Here's the story:
I'm 35 and childfree. My sister is 33 and a mother of 3 kids - between 6 to 10 years of age, two boys and a girl . I have always had a strained relationship with my sister and usually avoid being around her kids, as I don't really like kids in general.
Yesterday, my sister came over unannounced with her kids. She told me her brother in law had met with an accident and she and her hubby needed to go see him in the hospital. She said she needed me to watch her kids for the evening as our parents are out of town.
I told her to get a sitter, but she said she couldn't get one on such short notice. I refused again, telling her I had never babysat before and was looking forward to a quiet evening. First she told me she was just leaving them there.
I told her I would call a child welfare committee and would report her for abandonment if she pulled something like that. She begged and pleaded and actually began to fake cry. As I didn't want to provide my neighbours with entertainment, I reluctantly agreed.
At first things were fine. The kids were a bit rambunctious, but still somewhat tolerable. They ate their dinner, without starting a food fight and then I left them in the living room to watch a movie. I was in the study getting some work done. I had brought my cat and dog in there with me as I wanted to keep them safe from the kids.
Suddenly, I heard a loud crash . I rushed to the living room and found my precious, antique clock that I kept on the mantelpiece on the ground in pieces. It was worth well over $1k in USD. (I'm not American).
I was furious of course, and asked how the hell this happened. The eldest kid incoherently explained that they had taken it down to look at it and then the younger two were fighting over it and dropped it. Cue ear shattering wailing from the other two, blaming one another for the demise of my prized possession.
I had had enough. I called my brother in law and told him to come over immediately and get his spawn out of my home. He asked what was wrong and I told him what they had done. He had the gall to tell me I was overreacting. One of the kids, I think the youngest had started bawling now. I told my BIL to come at once and get his kids. He said he was on his way.
He came to get the kids, but didn't leave before lecturing me on the importance of fAmIlY! I told him to get lost. This morning I recieved angry texts and phone calls from my parents and several relatives asking how I could be so "heartless" and how I could value a clock more that my niece and nephews.
I've told them I don't care what they think. Because the way I see it, I was completely within my rights in kicking them out. They should just be grateful that I've decided not to make my sister and BIL pay for it. Judging from the fact that they have 3 kids, they probably can't afford it. I want to know what Reddit thinks. Am I the a**hole, or are they?
You know what. In my opinion YTA, not for being upset about your clock and not because you don’t want to babysit but because your sister was struggling with a family emergency, begged you for help and after you accepted the responsibility you left very young kids by themselves with no supervision and expected them to just figure it out.
Then when something bad happened you flipped out at the curious CHILDREN and called their parents to pick them up and made them feel shitty even though you had left them alone.
100% agree. Anyone who was once a child should be aware enough not to leave children unattended for any length of time if they don't want shit to go down.
YTA, their family was in the hospital and you couldn’t watch the kids for one night? The clock breaking is also your fault, you should’ve been supervising the kids if they were being rambunctious or at least stayed in the room to get your work done but you left them alone. They’re young children, not teens
YTA. First off you sound like a pretentious AH. Especially by your comments about your sisters financial state and kids. Not to mention she told you she had an emergency and that a family member was in an accident and she had to beg you to watch them for a short while, really? You were their last option here.
Second, you left 3 children between the ages of 6 and 10 unsupervised in your house. You literally holed yourself up in another room with your pets to avoid them. You didn’t talk to them about house rules or anything. You’re just as much at fault here as the kids.
Your sister had a family emergency and you thought she was "fake crying"? Tf. Blamed kids for being kids. Look, the clock was expensive but leaving hyperactive kids alone is obviously a not something you're supposed to do.
*And called your BIL during HIS family emergency because of this incident *—the thing that turns this from e-s-h to TA.
(The kids aren't burning your furniture, they broke something. You can deal with it for a few more hours, or drive them up to the hospital/grandparents yourself.)
If you can't take care of family to that minimum extent, then you have to live with the fact that your family will prefer the family members who do—like your sister for example. YTA. Basically, it's kinda weird to expect nice family if you're not nice to family either.
UPDATE: My mom just let me know that sister's BIL will be fine. He was driving under influence and has a dislocated shoulder and two broken ribs.
UPDATE #2: And after much consideration, I've decided to sue. That clock was rare and expensive.