Brandon the Menace…

This morning, Mea and her dad were watching Dennis the Menace.  She thought it was hilarious.

It gave me flashbacks to a kid that I used to babysit.

There is a part in the movie when the parents split the address book apart, and both start calling for a sitter to watch Dennis.  All the sitters hang up in horror when they are asked to watch him.

I am sure that the parents of Brandon, the kid I used to babysit, had the same exact reactions when trying to find a sitter for this kid.

I honestly don’t know how I ended up watching this kid.  I think that another set of parents that I babysat for referred me to them.  I did end up watching him several times.

Each time watching him got worse and worse.

I think he was about 6 or 7 when I was babysitting.  This kid made Chucky look like an angel.  He was always perfect when his parents were there.  Then as soon as they pulled out of the driveway he would turn into evil Brandon.  He would do every possible thing that they would have said not to do.

They had an oil burning space heater in their living room, this little bastard would always threaten to touch it.  I finally told him to go ahead and do it if he wanted too, he didn’t, he was just being a little bastard.

Usually, the evenings weren’t so bad with him, and if I was lucky, I could get him to go to sleep pretty quickly.

Once they asked me to watch him during the day.  It was summer.  They had an in-ground pool.  The parents did not want him swimming.  They really didn’t want him in the backyard at all.  Apparently the week before he had drowned their Shih-Tzu, Gizmo.  They said it was an accident, but the parents found him in the pool with the poor dog.  There was a new Gizmo by the time that I came to babysit.  Same color dog, same name.  Weird.  I am actually pretty sure that this was the third Gizmo.

So we played some games, I made him lunch, I had put a movie on for him to watch.

Then he ran to the back door.  Made a bee line for the pool.  Then stopped, went over to the pool house, somehow climbed on top of it, and threatened to jump.

This kid was a jerk.

I was freaking out.  I didn’t want him to fall.  I didn’t want him jumping into the pool, since the parents had said they didn’t want him in the pool.  I yelled at him for a while to get down.  That didn’t work.  So I picked up the phone, walked outside, pretended to call his mom to tell her what her darling Satan spawn was doing.  I knew that I didn’t really need to call her.  I knew that just the thought that I was calling her would get him down.  It worked.  I made him stay in his room the rest of the time that I was there.

This was the last time that I babysat for him.  I don’t remember all the details, but my friend Holly would occasionally watch him as well.  I had been called, and couldn’t watch him, and she watched him instead.  I think, (and Holly, please correct me if I am wrong) that he pulled a steak knife on her, and locked her in the basement of the house.

Needless to say, she didn’t ever watch him again either.

After hearing what he had done to Holly, my Mom wouldn’t even consider letting me watch Brandon the Menace again.

I was thrilled.  Except for the part about they always paid really well, I was glad to at least have an excuse not to watch him again.

Any horrible babysitting stories from you friends?

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5 Comments on “Brandon the Menace…”

  1. Jen says:

    The worst, WORST, babysitting experience I had wasn’t the kids, it was the parents. Two kids, an infant (2 1/2 months old and a 4 year old). The parents were supposed to be gone for 2 hours, it was a school night for me, but I agreed because the $$ was very good and I had watched the 4 yr. old maybe a dozen times and he’d been great.

    The parents left me there with a breastfed baby and only one bottle of milk and 2 diapers left. Ok, it’s 2 hours right? I can handle it.

    7 hours later, stressed beyond belief, I called my mom for help – what do I do? I’m 15 (no car), no diapers, no milk for a screaming baby and no idea where the parents are. The number of the restaurant they left was out of service and when I tried information, they didn’t have any new numbers. My mom came and brought diapers and a little formula which the baby gobbled up. With a clean diaper and full belly, she settled down. When the parents got there, my mom was still there with me. It was 3 am. They had left the house at 3:30 p.m. the previous afternoon “for a quick dinner”. They’d lied, booked a hotel for a couples time and fallen asleep. The mother started screaming at me for feeding her baby formula but my mother stopped that right quick by threatening to call child welfare. Then they stiffed me for the money.

    I never babysat again.

  2. Holly says:

    Ahhhh, yes, Brandon. That kid really was the Spawn of Satan. He always threatened to touch the space heater when I sat for him too. I finally did exactly what you did– told him to go ahead and touch it, I was sick of hearing about it. He didn’t. He never climbed on top of the pool house for me, but he did use the pool net to scoop out frogs that were at the bottom of the (nasty, needed to be cleaned) pool and fling them against the pool house to watch them splatter. An act of cruelty that disturbed me then and disburbs me now. And you are absolutley right about the knife and the locking me in the basement. I was so shook up from that that I could barely tell my mom what had happened when I got home. She immediately called his parents and told them what he had done and I never sat for him again either. Mike told me that Brandon repeatedly got into trouble throughout his teens, and was even arrested at some point (for vandalising a car I think??). It wouldn’t surprise me one bit if that kid was in jail at this point. But with his parents never holding him accountable for his actions and all the money they had, I highly doubt it.

  3. 3catsandababy says:

    I baby-sat from age 11 til in my 20s. In middle school I watched a family everyday after school for $2 an hour. An infant, and two young school-agers. Who knows why they left their kids with me when I was so young! I liked that family though.

    A few highlights from other families include being locked out of the house by the kids, having a lizard put in my hair, and a child dumping his dad’s cologne all over himself.

    At one house the kids always insisted on eating dry pasta as a snack. That always stuck with me.

  4. Libby says:

    Um, no. We don’t have kids like that in Utah. Drowning a dog? No.

  5. Maggie says:

    I remember babysitting my neighbor’s kids and they were twins. One boy and one girl. The boy was always a terror! The mom was smart and 95% of the time she’d leave me with one kid and usually the boy one time he colored himself all over with markers and highlighters. Needless to say he needed a bath.


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