Should I feel guilty firing our babysitter? Help?!

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  1. I work the graveyard shift at the hospital, and DH is a physician in training so he's never home. We have an awesome 19mo DS. He attends day care during the day. We hired two of his college student daycare teachers to help us babysit in the mornings (when DH needs to leave for work and before I get home) and evenings (when I leave for work and before DH gets home). I'll call them sitter #1 and #2.

    So they decide between the two of them who will do which shifts. #1 does most mornings, #2 does most evenings. About a month ago (their second month of "employment" with us), the week of the NBA Cavs finals, Sitter #2 asked me when DH was going to get home because she needed to tell her friends when she could meet up. I told her 8:30pm, but that I would call DH and see if he could escape earlier. (We pay $30 for 0-3 hrs, then $10/hr, so she would have made $30 to stay 6p-8:30p).

    DH gets home at 8pm and immediately finds sitter #2 with freshly done makeup on, sitting there painting her toenails. DS (who is in a different part of the house clearly out of view of #2) comes running to DH, carrying whole bing cherries WITH SEEDS AND STEMS! Yeah, he's 18mo old at this time. And she gave him whole cherries as snacks.

    DH is furious, I'm furious, #2 is basically a deer in the headlights. We like her as a person, we know she needs the money, so we give her a chance. Maybe she's a little slow. We give her the $30. Over the next couple of weeks, I cut up snacks/fruit and specify DS's snacks for her (like they do at daycare, which is probably why she hasn't killed anyone there) to give him. I suspect she doesn't read to him or pick up after him even though we asked. Whatever.

    So this week DH was out of town. #1 was going to stay overnight twice and #2 once while I worked. I felt safe with #1, but when #2 stayed over Tues night, she was late. For the first time, but still, that was a HUGE no-no with my job, and she knows that. Nothing "happened" that night, but I kept imagining my son choking on a large grape she might have given him and her thinking he's asleep and putting him in his crib. I imagined him head down in the toilet, or tumbling down the stairs because she didn't lock the gate.

    Bottom line, I can't get over the cherry incident. She's been working at a daycare for 2 years, so I don't think common sense such as this can be taught at this point. Our son honestly could have been dead. We want to not use her and only use #1. I spoke to #1, and she said #2 is lazy at the daycare too. Word went out that we were paying well for our super-duper-low-maintenance great kid, so #1 had a list of like 3 people at daycare who wanted to rotate into the schedule too.

    How do we transition #2 out? Our son is moving out of the daycare into a Montessori late August, but I can't even be at peace with #2 watching my son for even one more night. Also, we don't want #2 to mistreat our son if we don't use her, since she's one of his primary teachers for the next two months (although it would probably be just more neglect rather than mistreatment).

    Right now, I'm just telling her that simply our schedules are such that we don't need her. Although she will know that is B.S. because I wanted her to commit 2 yrs when we agreed to use her. This is a breach of our agreement, but I honestly think she is dangerous. If she asks an explanation, I have no problem telling her, but she asks for a second chance... how do I break to her "no"?

    I'm so bad with confrontation... help!
  2. I would say that I was not comfortable with the arrangement and be rather vague but polite in a "it doesn't seem to be working, ya know?" sort of way.
  3. I'd keep it brief and concise. You owe her a reasonable and polite dismissal, not a detailed explanation. I'd say something along the lines of "____ (name of sitter 2) there has been a change in my (my DH's) schedule, so we won't need as much help as we did until now. If you don't mind, we'll just give you a call from now on a few days in advance of when we need you".

    I agree that you should not give her a second chance. It's your boy's well-being that's at stake and that's far more important than this girl liking you or whether her self-esteem will suffer as a result of being "fired" or not.

    In the real world, if she had neglected a very important project in order to perfect her manicure (and gotten caught) she would have been fired on the spot. You're aleady nicer than most and certainly nicer than I am: if she endangered my dog by not doing her job her ass would have been grass STAT! :death:

    Good luck!
  4. When it comes to your son's safety, you should be blunt. She can't do this with other children. Tell her that your sorry but you are just not comfortable with her watching your child anymore! That may be harsh, but it's something I've had to do - with my DH's father's girlfriend! She kept trying to give him tortilla chips and set him up on tall stools alone when he was only 12 mos. old! AND letting him run around by the pool!
    This shouldn't come as a surprise to her. Your DS deserves her attention at $10/hr. She should at least be in the same room!! I would be livid, and you can't be in constant worry.
    Your son is more important than her feelings.
  5. You are the Mom. When she asks, "Why?" you say, "Because I said so!"
  6. Fire her ass. Apparently she missed Babysitting 101 and the part where it says to, you know, NOT give certain foods to children if there is a chance they could choke.
  7. Wow, definitely an accident waiting to happen. Just tell her she's not working out & that's it. You dont own her a lengthy explanation. I cant believe someone who works in a daycare center would feed an 18 month old cherries, stem & all-scary. Not only that you arent paying her to put on polish & make-up. Go with your mommy gut & get her the heck out of there.
  8. I think you should do what you think is best for your son. Who cares what she thinks.
  9. You know, you feel bad letting her go, but she could have put your child's safety in danger. That is never okay. And you shouldn't put up with that.
  10. Just honestly tell her that you heard what she did and now you honestly can't trust her to care for your son anymore.
  11. No, you shouldn't feel guilty. This girl works in a day care center, so she should be certified and know what the hell she's doing. She knows better than to give small children small, uncut fruits with pits or seeds in them. That's just dangerous.

    I'd suggest just being nice and polite. Explain that the situation made you feel uncomfortable (she may not know...) and that you have decided that it's best to let her go. You shouldn't have any problems with her and your son at daycare, since there are others around and her supervisor should notice if there is any mistreatment or neglect going on. She should be professional enough to separate work and private matters anyway.
  12. I think u should be honest to let her know what shes doing wrong so she will be more aware of her mistakes as a baby sitter!
  13. I always do th following when faced with a difficult situation: Turn it on its head. i.e. what could the consequences be if you didn't confront and fire her? And how would you feel if, having avoided it and carried on using her, real harm comes to your son? Could you live with that?
  14. Thanks everyone. I feel much better. I am so spineless and so bad with confrontation, which makes things difficult because I'm more than furious and fuming inside.

    She's going on vacation this weekend, so I'm breaking the news today so that she won't overspend and expect to make (good) money when she gets back.
  15. ^^^ Good idea, let us know how it goes!!
    You know, I used to be really afraid of confrontation until my son came along. He gave me a backbone because I was faced with situations like this - it's funny how kids change you in so many ways. Good luck! :okay:
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