To think I wasn't in the wrong here?!

(179 Posts)
PenguinBear Tue 11-Dec-12 18:49:40

We sometimes have the little children over the road to play while their mum does the shopping/ has a rest etc. I know she is using me as free child care as DP loves to remind me but my dc love her children so I don't mind having them. This has been going on a couple of years now but they are no bother so it's all good. Their father works from home but I usually only see their mum.

She is currently pregnant and wanted to go with her DH to buy some baby stuff at the weekend so asked if we could have the children for the day. 

I foolishly said yes and we had them for about 8 hours (much longer than expected). I tried to ring but they were 'stuck' in London. hmm
We ended up all going out for dinner in the evening so took them with us, dropped them home, all was well so I thought.

One of them left some bits at our house so I have just dropped them over and her DH answered the door and proceeded to tell me off for letting his children have ice-cream.  I felt like saying well come back when you said you would. They never told me not to let them have ice-cream and it was only a small child's portion after their pizza dinner at a local Italian. 
AIBU to be annoyed? I did them a favour imo and feel like I won't bother next time which is a shame as the children are lovely

Sorry for the long post, thanks if you got to the end!

HECTheHallsWithRowsAndFolly Tue 11-Dec-12 18:51:41

No. You aren't.

Why on earth didn't you say something?

I am speechless. How rude. What did you say?

ParsleyTheLioness Tue 11-Dec-12 18:51:56

Ooh, that was naughty of them. I would be a bit less generous with them in future...

valiumredhead Tue 11-Dec-12 18:53:43

It's such a shame when things turn out like this especially as you were doing them a massive favour. I would be fuming and would have found it hard to keep my mouth shut!

Still have the kids over when it suits you but not so they can have a nice trip out to London bloody cheek!

pollyblue Tue 11-Dec-12 18:53:52

Was it a proper telling off, rather than a jokey 'oh i wish they hadn't had icecream, they were running amuck on all that sugar' type comment?

If he was serious then you are most definitely NBU and he is a cheeky sod. If they had never said specifically not to give the dcs certain foods you weren't to know, and to tick off the person who cared for his dcs for a whole day, and bought them a meal out to boot, is taking the biscuit.

SantaWearsGreen Tue 11-Dec-12 18:54:11

That is soo rude. I would be gobsmacked.

BrianCoxIsAChristmasPud Tue 11-Dec-12 18:54:26

Quite simple, next time she asks you say that after the last time and the comment about the ice cream, you feel you can't help out.

Cheeky git.


Shutupanddrive Tue 11-Dec-12 18:54:36

Of course you were not BU, what did you say? shock

McPheastOfStephen Tue 11-Dec-12 18:57:11

Blimy I'd be rather offended

Just remember you did something lovely for the children..

HECTheHallsWithRowsAndFolly Tue 11-Dec-12 18:59:07

Yes. I agree, brian. I know how the next conversation would go if I was the OP

Can you have the kids on such and such a day

are you kidding me? After I got told off the last time I did you a favour? No chance, pal!

cornycarrotshack Tue 11-Dec-12 18:59:19

What a rude man shock
don't have them next time and tell them why

BalthierBunansa Tue 11-Dec-12 18:59:43

YANBU, they should have told you if they weren't allowed certain foods, especially since you were obviously going to have to feed them as they were out so long. If I was their parents, I would have paid you back for the meal!

KenLeeeeeeeInnaSantaHat Tue 11-Dec-12 19:00:49

You were absolutely not BU! What a bloody cheek of their dad!

DialMforMummy Tue 11-Dec-12 19:04:13

Did you pay for their meals as well?
They are very rude.

lisad123 Tue 11-Dec-12 19:05:30

How rude!

PenguinBear Tue 11-Dec-12 19:05:30

To those who asked, it felt like a proper telling off ( think when the head hauls you into the office) and I was quite shocked and said I was very sorry blush. I then had a little cry (in private) as i felt like i'd done something wrong and am now not upset just annoyed about it.

BalthierBunansa Tue 11-Dec-12 19:05:47

DialMforMummy I love your username grin

BridgetBidet Tue 11-Dec-12 19:05:51

Cheeky git. You were totally right.

PenguinBear Tue 11-Dec-12 19:06:09

No they didn't offer to pay me back either!

LyingWitchInTheWardrobe Tue 11-Dec-12 19:06:25

Present him with the bill - for the dinner and your childminding services for the evening. See how he likes that.

GoldQuintessenceAndMyhrr Tue 11-Dec-12 19:06:59

shock How rude. What a nasty man.

pictish Tue 11-Dec-12 19:08:38

How unspeakably rude of him!!

Next time they ask - bring this up.

fuzzpig Tue 11-Dec-12 19:09:07

Ungrateful git. Unless the DCs have allergies or something but I assume this would have been mentioned.

Well, you know what your response is next time they ask a favour!

PenguinBear Tue 11-Dec-12 19:09:07

Thank you for your comment McPheastOfStephen, you're right, the children had a nice time and maybe in years to come if we are no longer in contact they'll still remember me as xx's mummy who looked after us and took us out to nice places grin

BlueberryHill Tue 11-Dec-12 19:09:12

Please tell me that you aren't going to do this for them again and tell them why. I hate it when people behave like right arses and get away with it.

HECTheHallsWithRowsAndFolly Tue 11-Dec-12 19:09:26

seems to me that they have somehow forgotten that you are helping them and have come to feel a little entitled.

Time for you to correct them on that.

DublinMammy Tue 11-Dec-12 19:09:51

What a cheeky, rude, unpleasant man. Can totally understand being too gobsmacked to say anything at the time. Say exactly what HEC suggested if/ when they ask again. I'd be tempted to give them a bill for the dinner, with the ice-cream ostentatiously deducted.....

BlueberryHill Tue 11-Dec-12 19:10:05

YY to Hect, agree completely

IneedAsockamnesty Tue 11-Dec-12 19:10:27

If they didnt tell you in advance then he is being a cock.

Next time you get asked do as a pp says bad say no to after the telling off I got last time

alarkaspree Tue 11-Dec-12 19:10:54

Oh I have seen threads like this before. Your neighbours are crazy (not-crazy people reciprocate childcare favours, and don't dump their children on a kindhearted friend for 8 hours while they go shopping). So next time you refuse to help out so that the mum can have a nap, be prepared for the DH to come over and shout at you for 'letting them down'.

AlistairSim Tue 11-Dec-12 19:13:36

Please tell me you will be saying "NO" next time they ask, Op, because there will be a next time!

PPPop Tue 11-Dec-12 19:13:38

its ice cream fgs, what is wrong with people? he sounds like a complete loon. in fact they both sound cheeky, rude and ungrateful. its a shame, i feel sorry for their children.

PPPop Tue 11-Dec-12 19:15:17

You are the one that should have been giving them a dressing down for taking advantage of you all day. They sound very odd.

GoldQuintessenceAndMyhrr Tue 11-Dec-12 19:18:09

You need to say something.

Next time she asks just say:

"You are joking, you expect me to help out with childcare after you left your kids here for 8 hours, and rather than thanking me, I got a telling off from your husband for giving them ice cream."

Then close the door and breathe.

louschmoo Tue 11-Dec-12 19:18:38


What a rude man, he needs a fat slap with a wet kipper (metaphorically speaking, not literally). I would text the mum to say that you're sorry but you can't offer free childcare + meals to her kids any more as you don't like being scolded for not doing things 'their way'.

GoldQuintessenceAndMyhrr Tue 11-Dec-12 19:19:37

Yes, that is better, follow lous suggestion.

legopiecemeetbarefeet Tue 11-Dec-12 19:21:48

I would have said... BUT I AWLAYS give them icecream.... they cant come over and not have icecream. Its a tradition!

that'll top them in thier tracks!


I'd be ringing or going over and stating you were upset to get such a horrid telling off after looking after their DCs for EIGHT HOURS and taking them out for tea and would like to make it clear you are no longer available to be used as free child care. Rude rude rude!! angry

What has your DH said?

toomuchturkeyatendofthedinner Tue 11-Dec-12 19:22:39

Yep agree with the other posters. Point out the free child care doesn't include being lectured about feeding them ice cream after 8 hours. Absolute fucking tosser. angry for you, OP.

tasmaniandevilchaser Tue 11-Dec-12 19:23:16

Good grief! Some people! YANBU AT ALL. Promise us all, you will NEVER do any more favours for those awful people ever again, and tell them why.

It would be really sad for the wife if you had to say no to looking after them again, particularly with a new baby on the way. But of course you couldn't expect their children to watch yours eating ice cream or deny yours a treat because your neighbours don't want to look after their own children.

You either need to say "no" from now on or tackle this issue. You should not look after someone else's children, pay for their dinner and end up in tears.

That's unbelievable.

I'd have told him to fuck off.

freddiefrog Tue 11-Dec-12 19:25:15

How rude. YANBU

I refuse to look after a friends kids now after I collected them from her child minder as her car broke down and she got really snotty because I didn't give them organic food and I let them have a small treat size Milky Way after dinner (they were around 6 and 8 so not tiny babies).

I did her a last minute favour, like it or lump it

Rowlers Tue 11-Dec-12 19:28:15

I get the impression that you, clearly being a generous and kind-heated soul will have these children again, as they are not to blame for their father's incredibly ill-mannered behaviour. His behaviour is, let's be honest, utterly contemptible and what would worry me, is that he now thinks he can walk all over you.
You MUST speak up about this. I would not wait till the next request but go over when no children are around and let him know how disgraceful this is. As it stands, in my view, he has bullied you and bullies don't change unless confronted.
But that's me. And I know these things are easier said than done.

MrsLyman Tue 11-Dec-12 19:28:29

You were definitely not in the wrong, I wish you were my neighbour.

YANBU at all, cheeky sanctimonious fucker! angry

GoldQuintessenceAndMyhrr Tue 11-Dec-12 19:30:15

Yes, Rowlers is right.

Ungrateful shits! Yadnbu.

They need a jolt to reality. Please stop being so accomodating.

BornToFolk Tue 11-Dec-12 19:35:45

Good grief! I would be incredibly grateful to anyone who would look after my DS for 8 hours straight, unpaid, not to mention taking him out for dinner! The cheek of some people!

It's a tricky one though, if your children enjoy playing with them it seems a shame to deprive them all of that just because their father is an ill mannered idiot.

What you should do is go over and have a word along the lines of "I was very hurt by what you said the other day. I looked after your children all day and bought them dinner and to be honest I expected a thank you rather than a bollocking. I love having your children over but I really don't appreciate being spoken to like that"

However, not sure I'd have the guts to do it...

whatsforyou Tue 11-Dec-12 19:38:33

I actually wouldn't wait to be asked again. I would make a point of speaking to their Mum as soon as possible and in a very non-confrontational way say how disappointed I was by her husband's reaction as from your point of view you were doing them a favour and indeed going above and beyond as they were much later than they had said they would be.

I would point out that you had not planned to take them out for dinner but clearly couldn't be expected to disappoint your DC just because they had not returned and that no reasonable person would not expect any child to sit and watch another devour ice cream unless there was a valid reason for depriving them.

I would then take it from there. Did she know her DH reacted like that? She might be horrified and rush home to send him out to apologise or she might and I suspect this might be the case just shrug as that is what he is like. It that is her reaction then you say you are very sorry but feel you cannot look after her DC again.

I actually feel a bit sorry for her but by no means does that mean you should put yourself out for them again without a HUGE apology from him!
Come and watch my DC, I won't care if you feed them ice cream as long as you keep some for me grin

SantasLittleElfycat Tue 11-Dec-12 19:53:46

What do you want to do about the free childcare you have been offering? Do you think it is time to stop? if so I'd be using this as an opportunity.

In any case I would set some very strict limits on your help to them from now on. You can explain to your DC that you want to spend more time as a family.

What a nerve the father has! Under those circumstances I'd have been delighted that you took so much care of my children and would have insisted on reimbursing you and then would then have sent you flowers. do you want to watch my DDs? wink

ChristmasIsForPlutocrats Tue 11-Dec-12 20:01:24

It sounds like he just shot his DW in the foot. What a charming man; it's a shame he won't suffer from a lack of future favours!

BrevilleTron Tue 11-Dec-12 20:08:49

How utterly rude of him! I would refuse to do anymore free child care after that little display
Is he aware how much a childminder would have charged for 8 hours
Per child!

Some people don't know how lucky they are to have kind neighbours. Please do say something as you do not deserve to be treated like this
unless the icecream was laced with LSD and/or froot shoot in which case you are SO being U

louschmoo Tue 11-Dec-12 20:13:21

Yes OP, I agree with the others who have said you should say something about it sooner rather than later. Best case, the husband will get a well-deserved bollocking from his wife for being such a twat, and a big apology for you. Worst case - she doesn't get anymore free childcare from you and she can take her kids on her shopping trips from now on. Some people have such a nerve!

LegArmpits Tue 11-Dec-12 20:15:43

Oh this reminds me of the terrible cunt mum thread who also expected free childcare and everything done her way. They too are terrible cunts. Wtf is wrong with some people?

LaCiccolina Tue 11-Dec-12 20:22:20

Yes u need to say something to the mum. This dh behaviour was appalling! Does urs know?!? I'm surprised he hasn't bopped him one. Can only imagine what mine would say....!

I think u need an apology, flowers or obvious method of contrition. Frankly whether u have the kids again is entirely up to u. If put 2hr time limits on it - eg after school only for example. I mean if u get on with the mum it's ur call here. It really does depend how aggrieved u feel.

We r all outraged for u!

RacHoHoHog Tue 11-Dec-12 20:24:18

Yadnbu how rude! No more favours for them.

FivesGoldNorks Tue 11-Dec-12 20:26:46


maddening Tue 11-Dec-12 20:28:40

I would have a word with the wife - start with that you were disappointed to have been talked to by her husband when a. You were doing them another favour b. They were late c. You were not advised of dietry requirements. That you are upset and while you don't want to fall out over it you feel an apology is in order.

GreyTS Tue 11-Dec-12 20:29:14

What is wrong with some people, honestly I am considered slightly uptight regarding food but if someone looked after my children all day and then all evening I quite frankly wouldn't mind what the hell they fed them. OP you are a fantastic neighbour and friend and that man had no right to be rude to you.

maddening Tue 11-Dec-12 20:31:13

Haha just read down further and see what'sfor has said it already smile

letseatgrandma Tue 11-Dec-12 20:34:43

Next time she asks just say:"You are joking, you expect me to help out with childcare after you left your kids here for 8 hours, and rather than thanking me, I got a telling off from your husband for giving them ice cream."Then close the door and breathe.


ceebie Tue 11-Dec-12 20:36:34

I agree with every word maddening said

ceebie Tue 11-Dec-12 20:37:56

and whatsforyou

MerylStrop Tue 11-Dec-12 20:38:09

Is he always such a complete arse?

I'd have a word with the kid's mother and tell her that you enjoy having the children to play but that her husband has been unbelievably rude and ungrateful.

berri Tue 11-Dec-12 20:38:33

"What you should do is go over and have a word along the lines of "I was very hurt by what you said the other day. I looked after your children all day and bought them dinner and to be honest I expected a thank you rather than a bollocking. I love having your children over but I really don't appreciate being spoken to like that"

What ^^ said - agree that it might be hard to say in person, but I'd be tempted to put it in a note and put it through the door.

MerylStrop Tue 11-Dec-12 20:40:03

or next time, give them a double espresso, a can of fanta and packet of cola bottles just before you send them back

PenguinBear Tue 11-Dec-12 20:44:10

I feel better now, thanks all smile

My DP isn't that surprised, he thinks her DH is very strange but thinks he told me off because he's older than me ( old enough to be my father). Maybe he is old fashioned. He became a father much later than what might be considered normal, I would guess he is probably about 65, she is almost 30 years younger!

Do you plan to say something?

Aspiemum2 Tue 11-Dec-12 20:46:03

I literally never ask folk to have my kids but on the rare occasions its happened - play date after school for example - I send something round like a box of biscuits as a thank you.

For 8 hrs and feeding them I would probably give flowers, chocs and a bottle of wine.

The response you had absolutely floored me, I can't get over the nerve of the man!

PenguinBear Tue 11-Dec-12 20:47:24

I'm a bit of a wimp when it comes to confrontation! blush. They have an Au Pair starting after Christmas so I don't think we'll see them often so probably better to leave it unless they ask me again!

agedknees Tue 11-Dec-12 20:48:12

What he should have said was thanks and given you some wine for your trouble.

He sounds an awful, horrid man. Print out this thread and post it through his letter box.

YANBU of course.

Your story fits neatly in to my theory that All of Human Interaction can be explained as a Pissing Contest wink:

You have much more contact with mum, you know she is 'using' you for free childcare but you don't really mind, you have little/no contact with dad over this. You do them a massive favour, spend time, money and energy on their kids and HE gives you a row - I am sure if one of the kids was diabetic or summat that would have come up before that day. I think he felt defensive about how frigging outrageously they took advantage of you that day, also maybe felt that he had lost the right to the upper hand (see where the Pissing Contest comes into it? grin) and did his best to Put You In Your Place.

FWIW, if the children are friends with your children, it would seem cruel to stop them playing together. But I agree with everybody else, do it on your terms. It does NOT always suit to have other people's children round.

You sound lovely, and he sounds like a prick. I think you have a case for asking them to pay for their kids' dinner - including ice cream!!

Oh no, no confrontation, you need to practice passive-aggressiveness: "Sorry, I cannot have your children today as we are having ice cream for dessert"
"Nope, I am worried I might give them something they should not have"

I am rubbish at confrontation, but much better at the assertiveness lark - a great boon of middle-age, I find, calling a spade a spade.

"I'd love to have them, the children play so well together, but it seems mean to give mine ice cream and not yours"
"We are off to the ice cream parlour this afternoon"

I am sure other MNers can do better than me...

WheelieBinRebel Tue 11-Dec-12 21:01:40

I really think you need to say something as he will think that he can keep on treating you like that, you know that you will have their children at some point again, what happens if he knit-picks again? If you don't like confrontation then do what someone else has suggested and put it in a note.

You really need to set boundaries and let them know that whilst you love having their kids, you are not someone he employs and deserve some respect. Sorry but if you give people like him an inch he'll take a mile.

exexpat Tue 11-Dec-12 21:03:21

Where's the 'like' button for PacificDogwood's post?

WheelieBinRebel Tue 11-Dec-12 21:03:27

Sorry also meant to add YANBU!

weeblueberry Tue 11-Dec-12 21:04:00

Course you're not being unreasonable. My response would have been along the lines of 'had I known I'd been providing them dinner I'd have asked about what they were and weren't allowed...'

He's got a bloody pair of brass ones to complain about something like that after you had his kids all day...silly man.

whatsforyou Tue 11-Dec-12 21:04:42

But will it bother you not to say something OP?

See I'm a brooder and it would go round and round in my head as I thought of all the incredibly witty things I could have shut him up with but which would never have occurred to me at the time.

I don't like confrontation either but I don't think it has to be overly confrontational. You could even say to the Mum, 'Sorry for the mix up the other day, did you tell me DC had an allergy to ice cream? It must be quite serious for your DH to react like that, he must have got quite a fright'

I would need to say something to see what her reaction is going to be, you will be able to tell if he is a bully, a bit of an arse or if he was just having a bad day and you unfairly got the brunt.

If you can just forget it and move on then fair play to you but I know I would be up at nights stressing over things I had left unsaid!

ChippingInAWinterWonderland Tue 11-Dec-12 21:07:54

I would speak to the Mum, tell her that you were unaware her DC weren't allowed ice cream... see what she says. The poor woman might really need a friend to talk to.

Poor kids - imagine having that twat for your Dad?

Poor poor Au Pair!!!

wine for you and your lovely DH

Flipping heck, what a rude, rude man! If you'd looked after mine for 8 hours and taken her out for a meal and an ice cream you'd have been given flowers, or chocolates, not a telling off.

weeblueberry, that's perfect; nice, but also nicely getting the point across grin

exexpat, I live in a house with 5 males - every single of their interactions is a pissing contest <<sigh>>

DontmindifIdo Tue 11-Dec-12 21:19:28

I would say something now. She needs to know he's offended you. Especially if htey have an au pair starting and not needing to abuse your good nature get free childcare from you again (see, even the nice version makes them sound like cocks).

If your scared to do it face to face, do you have her mobile number? You could send her a text tonight, there's others on here who'll be good at helping you write a good one.

Mind you, they sound like users, people like this never quite realise how much they are taking the piss. i wouldn't be surprised now they have someone paid to do this, you won't hear much from them.

Rudolphstolemycarrots Tue 11-Dec-12 21:24:04

can you joke with the wife about how shocked you were being told off!

fenix Tue 11-Dec-12 21:29:58

He's a git, and the favours need to stop.

However, your reaction was incredible. Instead of righteously telling him off for his utter disrespect and ungratefulness, you took his ranting and went off to cry.

You are clearly a nice, generous woman, but can you see how you might need to work on being more assertive? Otherwise plenty more similar situations await, as a lot of people have no shame and are more than willing to take advantage when they feel someone is being a doormat.

Loislane78 Tue 11-Dec-12 21:34:33

You sound like a lovely neighbour smile I thought you were going to see they didn't give you money for their child's dinner. YANBU - they are - cheeky sharksters!!!!

Loislane78 Tue 11-Dec-12 21:35:03


maddening Tue 11-Dec-12 21:37:51

And I can't believe that they didn't pay for their dcs' dinner as well as not giving you copious amounts of wine! Cheeky bastards!

The other problem with not saying anything is that your DC "love her children" and it does sound like they are fond of each other! I wouldn't want to deprive their children or my own from a nice neighbourly friendship just because their dad happens to be a fuckwit.

Are your DC's a similar age?

myfirstkitchen Tue 11-Dec-12 21:48:34

What a tosser.

So you were meant to have his children watching yours eat ice cream and have none? Or your children have none because you don't have in writing that his can have some sodding ice cream?

Or maybe he should of paid for childcare and left instructions!

TheCraicDealer Tue 11-Dec-12 22:02:35

Jesus, you let them have some ice cream, not start a meth lab in the garage!

Please don't let this lie- there is an army of mumsnetters who want to see this man drown in a vat of ice cream. Metaphorically of course, the vat of ice cream actually being you telling him to fuck off and get a train timetable next time he goes to the capital.

PenguinBear Tue 11-Dec-12 22:15:21

I could possibly send a text to her, might not be as bad as doing it face-face.

Anyone got any suggestions? Do I start off 'how are you?'... Should I apologise for ice cream and say 'really sorry about the ice-cream, I didn't know know x and y were not allowed it' or something else!?

Floggingmolly Tue 11-Dec-12 22:16:30

The kids don't have allergies, or the parents would be criminally negligent to leave them for 8 hours without making their carer aware.
The guy sounds like he has a personality disorder.

Smellslikecatspee Tue 11-Dec-12 22:18:37

I'm asking nicely here, but why are people saying tell his wife etc. he is the one who was rude, if he works from home he must be aware how often you've helped before.

it sounds as though he needs to made aware that his actions have consequences.

And more to the point why the fuck does she need you if he's at home. Before anyone jumps on me I work from home regularly, I know WFH doesn't men doing nothing,but why can they arrange her being out while he takes his lunch break?

Though to be honest I think I feel a little sorry for his wife. And God help the Au pair.

SageStuffingYourOrifice Tue 11-Dec-12 22:27:34

I was tutting and muttering under my breath just there as I read the OP.

DH: <sighing> "What's happening on mumsnet?" So I told him the gist of the thread. He said, of the dad, "What. A. Wanker." My sentiments exactly!

Complete wankbadger. YASoooooNBU!

No apologising! Unless combined with some very clear passive aggressive message. Otherwise it just sounds like you are apologising and you have nothing to apologise for.

FrequentFlyerRandomDent Tue 11-Dec-12 22:39:41

Please do not apologise in your text. They should be thanking you. How cheeky. At 65 he should know his manners. I dread to think how he treats her.

Leave it for whenever you see her and feel strong / detached enough.

Texts like emails do not carry tone of voice.

maddening Tue 11-Dec-12 22:40:53

Smellslike - I think to contact the wife as she is the one who has the arrangement with op - op had not really seen much of the husband.

GoldQuintessenceAndMyhrr Tue 11-Dec-12 22:44:18

Dont apologize for the ice cream, you did not do anything wrong! Not like it was vodka Ice you gave them!

maddening Tue 11-Dec-12 22:45:37

Something else - not an apology - you are explaining that her dh has upset you and why and you feel that an apology or at least acceptance that he was wrong to "tell you off" - how you want to deal with childcare going forward is another matter and isn't necessary if you don't want to cover that just yet. You can phrase it so it doesn't come across too confrontational.

Smellslikecatspee - the suggestion to tell the wife is because the op has more contact with the wife, may feel more comfortable telling the wife and couples do talk, so the wife can probably tell the husband. I don't disagree with your comments about the husband looking after his own DC.

If someone said to me "your DH said X to me and I was a bit surprised" I could translate that to DH as "you said X to her, which makes you sound like a complete bastard and you have clearly upset her, you need to apologise". DH would do a few minutes of self righteous indignation before realising he was wrong and apologising to her. Much easier than her confronting DH, having already felt belittled by him.

FrequentFlyerRandomDent Tue 11-Dec-12 22:52:00

"Loved having your monkeys over last weekend. They are super and I was pleased to be paying you a service. I am therefore upset and confused to myself reprimanded rather than thanked by your husband. Felt like being a school girl in the headmaster's office. Is all well at home?"

Or something line that?

Good luck. I still think talking rather than texting is best though.

FrequentFlyerRandomDent Tue 11-Dec-12 22:52:36

"To find myself being reprimanded"

gimmecakeandcandy Tue 11-Dec-12 23:10:16

Sorry to say this but stop bring such a bloody doormat! Pull them up on their shite, RUDE behaviour, present them with a bill for the kids meals and don't babysit again! Please grow some balls and stop letting these people walk over you.

Don't you DARE apologise to them in your text! And no 'how are you's either! This text is not a social call, it is informing her that THEY ARE IN THE WRONG. So no nicities!

I'd go with something along the lines of what BornToFolk posted -

(slightly editted)
"I was very hurt by what your husband said the other day. I looked after your children all day and bought them dinner and to be honest a thank you would have been more appropriate than a telling off. I love having your children over but I really don't appreciate being spoken to like that."^

And see how she responds. If it is anything less than prostrating herself in apology for her wanker husband - and insisting that he apologise too - you absolutely MUST NOT provide her with free childcare at her convenience again. Ever. By all means invite the children to play with yours, but do not accede to her requests again.

And incidentally - does she ever invite your children over to play at hers?

Icelollycraving Tue 11-Dec-12 23:53:34

How about
Hope you & Victor (Meldrew) enjoyed your day out in London,probably your last day out before the baby?! The kids were no trouble,they are always nice for my dc to be around. I do feel I wanted to say I was really suprised to have a telling off after having them for rather longer than I'd planned,which is why we had to take them with us for our planned meal out. Didn't know about the ice cream being such a problem,still you have an au pair starting soon so you won't have to ask for the help,we are so busy. Have a lovely Christmas,good luck with the new baby x

Bestof7 Wed 12-Dec-12 00:05:54

Don't bother confronting the crazy neighbours if you don't want to. And have the children over again if they play so nicely with yours. It's great for your kids, too.

Just make sure that absolutely every time they come over, you offer them ice cream. Every time. Make sure you have some sweets to sprinkle on top, too.

Bessie123 Wed 12-Dec-12 00:24:38

Use whereyouleftit's text

Was there something particular about the ice cream that pissed the dad off? I have friends (a couple) who occasionally look after my dd (I also look after their dc a lot, I am not your neighbour) and despite my having told them at least 1000 times that we don't eat animals they repeatedly give my dd marshmallows and jelly sweets that contain gelatine. I have tried to be nice about itso far but I will be going mental at them if they do it again.

ravenAK Wed 12-Dec-12 00:42:48

'Hi Margot, hope you & Jerry had a nice day out. WTF is this about the ice cream? Jerry had a go at me about it, very odd. Can you point out to the silly sod that I was stuck with taking the kids to dinner with us because you guys were late back? Not that they weren't lovely, as ever! BTW, you owe me £x for their meal...haven't included the ice cream, obviously ;)'

...& then gauge further interactions depending on whether the response is apologetic or arsey.

Notafoodbabyanymore Wed 12-Dec-12 00:49:11

What about saying "DH and I have some jobs to do on Saturday, could you mind our DC for a few hours please? We're on a new family diet, so they are not allowed to have anything apart from organic, raw food, and no tv thanks. Knew you wouldn't mind returning the favour. Cheers."

But seriously, please address this now in one of the ways outlined by other posters, these people are pisstakers.

I'd have told him he was nutter and he wouldnt have to worry about ice cream again as you won't be doing him any more favours.

I'd text "Wtf is up with Horace today?! Telling me off because I gave Bono and Yoko some ice cream while out on our planned family meal!

toomuchturkeyatendofthedinner Wed 12-Dec-12 01:07:07

Use whereyouleftit text as a guide.

Do NOT apologise anywhere in your text. There is nothing to be sorry for.

Don't be a doormat. It is liberating and empowering to stand up for yourself, without any of the (British?) compulsion to water it down with sorry, sorry, sorry bollocks.

You'll feel better once its done, I promise.

ChristmasSpiritEndorphins Wed 12-Dec-12 01:19:52

Please....Do Not Apologuise, you did nothing wrong.
Unless you count being a good neighbor and friend wrong.
I'd send a text or message saying "I have done nothing but try and be a friend and help you our with your children, and don't appreciate your husband complaining to me about what I fed them. I am not your paid nanny, I am merely a neighbor trying to lend you a hand out of the kindness of my heart."

INeedThatForkOff Wed 12-Dec-12 03:56:18

Ooh, use Raven's version.

MidniteScribbler Wed 12-Dec-12 04:21:59

I think you're all overthinking it. The only txt message I'd be sending is "fuck off to the far side of fuck and go fuck yourself". Simple and to the point. Hard to misinterpret.

fruityxmasAbuHamzamouse Wed 12-Dec-12 06:48:21

Please don't apologise. They are both cheeky buggers. Has the mother thanked you for her free child care day out? Pull her up on it immediately.
"Was upset that after taking care of your 2 all day Sat that I was told off by Victor rather than thanked profusely. Is he usually such a wanker? love Penguin. "

PessimisticMissPiggy Wed 12-Dec-12 06:56:19

Cheeky bastards.

You sound a lovely, generous and caring person OP. Please don't let these people jade you!

Personally I'd wait until they ask again and just say no. If you don't like confrontation then don't create a situation that will cause you stress.

PessimisticMissPiggy Wed 12-Dec-12 06:58:05

*That isn't to say that if the don't like confrontation you should let them take advantage of you - just say a firm no to the next request.

Kytti Wed 12-Dec-12 07:19:04

Agree with everyone else, what a horrid man. Cheeky gets too - I can't believe anyone would leave their children that long and not apologise profusely and offer to pay for the meal! How very rude.

I'm afraid I agree and you should probably refuse to help out in future, OR - if you don't want to fall out (but really!) you should maybe talk to Mum about it. I'd certainly want an apology, that's disgraceful.

poopnscoop Wed 12-Dec-12 07:22:59

Cheeky!!!! I'd have to say something. He needs to be set right.

CabbageLeaves Wed 12-Dec-12 07:33:02

Do not apologise!
They should apologise to you on several counts.

OP you need to work on your self esteem smile. I dislike confrontations as well. Think of it less like a confrontation and more of a 'after the confrontation' event.

This man was wrong. Either you avoid the 'confrontation' (a perfectly valid choice) or remind yourself how rude and ungrateful this man has been and let him politely know how he has made you feel. Do not apologise for feeling this way. You are not at fault. If you apologise you are effectively saying 'you upset me but its my fault'

Either nothing or something... but be clear of the purpose of that something

CabbageLeaves Wed 12-Dec-12 07:34:01

I understand the 'talk to the mum' but really this man is an adult and should be accountable. His wife is not his parent.

BornInACrossFireHurricane Wed 12-Dec-12 08:20:23

Bloody hell.

OP, you sound lovely. I would be inclined to say something now otherwise it would play on my mind.

What a dick.

Walkacrossthesand Wed 12-Dec-12 08:42:26

Penguin, please promise to come back and tell us how it goes (and how the neighbours react) when you've decided how you're going to tackle it!

captainmummy Wed 12-Dec-12 08:53:42

I've been in this situation - looked after dc when parents were late back, looked after dog when owners (different ones) were 8 hours later (they'd stopped for 'dinner'!) and never said anything. But i make sure I'm not available every time, just so I don't get walked over. (i loved having the dc, and the dog, but they are not mine, and i don;t feel any responsiblity to house them. I feel as if you think you have, OP)

But then I've never been attacked for doing them a favour, so would have prob said something to the wanker at the time - bit back if you like. Something like 'well if you were back on time I wouldn't have needed to feed your children.'

I'd say something, even if it's just 'I didn;t know the dc weren't allowed Ice cream?' to the DW.

financialwizard Wed 12-Dec-12 09:22:03

I agree with everyone else.

I would also definitely say something, probably to the husband though. I also think I would be presenting the bill for their children's meal to them and expect it to be paid.

Pigsinblankets Wed 12-Dec-12 09:28:21

What a complete tool. Refuse to have them next time saying you are worried you might unwittingly corrupt them.

I can't believe that, what a prick! Don't care for the kids again and certainly don't apologise! They should be apologising after all of these years if free childcare, not you!

expatinscotland Wed 12-Dec-12 09:51:52

I'd have told him where to stick it and where to get, you crabbit old codger, but if you're not into confrontation, don't apologise. Ring her up and tell her that due to what happened last weekend and her husband's scolding, you aren't available to have her kids over anymore. She's a pisstaker as much as he is.

toomuchturkeyatendofthedinner Wed 12-Dec-12 16:41:58

Been thinking about this today and hoping for an update from OP re text or convo. Hope it went well OP and you feel better. Let us know. Still angry on your behalf!!!

I hope OP has been in touch with the wife.

Anniegetyourgun Wed 12-Dec-12 17:40:46

Remember that lovely lady whose neighbours used to wander uninvited into their house of an evening and drink their wine, among other cheeky escapades? She grew a fine pair o' balls and told them where to get off. Hopefully PenguinBear will find the support here to do the same smile

DueInSeptember Wed 12-Dec-12 17:42:06

Don't apologise!

I wouldn't be surprised if the wife is as bad as her husband. In her shoes I would have definitely stopped him from being rude to you, or I would have made him apologise to you after the event. Shockingly rude people!

Oh yes, 'balls of fire' IIRC. grin

Or was it steel? confused

PenguinBear Wed 12-Dec-12 19:59:33

I've been avoiding coming back as I haven't done anything blush. I wimped out as I didn't want there to be any bad feeling between us plus I feel sorry for the children.

DontmindifIdo Wed 12-Dec-12 20:40:07

I think you will have bad feeling anyway, because you're now going to be aware of her DH being rude to you if she ever asks you for another favour, you are going to be the one with bad feeling, and probably reluctant to help out, or to make a mistake when helping out and therefore get shouted at again.

You should say something to clear the air now.

Floggingmolly Wed 12-Dec-12 20:43:25

Agree. The next time she asks it will be too late to say anything without it just sounding like an excuse, and he does need to know how upsetting his rant was.

simplesusan Wed 12-Dec-12 20:54:32

If you still want to have the children over then just have them for an hour and then send them back home when it is dinner time.
When she asks you to look after them for their convenience say no, then tell her that you don't appreciate being spoken to the way her husband did.

cbeebiesatemybrain Wed 12-Dec-12 21:03:18

You need to say something or they will treat you like a doormat forever! I'm really pissed off on your behalf!

digerd Wed 12-Dec-12 21:08:25

They have taken advantage of your good nature, used you, and treated you like dirt. They should have apologised for being late, but they didn't. Instead he had go at you. Completely out of order.
Some good examples above for you to consider,
Good luck.

expatinscotland Wed 12-Dec-12 21:19:55

If I were your DH I'd have been over that road within minutes telling them both to knob off. There's no way I'd ever be used by them again no matter how sorry I felt for those kids.

susanann Wed 12-Dec-12 21:20:52

you have been treated very badly. if you cant face it what about your other half doing something? dont let that awful man get away with it!!!!!!!

FestiviaBlueberry Wed 12-Dec-12 21:22:14

PenguinBear, why don't you want there to be bad feeling between you?

And why do you think they don't give a shit if there is bad feeling between you?

That man wasn't even vaguely worried about potentially causing bad feeling between you, was he? And yet he was in the wrong. You're worried about causing bad feeling, but you are in the right.

Also, he wasn't worried about whether he would cause bad feeling between you and his wife. This means that either he doesn't give a shit about his wife's friendships, or that he knows his wife holds you in the same contempt as he does.

I really think you need to not worry about bad feeling between you. I understand that you don't want to spoil your DC's friendship, but that's unlikely anyway, isn't it?

expatinscotland Wed 12-Dec-12 21:24:46

Your kids' friendship with theirs is based on her using you. The second that stops, you bet she'll drop you like a hot brick.

Toomuchturkeyatendofthedinner Wed 12-Dec-12 21:25:19

<sends penguinbear a fine pair of fiery steel balls. No, wait, sod that, a steel fanjo!! After all, they are much stronger than any male dangly bits!! wink >

The other posters are right, there will be bad feeling, in you, and that will fester, not good for you. Say, text, or even get your DH to say it, but something needs to be DONE!!!

BluelightsAndSirens Wed 12-Dec-12 21:47:31

I agree with passive aggressive approach, his wife may not even know he has been such a dick, he obviously doesn't appreciate what a lovely friend you are.

Next time she asks say "no, sorry but we are having ice cream for dessert so I can't help today"

I predicte that she will be all confused and say "okaaaaay" and trots off to tell her DickHead that you are being weird.

What ever happens it is not your problem, yes you like their children but I think the parents ned a wake up call to how fucking lucky they are to have free childcare and that 8 hours is far too long for a friend to help out.

The more I think about this the more I would like to know how much your children play at theirs?
I don't think there is any need to necessarily generate any hostile feelings (unless you want to grin).

Something like Fanjo's "Wtf is up with Horace today?! Telling me off because I gave Bono and Yoko some ice cream while out on our planned family meal!" seems perfect to me.
I agree you should not apologise - for what??! Cheeky beggars!

I feel confirmed in my Pissing Contest theory when I backread a bit and found he is an older father, married to a much younger woman, struggling to regain the moral high ground with yet another mere woman - how v dare you wink!

expatinscotland Wed 12-Dec-12 23:51:56

You all are much nicer people than I am grin.

Honestly, I'd have lost the plot with that cheeky user.

DoingitOnTheRoofTopWithSanta Thu 13-Dec-12 00:06:48

Well if you babysit all the tme then maybe they should have told you before that dc can't have icecream? Tell him to fuck off next time you see him you aren't the babysitter

PenguinBear Thu 13-Dec-12 07:43:23

They very rarely go over there unless I am babysitting the children and then they come with me. She's never looked after them, she struggles with her own two let alone anyone else!

captainmummy Thu 13-Dec-12 08:18:33

But you don't ??? And what about when the new baby is born and the new Au Pair finds the family impossible to work for? Will you just get roped in to 'help' with the 3 of them?

You really need to say something - otherwise you will be unpaid childcare for them. (and much as your dc like playing with hers, they'll live! )

DontmindifIdo Thu 13-Dec-12 08:45:01

so you babysit her DCs a lot, and she never repays the favour in the daytime because she can't cope with her own, let alone anyone elses, would she do evening babysitting when yours are in bed and her DH is watching theirs, or is this relationship completely based on her using you? If that's the case, be prepared for her to cut you out anyway once the Au Pair arrives and she doesn't need you anymore.

Send Raven's text. People like this should be pulled up on their bad behaviour.

WelshMaenad Thu 13-Dec-12 08:50:12

If she can't cope with her two, why the actual fuck is she having another one?

OP you sound lovely but you are being a doormat. Tell them to duck off to the far end of fuck if they ask you to have the kids again. What a pair if entitled twats

ENormaSnob Thu 13-Dec-12 08:51:32

Jesus op, you might as well bend over and take it up the shitter from these 2.

You are being used and abused.

Astelia Thu 13-Dec-12 09:01:36

Jesus op, you might as well bend over and take it up the shitter from these 2

my sentiments precisely

I really think you ought to say something.

Not defending the dad in any way ,shape or form

Maybe the problem with the ice-cream was it was quite late? (My DD can drink anything and be fine but if she has ice-cream she goes to the loo about 3 times in 30 minutes).
Maybe he was worried about the DC weeing at night but was a bit embarressed to tell you?So it came out as a tirade?


Just be very busy next time they ask you. I had to do this with a school friend of my DC .There were lots of playdates at my house, but not the other way. Me doing the pick-up and drop off.Then one incident that just broke the camels back.

I was a bit hmm to say "No, it's not fair.I'm not doing it"
So kept saying "We're busy. I can't"

Even then there was no invite to their house.

Do it. Be busy.
She might need you when the baby is born.If you help her then she'll appreciate it.
But if YOU decide.

ProfYaffle Thu 13-Dec-12 09:19:51

I hope you're not going to do any more babysitting, even if you don't confront them.

I was in a similar, though not as extreme, situation. I didn't want to do a big confrontation as I live in a small town and these things can come back and bite you. So every time I was asked for childcare I'd say I needed to check my diary ("That date sounds familiar, I may be doing something, I'll have to check"). Then I'd text/e-mail back saying that I couldn't do it as I was busy ("sorry, I was right, we're busy that day."). Never explain why because they'll just try and find a way around it. After doing this about 4 times I was unceremoniously dropped by the childcare requesters - thank fuck!

Now we're just polite to each other if our paths cross in the street and no more. No nastiness, no big show down, no more childcare.

SirSugar Thu 13-Dec-12 09:29:12

Maybe her H is a controlling cunt and she wouldn't have minded them having Ice-cream?

Gipfeli Thu 13-Dec-12 09:47:05

You did nothing wrong. He is an idiot. Personally I would ignore it (after ranting about it to DH) and carry on having the children over if it was convenient and my kids were happy. Not their fault. Nor their mother's.

But I'd definitely be giving them more ice cream. More than usual. And cake. Possibly every visit.

SDTGisAChristmassyWolefGenius Thu 13-Dec-12 10:07:48

On another thread (about visitors to a mumsnetter's house taking the piss massively) I suggested the formation of a MN Hit Squad, which would tour the country dealing with people like this man for mumsnetters in need. It is so much easier to be frank and direct when you are not personally involved a situation, and we could use that to our mutual advantage, and deal out massive bollockings Stern Talkings-To wherever they were needed.

All applicants gratefully received!

And Mumsnetters In Need sounds like it needs some sort of fundraising Telethon too - to keep us in winebrewbiscuit, chocolate and steel toe-cap boots! grin

ENormaSnob Thu 13-Dec-12 10:12:30

I could totally join a hit squad SDTG.

We could have tasers and batons.

Some people deserve a good tasering.

SDTGisAChristmassyWolefGenius Thu 13-Dec-12 10:36:21

I agree. Just until they admit how twattish/unreasonable they have been, and promise to mend their ways.

I wonder if it is too late to ask dh for a taser for christmas? grin

lovesmellingthecoffee Thu 13-Dec-12 11:33:31

I can see that you are doing some of this childcare because it suits you because your children enjoy their childrens' company.
BUT be aware that one day when next door have someone else more convenient to use or their circumstances change you will be suddenly left with no company for your kids. And you will have to deal with your kids asking where Yoko and Bono are, why can't they come and play anymore and you won't be able to do a thing about it. So my advice is find some new friends for your kids and preferably with parents who reciprocate the friendship. because next door certainly don't care about you or your kids one bit.
And as for lady next door not coping, well I think she is coping just fine, she has found free on tap childcare.

Atthewelles Thu 13-Dec-12 13:02:45

God help the poor Au Pair. If he thinks he's entitled to speak so rudely and ungratefully to someone who's doing him a favour, imagine how he'll treat someone he's actually paying to help look after his children. I predict she won't last very long.

ZombiesAreClammyDodgers Thu 13-Dec-12 13:06:10

Speechless at his cheek, the miserable sod!!!blush

I want to join a 'Hit squad'! grin

NorksAreTinselly Thu 13-Dec-12 15:13:51

i would like to apply for the TIT SQUAD grin

Hobbitation Thu 13-Dec-12 15:21:10

I'd have asked him what the fucking hell else I was supposed to do with the children. Leave them on the doorstep while we went out for dinner? Let my own kids eat ice cream in front of them?

Stupid twat.

DublinMammy Thu 13-Dec-12 15:42:30

I have a Steel Fanjo and, er, I'm not afraid to use it - can I join the Hitsquad????

SDTGisAChristmassyWolefGenius Thu 13-Dec-12 16:02:13

The more, the merrier, DublimMammy!

<<dons combat gear to join T Hit Squad>> grin

I have Big Tits and am not afraid to use them...

On a more serious note, I do wonder what goes on in that house/relationship... and yes, the poor au pair!

I have been known to come up with all sorts of witty, acutely observed put-downs wrt to many an awkward situation in my life - but usually minutes/hours/days AFTER the event. I don't think there is any need to give the OP a hard time for how she reacted at the time, but I'd delight to be part of a well planned future strategy grin.

I hope you have not apologised today?!

fromparistoberlin Thu 13-Dec-12 16:34:38

what astelia said, so delicately

dont let this pass, say something

cheeky cxxt!

DontmindifIdo Thu 13-Dec-12 16:37:00

I have just been given some second hand maternity combat trousers (yes, really), here was I thinking I'd not have much use for them, and now I get to be in the hit squad!

I'm happy to go tell cheeky buggers to cut it out and start being grateful.

expatinscotland Thu 13-Dec-12 17:44:24

I'm going to start a business for people who 'don't like confrontation'. I'll do the confronting for them.

SDTGisAChristmassyWolefGenius Thu 13-Dec-12 18:00:22

That's the Hit Squad, expat.

Our motto - We bollock them for you - wholesale!

Viviennemary Thu 13-Dec-12 18:11:34

What a nerve unless her children were diabetic or something and you would have known this anyway. I wouldn't do her any more favours. Ungrateful well won't say it by you know what I mean.

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