On the surface, hiring a teenage babysitter is a great idea. The labor is relatively cheap, and you get to feel good about putting money in the pocket of a cash strapped student who could really use the tax-free income. Potential candidates are easy to find, as long as you live in the vicinity of a high school or college. And since pretty much anyone is capable of childcare, you don’t have to do too much vetting.
But when you hire a teenage girl to look after your brood, what you’re actually doing is inviting a hormonally charged, partially formed adult into your home and granting her temporary dictatorial status. Take it from a veteran former babysitter that a lot of hilariously evil stuff is bound to go down behind the scenes.
1. Stockpiled stolen booze.
To anyone under 21, the main benefit of babysitting is access to a vast supply of free booze. After casing a client’s house, the exact percentage of alcohol that can be stolen without drawing suspicion is quickly calculated. Then the beer, vodka, tequila, or gin deemed least likely to be missed is stashed in a backpack or the trunk of a car. This is perhaps the easiest and cheapest way for the underage set to acquire alcohol. It’s also a whole lot more efficient than tapping shoulders in the parking lot of the local liquor store.
2. Traumatized your kids for kicks.
When your babysitter isn’t busy getting drunk on your booze, they’re getting drunk on the absolute power you’ve bestowed on them. Teenagers aren’t accustomed to being in charge, so it’s too tempting to abuse the temporary sense of authority. Unfortunately, the easiest way to do this is by scaring your kids shitless. There are many methods for instilling terror in the innocent, but some of the most reliable include: letting them watch R-rated movies, convincing them that your elderly neighbor was once a serial killer who preyed upon small children, and establishing totally absurd policies (e.g. no dessert unless you hop on one foot while barking for five straight minutes).
3. Shamelessly flirted with the kids’ dad.
The typical “bad babysitter” trope involves inviting the boyfriend over for a make out session as soon as the kids are tucked into bed. But the sassiest gals aim higher than guys their own age, and they’ll seize any chance to interact with a grown man. When a middle-aged father offers to drive the babysitter home, that one-on-one time is a dream scenario for any coquette-in-training.
4. Siphoned cash.
To a babysitter, any cash they’re handed is potential additional profit. If you leave money for dinner to be delivered, assume she’ll pocket it and prepare your kids some soggy pasta instead. And if you hand her a twenty for a cab ride home, she’ll risk a late-night mugging and take the subway so she make some the extra dough.
5. Passed blame onto an innocent child.
Luckily, most kids are given to lying on occasion. That means that every kid you ever babysit is a potential suspect, and it’s possible to shove the blame for a host of failures—broken dishes, lights inadvertently left on, doors mistakenly unlocked—onto them. Why take the fall for a minor crime when there are so many?
6. Violated the family’s privacy.
Every babysitter is a practicing snoop. Given the opportunity, who wouldn’t poke around another person’s home in search of a secret? Of particular interest are medicine cabinets, bedside table drawers, and the search history on any computer. No babysitter stops until something of value is discovered, bet it a vibrator, a dime bag of weed, or a diary.