise, door is closed. Oh, and apparently locked…. the one boy is only like 3 and is crying because he can’t open it and his brother won’t let him out. The older boy is defiant and just screaming at me NO I’M NOT OPENING IT. YOU’RE NOT MY MOM! I WANT MY MOMMY! We had a stand off for a few minutes before I realized the girl was gone.
Well, I wasn’t getting the boys out, so I went to get the phone and call the parents while I tried to find the girl. She pulled out ALL the f—ing toys and they were everywhere and I couldn’t find her because she was like in a pillow pile somewhere.
I don’t really have an ending to the story, but needless to say I was pretty much in tears by the time they came home. One of them drove me home and kept apologizing and hoped I’d still give them another chance. That did not happen.
The Broken Middle Child
Friend used to babysit in high school and told me this one:
The parents had three kids and treated kid #1 and #3 like royalty and kid #2 like dirt. I don’t know how it started, but kid #1 and #3 blamed kid #2 for everything that went wrong or just blamed him for something that didn’t actually happen (like hitting, swearing, throwing stuff).
One time, friend was watching all three kids closely and one kid comes over and says kid #2 he him. Since friend was watching the entire time, she asked when he did that since he really wasn’t doing anything. Kid said “Just now. If you were my dad, you’d be yelling at him already.”
She caught on that kid #2 was that hated child pretty quickly and stayed closer to him than the other two and tried to treat him a little better. It didn’t help that Mom and Dad already hated this child for all the things he didn’t do (because some children had to be little shits), but at least he had one friend for awhile
A Demon Child
Had a five year old pull out a pocketknife on me and demand I give him my Pokemon cards.
Also had a kid try to pry the kitchen window off because he wanted to see the kids I was watching that were inside.
The Ultimate Fight
I babysat all through junior high and high school to make my spending money. The worst was a referral for the friends of a family I babysat for all the time. There were two twin boys who were 8, and a little girl who was just starting her toilet training.
The kids were very nice during the introductions. But it soon turned out they were hyper as hell as soon as their parents left. The boys whooped and hollered and chased each other through the house. I convinced them to play Legos or whatever in their room to quiet them down because I had to deal with the little girl who needed to potty. She kept trying to poop in her little training potty but it wasn’t happening. Then I heard the boys screaming at the top of their lungs, so I left the girl on her potty to find out why the boys were freaking out.
The boys’ bedroom had two single beds. Each boy was standing on his bed PISSING at the other one like they were having a pee pee duel. They got urine everywhere, on the walls, the carpet, the sheets and all over each other.
I’m ticked at these kids and tell them to change their clothes and strip the sheets. They just keep laughing at me and make me chase them around the house like it is a funny game to be soaked in pee.
Meanwhile the little girl (who is not wearing any pants or undies) drags her potty into the kitchen singing at the top of her lungs about how she pooped and wants me to look. When one of the boys runs through the kitchen, he accidentally overturns the potty and stuff gets all over the lineoleum.
As much as I wanted to cry from utter frustration I managed to hold my temper and calm them all down enough while I cleaned up as best I could…tough when it isn’t your house and I had no idea where they kept all their cleaning supplies.
When the parents finally came home they didn’t offer any apologies for how their kids behaved or any extra tip or anything like that. Needless to say that was the first and last time I ever babysat for that family!
The Biggest Divas
I had one main family I regularly babysat for after college and they recommended me to a friend of theirs who had two girls. Both families were well off, but very different.
Anyway, the second family’s two girls were beyond spoiled. I mean, TV reality show spoiled. The youngest, who was five, would blood curdle scream for a good 15 minutes running through this mansion house when it was time for bed. I always felt like an a–hole calling the mother but they didn’t pay me enough to put up with that bulls—. I’d have to set the girl up in the “special room” and rub her back while she fell asleep after she spoke to her mother.
I sat for them three times and avoided their calls after that.
I had a kid who climbed out his bedroom onto the roof of the house & started the house on fire. The kid was a demon. He was nine at the time.
I called the fire dept. and got all 3 kids out of the house. Luckily, the fire station was a few blocks away so they were there and put it out before it really got bad. I was about 16 at the time & was very much in demand as a babysitter. I was also “no nonsense”, which I made clear to parents. I was allowed to spank all of the kids if I needed too (this was the 60’s), but this particular kid was beyond that. I lived on the block (four houses down) with my parents and eight siblings. I continued to sit for them, because they paid me a lot of money (especially after that) and couldn’t get anyone else to do it. They eventually moved to a mansion in a very wealthy neighborhood, because the dad was made V.P. of the company he worked for, and they still drove about 10 miles each way to get me to watch their kids. I’m still in touch with his sister who lives in Atlanta. I always thought he’d end up in prison, but, surprisingly, he’s a fireman.
A Brutal End
Kid threw an easy bake oven at me and then tried to lock me in a closet.
A Bloody Nightmare
I babysat two kids throughout the school year and multiple days in the summer when I was in high school. I was pretty much a 9-5 nanny when not in school. I really loved those kids, which is surprising, considering the first time I babysat them all day it all went to hell.
The older sibling was a boy in my cousin’s grade, the younger a little girl. They were maybe 6/7 and 3/4 at this point. I had babysat once or twice before, but never a whole day. I don’t know what started it, but the kids began to fight. Before I could break it up, the little girl threw a heavy, pointy, metal toy plane at her brother. It hit him right in the corner of his eye BARELY missing his actual eyeball. He starts GUSHING blood everywhere. All over his clothes, all over the expensive Disney Store Winnie the Pooh blanket his sister had been walking around with, all over the pristine WHITE carpet. He freaks out and stars crying, asking me if he is dying. Hardcore, terrified kid sobs. I rush into action and usher him into the bathroom and get a cold washcloth. I had to coax his hands away from his face so I could see what I was dealing with, and eventually I get the blood wiped away and see it’s a very small cut. I have him hold the cold washcloth to his eye and I work on calming him down. The bleeding stops. I get him into fresh PJ’s and send him to his bed to lie down for a few minutes since he wore himself out.
That’s when I realize that I haven’t seen his sister in about 10-15 minutes. I got sidetracked with the bleeding, panicking kid and now I have no idea where the culprit is.
I run around the house and check all the doors and locks. Still locked. So, I know she is at least inside.
I’m fighting back tears and running around the house shouting her name trying to find her. I go back to her brother’s room deciding that I need to get his help. And that’s when I hear it. Little sniffles and quiet hiccups from behind his bedroom door. She was a small child and had hidden behind the door fearing that she was in trouble and that I was going to spank her. (I didn’t)
So, now I’m comforting her (but also telling her that hurting her brother and hiding from me isn’t okay). I’m completely drained and wigged out at this point, so I have the kids go to the living room with me and sit them at opposite ends of the couch. I put on a kids film and get to work cleaning up the blood from the carpet and floor.
Then, I sit at the kitchen table (open concept, I can see them) and quietly try to calm myself down so I don’t puke all over myself.
I’m really proud I got the bloodstains out of the carpet though.
Not so much a nightmare, but it was an odd night. I was in my senior year of college and picked up a babysitting gig. The family is well-to-do, awesome people in a hella good part of town and the kids are 8 & 12 so I’m really only there to make sure nobody burns the nice house to the ground.
With that being said, the younger one (who we’ll call Adam) was definitely different. I head over one night and the parents calm Adam down. I notice he’s just in his whitey tighties (which is how he slept) and he seems totally out of it. The parents ask him to tell me what had happened. When he’s too incoherent to tell me, they finally blurt out that he had his tonsils taken out like 48 hours ago. Oh, okay, awesome, thanks for the heads up, but I guess this is what I’m dealing with.
So anyways, Adam goes back to bed and I don’t hear anything out of him for the next like five hours because little guy is high on pain meds. I checked up on him a few times, we’re good, whatever. It’s now around 10-11 at night and I hear him come down the stairs and he’s holding a stuffed animal Bowser.
“Hey buddy, how are you feeling?”
Adam says nothing.
“Whatcha doing, Adam?”
He silently walks to the kitchen.
“Adam, do you want something to eat?”
He opens the freezer in total silence still.
“Why don’t you let me help you, Adam?”
To remind you, this kid is in nothing but his undies and holding a stuffed animal. He finally acknowledges my presence and looks me straight in the eye then gargles: “Bowser hungry”.
Still cracks me up thinking about it.
A Torture Chamber
This reminds of a strange family we used to visit. Someone who worked with my father. I was 6 or 7.
They had a kid of about three years old. On different visits, the kid filled a toy bucket with piss and threw it on me; I stepped in what turned out to be his s— in the basement. Both times the adults, including my folks, seemed amused.
This same kid I think also drank a cup of turpentine that he thought was juice and maybe got his tongue stuck to ice.
They had a large husky blind in one eye — when I got on its blind side, it bit me. Lightly, to tell me not to do that. The father or mother of the family: We should have told you not to get on the dog’s left side.
Why we kept visiting I do not know — I wondered if it was a form of punishment but I never knew what I had done wrong.
An Odd Hour For A Shower
We had kids come over one time for a much too convoluted reason to explain. Basically they stayed in our house to take care of some family business. One morning one of the kids stomped down the hallway at 4am to take a shower and sang in the shower at the top of his lungs. He was like 14. We asked them to leave and they’ve not been back.
Not technically a babysitter but for a few months I had to babysit my husband’s nieces and nephews. These kids are awful. Their parents neglect them and it shows. Here are a few highlights.
-I rescued a two week old kitten. Nursed him back to health and adopted him. One day while I was doing dishes, the 2 youngest kids took him outside and tried to drown him in the above ground pool. Twice. He survived.
-My in-laws house was filthy and roach infested. While one of the kids was eating dinner, a roach apparently crawled across his plate, he started hysterically crying. I go to calm him down and one of the others runs into the kitchen, opens every spice she can get get hand on and dumps them all over the kitchen.
-I decide I have to keep the two smaller ones with me at all times due to their antics. I put them on the kitchen counter to ‘help’ me cook. They actually start behaving and I thought I had found a successful method in handling them. I was wrong. One asks me a question while the other takes out glasses from the cupboard and starts smashing them on the ground. I go to stop her when the other little one starts smashing plates.
-The two oldest were sisters and they hated each other. They get into a fight over the TV (could have been over the xbox, I can’t quite remember) the older sister starts chasing after the younger sister, she eventually smashes the younger sister’s fingers in the bathroom door. While the younger sister is crying, the older sister is laughing maniacally.
That’s just a few. There are several other stories that make me so grateful to have moved far away from them all.