A 16-year-old's first babysitting gig took a turn for the worst when the child she was watching tossed a cell phone into the toilet.
The parents of that child, the babysitter's aunt and uncle, insisted that she cover the costs of the dunked phone.
But she didn't think it was so simple.
In a Reddit post on the "Am I the A**hole" (AITA) subReddit, the young babysitter—anonymously called "throwaway46888766542"—cited a few additional details that she thinks absolved her from blame and, more importantly, from financial obligation.
The people of the "AITA" community weighed in as they always do. They identified where they felt the blame truly rested and pointed out "The A**hole" in the story.
The 16-year-old sitter began the post by explaining that there was an element of pressure involved the whole ordeal.
"My aunt and uncle came over for dinner, and asked me to babysit their kids (4 year old twins). I refused, I don't have any experience with babysitting and wouldn't know what to do."
"They kinda pushed me into it, since 'they babysat me when I was a kid, so it's nice to give back,' so after we talked a bit more I agreed."
"They needed me from 10:00 to 22:00, so babysitting included making lunch/snacks/dinner/bath time/putting them to bed. I was pretty nervous, and told them that, but they insisted I do it."
When they day of babysitting did come around, things went terribly.
Those were accurate worries.
"So most of the day went okay. The problem came when I was cooking dinner. I put them in front of the tv with a movie on, but one of them started wandering around and threw my uncle's smartphone (I don't know where he got it, my uncle thinks he left it in between the couch cushions) in the toilet."
"I fished it out and put it in a bag of uncooked rice."
Evidently, the rice didn't do the trick.
Her aunt later demanded she fork over the cash to replace the phone.
"My uncle thinks it's his fault and isn't mad, but my aunt is. She's insisting I pay for the phone (900 euros or so). My mom thinks I shouldn't have to pay, my dad thinks I should offer to pay half. It's been an argument for a while now."
All adult viewpoints accounted for, she stood her ground and refused.
But that conviction wasn't totally airtight. She turned to Reddit, where she could review the vast array of hot takes from the peanut gallery.
With that, an even more informed decision could be made.
"I personally don't think I should pay, I don't know how they expect me to watch two toddlers while cooking dinner knowing I never ever babysat before. Plus leaving an almost thousand euro phone laying around when they aren't home."
"AITA for not wanting to pay?"
The comment thread was likely music to her ears.
A great majority of people took her side, invoking the "NTA" tag, short for "Not the A**hole."
"NTA. Your Uncle was right, it is indeed his fault." -- shooter0213
"NTA: He should've left it somewhere he couldn't reach. Not your mistake, it's his. YOU didn't break it, his kid did." -- zeepz_
"NTA - if you have toddlers you shouldn't be leaving fragile things just out and about." -- toronto-throw-away
"NTA. It's not really your fault that your uncle left his cellphone somewhere 4-year-old's could access it and I think he knows that. It could have easily happened on their watch too." -- milkywaes
Many of her supporters cited the aunt and uncle's pressure campaign as the key variable.
"NTA - Your uncle is correct, he's to blame -- not just for leaving his own phone sitting around, but also for putting you in this position."
"If you have no experience babysitting, it was absolutely irresponsible for them to leave you alone with 4 year old twins for 12 hours." -- TheMNdude
"NTA- They knew you weren't comfortable with the situation and lacked the experience to take on four year old twins for the day."
"They thought they were getting a good deal with free babysitting and it ended up costing them more than it would have if they would have gone with someone who had experience and charged money."
"Also, what parent leaves their children for that amount of time with an inexperienced babysitter without taking his phone." -- Choactapus
"NTA. They forced you to babysit their kids and now want you to pay for a 900 phone they left in reach of kids."
"That's kind of what you get for forcing a teen with no experience to babysit two 4-year-olds." -- orpheusoxide
"Dude NTA. 12 hours is a long ass time to babysit. Two 4yr olds is hard to manage. And you didn't have any prior experience?"
"Stating that they still pushed you to babysit? OP you're NTA by a long shot and I agree you shouldn't have to pay for the phone. Out of anything that could have happened I'm glad it was only a phone that got dunked in a toilet! Good job!" -- YetiMaster273
Other comments offered up more imaginative solutions.
"NTA. If they insist, tell them they owe you 1000€ for babysitting 12 hours without killing the kids. If they don't drop it, keep insisting, until they either drop or give up and actually pay up."
"Then give them the 900, you'll even make a profit." -- strawberry_love23
"NTA. Tell them you'll be happy to pay for the new phone if they pay you for babysitting. Then let them know your rate is 75 euros an hour." -- curiousrut
"NTA - let her know since she wants to act this way after leaving someone with no experience for TWELVE HOURS that you now have a retroactive fee structure that should just about cover the phone. Also let her know that's your price for next time too." -- LibraBlu3
If the Reddit thread has indeed held sway over this sitter, we can expect that she hasn't moved an inch in that family-wide debate.
*If you enjoyed this article, you can read more like it by clicking on the AITA link below.*