"When I was five I suddenly got it in my head that I could drive, I had a little sister now so obviously I was an adult who could drive.
One very early morning I marched myself downstairs grabbed my dads keys and climbed up into his truck then figured out how to turn the keys and make it start. Then promptly put it in reverse, (cause reverse means race, and I liked going fast) got down on the floorboards and leaned on the gas with both hands. I took out the entire garage door, rolled over my moms tiny Toyota and totaled it, then hit a tree which fell and damaged our neighbors RV.
Suffice to say I knew was in deep trouble, when I tumbled out of the drivers side door into the grass and saw the damage I'd just caused and saw the lights of every house up and down the street begin to flick on due to the noise, so I panicked and ran down the street to my grandparents house and cried on their front porch until my parents found me.
'Twas not a good day for tiny me. But, hey, at least I didn't put it in drive!"
How did our child ruin 16 iPads you ask? Well, let me tell you.
My wife is a teacher. In her school, each child is assigned an iPad for educational purposes. When the school year is over the iPads have to be wiped and reset to factory settings. Of course, this has to be done after school is over.
She was running behind getting her classroom prepped to be cleaned and still needed to reset them to factory settings. She brought her iPad cart home with 22 iPads in them. She laid them all down on the office floor and made an assembly line. She got to the last one and left to do something else.
She came back and our daughter had played 'the floor is lava' on top of 16 of them. The screens were trashed. Some of them would power on but the touch screen function was gone.
She had to call her principal and explain. She got chewed out for it, but lo and behold the next year they were planning on switching to Google Classroom instead. All new Chromebooks for the kids."
"A microwave - I fried its brain - back in the late 1970's.
My parents had saved up for their first fancy new J.C. Penny-branded microwave. I want to recall that it was close to $400, which in 1970's money is a heck of a lot of cash to spend on a small appliance. The delivery person had just set it up on a table and left. Apparently, microwave delivery was a thing back then. All of its accessories were still laid out. At that time, it came with a meat temperature probe because people thought it was a good idea to actually cook real food in a microwave. The probe had a quarter-inch mono plug on one end (think of an electric guitar cord), a wire, and a long five-inch pointy meat-jabby thing on the other end. Being a small child of about five, I opened the door, saw the potential to insert tab A into slot B and went about it.
Well, it turns out the meat-jabby part of the probe should not be inserted into the port in the microwave because the whole thing quickly went poof and subsequently was dead. There is some debate if I was holding onto the metal part of the probe when this happened because I could have been dead too. Good times."
"When my sister was in high school and I was in elementary school, my mom was working on getting her master's degree through the university she worked in fundraising & development for. She was typing her final master's thesis- after four years of work, she was finishing up the final draft and was about to hit print.
My sister walked into the home office where my mom was typing and told my mom that she and her friends were going to go tanning. My mom told her absolutely not, and that she didn't want my sister messing around with something that could cause skin cancer (my dad had brain cancer at the time and so it was a touchy subject). My sister disagreed, and they started arguing.
My sister wouldn't accept no for an answer and shoved all of my mom's organized books and papers off the desk.
On their way down to the floor, they cracked open the keyboard and knocked off the entire computer. My mom's 80-page master's thesis disappeared forever.
My mom didn't say a word, and she stood up and took my sister by the arm and walked her the stairs and out the front door, closed the door behind my sister and locked it. She wasn't allowed back home for two days."
"So, not the most expensive, but very expensive at the time.
My child was five and his little brother was just born. My husband had lost his job some months before. I'd had a stocked pantry so we were rationing for meals with the money we had left.
My child opened a five-gallon bucket full of sugar and ruined the whole bucket, mixing cleaners in it. (Five-gallon bucket holds almost 20-pounds). He did this before I knew he was awake in the morning.
He thought he was 'playing in the sandbox'...They did it at preschool.
I was so angry. That sugar meant a lot dignity in a way. I had flour and sugar and so pancakes, cakes, cookies, bread. Food that made you feel more human, ya know? There wasn't money to replace it.
We qualified for food stamps a couple weeks later. Our money was getting to the wire. I sat down and I cried at the letter. 300 a month was a lifesaver. We were only on food stamps for a few months when my husband was offered a job. We had to have in-laws co-sign a loan for enough money to move. That job has been very good for us. I'm grateful for it every day.
Took my sugar for my coffee out of the same bucket this morning. So did the kid."
"My wedding was 5 five years ago and our honeymoon in Jamaica was scheduled for the week after. Now it's the day before we leave for the honeymoon and I decided to get one last work out in. I work in a place that has a gym upstairs for employees and I took my 3 kids (18-year-old, 16-year-old and 9-year-old) with me to screw around.
My youngest says he has to use the bathroom, I instruct him to take my work keys, run downstairs and wash his hands after. Some time goes by and I'm at one end of the 'gym' facing the wall doing some lat pull downs and I hear the youngest come back upstairs and say, 'Here 18-year-old' and heard this huge pop. I turn around and see this huge cloud/mist thing and scream, 'What the heck was that?!'
Youngest says he threw my work keys to 18-year-old and as he's saying this I realize the huge cloud/mist is turning into water, rain, hurricane, downpour, IM GOING TO GET FIRED!
I take the kids downstairs and have them sit in the common meeting room while I try and figure out how to shut the second-floor sprinkler system off. The fire department was called and they took forever to find the closet containing the valves. Meanwhile, ceiling tiles are crashing on the floor, water is 1-2 inches deep on the first floor, computers-copiers were getting soaked.
Approximately 45-50 minutes into the ordeal, the fire department shuts the water off and the place was flooded 2-3 inches of water on the lower level with originated from the ceiling of the upper level...
So what happened was...my kid threw the keys and ended up hitting the tiny red plastic water holder backer of a sprinkler head.
All in all, I didn't get fired however there is a new policy stating: 'Employees only' in the gym. They have also installed cages around the sprinkler heads. If I recall correctly, insurance paid out approximately $100,000 for damage to the building and equipment."
"I used to do computer repair out of my home. I had a friend who was paying me $150 to repair a gaming desktop that, at the time, was worth about $2300. I had to replace the hard drive, then reinstall Windows, then all the drivers, and it took an entire day to get everything working from a backup.
It was set aside for pickup later in the week.
I had a day job at the time that was 3 pm to midnight, and my wife worked 9-5, so we had a part time sitter that summer who took care of our 4-year-old son from 2-6pm on weekdays. She was not the brightest woman, but we could afford her rates, and we weren't doing well off financially.
My wife called me one night and told me to sit down because she had some bad news. We had a lot of sick relatives and been through some deaths recently, so I thought, 'Who died now?' She told me that the kitchen table was strewn with computer parts. Our son had taken the computer apart with the power screwdriver and some pliers. Like, completely. Down to the chips, resistors, and capacitors. If it had a screw, he unscrewed it, and if he didn't, he pulled it off the board with pliers. He then sorted everything by color and size.
I nearly lost it! I was both extremely angry that he did this, and -terrified- telling my friend that his $2300 gaming rig was ruined. I nearly had a nervous breakdown. My wife and I tried to plan where we were gonna get $2300. We didn't have $2300 in assets in the entire apartment. We couldn't sell our really old car, because we needed it for work, and maybe, MAYBE would get $1200 for it if we were lucky.
My son couldn't have done this in a small span of time. He had to have done it in the 4 hours he was with the babysitter. Was he alone for these 4 hours? What the everliving heck???
My wife asked her, and the babysitter said, 'He wanted to work on the computer like daddy did. He said he was allowed to.'
HE IS FOUR!!! YOU'RE THE FREAKING ADULT WITH HIM, WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU??? IF HE SAID HE WAS ALLOWED TO PLAY WITH KITCHEN KNIVES WOULD YOU HAVE LET HIM??? HE IS FOUR!!!
She was fired. She wasn't paid that week, either, because we needed money to pay my friend for a new gaming rig. My wife and I broke the piggy bank, and decided we could pay him back if we went without some medicines, didn't pay a few utilities, were late with rent, ate ramen, etc. He could pay my friend off in three months with a payment plan.
I remember calling my friend so nervous I was shaking. Then, thankfully, he didn't think it was a big deal. He said he was thinking of getting a new computer anyway. I didn't have to pay him anything. I was so relieved.
But that babysitter...wow...what a moron! 'He said he was allowed to!'"
"My two-year-old destroyed a $1000 TV.
The TV was set up on a coffee table temporarily during football season. I went into another room and heard a loud crash. I came out to see the two-year-old on the coffee table and the TV on the floor. I asked him what happened and he says, 'I push it, it go boom!'
He also had the habit of getting his hands on things he knew he shouldn't have. Then when you ask for it back he would run away. When you chase after him and get close he would throw the item. Several phones were destroyed this way.
I'm sure he has ruined over $2000 worth of stuff..."
"I grew up a quarter mile from a boat launch that connects to a really scenic lake system. I was 21 at the time and was home visiting for my cousin's wedding.
I grabbed my mom's $3000 Nikon, dragged a kayak to the boat launch, and paddled away. The one place I went to with land was a little peninsula with a lean-to. After taking some cool pics, I got a text from a friend who wanted to meet up in two hours, meaning it was time to head back.
Instead of placing the camera back in its case, I elected to place it in my effing lap so I could do more pictures on my way home. Instead of putting the kayak all the way in the water, I put the tip in, angling down, got in the kayak myself, and proceeded to push myself with the paddle into the water.
Flipped over into the water almost immediately. Almost lost the paddle and kayak in the insanity of trying to get the camera from the steep drop off underneath.
Two days later, mom asks where her camera is so she can get it ready for my cousin's wedding, the next day. I bring it to her in our massive bag of rice.
There were still pictures of the wedding, and luckily mom had insurance for the camera that somehow included 'stupid daughter'."
"This is actually about my parents.
So I have younger identical twin brothers. When they were about 2-3 years old my mom had my pops watch them while she went to the grocery store. Pops decided to take a nap in front of the TV; Meanwhile, the boys went upstairs to play. They had this Sesame Street Bert and Ernie toy boat that they liked to play with during bath time, but this time they decided to play with it in the toilet upstairs. They tried flushing it down the toilet and it got stuck in the pipes. They kept flushing and flushing the freakin' toilet, all while pops was asleep on the couch.
When mom came home from the grocery store she said the moment she walked into the house from the garage water was leaking from the light fixtures above. When she walked into the house the entire upstairs was flooding and raining down into the house...Pops still asleep. I think she woke him up with her fist.
When the plumbing guys eventually came, they couldn't even shake it out of the pipes they had to tear the wall down, get into the piping within the wall, the entire upstairs and most of the downstairs had to be re-carpeted and they ended up installing an industrial grade toilet (which was amazing, no plunger ever was needed).
Total damage was over $30k for a $5 toy and a couple of toddlers."
My son was a large baby, almost ten pounds, and he was pretty much crammed up in my ribs. I'd been having significant stomach pain for a few weeks; it was written off as false labor.
Then, I finally had him, but the pain never went away. The pain grew progressively worse. I was told that my body was adjusting from having recently given birth.
It got to the point where the pain would keep me up all night. One night I noticed some very visible swelling. My grandma took me to a different clinic. The doctor brushed the lump with her fingers and I screamed. She called the hospital and scheduled me for a surgery right then.
My gallbladder was so full of stones and bile that it couldn't be pulled through the incision -- the surgeon had to line them up and pull it out like a sausage. There were nine stones, each the size of large marbles.
Culprit: My kid literally squished it in utero and kept it from doing whatever it is that gallbladders do, and it took three months and five doctors to figure it out.
Bonus: I tried to feed my kid a few days later, where he promptly kicked my stitches open. So now I have no gallbladder AND a gnarly scar."
"According to my dad, I ruined the kitchen when I was 4.
So my parents had just gotten a brand new stove/oven deal. Apparently, top of the line that could be a traditional range with burners but you could pull one side of the burners out and have a flat top griddle, or a grill, or some other attachment that my dad can't remember. The oven was big and had convect and all that. In 1993 money it was like $1800.
So people had come over to look at the stove and compliment my parents on it, did people really do that? My dad seems to think they did. So after everyone had gone I was kind of unsupervised a bit because I had a 6-week-old sister at the time, so I guess I wanted to cook and I wanted to cook crayons, action figures, and stuffed animals. I just flopped them onto the stove and in the oven and turned whatever knobs I could reach. So in the space of a few minutes, there was a fire and the counter and cabinets adjacent to the new stove were catching fire as my mom came rushing downstairs freaking out and my dad runs in from the garage with the hose.
So we ended up with another new stove and new cabinets. My dad estimates 10k in bills in 1993."
"A Pandora bracelet with about $1500 worth of charms on it.
When my wife and I married, one of her friends suggested it to me as an easy way to keep up with anniversary gifts (I'm a horrible gift buyer). Every year I would buy her a few charms, maybe a couple for Christmas, it was a great idea.
I had our bathroom sink clog solid one day so I dumped in some draino. It wasn't moving so I let it sit for 10 minutes.
In that time the little jerk threw the bracelet he saw on the counter into the sink. It ate away the silver.
Five years of charm collecting down the literal drain."
"My daughter was well aware of the fact that she was only allowed Cola as an occasional treat but of course, being a kid, she felt if we didn't see her stealing it, then it was cool. So we took to placing it in the top cabinets.
One fateful day I heard a fizzing sound and running liquid. And then I hear my daughter bawling her eyes out... I found her standing on the counter, with a can of coke slowly emptying itself...onto her Grandmother's brand new laptop.
She was panicking because it was heavy and leaking and didn't know what to do next. Looking back it was hilarious, but it wasn't very funny at the time.
The laptop dried out and had a very sticky keyboard. Somehow it was salvageable and I ended up getting it up and running after replacing the keyboard ($20 part)."
"I destroyed a very rare car that I'm not even sure exists anymore.
Allow me to explain:
I grew up with my mom in my grandmother's house, which they've lived in since the 60's. From the early 70's or 80's, my aunt kept her most precious, beloved, car there because a part broke and she couldn't find another one since that car was already quite rare at the time. I came along in the mid 90's and grew up always seeing this car in my backyard. No one ever told me who's it was or why it was there, and I lived with a junkyard literally right behind my house (right past our fence there were abandoned cars, tv's and all sorts of things) so my 5-year-old self-assumed that a car was abandoned there and they just had to build the backyard around the abandoned car. My nephew comes over (he's one year older than me and loves breaking stuff) and has the bright idea to get my grandfathers tools out of the shed and wreck havoc for fun.
I saw no problem with destroying a car that someone left for so long that they inconvenienced my grandparents, so I happily agreed and we FREAKING DESTROYED this car. Spray paint, axes, sledgehammers, jumping on the roof and breaking all the windows and tearing up the interior. It was so much fun we made it our bonding experience for years. We beat the life out of this car until I was 9 years old.
I found out this was my aunt's car when I turned 15 and I felt so guilty I was sick to my stomach. I've never been one to damage things,but I always made the exception for that car because it 'got away free and clear' from the other trashed cars in the junkyard since our house ended up putting a fence around it and it brought such joy to my nephew and me in getting to vent frustrations and have fun.
I have since gotten on my hands and knees and apologized profusely to my aunt.
She's never found that car again since then, and it's been over 10 years. I don't even know how much the car is worth, but my aunt is a millionaire and she still can't get ahold of another one.
That's probably the most horrible thing I have ever done."