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My son is 3 and will be 4 in Nov. I babysit for a family after school, at their house, and have been doing it for 2 years. The kids are 8 and 12 years old.

The mother emailed me to tell me that they had a signed poster by a musical artist on their desk in the dining room. The poster had rubber bands on both ends and they found a random hole in the middle of the poster and then found the tiny shards of paper about 3 feet away. I don't think the hole is very big - she said it was like a rip/hole in the center. I believe it is just a one-layer hole and not all the way through (like a pencil jab or something)

They asked their sons if they touched the poster and ofcourse, they said NO. So, she emailed me asking me to talk to my son about not playing with non-toys. Her words were, "I think your son tried to open the poster and didn't know you had to take the rubber bands off first."

Ok, correct me if I am wrong, but if you try to open a poster that is banded at both ends, wouldn't it have a big tear on the ends or in the middle????


The poster was found on the desk, in its same place. This hole was discovered TWO DAYS after my son and I were there (we only bbsit Mondays and Thursdays). They noticed the hole and shards of paper on Wed. I even asked the mom, "you found the shards of paper laying 3 ft. from the poster on the dining room floor, you didn't notice it on Monday after we left or all day Tuesday when you worked from home?" Two days went by before they noticed this hole - long after we left!


I am very upset because I truly feel in my heart that my son didn't touch this poster. If a 3 year old got a hold of a poster, it would have been torn and he wouldn't have taken a random chunk out of the middle of it.


I am taking my son up to their house this morning and am going to casually ask him "Oh gosh, what happened here?" and see what he says. The good thing about a 3 year old is that they don't normally lie. My son always tell me when he does something bad (if I ask him) because he hasn't grasped the concept of telling a lie or hiding the truth. He will totally rat himself out if he did it.


My gut tells me the boys I bbsit for were fooling around, perhaps picked up the poster, hit each other with it, and put it back (maybe without knowing that they put the tear/hole in it.)


But my issue here is that I am pretty irritated that they just believed their children and blamed this on my son. I never saw my son touch the poster or go near it when I was bb sitting. He would have no interest in a rolled up poster sitting on a desk. AND, if he did touch a poster, I am sure he would have tried to make a sword out of or something. But even so, he would have ripped it up!


I am very irritated by this and don't see a good ending either way. When I see the boys next Monday, it is going to take all my might not to con them into telling the truth. It isn't my place to do so. But I feel the trust in my relationship with this family has been broken. I don't trust the boys because I think they are lying, and I guess they don't trust my son because they think he ripped the poster.

Where do I go from here?
IDK, I kinda think that you are making a bigger deal of it than it has to be. Maybe they just wanted to ask you to ask your son before they really let their own sons have it and tell them off for lying to them. Maybe they just want to make sure that it wasn't your son first?

I've done that with my daughter before. She lied about something and said she had nothing to do with it and tried to make out like her friend had done it. So I called the friend's house and ask the mother to ask her daughter if she did that and of course she said no and I believed her but I had to ask first just in case.
Yes, I agree that it sounds unfair to judge/blame your son summarily. In part, she seems to be blaming you, too, because she is telling you what to do with your son ("tell him not to play with non-toys"). If you can't teach your own son to behave, how would you be competent to babysit her kids?

But why on earth didn't she talk to you directly rather than sending an email?

Hmm, how long have you working for her? My impression - though I might be wrong - is that she is trying to find some reason to give you the sack, if you see what I mean.

If a signed poster has been damaged, it may be impossible to have it repaired. She will have to get another poster from the same artist. A poster can't be too costly, because it is in most cases a reproduction. At the same time, she should have been more careful with the poster, not leaving it like that on a desk in the dining room.

I really don't know what to advise. If you confront her by saying it is unfair to blame your son without evidence, she may think you are being too forward and daring. If you don't say anything, you are probably being unfair with your son. It is like a Catch 22.

Maybe I would start looking for a new job. As soon as you find one, quit this one without giving out the real reasons for it, so she can't hurt your reputation if your new employer asks her for some info on you.
Right, if the poster was so important she should have had it put away where the children couldn't get to it.
Well you have two choices. You can let it roll off your shoulders and recognize that a job is a job and feel very lucky to have one that includes your son. This IS a pretty small issue. All she has done is ask you to "talk" to your son. I dont think it's necessary to bring it up to be honest. He's your kid, you know he didn't do it, so who cares what she thinks. If she wanted to take care of her precious little poster, she should have put it away.

Your other option of course is to confront the situation. But is being right worth losing your job? She is going to feel the same challenge that you do if you go and point the finger at her son's. In the end, your son may not even remember the darn thing by now let alone who did it. I think it's unfair at best that she said this to you. But it all sounds pretty harmless to be honest. Like I said, I think feeding your son and putting clothes on his back is more important then whether or not you have a talk with him about playing with "non toys". Personally , I think it's laughable! lol. Go ahead and pander her, let her think she is wise and all knowing and the queen of the household, and dont even bother mentioning the whole thing to your kid. Good luck!
Melissa
:) Was the musical artist famous or just some joe schmo!!!! :)

Where do you go from here?

If the signed poster is by some rap artist... tell the mom I am disappointed the job was left unfinished. :)

What is done is done. This issue should stay between the adults no matter who is responsible.

You can always reply to the email and tell the mother she may have a rat infestation problem and one ate a hole through the poster...... all the kids are innocent!!!!..... then wait anxiously for a response. I would like to hear it!!! hehehe

I agree, there is no good outcome. Maybe you should just not babysit for her anymore if you can afford to do so.

HOOP! (Got ScotchTape!)
thanks everyone. I took my son over to see the poster and it is not a normal poster. It's a card stock type of poster, about 10 inches wide and 15 inches long. Sort of like they had back in the good old days when they would advertise an artist. So it was a thick paper and I just thought it was off that my son could just poke a hole through it.

The father was upset when it happened (the mom told me via email) but he was very nice when I got there. I asked my son if he put a hole in the paper and how. He said he didn't several times and then he said he did. I think he was looking for the right answer to give me. Needless to say, we didn't get a clear answer.

In any case, we still are not sure what happened. THe hole is about the size of a dime and they are going to have the poster framed and think the matting behind the poster will fix the hole a bit.

I have been with this family for two years and things are going very well. I don't see it as a way to get rid of me at all. They really need me since I more or less Nanny for them - pick their kids up from after school activities, take them to baseball games, etc. I know they appreciate me. I just wish this was handled differently.
[QUOTE=Belly Kelly;4329029]thanks everyone. I took my son over to see the poster and it is not a normal poster. It's a card stock type of poster, about 10 inches wide and 15 inches long. Sort of like they had back in the good old days when they would advertise an artist. So it was a thick paper and I just thought it was off that my son could just poke a hole through it.

The father was upset when it happened (the mom told me via email) but he was very nice when I got there. I asked my son if he put a hole in the paper and how. He said he didn't several times and then he said he did. I think he was looking for the right answer to give me. Needless to say, we didn't get a clear answer.

In any case, we still are not sure what happened. THe hole is about the size of a dime and they are going to have the poster framed and think the matting behind the poster will fix the hole a bit.

I have been with this family for two years and things are going very well. I don't see it as a way to get rid of me at all. They really need me since I more or less Nanny for them - pick their kids up from after school activities, take them to baseball games, etc. I know they appreciate me. I just wish this was handled differently.[/QUOTE]

If that is the case, if they really appreciate you, then I don't see any reason why you should swallow hard. Tell them about how you feel and how you wish this could have been handled in a different way. Speak from your heart. You will earn one more point with them (their respect), you will feel better yourself, and probably things like that won't happen again.





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