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to think my babysitter is a greedy pig?

(248 Posts)
HeartsAreEveryWhere Mon 21-Jan-13 16:53:30

So I went out with DH on Saturday night and my friends 15 year old babysat for us.

Came back about 1am and thanked her and DH drove her home. Decided to make a cup of tea how rock n' roll and noticed that she had eaten half of a victoria sponge cake, a whole block of cheddar had gone and she had drunk half a litre of diet coke.

I did say help yourself to food. But surely this is taking the piss?

MrsSchadenfreude Tue 22-Jan-13 06:54:13

Blimey! grin

I used to babysit a lot at that age, and the parents always used to say "help yourself to food." I understood this to mean, say, a couple of cans of Coke, a cup of tea, a few biscuits or a slice of two of cake. Maybe make a sandwich. Not "please go ahead and eat the entire contents of our fridge."

It is greedy, but it is also about manners and consideration for others. What if the cheese had been needed for packed lunches? I had an au pair who used to come down in the night and drink all of the milk in the fridge, eat all the bread, cheese, salami etc and leave us with nothing for breakfast or packed lunch. The first time she did it, I read the riot act about consideration for others. The second time, she was hauled unceremoniously out of bed at 0700 and despatched to the shops to replace what she had eaten. She didn't do it again.

For those of you who say "Oh mine do that at home, and it's fine" do you not teach them that it's not necessarily acceptable behaviour to do that in someone else's house? Personally, I wouldn't find it acceptable at home - if I am planning to cook lasagne for dinner, I would take a very dim view of coming home to find no cheese or milk.

CheeseStrawWars Tue 22-Jan-13 10:05:57

"It never crossed my mind that this girl has an eating disorder. Now it has been said I still don't think she does but ... I will keep an eye on her and may have words with her mum."

You can't judge something like bulimia based on what the person's weight is. If you don't spend much time with her then the usual giveaway signs like changes in mood, spending too long in the toilet after meals, general anxiety around food and social situations will be hard to spot. You might be able to notice things like:
* if her eyes are bloodshot
* if she has sore fingers and hands, particularly on the knuckles where teeth are likely to chafe against skin, from using her fingers to induce vomiting
* persistent sore throats/runny nose
* swollen glands

If you notice she's cleaned your toilet while you've been out, that would be a strong indicator that she's been using it to vomit in.

HeartsAreEveryWhere Tue 22-Jan-13 12:57:54

I've tried to listen to all opinions on here but CheeseStrawWars I never once mentioned her weight, even in the post you quoted me.

I know you cannot tell if a person has bulimia based purely on their weight. I'm not stupid and I've had an eating disorder in the past so I know the signs.

Wishihadabs Tue 22-Jan-13 13:15:11

TBH I reckon she had got up late (possibly 1or 2pm). So your spaghetti was "lunch" and the cheese (with bread/toast) was tea.
From 7pm till 1am it is quite normal to have 2 meals. If she ate 350g of cheese with no bread/crackers or similar that is weird.

DrGoogleWillSeeYouNow Tue 22-Jan-13 13:22:45

If you notice she's cleaned your toilet while you've been out, that would be a strong indicator that she's been using it to vomit in.

Or she needed the worlds biggest pooh after stuffing herself silly grin

MajorBumsore Tue 22-Jan-13 14:54:20

What's a spaghetti plate?? confused
No one else seems confused; is this normal parlance in some areas?
<utterly misses point of thread>

MajorBumsore Tue 22-Jan-13 14:55:20

confused See how confused I am?

CheeseStrawWars Tue 22-Jan-13 15:01:00

I wasn't saying you had made a point about her weight, it was more a general point of information.

I find it odd that you say you've had an eating disorder in the past, and yet rather than "AIBU to think eating a whole block of cheese on top of a plate of spaghetti, bag of maltesers and half a victoria sponge cake a sign of disordered eating?" you ask "is she a greedy pig?"

hellsbellsmelons Tue 22-Jan-13 15:05:23

That is quite greedy IMO.
When my DD babysits, I get her a pizza to take with her so she doesn't eat their food.
And my DD got £20 (at the age of 15) for sitting and staying overnight! She was very grateful as well. £40 - blimey - that's almost more than minimum wage. Lighthearted by the way peeps!

Sazzle41 Tue 22-Jan-13 15:26:28

I had a thriving babysitting business at 15 cos all my friends hated kids. Points to consider when you take on teenagers: they might love kids but a) teenagers are always starving, its the law b) she probably got bored & is new at it and didnt think to bring her tablet/kindle/book/homework to while away the hours .. Long ago and far away in a land called the 80's I could eat crap all day long and stay a size 8 .... sigh ..... the only good bit about being 15 tbh (well, to me)! Next time, get in some extra biscuits (thats what BOGOFF is for) - my babysitting circle always left out extra by the kettle and said help yourself to the biscuit tin or whats just baked as well as....

swimmingcat Tue 22-Jan-13 17:33:56

I don't think that it's an excessive amount. My teenager will eat that in an evening and will probably have a second helping of spaghetti if offered (though I do think he has hollow legs). It amazes me how he is still hungry after eating what I consider a fair amount. He is also slim.
They go through growth spurts and to him, he is just hungry. Maybe she did not have that much to eat beforehand?

cafecito Tue 22-Jan-13 23:45:08

yeah okay but I am surprised it didn't cross your mind she may have an eating disorder, they are extremely common unfortunately, and I think calling anyone a greedy pig is a bit mean- I wouldn't do it myself, no, but we don't know what is going on here. Don't mention any possible ED to her mother, and next time she babysits I wouldn't try and restrict her food either. Just keep an eye out- it is basic manners, but she is 15 and be it bulimia, boredom, comfort eating, hunger, whatever- is it that big a deal? if this behaviour persists a few more times, and if you notice things which give you absolute genuine concern, then it is the time to act, but not after a one off. And I would say always speak to the girl first, except when you really do know that she is vomiting as it can cause severe electrolyte disturbance and sudden death, among other things- in which case perhaps refer to her mother. Unless you don't want to get involved - new babysitter?

but in all likelihood she is like my sister and just eats lots sometimes, especially at night in front of the tv.

magso Tue 22-Jan-13 23:51:16

Ooh I remember baby sitting as a teenager and eating at least half a tin of home made cookies! Scrumptious they were too. Well they did say to help myself!

BrittaPerry Wed 23-Jan-13 00:05:07

I was a very skinny teenager, with no ED, and I ate like a pig. Eg if left to cook for myself, six waffles, full size tn of beans, two fried eggs, tin of rice pudding, couple of pints of soft drink would still leave me hungry a couple of hours later. I have no idea why I ate that much, but my sisters were the same. My mum must have spent an absolute fortune.

BrittaPerry Wed 23-Jan-13 00:06:20

I should add that Im not skinny now... It caught up with me :-)

greenfolder Wed 23-Jan-13 07:10:58

OP- teenagers eat like this! You sound lovely but teens will take you at your word. Help yourself means an empty fridge. I have 3 and keep everything non perishable in the car. Defo one of those things that you can't really understand until you own a teen. 5 years ago I would have written your post. Just thinking about their facebook status " 40 quid and as much as I can eat!"

Flatbread Wed 23-Jan-13 08:16:52

I never remember eating like this as a teen and I was a size 6 then and an 8 now (age 42)

If this is considered 'normal' for a 15 year old girl, no wonder we are a nation of fatties!

Healthy meals, eating lightly at night, minimal snacking, limited soft drinks etc. are habits that need to be inculcated early on. If a 15 year old girl eats a plate of a pasta, a full cheese and half a cake at night, I doubt she will have decent food habits later. My money is on her being a chunky adult.

emmyloo2 Wed 23-Jan-13 08:19:55

a whole block of cheese? Can you eat a whole block of cheese in one sitting? I don't eat cheese but that sounds like a lot.

That said - I always tell our nanny who babysits as well to help herself but she generally doesn't but I would like it if she did as I like it when people feel comfortable enough to eat my food. It sounds like you did go out of your way to feed her though, so perhaps she ate a huge amount in that context.

I would be surprised more than anything i think.

BackforGood Wed 23-Jan-13 19:48:22

No Greenfolders, anyone with any sort of manners, whatever their age, would not eat their way through someone else's house like that. Nor is it normal to eat a whole block of cheese.
Yes I have teens. My ds (16) will help himself to all sorts in our house but wouldn't be so rude as to do so somewhere else. Yes, his portion size of an offered cake would be bigger than most adults would have, but seriously - to take a block of cheese out the fridge an eat your way through it ? No way is that a normal teen (or otherwise) thing to do.

sherazade Wed 23-Jan-13 20:08:08


I always let babysitters indulge themselves with the contents of my fridge.

It's the least I can do for the joy of a night out whilst the kids are safe and sound.

A trustworthy babysitter is worth his/her weight in gold, So I spoil mine.

Floggingmolly Wed 23-Jan-13 21:09:37

You are being really unreasonable checking the contents of the bin...

JugglingFromHereToThere Wed 23-Jan-13 22:32:05

sherazade - or put that another way .... a good babysitter is worth her weight in cheese grin That's a Wallace and Gromit grin BTW smile - but it has to be Wensleydale grin

cerealqueen Wed 23-Jan-13 22:39:21

YANBU. I babysat when I was a teenager and no matter how big the block of cheese, you don't eat all the cheese that somebody has in the fridge, and half a three tier cake that was clearly home made, it's just rude, as well as greedy. She had been given dinner and chocolate already!

Is there a possibility your kids got up and helped her eat the stuff?

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