Reliable and affordable childcare is hard to come by, but as some babysitters will tell you, meeting fair clients can be just as rare.
Especially when it comes to the drop-off and pickup arrangements, cringed the “Am I the A**hole?” (AITA) subReddit.
Redditor GlitteringBall2429 was frustrated when their boyfriend’s ex not only left her child with them overnight but when she completed disregarded the pickup time.
But when they found out the reason why she’d missed it, the Original Poster (OP) was absolutely furious.
They asked the sub:
“AITA for calling the cops because no one picked up the kid I was babysitting?”
The OP made babysitting arrangements with their boyfriend’s ex.
“My boyfriend and I took his ex’s kid for a last-minute overnight stay since the father of the kid canceled on her.”
“She had plans with her friends for the night and we weren’t busy, so we took him overnight when the baby daddy bailed on her.”
“We told her we had brunch reservations the next morning at 11 and while we were happy to help, she needed to pick him up by 9 AM.”
“She knew this and agreed when she dropped him off.”
But the pickup arrangements didn’t go according to plan.
“Well, the next morning at 9 AM, she wasn’t there yet. We texted and called her with no answer.”
“10 AM rolled around and we tried calling her again.”
“She picked up in a very groggy voice and told us she had the worst hangover and she wouldn’t be picking him up until 2 PM.”
“We reminded her of our brunch reservations and she told us to take him with us!”
“This kid is 2 years old, it is not enjoyable to take a child this age out to eat.”
“My boyfriend canceled our reservations and got ready to have this kid with us until she decided to pick him up.”
The OP gave the mother an ultimatum.
“I was furious at that point. This was not my child nor my boyfriend’s child.”
“I called her and told her if she was not there by noon, I would be calling the police to collect her child (she only lives 15 minutes away).”
“She called me a b***h.”
“I then told her she had 30 minutes to come to get him. I waited an hour and there was 0 sign of her. (We couldn’t drop the child off to her since she lives in an apartment complex that you need to have access to get in.)”
“So I called the cops and told them I was babysitting and I don’t know where his parents are, they were supposed to be here 2 hours ago.”
“They basically treated it as they would a lost child. They took him down to the station.”
The mother showed up even later than she’d said on the 10 AM call.
“Little Miss finally rolled up at 3 PM and became belligerent when she discovered I had actually called the cops and gave her child to them!”
“She called me all sorts of wonderful names and stormed down to the police station.”
The OP was absolutely furious over the whole situation.
“I was furious. We didn’t know where she was or if she’d even gone home. We also couldn’t contact the father since we had no contact information. And then she kept changing the arrival times.”
“And the mother of this child is also neglectful and this was the last straw for us.”
“I can’t even tell you the number of times we were given him early in the morning and you could tell his diaper hadn’t been changed since he’d gone to sleep the night before.”
“Don’t get me started on the curdled milk I found in the bottle he was actively drinking from another time either. This girl was straight-up neglectful.”
But the OP felt conflicted about the child who got caught in the middle.
“I felt terrible for the kid honestly, but I didn’t know what else to do. If we kept him, she would’ve just kept doing it to us.”
“The policemen were very nice to him though and explained he was just going to go with them for a little bit until somebody came to get him.”
“He was excited he got to ride in the police car at least.”
Fellow Redditors weighed in:
- NTA: Not the A**hole
- YTA: You’re the A**hole
- ESH: Everybody Sucks Here
- NAH: No A**holes Here
Some hoped that Child Protective Services (CPS) potentially being involved would help.
“NTA. I’m very glad you called, because this woman very much needs CPS to be keeping an eye on the health and safety of her child.” – Temporary_Badger
“Oh my god. When my daughter was like 3 months old, I accidentally gave her a bottle that had been sitting out for an hour and a half (I thought it was the new bottle hubby had just made, but it was the one she’d sipped on before she fell asleep instead).”
“I was almost in tears and watched her like a hawk, expecting her to need hospitalization or something (she barely reacted).”
“I can’t even fathom the idea that someone can feed a baby curdled milk, or leave them in a dirty diaper for that long. Just horrible.” – XCrimsonMelodyx
“Ugh, that last sentence is awful. It suggests he hasn’t bonded with his mother (probably due to neglect) and will probably have attachment issues or an actual attachment disorder going forward. Attachment disorders are extremely serious and impact so many aspects of a child’s life.”
“I would absolutely call child protective services in whatever country you are in and get them to look into this situation as soon as possible.”
“The sooner the child is with carers who bond with him, the better off he’ll be. I don’t know if CPS would remove the child, but at his age, it would be a serious consideration, because he isn’t old enough to advocate, speak, or take care of himself at all.”
“Good luck and of course, NTA.” – Classroom_Visual
“I got involved in a similar situation. It started by helping care for my ex-boyfriend’s nieces, ages 2 and 3. His sister was a mess. The girls (now 12 and 13) thank me often for helping to show them kindness, love, and care when they only got neglected by their mom.”
“The kindness you show this little boy can have a huge impact on his life.”
“And definitely report her to CPS.” – MadManner
Others urged the OP to make a separate call to CPS just in case the police didn’t report it.
“I have a friend who really fell off the wagon during the pandemic and stopped taking her kid to school because she was hungover all day and drunk all night. He didn’t go to school for like two years.”
“I called CPS and reported her. Nothing happened, he’s 12, so I don’t know if maybe they don’t take it as seriously at that age.”
“But these occurrences of not changing the diaper and feeding the baby dangerous expired food is child endangerment and neglect.”
“But they won’t know if she doesn’t call and report it directly. A simple ‘I picked my kid up a few hours late at the police station’ isn’t going to get much attention in the very overwhelmed system.”
“OP definitely has to make a call and report specific details before CPS is going to get involved.” – AlaskanKell
“This is also one of the most vulnerable ages for kids being abused and neglected. If they’re not in daycare there aren’t mandated reporters with eyes on them until they get to school age. So the more people who report, the better.” – Temporary_Badger
“Even if the police officers notify CPS, OP and their boyfriend should still call CPS anyway. I wouldn’t chance it. Multiple reports are better than potentially none. NTA.” – aging-emo-kid
“I kind of want to throw out an AH vote for the OP not calling someone already.”
“If someone drops off their toddler for me to babysit with full, dirty diapers and rotten, curdled milk in their bottle and not only is it not an accident but has apparently happened multiple times, I’m the f**king a**hole for not taking steps to save that baby from neglect ASAP.” – therrrn
“I’ll go a step further: OP you will be an AH if you don’t call CPS.”
“You’re aware of the horrible situation he’s in. Taking care of him is not your responsibility, but you do have a responsibility to not be a bystander. Make a report to CPS.” – Geistbar
“Time to call CPS if the police didn’t. Hopefully, they did. She is not going to change unless CPS lights a fire under her a**.”
“Although with what you said she’s pulling, it’s likely CPS will take the child to be fostered until she can prove she’s ready to do what is necessary to properly care for her child because this is more than neglect. It’s downright abuse! That curdled milk she’s giving him… can cause serious digestive issues including parts of his bowel dying!!!”
“Seriously escalate this with CPS as soon as possible!”
“NTA at all. Be that kid’s hero! You will be the AH if you don’t.” – Turtlelarke
The subReddit took no issue with how the OP handled the situation, but they had questions about what was done after the fact.
Although the police may have called CPS after the pickup, it was on the OP and their boyfriend to provide a second, and maybe even a third, call to ensure this child was receiving the best care possible.