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  • October's Theme Of The Month: Babysitting Blunders!
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    Love Is Fleeting If Competing

    | QLD, Australia | Children, Theme Of The Month

    (I regularly babysit my sister’s young boys aged nine months and six years. I’ve just put the nine-month-old to bed and go to put the six-year-old to bed. After kissing him goodnight I leave a moment later…)

    Six-Year-Old: “Aunty! I love you all the way to God and back and you can’t get any better than that!!”

    Me: “No, but I can love you just the same!”

    Don’t Box Up Your Feelings

    | NJ, USA | Siblings

    (This story starts a few years ago, just after my mother passed away. For one year, my brother and I moved into a small condo together, but because of a series of bad (and sometimes quasi-illegal) habits of his I had to call it off at the end of the first lease. He was, needless to say, upset.)

    Brother: “Oh come on, man. What’s wrong with you. Why are you doing this?”

    Me: “Because you come home drunk more often than not, you leave me to do more than my half of the shopping and then complain when I ‘take from your half,’ I haven’t caught you but I KNOW you’re smoking weed in here and God knows what else, and when we moved in I specifically asked you to make sure a grand total of THREE THINGS were brought over, and you ‘lost’ two of them and broke the third!”

    Brother: “But we’re supposed to BE there for each other, look out for each other!”

    Me: “The way you ‘look out for me’ when you come home stinking drunk and decide to wrestle me, which usually means ‘hugging’ me with your arm around the neck until I have to HIT you to get you off me because you’re choking me?”

    Brother: “I would never do that!”


    (This goes back and forth at least once a day for the week or so, including his calling my cell phone while I’m in the middle of work. Finally he moves out a week before the date, and assures me he’s taken everything he wants/needs and anything left over either I can keep or is garbage. I ask him to triple check because at this point I’m furious, and except for pieces of furniture he claimed were his which never were, I’m throwing everything else out. Fast forward to now, nearly a decade later, he calls me up out of the blue.)

    Brother: “Heyyyy, brother-man!”

    Me: “What is it, [Brother]?”

    Brother: “Hey, did you still have any of the stuff from when I moved out?”

    Me: “The couch and the ottoman. That’s it. Why?”

    Brother: “What about my briefcase, and the couple of stacks of my personal papers?”

    Me: “None of that was left behind, and besides that was what, eight or nine years ago, now? NO, I don’t have it!”

    Brother: “I don’t believe this. I asked you to hold onto it for me!”

    Me: “BULL! You told me to THROW OUT anything you left behind because you took anything you needed! And you DIDN’T leave that behind! I don’t believe this, a decade later and you’re STILL trying to blame me for YOU being a screw-up!”

    Brother: “You know, you were always like this. You NEVER stood up for me. You NEVER helped me out! We’re brothers; we’re supposed to help each other out!”

    Me: “The only thing you ever helped me to do is realize that family doesn’t always treat you right. And I helped you every day I DIDN’T call the cops after walking in and smelling the whole apartment reeking of pot. Fix your own mess instead of running away from it, for once.”

    (I hang up the phone on him. He calls and leaves three messages that day going from indignant, to angry, to obviously drunk and regretful, but I don’t return any of them. Finally, a week later, I get this message.)

    Brother: “Heyyyy, [My Name], it’s [Brother]. I found the stuff. Turns out when I moved up to Syracuse and back I never unboxed it. Don’t worry about it. You don’t have to look for it any more.”

    A Different Bear-ing On Gender

    | Norway | Cousins, Parents & Guardians, Sons & Daughters

    (My daughter is eleven and owns a teddy bear. His name is Mister.)

    Daughter: “Mom, Mister is seriously considering a sex change.”

    (I am surprised, but don’t let on too much.)

    Me: “Oh, really! Why does he want that?”

    Daughter: “Well, because the female teddy bears can have so much more clothing. They can wear a lot more different and cool clothes. Mister thinks it would be really cool to have that. And then his name would be Missy instead!”

    Me: “That makes sense. And teddy bears really only have social gender, they don’t have juridical and biological sexes like us humans do, so I bet it’s a lot easier for a teddy bear to switch genders than it would be for a human.”

    Daughter: “Yes! I just throw him in the air and shout ‘Hallelujah!’ and that’s that.”

    (After spending a day or so ‘seriously considering’ it, Mister did indeed become Missy.)

    The Moral Of This Toy Story

    | QLD, Australia | Children, Nephews & Nieces, Theme Of The Month

    (I’m babysitting my six year old nephew and he’s smashing his toys together.)

    Me: “Don’t be rough with your toys or they’ll be rough with you.”

    Nephew: “Toys can’t be rough with you.”

    Me: “Yes, they can. You’ve seen Toy Story. You know how it works!”

    Nephew: “No, they can’t! They’re just toys!”

    (Just then he lost grip of his toy and it smashed him in the head.)

    A Weighty Statement

    | Romania | In-Laws, Parents & Guardians, Spouses & Partners

    (Me, my husband, his mother, and our eight-year-old son are sitting at a table dining. Our son is unhappy about losing a toy and we try to comfort him in a pretty traditional way…)

    Mother-In-Law: “Don’t be sad, Sometimes losing things means they made space for something else in your life…”

    Husband: “Yes, and losing is sometimes good, and it makes you happy!”

    Me: “For instance, when you lose some weight!”

    Mother-In-Law: *not listening* “…and maybe someone else finds what you lost and is happy to have it.”

    (Everyone burst out laughing leaving my mother-in-law confused.)

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