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'AITA for refusing to pay for cake slices that my teenage daughter ate?'

'AITA for refusing to pay for cake slices that my teenage daughter ate?'

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Hell hath no fury quite like an entitled family member.

In a popular post on the AITA subreddit, a woman asked if she was wrong for refusing to pay for cake slices her daughter ate while babysitting for her aunt. She wrote:

"AITA for refusing to pay for cake slices that my teenage daughter ate?"

I (F38) am a single mom with my teenage daughter, Carly (F17). My sister (F36) lives nearby with her husband and two kids, (F9 and M7). Carly sometimes babysits her cousins on the weekends so that my sister and BIL can go out, usually for 3-4 hours. In exchange, my sister gives her €30-€40, cash in hand. Me and my sister do not make Carly babysit, she volunteers to.

She likes having the extra money to fund her Starbucks addiction without a part-time job in fast food or retail, plus the kids love getting to see her. I'm glad that she's getting to learn responsibility. I think it's a win all around. Last weekend there was a problem. A couple hours after Carly came home from babysitting, my sister calls me.

It was my niece's birthday 2ish weeks ago, and there was some leftover birthday cake in their kitchen. It was a custom-made fancy lemon curd cake and I remember at the party a lot of the kids didn't want to eat it so a lot was leftover. Whilst she was babysitting, Carly had eaten two slices. My sister said that she should've asked before helping herself to the cake, and that it was expensive.

I apologized to my sister and told her that I would have a word with my daughter. She mentions again that the cake was custom-made and expensive, and says that we should be compensating her. At first I honestly thought she couldn't be serious, but she did want me to give her money because of the cake.

I mentioned that surely the cake is going bad soon if it isn't already stale (I said this light-heartedly trying to lighten the mood) but made it clear IM NOT GIVING HER MONEY. She says she paid €70 for the cake and she expects me to give her €20. I told her I'm not doing that. My sister says I'm being inconsiderate, and that my daughter ate the slices without permission.

I feel like she is being petty, and what difference would it have made if all of it got eaten last weekend or at the birthday party?

AITA for refusing to pay her for the cake?

The internet was deeply opinionated on the topic.

YouthNAsia63 wrote:

Pay sis for the two slices of her fancy a$$ cake, and tell your daughter she will not be babysitting her siblings without full and comparable to other sitters compensation ever again. And tell her why.

Your sis had the golden goose of babysitters, and she obviously had no idea how good she had it. Emphasis on had. If she wants to nickle and dime you, let’s go And don’t bother to give sister a heads up. She can find out your daughter will be charging her, oh, shall we say, 20 euro an hour?

For every hour? Or whatever the going rate is, or she can scramble to find an alternate. Your daughter could make all kinds of money for her Starbucks addiction, working for somebody else. But the bargain sis had- ended when she expected you to fork over 20 euro for stale leftover cake. NTA.

oreganoca wrote:

Changed to NTA. The cake was being kept at room temperature in a bread box on the counter. After two weeks, it really wasn't even a viable edible item anymore, let alone one with monetary value. Your daughter is lucky she didn't get food poisoning.

INFO: where in the kitchen was the cake being kept? And was there any previous understanding in place about your daughter eating leftovers while she is babysitting?

Unless the cake was in the freezer, at two weeks old, it's well past the point at which it should be eaten by anyone and is a food safety hazard. Maybe some food safety education for all parties involved would be appropriate. If it was in the freezer, your daughter should pay for it. If it was frozen, it was clearly being saved for the future.

OP responded:

It wasn't frozen, it was being kept in the bread bin.

And yes I agree it isn't the safest, eating two week old cake isn't something I've encouraged in my daughter lol she will eat anything.

AdOne8433 wrote:

NTA. Your sister is being extremely petty. She's upset because her niece, not a random person, ate 2 week old cake. 2 week old cake is garbage. Your daughter is family. Your sister should be happy that the cake didn't end up in the bin.

She's has been getting discount baby-sitting from her niece. Tell her that based on her behavior, she's obviously looking for ways to find fault with her niece so she can steal back half her niece's pay. You trusted your sister with your child, to treat your daughter with fairness and respect . She failed that trust. Your daughter should never babysit for your sister again.

If she does, it should be for €10 per hour per child, paid up front. Insist on a written contract that states what she's allowed to eat and drink. Is she allowed a drink of juice? Can she enjoy a share of something the kids are snacking on? If they have crisps, how much does each crisp cost? Your daughter made the mistake of believing that your sister is family. This is not how you treat family.

alien_overlord_1001 wrote:

NTA. I'm guessing, but I think your sister thought lemon curd was a good idea for a kids 9th birthday party - the kids didn't like it, and she was left with a lot of this expensive cake. She hasn't thrown it out after two weeks because of the money she spent on it, and now she sees an opportunity to recoup some money to make herself feel better about her stupid birthday cake decision.

Don't give her anything. I'm surprised your daughter doesn't have food poisoning from 2 week old lemon curd cake.

ironchef8000 wrote:

Was the cake from the wedding of King Edward VIII to Wallis Simpson, circa 1937? Did it cost $29,000? I’m calling your daughter Elaine from now on. That said, she’s helpfully babysitting her cousins. It’s leftover cake. If the parents didn’t want her to touch it, they should’ve said something. Otherwise it’s not beyond comprehension that a family member doing a huge favor might have a snack. NTA.

Right_Count wrote:

INFO what is precedent regarding Carly eating food while babysitting? Was it a “help yourself to anything in the kitchen” or a “help yourself to crackers and a soda” or “we left some cash to order a pizza for all of you” or what? I think this all hinges on whether Carly should have known better than to eat the cake, or whether your sister should have known better than to assume she wouldn’t?

OP responded:

Usually my sister pays for them all to get UberEats for dinner, although if it's earlier in the day she will leave pre-packed lunches and snacks for the kids to help themselves to. I do 100% agree that my daughter should've asked for permission before helping herself to something like a birthday cake, I just think that my sister is majorly overreacting to the situation?

Icy-Version-7052 wrote:

Your sister's flipping out over cake slices. Carly helps out, she didn't steal a Ferrari. Leftover cake? Big deal. And €20 for two slices? That's bonkers. You're not the jerk here. Your daughter's a trooper, and your sister's overreacting. Next time Carly babysits, she should pack snacks to dodge the drama. NTA.

OP and Carly are def NTAs, OP's sister, however, is in for an intense wake-up call if she ends up needing full-priced babysitting.

Sources: Reddit
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