It is really a pet peeve of mine when parents try to pawn their kids off on someone else. This Reddit user NannyLinn62 tells her story about the crazy neighbor who is relentless and does not understand what ‘I’m not your babysitter’ means.
“Years ago, this new neighbor of mine (she had recently moved to a house on the next street over) kept trying for the better part of a summer to use me as a free babysitter. It started when her kid, who was really a cute, well-behaved kid about 7 years old, showed up at my door at 7:15 in the morning. We were all just waking up and getting around so I told him that my boys weren’t ready to play yet and to come back in a few hours. That is when the kid told me his mom had gone to work. This seemed a bit odd to me so I brought him in and tried to call his mom (this was the time of only land lines). Sure enough, she was gone.
So, I brought him in and fed him breakfast. He stayed with us the rest of the day and he got along well with my two boys who were 5 and 10. I had only talked to his mom about two times, so I had no idea why she would think this was a good idea. When his mom came home, I walked him over so I could talk to her. I told her not to do that again. I told her that I would be willing to watch him on occasion if asked first but not every day. Her response was, ‘Well, what else do you have to do all day?’
This kind of took me by surprise. I tried to tell her that I work at home on commissions. She rolled her eyes and told me that being an artist isn’t a ‘real job’ and besides I was married so I didn’t need to work. I should have pointed out to her that she was married and working, but I felt myself getting angry and I didn’t want to argue with her.
‘Just don’t do that again,’ I said to her. ‘You have teenage kids home for the summer, have them babysit.’
She frowned at me and said, ‘They work.’
‘So do I!’
Then, I went home.
The next morning at 7:15, the kid sheepishly shows up again.
Once again, I bring him in and feed him breakfast and later lunch.
Once again, I took him to his home and once again told his mother to please not do that again. She actually tried to tell me that it was my neighborly duty to watch him and I told her that if she sent him tomorrow, I wouldn’t be there because of a doctor’s appointment.
She said that as a babysitter I should have given her several days notice about this. I angrily told her I was NOT a babysitter and then went home.
The next morning I made my 7 a.m. appointment (blood work, that is why it was so early). I did some grocery shopping afterward and it was about 10:00 AM when I got home. The poor kid was waiting for me on my porch. He had been there for nearly 3 hours and the little guy was scared and hungry.
That night, when I took the kid home I was angry. I told her how the kid was scared and alone. She actually said that she had told me I hadn’t given her enough time to find anyone else and that his being alone was my fault. I pointed at her and said, ‘I am NOT a babysitter! Don’t send him over again!’
That night, this woman had her adult nephew call me to scream at me for not being home when his poor aunt dropped her son off. How dare I leave a small child alone like that? I told the nephew that his aunt KNEW I wasn’t home, so it was HER that left a child all alone. I said that I had repeatedly asked his aunt NOT to send the kid over anymore and I was NOT a babysitter. This nephew freaked out at me when I said that and I hung up on his screaming at me.
This worked for two wonderful quiet days. Then, right back to it. I tried everything, but this woman insisted that it was my neighborly duty to babysit and would tell me as much. Finally, I decided that to solve this problem: I would just get a job outside my home and that way she would have to stop (I was too much of a pacifist back then– I no longer am). I landed an interview for a position at the local library and I was ecstatic. I told the woman to keep her son home because I had arranged for my kids to stay with their grandmother while I went to this interview. The next morning, I drove to my mother-in-law’s house and took my kids inside.
When I went to leave, I found this woman’s kid waiting for me in my car! She had actually followed me there and put her son in my unlocked car and then zoomed off while I was dropping off my boys. My mother-in-law wasn’t the most flexible person in the world and she adamantly refused to watch an extra kid. I had to cancel my interview.
I was livid.
I toyed with several ideas at this moment. I could take the kid to her job and leave him with her…or I could call the police and CPS. I really wasn’t sure how stable this woman’s job was and I didn’t want her to get fired, and when I went to go call the CPS, I chickened out because it really wouldn’t be fair to the little boy. Besides, I had heard really scary stories about CPS.
In the end, I just waited for her to come home. I left the boy at my house with my hubby (I planned on doing a lot of cussing) and I stomped over to her house and met her before she even got out of her car. I shouted at her. I told her she was dense, stupid, moronic and crazy. I told her that she had lost me my job interview and if she sent her kid over to be watched again, I was going to call CPS and the police. I told her that she was violating my space and if it took going to court to get her to knock it off then so be it.
She then put her hand on her hip and in her most snotty tone she said, ‘Well if you didn’t want to sit with him, all you had to do was tell me.’
I really do not know how I kept from punching her right then and there. This comment was so asinine. I turned on my heels to start stomping home when I saw her husband pulling up. Now, this was the first time I had ever met her husband. He worked at a job that only allowed him to be home on weekends (I can’t blame him, I wouldn’t want to be around her either). But when she saw him, she turned tail and RAN into her house. He saw that I was upset and asked me what had happened. I told him. Told him all of it, especially the incident at my mother-in-law’s. The poor man was shocked. He had been told that I was being paid and he had been giving her money to pay me! He had no idea all this had been going on. He was very, very apologetic over the whole thing. In fact, he apologized again to my husband when he came over to pick up his little boy.
Finally, FINALLY, she stopped sending her kid over!
Later, I heard from others that she was badmouthing me and warning folks about what a horrid babysitter I was, but I took that as a favor. I didn’t want to babysit any kids other than my own and I still hate doing so. I don’t hate the kids; I love kids. It’s dealing with the parents that I don’t like.
The kid came over only once in a while after that to play with my kids, after he called first to get permission, exactly the way it should be done. I’m sure his dad had something to do with that because the kid only came over on weekends.
This is one of a few stories I have involving this crazy lady. Her only entertainment in life seems to be seeing how bizarre she can act in this neighborhood. I’m luckier than my other neighbors in the fact that she leaves me alone now, and I’m very happy with that.”