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Open Thread: What Are the Most Annoying Things a Parent Can Do to the Babysitter?

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The way parents are so desperate for good, reliable baby sitters, one would expect everyone to treat their child-watchers like precious birds or rare Pokemon. Hire them at a good rate, tip well, load them with snacks, and give them a ride home, all while saying, “Thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you!” But apparently there are a lot of parents out there who are not grateful enough to the people looking after their children, because some of them are pulling the kid of shenanigans you only read about on the Internet.

Back when I was babysitting, most of my clients were pretty great, but still there were some annoying habits, like:

Coming home late. I think this is probably the most common complaint of babysitters, because  I’m chronically late to just about everything, and I can understand that when one tastes freedom, one wants to hang onto it. But if you tell the sitter you’ll be back by 8 p.m., you have to be back by 8 p.m.. Don’t drag it out till 8:30 or 9 or even later.

Suddenly having extra kids. If you arrange for a sitter to watch your two kids, you can’t suddenly have a sleepover and be 10-deep in 10-year-olds without asking the sitter in advance if that’s OK, and presumably paying a whole lot extra.

Expecting free housework. Some babysitters also clean houses. If that’s the case, one presumes it would have been agreed upon during the negotiation phase of the arrangement. If you’ve agreed to pay $X an hour for babysitting services, and you arrive home at the end of the night and your children have been sat, then you’ve gotten what you paid for. If you also want the ironing or vacuuming done, well that’s a different conversation to be had entirely.

Leaving the cupboard bare. Even if the babysitter isn’t coming during meal times, it’s good form to make sure there are at least snacks and some beverages in the house. Hungry people are cranky people, and you don’t want a cranky person watching your kids.

Not taking the babysitter home. This one is only for young babysitters, not grown adults who can drive themselves around, but if you’ve got a 13-year-old watching your kids for the evening, you have to remember that she is actually a child too, and deliver her back to her own doorstep the way you’d want a babysitting client to do for your kids someday.

Admittedly, my babysitting years were brief, and most of my clients were pretty good. But anybody with a bit of babysitting experience under her belt has some weird stories that the parents of the world can learn from. So share with us: What is the most annoying thing a parent can do to the babysitter?