Tuesday, February 12, 2013
All school year, I have been babysitting my neighbor, L's, kids, ages 4 3/4 and 7 months. I am a stay-at-home mom/online college student, so I don't mind too much. She is also not working right now, so we agreed on $25 per day. I think this is fair, as the baby is crawling and requires a lot of supervision. My kids are 4 1/2 and 6 1/2, so it's been a while since I last had a baby around.
Things have gone pretty well the last few months. Although we are about 10 years apart, we are in similar stages of life right now, so we are friendly. There were a few hiccups at first, but the kids adjusted to the routine at my house.
Last week, her older child made a huge mess in my daughter's room. When she came here to get her kids, he immediately ran home. I looked in my daughter's room, and saw the mess and showed her. She just laughed and said, That's why he ran home. I told her that he needed to come back and clean it, or he wouldn't go in their bedrooms any more. She just laughed again and said she needed to do homework. I again told her that her son should come back and clean it. She thanked me and left.
Today, when they came over, the oldest headed right towards my daughter's bedroom. I told him and his mom that he wasn't allowed in there because of the mess he left last week. She seemed upset with this and said that my kids had left messes there, too. Whenever the kids have played at anyone's house, when I pick them up, I ask how they were and if they need to clean up any messes they made. L has always told me that they were fine, and not to worry about cleaning up. She watches my kids once a month when I go to Policy Council for my daughter's school, which I always pay her for. I guess I'll just ask my dad or sister to watch them. I watch her kids twice per week, and she watches mine once per month. I thought this was a pretty fair trade, but she's making it seem like she watches them constantly.
When she picked them up, she asked pretty rudely if they needed to help clean up. I said they were fine, and there was no mess to clean up. She opened my kids' bedroom doors and looked in. I asked what she was doing, and she said that she was making sure there was no mess.
I don't like how she's dealing with the situation. Her kids need to follow my rules in my house. If she doesn't like it, she can pay for them to go to day care. I wouldn't try to tell someone what rules they can enforce in their own house, so I'm baffled by her attitude. For $50 per day and all I ask is that her oldest cleans his mess, I thought this was a good deal.