Toddler accused of breaking friend’s washing machine

(238 Posts)
JellyJellyTooToo Sun 01-Aug-21 16:51:31

I’ll try to keep this as brief as poss but sorry if it’s a bit long….

Was watering a friends flowers while they were away. In the one occasion I took my toddler with me she ran a bit riot and while I was busy watering the plants in the garden she managed to move a few bits around in the house etc.

She wasn’t inside on her own, an older dc was with her but had an operation a few weeks ago and I hadn’t realised she’d sat on the sofa and stopped watching what little one was doing. She really should have told me she wasn’t watching her but didn’t 😒.

Toddler managed to put a flip flop into the washing machine and sprinkle it with washing powder. She may have fiddled with the buttons but certainly didn’t switch it on. Drum was open. I removed the flip flop but just left powder in the machine for them to use when they got back (but forgot to mention it). I didn’t for one minute think she’d broken it.

Yesterday, I received an irate phone call asking what the hell we’d done to the washing machine - I explained about the flip flop. Apparently it wasn’t working at all, no power, lights etc. He slammed the phone down on me.

For background said “friend” is the partner of a dear friend of mine who sadly died. He is an alcoholic and always has been for as long as I’ve known him. I remember my late friend saying how he’d get in funny moods etc but I’ve never seen this side of him before, he’s always been pretty chilled-out around me.

As little one had fiddled with the machine, offered to pay for repair/replacement straight as it could have been her. He won’t take any money. But has obviously gone round the house and checked everything and is now accusing us of peeling a flap of paint off of the door (which was coming off anyway)

However I can’t help thinking that he’s just got into a tizzy and taken it out on me, all this stuff about missed flights and family issues came out and he was very stressed.

He won’t let us go round to look at the machine for ourselves. Apparently his dd has to quarantine

I know it was definitely working before as I used it myself when we stayed there for one night after being in hospital. He said there were no lights on, but when I used it I actually thought that it could be broken as no lights came on until I pressed start. So I can see how it would be easy to think it was broken.

He’s pulled it out, changed the fuse, checked the filter etc. He also hoovered the powder out for some reason.

I can’t help but think that he’s seen the powder in the drum, panicked, fiddled with the machine without checking the manual and settings and then possibly done something to it himself. Or maybe it was always working but he hadn’t changed the setting back or something and he just freaked out.

Our toddler fiddles with out washing machine etc all the time (as well as other things) and has never managed to cause an electrical fault in anything. I just don’t understand how she could possibly have broken it 🤷🏻‍♀️

IABU she broke the machine
IANBU it was some kind of alcoholic episode

OP’s posts: |
Floralcoral Sun 01-Aug-21 16:56:04

I see why he was annoyed to be honest, if you're watering his garden I wouldn't expect the washing machine or stuff in the house to be fiddled with by a toddler. That said he shouldn't have spoken to you like that, but by your own omission you say you didn't see what they did to the machine aside from seeing the flip flop in there (so lucky they didn't eat any of the washing powder, so dangerous).

WildWestWanda Sun 01-Aug-21 16:56:16

Yabu. You are responsible for the broken machine because you weren’t supervising your toddler

Thingsthatgo Sun 01-Aug-21 16:56:21

No one can possibly answer your question I’m afraid. At best it would be a guess.
However, as you have offered to pay for the machine, there is not much more you can do.

Theneverendingcleaningcycle Sun 01-Aug-21 16:56:48

The long shot of it is. You don't know. Your toddler was left to in your words 'run riot' and fiddled with the machine.
You also seem to be blaming your older child who's just had an op (?). Take responsibility apologise profusely and offer to fix it however they want.

JellyJellyTooToo Sun 01-Aug-21 16:57:14

…the impression that I’m getting is that he’s freaking out that we’ve been in his house. But he asked me to do the watering. I asked if I could stay with my older dc who had been in hospital because the toddler was awaiting corona test results (negative) and I couldn’t risk exposing the older one to it. We stayed only one night, just slept in beds, used kettle and tv and didn’t meddle with anything else…oh and watered plants!

OP’s posts: |
BritWifeInUSA Sun 01-Aug-21 16:58:17

You lost me at “I knew it was working before as we used it when we stayed one night after being in hospital”. How does this fit into the context? You stayed one night whilst he was on holiday? Does he know this? Why did you need to use a washing machine when you were only there one night? Wouldn’t you take your stuff home with you and wash it there? If you were the last person to use it, why was the powder left in your toddler’s reach?

If your one night stay and all-night washing incident happened before they went on holiday then it’s of no relevance.


NotYourCupOfTea Sun 01-Aug-21 16:58:18

I think the lesson here is not to leave any dc unattended in someone else’s home

How many plants did you have to water confused

I imagine they are pissed off at coming back to a trashed house. Having issues with alcohol isn’t relevant here I don’t think

pinkflask Sun 01-Aug-21 16:59:06

Exactly how can a toddler break a washing machine? You might reset stuff or put it on a funny programme but I’ve never seen a machine that just breaks by someone touching it.

MrsPelligrinoPetrichor Sun 01-Aug-21 16:59:37

I'd be pretty cheesed off too I think, especially as you can't say that your toddler didn't break it as you weren't watching them.

CanofCant Sun 01-Aug-21 16:59:42

I don't think it's fair to call it an 'alcoholic episode', that's quite dismissive. His might be overreacting slightly, I don't know him. You should not have let your toddler run riot though, YABVU for not having her by your side whilst watering the plants. How long could that have taken?

It sounds that even though you don't like this friend you are over there a lot so maybe this is normal for your dynamic?

Saidtoomuch Sun 01-Aug-21 16:59:57

Did he know you were sleeping there?

TestingTestingWonTooFree Sun 01-Aug-21 16:59:57

It’s difficult to imagine how a toddler could break a washing machine.

WildBurd Sun 01-Aug-21 17:00:03

Never leave your kids unattended in someone else's house. That's standard.

JellyJellyTooToo Sun 01-Aug-21 17:00:17

I did take responsibility straight away and offered to pay. But he really turned on me and accused us of breaking other things.

He knows we have a toddler so just wished he hadn’t asked me now 😒

And yeah I’m pissed off about the washing powder too - it was foolish of me to take her to a non child-proofed house. Anything could have happened.

OP’s posts: |
lannistunut Sun 01-Aug-21 17:00:18

Two things here:

1) You were at fault because your toddler was unsupervised in their house

but also

2) He sounds really quite awful, as you have offered to pay for it and he is still being arsey

I would offer in writing to pay for it (the same offer you made before) and leave it with him, and also try to never be in their house again, or indeed have much to do with him.

MySecretHistory Sun 01-Aug-21 17:00:50

Your child was alone with access to washing powder?

Floralcoral Sun 01-Aug-21 17:00:53


…the impression that I’m getting is that he’s freaking out that we’ve been in his house. But he asked me to do the watering. I asked if I could stay with my older dc who had been in hospital because the toddler was awaiting corona test results (negative) and I couldn’t risk exposing the older one to it. We stayed only one night, just slept in beds, used kettle and tv and didn’t meddle with anything else…oh and watered plants!

Did he say you could stay overnight? Bit confused to be honest, would say don't offer to do the plants again.

growinggreyer Sun 01-Aug-21 17:01:03

How would fiddling with the door or the controls break a washing machine? I can't imagine how that could happen. Electrical items break down, nothing to do with a small person touching it.

SeasonFinale Sun 01-Aug-21 17:01:04

Sorry - you stayed in his house? And you admit to using the machine? Why if staying one night ? You admit your toddler pretty much ran amok. Of course YABU and even more so to try to say he is in an alcoholic state when you simply have no idea if this is true.

BritWifeInUSA Sun 01-Aug-21 17:01:17

And I’m sure that if the design of the machine is such that no lights come on when you switch it on he’s fully aware of that already since it’s his machine. So when he’s referring to “no lights” he obviously means it’s broken.

SeasonFinale Sun 01-Aug-21 17:02:31

If the toddler was not supervised what other stuff did she put in the machine too

Theneverendingcleaningcycle Sun 01-Aug-21 17:02:40

Woah you're pissed off that there was powder left where you child could reach it? Or pissed off you were not watching?

JellyJellyTooToo Sun 01-Aug-21 17:03:48

This is why I think there’s more too it because he made me feel really awful, even though I took full responsibility and offered to pay straight away. I also offered use my machine until we’d organised a new one. He’s made me feel really bad with no opportunity to make amends.

OP’s posts: |
BridgetInHerBravery Sun 01-Aug-21 17:05:01

Is it possible that your toddler accidentally set the child lock?

Ask your 'friend' to check the manual for how to unlock it.

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