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Babysitter Walks Out After Learning One Kid Is Autistic And The Other Has A Deadly Food Allergy

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Babysitting is big responsibility. It shouldn’t be taken lightly.

Anyone not prepared for all the job requires should not take on the task.

A young Redditor felt that way, but upset a potential employer by turning down a job. So they turned to the “Am I The A**hole” (AITA) subReddit to ask if they were wrong.

Redditor aitababysittingpost asked:

“AITA for walking out after being told one kid was autistic and another kid had a deathly food allergy?”

The Original Poster (OP) explained:

“I (female, 16) babysit on weekends for some extra money. I used to babysit for this one lady, Diana, and her 2 kids (age 1, female and age 4, male) every day over the summer while Diana worked.”

“Diana texted me last week and asked if she can give her friend, Jennifer, who has 2 kids (age 6, male and age 4, female), my number because it was her husband’s birthday and they wanted to go out.”

“I said sure and Jennifer texted me asking about my rates, references, when I was trained in cpr, and a lot of other questions. Not gonna lie, it felt kinda weird to me but some people are overprotective so I went with it.”

“Yesterday I got to their house and they left money for us to order food and right before they walked out the door, Jennifer handed me an epipen and said ‘6-year-old male is deathly allergic to peanuts and 4-year-old female is autistic and has sensory issues so get her some chicken nuggets’.”

“It took a second for me to process that but I gave back the epipen and said ‘I’m sorry but I’m not equipped to take care of your kids’. And I left.”

“Well, Jennifer is mad that I ‘ruined their night’ and has been talking sh*t about me to Diana, but once Diana heard the real story she apologized and said she’d talk to Jennifer.”

“AITA for walking out of a babysitting job when I learned one kid has a deathly allergy and the other kid was autistic?”

The OP provided a few more details. 

“I wanted to add that I spent 6 months volunteering in a special needs classroom. I have some health issues so I know how to give shots, although I’ve never used an epipen.”

“So if they would’ve told me before, I probably would’ve taken the job and just watched a few videos on how to use an epipen.”

“I was mostly just in shock and worried that other things would come up too that they didn’t tell me about.”

Redditors weighed in by declaring:

  • NTA — Not The A**hole
  • YTA — You’re The A**hole
  • NAH — No A**holes Here
  • ESH — Everyone Sucks Here

Redditors decided the OP was not the a**hole. 

“Here we see the classic bait-and-switch by Jennifer.”

“You don’t just tell a caretaker, as you’re running out the door, that your kids have additional needs/medical conditions.”

“NTA.”

“Good on you OP for stating limitations and not going along with this!” ~ Check3_4

“You just know she pulled that BS because she doesn’t want to pay the rates for a sitter that specializes in caring for kids with disabilities. NTA.” ~ OutrageousConflict6

“This exactly. I have worked as a pediatric home nurse and rates for a professional in specialized care start at $30/hr. Her kids might not be as medically complex as those who require actual nursing care, but I’m sure a qualified provider would be paid far more than what she offered OP.”

“She knows this and thought she would pull the ole switcharoo and grossly underpay someone instead. Nice try lady!”

“Also, how dangerous is that to leave children with such needs to an unqualified caregiver?! I would want to make sure the babysitter was trained for the sake of my children’s safety!”

“This is horribly irresponsible behavior and I feel bad for her kids if she’s willing to put their lives at risk just to have a good time away from them.” ~ countzeroinc

“NTA. Jennifer should have supplied this info well before the point she did.”

“You were well within your rights to refuse the job if you did not feel able to cope with the needs of the children. Their safety is paramount and that’s what you were doing.”

“She made this bed for herself, obviously trying to slip it in at the last minute to try to avoid a possible ‘no’ from you earlier.” ~ Verity_Fox

“NTA, OP. In fact, you are a wonderful example of what should happen! Bravo and keep listening to your inner guidance.”

“Given how often this bait-and-switch seems to happen with babysitters, camp counselors, other carers, it sounds like the training for these folks should include asking the child’s parents, ‘Does this child have any special needs or medical conditions?’ If they say, ‘No,’ but then it turns out that there are deadly allergies, lice, possible pandemic symptoms, mystery rashes, mental health issues, etc…, you can decline because the parent actively lied to you.”

“This is to say, you can decline a caregiving job at ANY point where you feel you are not equipped to care for that person. Some people are fine or asleep when you arrive, but then the meds wear off or they realize parents are not there or….”

“Sometimes a situation starts out safely for everyone, but does not stay that way. Caregiving is a huge responsibility. As OP demonstrated, the welfare of the child comes first.” ~ MarvinDMirp

“NTA. You don’t get to just ‘spring’ autism and severe food allergies onto someone.”

“I honestly wouldn’t be surprised if they’ve had multiple attempted sitters before that bailed, so they wanted to try and trap you as they walked out the door.” ~ jeffy-lube

“NTA… I often keep a bag of nuts or PB granola bars in my bag just incase. What if OP had done that since she wasn’t warned about the allergy!”

“Also, wtf is with the ‘oh here is an epipen’ thing… Like I get that they re-designed to be fairly user friendly, but administering life-saving medicine to a panicking six year old is…not something I ever want to experience.” ~ Clare_Not_A_Bear

Surprising your babysitter as you’re walking out the door is a great way to lose that babysitter.

Full disclosure on the scope of a job is always best.

Written by Amelia Mavis Christnot

Amelia Christnot is an Oglala Lakota, Kanien'kehá:ka Haudenosaunee and Metis Navy brat who settled in the wilds of Northern Maine. She considers herself another proud Maineiac.
Member of NAJA.