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Babysitter with strict rules bails last minute when she suspects the mom lied, 'her son had facial hair.' AITA?

Babysitter with strict rules bails last minute when she suspects the mom lied, 'her son had facial hair.' AITA?

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"AITA for refusing to babysit last minute and ruining the parent's important plans because their sons seemed older than they said they were?"

I [19/f] have been babysitting occasionally for a few families for the past 2 years. A week ago, a new family got my numbers from one of the families I babysit for a lot. I told them upfront that I have this rule where I only babysit boys that are 10 and under, but when it comes to girls, the age isn't an issue for me.

They told me they had two boys, ages 9 and 10, so I agreed. They told me that they had very important plans the day I am to babysit and I assured them I am very professional and will be there on time and all that.

The day came and I went to their house and the dad greeted me then took me to their living room to meet the boys. To my surprise, the boys looked like no 9 and 10 I've ever met. One looked 12 and the other looked he could be 15 or even 16. Both were taller than me and the older one even had some visible facial hair.

All that was going through my head was these parents lied to me about the ages because I lead with my rule about ages and they lied to me just so I would accept. When the mother came down and greeted me, I asked to speak to her in another room and I told her I cannot babysit. I was also truthful about the reason and she was livid.

We got into a back and forth where I basically said that I feel they lied about the ages and she even said "oh so you want me to show you their birth certificates to believe me?" At this point I was kinda mad because she was immediately livid and I also felt like I was fooled. Anyways, I said "Yeah, some proof would help."

She stomped off to the living room and I could hear her tell her husband get this b**** out of my house, I will stay with the boys!" I walked out of the kitchen towards the front door and announced "I'm leaving!" before I stepped out.

Later that night the mom of the family who recommended me called and was also pretty angry. I explained that these boys looked so much older than there were said to be and there was no way they weren't lying. She said maybe one is actually 11 but the other is truly 9 and that they just look like they were so much older.

To be fair the mother was tall and the dad was huge, it's actually the reason I asked to confront the mother and not the father. But boys weren't just tall but also looked older face-wise. Also, babysitting 2 strange boys who were both taller and clearly so much stronger than me doesn't feel safe, which is why I have the age rule in the first place.

There was no way that their mother didn't realize her boys looked so much older than boys their ages. I feel like it was something she should've mentioned after telling her my rule about the ages.

I felt like I was justified but I also felt bad that I ruined their plans. Everyone involved is angry with me and I wonder if maybe I was overreacting and should've just babysat since I agreed. Right now I don't know what to think. Was I the asshole here?

Here's what top commenters had to say about this one:

randomcharacheters said:

NTA, it sucks for the mom that her young kids are so big, but she's gonna have to spring for a large, adult male babysitter. This is not easy to come by. Chances are, she might not be able to go out until the boys are old enough to stay home alone. Or maybe she can trade nights with other boymoms, idk.

But this is not your problem, it was ridiculous of her to expect a teenage girl to be able to deal with boys that are bigger than her. Also, she was totally out of line cursing you out like that. If that is the level of emotional regulation you get from the parent, I shudder to think what you'll get from her kids.

MamfieG said:

NTA - I babysat for a family for a couple of years, the boy was maybe 12 when I first started. After a year or two when I babysat he would keep coming downstairs asking for a hug, I stopped after the second trip he did that as it made me nervous. He was taller and had started getting facial hair, obviously hitting puberty feelings pretty hard.

KronkLaSworda said:

NTA at all. Don't screw around with good baby sitters. Spread the word to your baby sitting friend about how mature/large these "kids" are. You don't have to take any job that makes you uncomfortable, whether from the kids or the parents. And you most certainly don't owe that referral adult any excuses. They can pound sand.

RNH213PDX said:

NTA because you felt genuinely uncomfortable in this setting, and you must ALWAYS go with your gut. Your policy about what ages you are comfortable with was stated up front. I think you acted like a right proper business person in this situation.

You should always offer to meet with the family before an accepting a first job, though. I'm kind of surprised they didn't want to meet the person they were charging with watching their children before hand, but oh well.

YouthNAsia63 said:

Yeaaa, no. If she could have shown you the birth certificates, as offered, she would have. And they could have been fake, How would a nineteen year old even know if they were real?! But “facial hair?" Oh, that’s a no for me if you are presenting this kid as ten or younger. NTA.

molewarp said:

NTA. That rule is for your own safety. The mother should have informed you that they looked much older than their actual age - that is, of course, if they really WERE younger.

Everyone was on OP's side for this one. What's your advice for this situation?

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