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To not babysit again

(178 Posts)
wazzzock Tue 14-Mar-17 15:54:21

Hiya, please bare with me, I'm aware I may be over reacting & hormonal but ... a bit of back story so no drip feeding
I often used to look after my nephew as a baby, my brother works away and SIL worked shifts. I would help out where possible, do nursery runs (it's right next to my work).
SIl became SAHM for a while so for about 16 months I didn't babysit at all, but would still pop over to see SIL while my db was away.
SIL has a new job & I have a weeks holiday, nephew was poorly at the weekend so couldn't go to nursery but SIL didn't want to cancel her shift, I offered to help last minute.
Nephew is now 3, I haven't looked after him since he was a baby and don't have much experience with toddlers, all morning he tested boundaries - expected behaviour.
I went to the supermarket just to grab a couple bits for our lunch, took DN with me, walked past magazine aisle he asked for one and I said yes as a treat, explained we could sit and colour/do puzzles together after lunch.
next aisle... sweets, DN turned into devil child, demanded I bought him something, and it all escalated into ww3. I put the magazine back and dn proceeded to throw himself onto the floor, kicking screaming. I tried picking him up to get him out the shop & he started kicking and pushing me. Just at that moment SIL phones to check we are ok confused she could hear the commotion & I explained what was going on and that I needed to go.
I am 32 weeks pregnant with our 1st baby, and the reply I had from SIL was ' maybe you should have thought about having this kid if you can't handle a toddler for the day'.

The comment really hurt, we've been ttc for nearly 4 years & are more than excited about the imminent arrival, and secondly I was doing her a favour. I was kind of hoping for a few words of 'what to do' rather than a slating.
He had another once we were home as I told him not to keep pushing the Telly making it wobble, and he then smashed his toy he'd bought for the day into little bits. hmm
I am due to look after dn again Thursday but now I really don't want to.
So wibu to say no, and if not then any advice on dealing with these tantrums, they are beyond any kind of strop I've witnessed before.
It's not like I can even have a glass bottle of wine afterwards!

Wishiwasmoiradingle2017 Tue 14-Mar-17 15:59:07

I would be tempted to tell her that her precious little snowflake is beyond the realms of your capabilities and don't feel bad telling her so!!
I promise you your dc won't arrive with the midwife wiping the 666 off the side of its head. Babies aren't born 'Damien' - more allowed to mould into one. .

milliemolliemou Tue 14-Mar-17 16:01:03

I'd be tempted to say "You clearly think I can't handle your son so if it's okay with you I won't on Thursday. His behaviour was not something I've ever seen before. I'm sure I'll learn when my time comes round."

JennyOnAPlate Tue 14-Mar-17 16:03:19

I would tell her she's absolutely right and you can't handle her toddler for the day, so therefore won't be babysitting. Cheeky mare! (Her not you!)

IamFriedSpam Tue 14-Mar-17 16:03:32


It all sounded pretty run of the mill until you mentioned SiL's comment which was totally uncalled for. Maybe she felt defensive or like you were judging him because of a tantrum but as you say you were doing her a favour and she should have just said "yes he has massive tantrums, I really appreciate you looking after him, you might just need to scoop him up and run" or whatever.

CigarsofthePharoahs Tue 14-Mar-17 16:06:39

If someone was looking after my child and he had a massive tantrum I'd be nothing but apologetic.
What a mean thing to say to you! If I were you I'd not baby sit again, it's up to you whether you tell the truth as to why or pretend you're ill.

Herdingcows Tue 14-Mar-17 16:08:17

Maybe she felt like you were critiquing her parenting by saying her sons behaviour was so bad, so she got defensive....... Just saying

Penfold007 Tue 14-Mar-17 16:08:54

DN sounds very normal, pushing boundaries and trying his luck. I might have suggested some coping strategies until you told us about SIL and her nasty comment. If I were you I'd no longer be available Thursday.

Herdingcows Tue 14-Mar-17 16:10:22

I remember once leaving my DD with a family member when she was around that age. I got a phone call half way through the day telling me how she had screamed and cried to whole day. Made me feel like complete shit if I'm honest

Hadalifeonce Tue 14-Mar-17 16:10:36

You will probably discover that she will give in to this behaviour, which is why you had a problem.
When DS was a toddler, he did this twice, once at a National Trust visitor centre, I walked away from him screaming on the floor; unfortunately MIL placated him with the toy he was demanding, even though I had said he couldn't have it!
Second time was in the supermarket, again walked away from him screaming on the floor; when a man walked up to him to ask if he was alright, he completely forgot to continue with the tantrum, and ran to me. He never had another, he knew no meant no.

I think you handled it perfectly. Try what milliemolliemou says too in the nicest way.

Catsick36 Tue 14-Mar-17 16:11:26

You and your baby grow together and you will be absolutely familiar with toddler triggers when it's your turn. If you had to look after dn for 3 years instead of chucked in the deep end you would be well used to him and him to you. Why do people think they can say what they want to someone doing them a massive favour. Defo drop her in it Thursday cheeky cow. I'm 32 weeks myself and sometimes struggle with my 2 yr old, I'm used to him. It'd be exhausting for you.

CookieLady Tue 14-Mar-17 16:11:34

Cancel for Thursday. How bloody dare she. You're doing her a favour. Sod that.

Astro55 Tue 14-Mar-17 16:14:55

Best way to deal with DN is not look after him again!!

He was pushing the boundaries - but every parent would know how to win them round! She should've apologised and given you tips!

You'll be fine with the baby when it comes - tell SIL no! Because you'll be on maternity leave soon and she'll start asking for more favours

Looneytune253 Tue 14-Mar-17 16:14:55

To be honest i wouldn't be refusing to care for him because of his behaviour (that sounds pretty normal ish) but I would be telling them you are not willing to do the babysitting and then get insulted for doing so. She definitely needs to be called up on her behaviour.

PatriciaHolm Tue 14-Mar-17 16:15:40

"Given I'm going to give birth to a baby not a feral toddler, I think i'll be fine and by the time it gets to this age I'll have some experience. I think it best I bow out of thursday though, as you clearly don't have any confidence in me."

Though she may never speak to you again after that ;-)

TheMysteriousJackelope Tue 14-Mar-17 16:15:55

YANBU to cancel the babysitting. You are pregnant and don't need to be dealing with someone else's threenager if you don't have to.

There is nothing you can do with a three year old throwing a tantrum except remove them from the public view and leave them to get over it. There is no point reasoning with them, they aren't listening. There is no point shouting, there will be two people shouting instead of one. There is definitely no point in slapping, they won't notice and you wouldn't want to slap a toddler in the midst of a tantrum hard enough so they did notice. You definitely don't give them what they want.

It sounds like you did the right thing.

The only things you can do are to ensure they don't get hungry, thirsty, or over tired as those are definite tantrum triggers. If it's thrown because they aren't getting what they want, it's a good thing. They are learning that there are limits and taking notice of being refused. Learning that a tantrum doesn't get what you want is also a good lesson, one which many adults have failed to learn.

Derlei Tue 14-Mar-17 16:17:10

I would totally tell her that what she was said was unnecessary and hurtful. And she could do with teaching her child boundaries before she criticises your potential future performance at parenting.

pointstaken Tue 14-Mar-17 16:17:43

cancel the babysitting.

Don't worry about your own child, they are all different anyway, not all kids have bad tantrums for a start. Even if they do, you know if they are tired, hungry, if they need distraction, it's not as bad as it sounds.

Moanyoldcow Tue 14-Mar-17 16:18:11

Definitely cancel. My 4 year old is quite 'spirited' but would never throw a tantrum in a shop and if he did that with another caregiver I'd be mortified and apologetic as hell.

UnbornMortificado Tue 14-Mar-17 16:18:17

3 year olds can be little sods. I spend half my life arguing the toss with my DD.

She is cheeky fond you were doing her a favour.

ElspethFlashman Tue 14-Mar-17 16:19:27

What a cow!

ThumbWitchesAbroad Tue 14-Mar-17 16:20:20

Wow, I'd refuse purely on the grounds of your SIL's snarky bitchy comment, frankly!! How very dare she blame you for her little "darling's" tantrum behaviour?!


YWNBU to say no, you don't need that stress in your life. And most people don't have to just deal with a 3yo from day one, we work up to it - tiny babies are an awful lot easier to deal with than a tantrumming 3yo, FFS!

Am disgusted with her reaction to her son's behaviour, tbh.

Touchmybum Tue 14-Mar-17 16:20:42

Yes, would just say, "you're right, I can't handle him, especially this far into my pregnancy, so I will pass on Thursday" - let the cheeky cow find someone else to mind him! She can send him to nursery; he's clearly not ill if he can throw a tantrum like that. Good luck with the new baby x

SummerHouse Tue 14-Mar-17 16:20:49

She has been horrible. She should be addressing the issues not suggesting you are somehow lacking (which you are not!) This IS NOT normal toddler behaviour. But toddlers are complicated. He could have felt out of usual routine and overwhelmed. Or he could be used to getting his own way. Whatever the reason its not your monkey, not your circus. I would say "really sorry but I can't look after him at the moment. I don't think it is best for him or me."

WateryTart Tue 14-Mar-17 16:21:24

Just tell her it's no longer convenient. Cheeky mare.

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