When you think about wild babysitting stories, the kids' shenanigans is what typically comes to mind. But sometimes, it's the parents who are the real wildcards. A while back, Reddit user u/Foraring asked people to share the weirdest rules parents asked them to follow while taking care of their children. This resulted in a surplus of bizarre, creepy, and toxic stories from the warfront of babysitting. Here are 18 top-rated comments:
1. "I was told that the only thing she specifically wasn't allowed to do was eat a bowl of sugar."
2. "I had to change the kid's cloth diaper every 2 hours on the dot. The kid was 6. I assumed it was for some sort of disability or something, but no. His parents just didn't want to potty train him, and the kid was content with being babied. I remember just making the kid put his own diaper on and encouraging him to use the bathroom if he had to go. I never went back."
3. "I had to put the kids to sleep with the CD player going. That wasn't the weird part. It was a recording of their parents basically going, 'Molly, you are wonderful. You are a star. You're going to shine bright.' It was several hours long, and apparently they listened to it every night."
4. "The first time I went to their house, they told me about their daughter’s very serious peanut allergy. They walked me through the EpiPen, prevention, phone numbers of their neighbors who were doctors — all fine so far. I took this very seriously. But then the mother put her hands on my shoulders and said, 'If she dies, we wouldn’t blame you. It wouldn’t be your fault.' While I appreciated the thought, this freaked me the hell out, and I was 100 times less comfortable."
5. "A single mom once told me to use the bat by the door in the event the kids' father came by and tried to take them. That was pretty weird and uncomfortable."
6. "A hippy mom I babysat for was very pregnant, and asked that when the baby was born, if I could wrangle the toddler while she gave birth in a bathtub at home. The 2-year-old was to be in the room, watching, while I explained what was happening. I denied their next request for babysitting."
7. "The family gave me instructions to let their kids drink chocolate milk, which they were otherwise not allowed to have. I think they wanted their kids to associate babysitter time with fun time, so the parents could go out more often."
8. "I used to babysit for this family when I was in high school (in the '80s), and they had no books or reading material of any kind, except there would usually be, like, two sections of the WSJ and a running magazine lying around. But no books."
9. "To give him warm milk in a baby bottle right after every dinner. He was a fully abled 10-year-old boy."
10. "'If Brady stands by the door, it just means he needs to go out. Open the door, and let him back inside in a few minutes.' Brady was a 4-year-old boy."
11. "The mom had me put her kids in their car seats and sit in the driveway with all the car doors open while she just hung out inside the house. Five hours of me standing in the driveway watching them sit inside their car. I never came back."
12. "On my first day, they sent over an adult male friend of theirs who asked to come in. I said no, and was then told I was being tested and I had passed."
13. "The 3-year-old daughter HAD to watch this VHS tape of a live Fleetwood Mac concert before bed. I was like, okay cute, that’s adorable. Three-year-olds love the weirdest things; she’s so quirky, and this will be fun. But she didn’t love it. She always wanted to watch The Land Before Time instead. The family eventually found out I wasn’t making her watch it. They were clearly upset by this, and I was never called back to babysit."
14. "The mother: 'Our children (6, 4, 1) are vegetarian, please respect that!' The father, once the mother had gone upstairs: 'Sorry, but they are my kids, too! If they want meat, it's because they probably need it. There is a fridge in my workshop...'"
15. "One had me feed her 1-year-old ONLY from a freshly opened baby food container. If she only ate two or three spoonfuls, I was to throw it away. And when she wanted more in 15 minutes, I was to open a new one. I thought it was so she would finish her meal and be full for a while, but she said it was OK to feed her every time she wanted it. I would probably throw away five or six jars in a 2-hour sitting."
16. "If the kids misbehaved, I was encouraged to spank them with a paddle they had, then make them write their names on it."
17. And finally, "I used to regularly babysit one of my younger cousins. At nap time, I had to put her in a zip-up pajama with feet. I then had to duct tape the zipper down and duct tape the wrists in a way that wasn't restricting, so she couldn't pull her hands into her onesie. If I didn't do this, she would pull her hands in and dig in her diaper...always. My aunt got tired of cleaning poop-covered walls regularly."
Some submissions have been edited for length and/or clarity.