Nov 30, 2010
So, DH and I have a regular babysitter that we use for our occasional nights out. She's 13, the daughter of a neighbourhood couple we know through our oldest sons previous home daycare provider. We've been using her for the last 2 years with no problems - she's always seemed so sweet and mature; in fact, we've been impressed with how she's seemed to really have her head on her shoulders for someone so young.
She came over on Saturday night so that we could go out for dinner. It's a pretty easy gig because we typically get the kids all bathed and in bed - she doesn't need to do anything unless one of them wakes up...which is pretty rare.
Upon returning home on Saturday, I noticed that our digital camera (which I'd left in our bedroom) wasn't working. The lens was in the fully zoomed position - it was jammed and it looked as though the camera had been dropped. When DH was able to gently press the lens back into position (phew!) and it started working again, I noticed that the few pics I had on it (including ones I had taken just that night right before we got the kids ready for bed) had been erased - as a result of the fall, I assumed.
I thought that maybe our 4 year old had accidentally dropped the camera, but at the same time, I didn't completely believe it: I put the camera in our room while we were bathing the baby and Daniel was in there watching TV for a couple of minutes, but we never heard a camera drop on our hardwood floor...and, besides, I'm pretty positive that I saw the camera in there, intact, when I was getting dressed to go out after Daniel was already in bed.
So...I'm still not thinking much of it until yesterday morning when I'm on the computer, downloading pics we'd taken on Sunday. I noticed that the pics that I thought were erased during the camera's fall were actually on the computer....along with a couple of pics of our babysitter!! Crazy, stupid pics that a 13 year old would send to her friends: her sticking her tongue out. The pics were obviously taken at our house, judging by the background. Looking at the files, I could tell 3 things: a) all of the pics had been taken by our camera b) the pics of our babysitter were taken on Saturday while we were out, based on the time stamp and c) the pics were all downloaded to our computer on Saturday evening while we were out, also evidenced by the time stamp. So, here's some pretty concrete proof that she took our camera, used it, and then probably dropped it and put it back where she found it (once again, in our BEDROOM - she shouldn't have ANY reason to be going in there).
I call her, leave a mesage and ask her to call me. She called me back yesterday afternoon and I explain that we'd found the camera broken and even told her that I noticed a couple of pictures of her on our computer, along with some pics that I'd had on our camera but hadn't yet downloaded. She insisted that she had used HER camera (impossible.....even if she has the EXACT same camera that we do, she couldn't have possibly downloaded all of the photos within 9 seconds of each other). She seemed flustered.
When DH got home, we discussed what we were going to do. She is supposed to be babysitting for us this coming Saturday as well. DH said "well, how would we, as parents, want for someone to handle this type of situation with OUR kids?" And so we decided that we'll give her one more chance to come clean, explaining to her that there's no way we can trust her with our kids if we can't trust her on the smaller things - and, if she doesn't, we're not going to use her anymore...and we'll be explaining to her parents why we're no longer going to be asking her to babysit for us.
At first I thought maybe I was overreacting, but I spoke to several other friends who have little ones - and even a couple of friends whose kids are teens - and they all said that it wasn't right and that we shouldn't just brush it off and let it go.
What do you think? How would you handle a similar situation?? As it stands now, DH has texted her and asked her to call him (he thought she might be more likely to open up if she's on her phone...as opposed to at home where her parents could be listening to her end of the conversation, which is where she called me from yesterday). If she doesn't get back to him by this evening, he says he's calling her at home.