• Thu, Mar 6 - 10:00 am ET

7 Things I Did As A Teenage Babysitter That Horrify Me Today

shutterstock_140613475Way back in the 90s, I was a professional teenage babysitter. I remember that I couldn’t wait until I turned 13 so that I could start making my own money.

In retrospect, 13 seems pretty young to babysit a whole gang of children. I vividly remember babysitting a child as young as two when I was a 13-year-old that couldn’t drive. While I’m sure that the toddler’s parents got a steal of a deal since I only charged $4 an hour, I don’t think I would ever put my kids in the care of a 13-year-old today.

But alas, my 13-year-old self babysat all the time. I loved babysitting. I couldn’t get enough of it. It was the only time that I felt like a grownup with a house to myself, without parents or siblings breathing down my neck. I remember I would beg to babysit with my friends because it felt like a special night out. If parents let me and my best friend Jennifer babysat together, we would only charge one hourly rate of $4, meaning that we both made $2 an hour just to hang out together. It was so worth it.

Teen babysitters mean well, but they’re still pretty naïve. Here are some of the most RIDIC things I did as a teenage babysitter that make me cringe today:

1. Ate Everything I Could Find In The Cabinets.

When parents said, “Help yourself,” they meant it, right?

2. Gave Kids Crap Food.

Macaroni and cheese and microwave dinners exclusively.

3. Rifled Through Drawers.

I am ashamed to admit that I did this, but I was CURIOUS. Can you blame me?

4. Watched Bad TV Shows In Front Of The Kids.

After watching an episode of Friends, one four-year-old girl said to me, “What is a bitch?” FAIL.

5. Counted The Hours Until The Kids Went To Bed.

The joy of my babysitting experience happened when the kids went to bed, and I was allowed to watch TV all by myself and control the remote.

6. Turned Up The Heat Too High.

I did fuck with thermostats a lot because I was never allowed to use the thermostat at my own house. Sweet, sweet freedom.

7. Left Kids Locked In The Closet.

This is a complex story that is hard to explain, so don’t judge me, all right? The short version is that I was babysitting two hellions over the summer because they couldn’t be trusted to be left alone. I thought they were out riding bikes all day, and I was relieved. Turns out they were locked in a closet crying all day long, and I couldn’t hear them because I was watching TV so loud. Bad babysitter.

(Image: Aletia/Shutterstock)

You can reach this post's author, Bethany Ramos, on twitter.
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  • Kay_Sue

    I do 1, 2, 5, and 6 in my own house…to my own kids. I think you should let go of any babysitting antics-related guilt. :-P

    • Bethany Ramos

      Hahaha only #7 is sticking with me!

    • Kay_Sue

      I can see that one hanging on for a bit.

  • http://Mommyish.com/ Eve Vawter

    I cannot read this post without the inclusion of this amazing jam http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mqNgAlMLjhk&feature=kp

    • Bethany Ramos

      YESSSS.

    • Zoe Lansing

      How have I lived 26 years without ever hearing this before???

  • CMJ

    I was babysitting once and I went to the bathroom. Right before, I had put some popcorn into the microwave…as I was doing my business I heard one of the kids yell – “Celia, the popcorn is burning!” And I thought – geeze kid, let me pee in peace. Then again – “Celia, the popcorn is burnt!” So I yelled – “It will be fine! We can make more!” Cut to me walking out and seeing smoke billowing from the microwave while one kid is jumping up and down frantically and the other is coughing and trying to get the black lump of “popcorn” out of the microwave. I put it in for 4 minutes and apparently they had just gotten one of those new-fangled ones that only needed 2 minutes to pop popcorn. I was bathed in popcorn burn smell for days.

    • Bethany Ramos

      Holy shit! Hahah.

    • Zoe Lansing

      That happened when I tried to make microwave popcorn, too. Last week.

  • val97

    Yes to all of these. I used to babysit my next door neighbor’s twins when I was 12 and they were babies. What?? I guess they figured since my parents were right next door, it would be fine. But bad babysitting is not just for middle schoolers. I was a part time nanny in college, and I would watch soaps and eat popcorn while I was supposed to be helping the kids with their homework. And the kids watched soaps with me. Oops.

  • Angela

    Actually I sometimes think I was a better babysitter at 13 than I am a mom now. I LOVED kids and had as much energy as they did. I got down and played with them, planned fun crafts, and we hardly ever watched TV. I also remember my mom telling me NEVER to eat food unless I brought my own because she always hated it when sitters would raid the cupboards. I was always starving by the time I got home.

    • Kendra

      My mom told me the same thing. You can only eat what you prepare for a meal with the kids. You aren’t starving, so you don’t eat other people’s food. And she also made me clean up when the kids went to bed.

    • Angela

      Yep. That’s another thing. At home I was a total slob but I always cleaned up after myself in someone else’s house. Honestly I wish that more sitters would bring their own food with them. It’s not that I mind so much that they’re eating our food but I just don’t want to have to plan someone else’s dinner, especially when I have no idea what kind of food they like. The first time we got a sitter I made sure to leave out some baby food but it didn’t even occur to me plan for the sitter. We were running low on groceries so pretty much the only options we had were some leftover lentil curry or broccoli quiche (not favorites among most teens). She didn’t touch the food even though she was there from 4:30-11:00 and she didn’t bring anything with her. I felt bad and now I try to make sure that we at least have PBJ ingredients on hand. But still, I think that making me pack a sandwich was pretty damn smart on my mom’s part.

    • CrazyFor Kate

      But babysitting’s something you only do a couple of times a week, maybe – being a parent is a marathon. It’s natural to be off your game sometimes.

    • Angela

      Totally! Plus a babysitter really only has the kids to worry about. If I didn’t have to simultaneously do laundry, run errands, pay bills, etc things would be a lot different.

  • JLH1986

    One of our babysitters growing up smoked. She was an awesome babysitter and our parents smoked so it never dawned on us that her 15 year old self probably shouldn’t have been smoking. My parents came home early and she panicked. Stubbed the ciggie out and tossed the ashtray contents in the garbage (it was the late 80′s everyone smoked in their homes) well the garbage can caught fire (presumably in her rush it wasn’t all the way out). My mom and dad had to put the fire out (while hammered) and then had to tell her they didn’t care if she smoked, they only care if WE smoked (being her kids and all). When it was my turn to babysit I was always super careful because I never wanted to have to explain anything to anyone so…the kids ran amok in the backyard, food, bath, bed. I never ate anything and would clean up whatever mess the kids made. The parents would give me extra money because the house was cleaner than when they left all because I was petrified I’d have to explain why I did or didn’t do something while baby sitting.

  • Kendra

    I thought I was a terrible babysitter, but you’re making me look pretty good here…. so thanks for that!

    • noelle 02

      I was the most popular babysitter in my neighborhood as a kid–as in parents would book me for New Years in June–but I would NEVER hire myself. I let kids ride down steep hills in wagons (and fall out), let kids walk barefoot down the street (and get red ant bites), let kids convince me to cook the uncooked popcorn from the microwave bag in oil on the stove (firetruck came), and ate way too many chocolate chips from the pantry. Yet I was a beloved babysitter and all those families hired me again after the aforementioned incidents, aside from the firetruck one. Their standards must have been low!

  • Alicia Kiner

    I watched Adventures in Babysitting when I was little, not exactly sure how old… maybe 9?? Anyway, I figured as long as any babysitting experience didn’t include scary tow truck drivers, gangs, emotional break ups, blind best friends thinking a rat was a kitty, and my charge hanging out a skyscraper, I was in pretty good shape.

    • brebay

      love that movie!

    • Andy

      Have to love the classic line “Don’t F*CK with the babysitter!” I think I watched that movie when I was 9 or 10 and was mystified by that word.

  • Ro

    My mom used to force me to babysit her best friends kids, who were demons. I vividly remember them cornering me and whipping me with skipping ropes once. I rarely got paid for that.

    • Bethany Ramos

      OMG!!

  • TwentiSomething Mom

    I’m sure those kids were safer in the closet than they would have been riding around all day

  • Crusty Socks
  • Jessifer

    #4… I’m guilty of staying up late watching Breaking Bad while rocking my 3-month-old to sleep. That is, until the gruesome box-cutter scene, when I suddenly realized my son wasn’t sleeping but rather looking right at the TV, mouth agape. Oops!

    • brebay

      a three-month-old won’t even notice…three years, though, that’d be rough!

    • MerlePerle

      A few months ago I was watching Game of Thrones on my iPad with headphones in the middle of the night and didn’t notice my 4-year old coming into the room. The next morning she told me all about the bloody princess she’s seen (Khalessi eating the heart in season 1…) Oops!

    • gothicgaelicgirl

      was minding my little sis aged 4 at the time.
      she dozed off on the couch beside me so i put my headphones in and started watching a cradle of filth video on my laptop(death of love, for those interested)
      didn’t think anything of it until she asked me to tell her a story about- “the lady who was bloody and burning, like on your video”

      0.o”

    • noelle 02

      My two year old was fascinated by the Scream movies. He thought Ghostface was hilarious. My older two were so mad that the littlest got to watch and they didn’t!

  • Tea

    I accidentally gave a kid a bloody nose with my cane, and then bribed him with all the sugar in the house so he wouldn’t tell his mom.

    I also may or may not have watched Monty Python’s Flying Circus with the same kid, because PBS is educational, and he couldn’t sleep.

    • CrazyFor Kate

      One family I babysat for had a pool. They opened it a little early one summer, and when I arrived, the mom said I could use her swimsuit. The trouble was, she was like a minus A cup, while I was quite definitely in the D’s. Swimming with the kids, I dove in and BOOM, instant flash. The oldest son was 11 and I’m pretty sure he almost died. (I managed to get the top back on pretty quickly, but they definitely got an eyeful.)

    • Zoe Lansing

      The kid probably bragged to his friends about this occurrence nonstop for years.

    • gothicgaelicgirl

      try having a 4 year old walk in while you’re on the loo and ask why there is a mouse hiding between your legs….
      my mother taught me never to fully lock a bathroom door while babysitting toddlers, that way if you hear something or have to get to them quick, you’re not fumbling with locks…

  • brebay

    In middle school used to babysit a 7-year-old girl at my house after school until her mom got off work, my mom was home, I was just supposed to keep her entertained. We got bored one day and went down into the unfinished basement (concrete floor) to find something to do. We had a few rolls of Christmas wrapping paper down there and I got the idea to roll it out in the concrete and run and slide on it in our socks. Was really fun until the little girl went her third time, her feet went right out from under her and she fell flat back, straight down and knocked herself out cold. I mean, her eyes were rolled back in her head, I’m yelling her name, she’s just out. She finally came around, but it was about 5 minutes before she could tell me her name or where she was. I. Never. Told. She didn’t tell, because she didn’t remember it. She at least had a concussion, definitely should have been checked out; but at 11 years old, with a crazy abusive mother, I was thinking more about what my mom would do to me for doing something so stupid than what could have happened to this kid. I looked her up on facebook a few years ago, just to make sure she hadn’t died at some point from an undiagnosed blood clot in her brain years later or something (she hadn’t). Definitely one reason I hardly ever hire a babysitter.

    • Bethany Ramos

      That is so scary!! But you were 11, so… My husband also has a story where he fell and blacked out at 6 and NEVER told his mom. Stories like that make me crazy!

    • gothicgaelicgirl

      A friend of mine was raped by her boyfriend the first time they had sex.
      he brainwashed her into staying with him for three years. anytime he wanted sex he would rape her.

      she only told me about it last year. broke my heart that i never realised what was going on, but they seemed the perfect couple.

      she never told her parents.

    • Bethany Ramos

      That is so, so sad. :(

    • gothicgaelicgirl

      i couldn’t believe it when she told me.
      he had complete mental hold over her.
      she had to ask his permission to go for a pee!

      the bastard is living the high life in america now while she’s in and out of psychiatric units for the last 7 years.

    • gothicgaelicgirl

      absolutely broke my heart.
      she’s spent the last 7 years in and out of psychiatric care while that monster is living the high life in america.

    • Bethany Ramos

      :(

    • gothicgaelicgirl

      it’s amazing what we hide from our parents.
      i’ve done stupid stuff I’m not proud of and I know it’d break my mother’s heart if she knew.

  • Rachel Sea

    I had a babysitter who used to lock me and my sister in a closet on purpose, at least yours was an accident.

  • angelina ♥

    I had to watch my three cousins (all under ten, the youngest was two) for entire summers starting at age 11. I slept over for weeks at a time and had those kids from the moment they woke up, fed them three meals, took them to the pool, walked with them to a nearby shopping center, or sometimes further into town to eat at McDonald’s, and bathed them and put them to bed. Since my mom worked, I usually had to bring my little brother with me as well. Four kids is a handful for a grown adult, let alone an eleven year old! I don’t recall doing a lot of things I now feel guilty for, save for an occasional You guys Have to play outside Right Now much needed for my own sanity. I admit the youngest once wandered off while I was babysitting… He’d followed a neighbor kid home and was recovered quickly, but it was still scary AF.

  • blh

    I think parents today are too over protective. I baby sat at 13 and nothing awful came from it. It depends on the kid though, some 13 year olds would definitely be too immature.

    • CrazyFor Kate

      Got to agree, it depends on the kid. I was babysitting at 12, and if the kid’s not too high-maintenance, it’s fine.

    • Zoe Lansing

      Yeah, my sister and I actually had a babysitter when we were little who started watching us occasionally when she was 12 and she was super responsible and even more awesome. Thanks to her,we loved it when we found out our parents were going out on Saturday night!

    • gothicgaelicgirl

      this!!
      was babysitting form age 11!
      my own siblings at first then on to babies and even newborns at 13!

  • Jallun-Keatres

    I rifle through my own cupboards because nothing is ever put away in the same place twice. #fauxfoulbachelors

  • CrazyFor Kate

    Honestly, you shouldn’t feel bad about giving kids crap food. That’s what a babysitter is for. I never respected bedtimes as a sitter, generally throwing them into bed five minutes before their parents got home. Also, one kid was supposed to watch only French-language TV shows (Mom was French and wanted to keep her up-to-date with the language), but she didn’t like them, so I happily showed her English. The kids’ safety was never in danger, and they had some fun memories. If you’re not willing to suspend some minor rules and let them have fun when the babysitter’s over, you’ve officially got a stick up your arse.

    • Larkin

      Yeah, that one seemed pretty innocuous. Plus, I assume the macaroni and cheese and microwave dinners were in the house when you got there, so obviously they were fine. And I don’t know any parents that expect a babysitter to prepare a gourmet meal for their kids. (unless you’re a professionalManhattan nanny). Haha.

    • Zoe Lansing

      Yes, that’s the difference,IMO, between an occasional babysitter and a nanny. Nannies are entrusted with helping parents raise their kids and so it’s important that they are on the same page as the parents when it comes to stuff like junk food, TV and sleep schedules (they also have a lot more responsibilities and are professional adults who are experienced and knowledgeable about child care and development and should be paid accordingly).A babysitter is someone comes over occasionally and hangs with the kids for a while and makes sure the house isn’t irrevocably damaged and the kids are safe while the parents are out. It’s not a huge deal, IMO, if they bend a couple of the normal, non-safety related rules. It won’t harm kids or undermine their parents’ child rearing philosophies if they’re allowed a bit more junk food or TV on the occasional Saturday night. My sister and I understood that just because our teenage babysitter let us eat ice cream in a fort she helped us make in the den while watching an extra episode of SNICK a bit past our bedtime, it didn’t mean we were going to be able to do this every night. Kids are smart like that.

  • jenny

    My mom let her 11 year old sister babysit me when I was a newborn. I have been assured this is okay since newborns just poop and cry, and since I have no children yet I am horrified by this. I survived, obviously, and apparently the worst thing that happened was that I peed on the bed.

  • Valerie

    I did all of the above and definitely used to watch Jerry Springer (it was the 90′s, after all) with one 5-year old charge. Every day the summer that I watched him he happily clambered onto the couch and started chanting “Jerry, Jerry”. It was our “special” show and he was not allowed to tell Mommy and Daddy. Ah, the 90′s.

    • Bethany Ramos

      HAHAHA

    • Zoe Lansing

      My dad and stepmom used to refer to my fights with one of my brothers as “The Jerry Springer Show”. We may or may not have thrown things (including actual chairs) at eat other a few times. And by “a few times”, I may or may not mean approximately twice a month for almost the entirety of the Clinton’s second term in office. We only lived with each other every other week for most of that time period– he’s technically my stepbrother — which makes the frequency with which this happened all the more either impressive or disturbing, depending on how one chooses to view furniture slinging siblings (my brother and I tend to go with the former; we’re positive thinkers like that :) ).

  • Valerie

    And, um, was I the only 90′s kid who tried to fire up their own legit Babysitter’s Club? My local town newspaper used to let kids run free classified ads during the summer and I definitely had one advertising the services of me and 3 of my friends (obvi I was our club’s Claudia- she had the best outfits and matching scrunchies). I thought I was a seriously genius entrepreneur to adapt Ann M. Martin’s book premise for my own monetary gain. As if I were the only 12 year old in 1994 to have that cross their mind.

    • Zoe Lansing

      I still have all my old BSC books.I always claimed it’s because I’m saving them for my niece and any daughters I might have to read when they’re the right age but my fiancé’s recently come home to find my 26-year-old self reading them more than once.The jig is up.

    • gothicgaelicgirl

      i totally tried to do this!!!
      i ended up doing ALL the sitting though cos there were quite a few special needs kids in my town and not a lot of volunteers to babysit.
      Killed me inside seeing the surprise on a parent’s face when I said no i don’t mind that your child has Down’s or autism, just tell me what NOT to do and we’ll be fine.

      i did have one dad be very worried about me sitting their 7 year old son with severe Downs. Until he asked me- do you want to meet him? Most people don’t want to sit him because you know, of how he is.

      The second I walked into that room, I saw a gorgeous little boy playing with Harry Potter magic wands. big child that I am, i ran over and whispered- you’re a wizard (child’s name)

      he started laughing his head off.

      don’t think dad was worried after that. =)

      wonderful little boy, one of the best I ever had the pleasure of sitting for!

  • Guest 259

    I had to watch my cousins, who were 3 months old and 22 months old, when I was only 12. My aunt needed someone to watch her kids while she worked, so I would take care of them for 8 hour stretches. I would spend my weekends giving baths, making bottles and wiping snotty noses for $2 an hour (the going rate was $5)! We didn’t have cable so I would leave MTV on all day and record my favorite videos.

    When I think back to the amount of responsibility given to me by parents when I was only 12 or 13, I shudder. I see teens when I am out and I can’t even imagine leaving my kids with them. Maybe when my kids are older…..

  • AlbinoWino

    My worst babysitter as a child had to be the one who made us watch Freddy Kreuger. I was four and had nightmares for YEARS. He also stole some of my mom’s jewelry. Classy.

  • Tis

    Omg! Try on babysitting in the ’80s in the country. This post could be entirely in all caps.
    I was 12 years old and every single weekend, I was in charge of four kids under the age of five. FOR TEN HOURS AT A TIME. Their parents were partying hooligans. I’d give the kids dinner, entertain them and put them to bed, then clean their insanely crazy house, watch some TV I wasn’t allowed at home…then somewhere between 3 and 6 AM, they’d come home. She’d put A CRISP $20 BILL in my hand and he’d insist on driving me home, entirely hammered. I lived 1/4 mile away and he’d drive 2 miles an hour because he was drunk. The sun would be coming up and I’d beg him to let me walk, but nope. He inshishted.
    If the kids woke up before they came home and I made breakfast, she’d give me an extra $20.

    • Melissa

      I got driven home many times by the drunk dad of the girls I used to babysit when I was in high school but not yet old enough to drive myself. They paid really well and lived in a huge, nice house with a giant TV and always had ice cream for me in the freezer, so in my teenage mind the risk was worth the reward.

    • Bethany Ramos

      Your whole comment is amazing.

    • brebay

      I remember one creepy dad who always drove me home (not pervy, just completely dorky, which the whole family was…the poor little boy’s name was Walter for god’s sake) Anyway, this was mid-80′s and he put a tape in and was like “Remember this voice. Her name is Melissa Etheridge, and she’s about to be huge. Everybody’s going to know her name.” and I was just all… whatever, creepy nerd-dad, no one’s ever going to listen to your loser music…

  • Larkin

    I did a decent amount of babysitting as a teen, but my most regular family was a single dad who music directed the plays at my school (I was in them all the time, so I knew him super well) who had two elementary school daughters. I loved babysitting those kids. But I always joked that the dad really hired me because I cleaned his house for him whenever I was there… I would cook the kids dinner, wash all the dishes (way more than from just that night), and do laundry, so he made out pretty well really. ;-)

  • Melissa

    One time when I was around 5 my parents couldn’t find a sitter so out of desperation hired their pastor’s son at the last minute to babysit. They’d never hired a male sitter for my brother and me before, and maybe the idea was weird to them, because before he arrived my mom sat me down and had a Very Special Talk with me about how if the sitter tired to touch me inappropriately I had to tell her, even if he made me promise not to. Terrified, I hid in my room the whole evening and refused to come out while my brother and the totally non-pedophile sitter watched TV and I’m sure had tons of fun without me. Thanks, mom.

    • Bethany Ramos

      Hahaha that poor pastor’s son!

    • brebay

      Ha! Your poor mom, that is something I would probably say!

  • pixie

    When I was 13-14 I babysat a couple of kids who went to my martial arts club. The boy was 4 years younger than me and the girl 6 years younger than me. They were good kids at heart, but liked to be little hell raisers for every other babysitter they had. Maybe it was because I was closer in age to them and they saw me more as a friend, I didn’t find them that difficult. Actually, their parents told me I was the best babysitter they’d ever had because the kids listened to me AND I cleaned up after myself and the kids. #humblebrag

    I didn’t need to go out of my way to do most of these things, the parents left money for pizza, the kids would put the TV to the Simpsons when I was there because their mom didn’t like them watching it (their dad was a little more lenient and let them watch it without the mom knowing), the little girl would go through drawers and cabinets wanting to show me things, or looking for things for crafts. One time, when I was about 14, it was just me and the little girl (her brother was at a friend’s house) and we decided to walk to the park at the school nearby. It was well after dark and when she was probably supposed to be in bed, and she decided that instead of shoes, she wanted to wear plastic bags that the newspapers came in on her feet held on with rubber bands. I let her, figuring there was no point arguing with her. I figured it was summer and warm out, it hadn’t rained recently, and it was a fairly quiet neighbourhood without a lot of teenagers/partier people (there’s a lot of people in our neighbourhood – the kids I babysat lived like 2 streets over from me – who are around the same age, the older ones being about my age, and the younger ones being the girl’s age).

    (And as a side note, thinking about that made me kinda really sad because the girl I used to babysit, committed suicide last year at 17, and remembering those happy times makes me remember the happy carefree little girl she was.)

    • Bethany Ramos

      Omg that is so sad, but still a great story!

    • Guest

      It is great to think about the memories. I watched my neighbors from the time the oldest was 10months until she was 8. Loved those kids so much I am still considering naming a child after one if we have a boy (Jack). I also helped them through their parents divorce. After I moved out the mom lost her marbles and caused a lot of trouble in the neighborhood (and with my parents) before finally moving. I heard that she only let the kids bathe once a week so they were the smelly kids and didn’t really have friends. She would only let them have like 10minutes outside to play if they were lucky and everything else was scheduled down to the minute. Breaks my heart :-(

    • pixie

      That’s very sad for the kids. And yeah, thinking about the memories is great, even if it does remind me of the sadder events.
      In a way, I really wish I had stayed in touch more with the girl, she looked up to me when I babysat her, but time just got in the way. I found out about her death through a mutual friend of mine and her brother’s (and I stayed more in touch with her older brother, even if it was just being friends on Facebook and not ever actually talking). I was really honoured when the brother added me to the Facebook invite stating the when and where of her the visitation and funeral was for her (with people all spread out and not necessarily in constant touch, it was easiest to put up the info in a closed and private “event” on Facebook) and attended both to support the family and friends.

    • Zoe Lansing

      That’s so sad :( It’s wonderful that you were willing to be there to support the brother, though. My sister and my favorite childhood babysitter (who was also a teen when she watched us) came to her wake and funeral, too, and it really meant a lot to me. I’m sure it meant a lot to the brother that you were there, as well.

    • Guest

      I can’t even imagine one of the kids I watched passing away. That must have been so hard for you :( I’m glad to hear that you connected with the brother though, which is really sweet.

  • brebay

    I would go through drawers and I ready one mom’s diary (don’t judge, it was the 80′s there were only like 12 channels of TV!) Anyway, she was a dentist, in her forties, with a baby and a toddler and would write about how much she hated being away from her kids, how miserable she was and how she wanted to sell her practice and stay home and take care of them. It was actually really sad. I found out a few years later she did indeed sell her practice, had a third baby and adopted a little girl from China. Then once I babysat for the baby niece of a young doctor my mom worked for. His sister and BIL were in from out-of-town and wanted to go out, so I watched the baby at his condo. You could tell he was prepared neither for babies nor teenagers; there were Adam & Eve catalogs ALL over the damn place….and numerous purchases from said catalogs. I was pretty sheltered up until that day…

    • gothicgaelicgirl

      i had a very open mom who said- feel free to root, everyone does anyway, i’ve books all over the place.
      she used to let me choose a few books to borrow and bring back next time i sat.
      well i did as she said, i had a root under the bed and i did indeed find a box filled with books as she had promised.
      i found another book box and it was clear this was one i was not meant to find…
      anyone up for “restricted asian beauties, ravaged by machines”?

      anyone?

  • Guest

    I started babysitting at 12 (next door) but my first kid was 10months old. I remember calling my Mom when she woke up to ask her what to do. All those after school babysitting classes failed me! Once I felt comfortable it was fine. Waltz over, the kids loved me, mom always had pizza for us for dinner, cotton candy ice cream, and the kids went to bed early. I worked on homework after picking up (took two minutes but the mom thought this was heaven on earth) or watched tv. Effin awesome. Pocket full of cash.

  • Rachel

    Babysitting was my main source of money from age 12 to age 19 and I had a great reputation with a bunch of families in my neighborhood. One time I was getting a pizza out of the oven and a towel caught on fire. I was so terrified that the parents would find out and yell at me (or fire me? or tell my mom?) that I soaked the towel with water and buried it at the bottom of the garbage can in their garage and never said anything. This is such a minor offense, but I was so ashamed of my “bad babysitting.”

    • gothicgaelicgirl

      i used to babysit a little b***h, no other way to describe her.
      she was 9 and i was 16 and she was EXACTLY like Angelica on Rugrats- she shat rainbows until her parents left.

      she:
      - tore out my earring after i told her no i was not taking it out for her to look at.
      - kept punching me in the chest, despite me saying you A) never hit and B) Never touch someone there
      - screamed for 2 hours straight when i told her it was bedtime
      - spat at me
      - cursed at me
      - bloodied my nose twice (both “accidental” headbutts..hmm…)
      - punched me in the mouth twice, once when i caught her kicking the family cat and once for throwing stones at a stray dog (i grabbed her and sat her on the stairs and said whatever you do to hurt an animal i will do to you, so maybe i deserved that one)
      - the worst was when i had twisted my ankle badly, she spread fairy liquid all over the floor in the kitchen. i slipped and broke two fingers.

      after all that, her parents still didn’t believe me when i told them of her behaviour.

  • Kat

    I only ever babysat a few times, but yeah, forget that parental noise. I wanted to be the “cool babysitter,” and boy, was I. I remember telling a few boys I babysat that there were three rules:

    1. Don’t seriously injure yourselves.
    2. Don’t break anything that cost your parents more than $5.
    3. Don’t get me in trouble.

  • RW

    None of these are horrifying – I think we’re all guilty of most of them. Even the closet…
    >.>
    <.<

  • Momma425

    I had these neighbors that had four of the sweetest, cutest little kids in the whole world! I babysat them in particular all the time. In general, I think I did a pretty good job, and had a lot of energy. I babysat these kids from 14 to 17 and then they moved out of the neighborhood, and I got a “real” job as a lifeguard.

    I won’t lie- I did help myself to ice cream bars from the freezer and soda from the fridge after the kids went to bed. As a parent, I wouldn’t care if a babysitter ate something out of the pantry/fridge. In fact, if I was having a kid from the neighborhood watch my daughter, I might even get soda cans or chips or something I normally don’t buy specifically so s/he had something to snack on that didn’t suck (because all the food at my house sucks- screw vegetables!). Unless I had some food item that was for something and I told the babysitter not to eat it, I would be totally okay with that.

    I did, however, sneak beer out of the fridge after the kids went to bed a couple times. Nobody said anything to me about it- but I’m so embarrassed to think about what if they did notice. :/ additionally, after the kids went to bed, I used their home phone to talk to my boyfriend.

  • lena247

    The first time I changed a diaper while babysitting, I rang my dad for advice and nearly threw up on the kid.

  • Liz

    I haven’t done most of those, and I still often babysit for extra cash.

    I actually lost a babysitting job over dozing off though. The kid was home from school, five years old, watching Barbie movies, and I dozed off. The kid never left my side. I was actually really sick at the time and I told the parents about it but they were desperate for a last minute sitter and I was one they already liked from previous times I had babysat. I let them know when they got home that I dozed during movies since the kid was right beside me the whole time anyway. The mother didn’t even tell me that made her uncomfortable or anything, she acted like “oh whatever the situation was under control and you’ve been ill and all”. Then she had me wake up super early to babysit again the next day, canceled after I had already woken up super early without explaining why (at this point I was still ill and seriously could have used the extra sleep), and had her husband tell my mum the reason why she didn’t want to hire me any more. I could have totally appreciated her being uncomfortable with the idea of me dozing off, all she had to say was what the issue was and I would have been like “cool, it won’t happen again.” I had told them because I could appreciate why that would be an issue. I am still confused as to why she couldn’t just deal with it like an adult.

  • Andy

    Captain Picard GIF FTW. That is all.

  • CV

    The babysitting secret I’m taking to the grave… I got caught looking at porn. Let me explain, I was about 12 and had just gotten done putting the 5 yr old to bed. I was flipping through channels with nothing good on so I started looking at books on their bookshelf next to the tv. One book stood out because it had the Playboy Bunny logo on it (even at 12 I knew what that shit meant) so of course I took it out to have a peak. It was one of those books that I guess was supposed to be all about how artistic the photos are, anyway, guess who comes home early? I hear the keys in the front door and realizing I didn’t have time to put it back, I panicked and I hid the book behind one of the couch pillows. I was so terrified and ashamed and mortified. I was seriously sweating bullets the whole car ride home with the dad. I was hoping against hope they would think that their daughter was the one that did it :) I know that they did call for me again but I would always have an excuse or other job so that I couldn’t sit for them.

  • Guest

    I can’t get over the #7 GIF

    • Bethany Ramos

      My fave GIF hahaha

  • Frannie

    I didn’t lock the kids I sat for in a closet, but they were hiding in one when their dad came home one day and I couldn’t tell him where they were because I was watching soaps and didn’t see them go in there. In my defense it was a HUGE closet, and I could hear them playing – I just thought they were in a bedroom and not the closet. That was the worst job ever. I watched 3 kids all summer for THREE DOLLARS AN HOUR. If one kid was at a friend’s house, it was 2 dollars an hour. If only one was there, it was one dollar- and if all three had friends over it was still 3 dollars an hour. Their mom was not a nice lady, and the kids hated me because I wouldn’t let their cousins come over during the day because they were accident prone and I didn’t feel comfortable watching them. So the kids would try to make me angry enough to hit them, because their mom told them if I hit them she’d fire me. As a kid who was abused, I would never have hit them, so that didn’t work. The worst day was when the middle son bought a slim jim and his little sister (age 4) wanted some and she yelled at me to make her brother share it, to which I said no, and she got angry and scratched my arm so deeply it bled. So to recap, it wasn’t okay for me to hit them, but it was just fine with their mom if they drew blood attacking me.

  • http://fckwhatyouheard.wordpress.com/ Lunashademom

    Haha, I shouldn’t laugh, but holy shit locking the kids in the closet all day! I lucked out and barely babysat. One time I did with my friend, and dropped the baby. I had never held a baby before. I still feel bad about that.

  • gothicgaelicgirl

    i always had crackerbread or a banana before i went sitting, something with loads of starch to keep me feeling full.
    it was always the first thing i asked a parent too- do you mind if i make a coffee/tea?
    which usually asked the general question- can i eat?

    i always had great parents, one used to make extra dinner for me just in case, one called my mom to find out my favourite pizza and had one there (all for ME!!!!) and yet another would literally open all the cupboards and say- go wild, you’re minding the kids, i don’t expect you not to eat!

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