Monday, October 29, 2007

Community Service

We hired one of our younger babysitters Saturday night to watch the boy. My daughter and I had tickets to see a show and my husband went to a friend's wedding. (I had already bought the show tickets when we got the wedding invite.) Our sitter is only 15, so she had arranged for a friend of hers to come to pick her up.

She had called my husband to ask if it was okay to let her friend wait inside until one of us got home. He said "sure". I was the first one home. There was a truck parked in the front when I arrived. Our sitter was out chatting with the occupants. She follows me in and said "We need to talk." Um...somehow coming from your 15 year old sitter, that just DOES NOT sound good. She proceeds to tell me the following story:

When her friend arrived, she brought 2 boys with her. They came inside, and when my sitter went upstairs to check on the baby, the kids said "Can we look around?" to which she replied "Yeah, sure". She got back downstairs just in time to see that they had emptied two 16 oz. soda bottles and filled them with liquor from our basement bar. When she protested, they were all like "whatever" and left her there. Hey! Thanks friends! For the screw-job AND the ride home! She was CLEARLY mortified by what had transpired, and was very upset. The truck out front was another set of friends she called to come to her rescue. I told her that I very much appreciated her honesty, and that we were not mad at her. I let her know that my husband would give her a call to get info. on the kids that had stolen from us. On second thought...go ahead and give me those names and numbers now. Let's not sleep on that. Oh, and further more, when strangers (to me) ask if they can 'look around' my house...yeah, not so much. I know you're thinking "that's what you get for getting such a young sitter", but I will say this girl is mature beyond her years in so many other ways. She's no dummy.

So long story....long, my husband got in touch with all three kid's parents. One boy beat him to the punch by calling HIM first and coming clean with the whole story. The other two parents got a news flash. My husband empathized with the parents about being a "dumb teenager" and let them know he would be expecting restitution as the victim of their children's theft. In a couple weeks when the trees are dumping more leaves, all three of our little sticky-fingered 'guests' will be spending a whole Saturday raking our rather large, tree-filled back yard. There may or may not be a field trip to the local county jail for a close-up and personal view of what lying and stealing does for you.

All of the parents were totally on board with my husband's plan. A couple of them felt it wasn't "enough". He told them that that was just how they were to repay HIM, and the parents should implement whatever additional punishments they saw fit.

The upshot? 24 ounces of cheap liquor bought me the cheapest lawn service EVER.. Anyone else NOT miss being 16?

Wow, maybe there's hope for the younger generation after all. I'm glad the parents were on board with making their kids take responsibility for their actions. I think the "scared straight" field trip is a must, just to reinforce the message.
That's why I only hire babysitters who don't have any friends.

Great story--LOVE the last paragraph.
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