Redditor "tgrowbabisitta" noticed their brother and sister-in-law had an unusually tight relationship with their babysitter.
But after one awkward dinner night, the Original Poster (OP) accused their brother and his wife of "creepily" grooming the babysitter to be their "surrogate daughter."
The OP—who is 40—asked AITA (Am I the A**hole) for being "honest" about the 22-year-old babysitter's relationship with the brother and his wife—both of whom are 48.
"My brother and SIL are both working parents and they had more kids than planned because one 'litter' came out as twins. They have 4 kids in total. 2 boys and 2 girls. Perfect."
"The problem is only that they don't have time for them many days a week. Which is why they hired the babysitter 'Alana'. She is a nice girl. And I don't have anything against her before you come for me."
Alana spent many hours a week at the brother's house before the pandemic.
In an update, the OP—who lives in an unspecified European country—mentioned they are not on strict lockdown but have restrictions limiting visits to family and life partners who live apart.
"Before all went down she would come to my brothers place 3 times a week for 5 hours and on the weekend for a few each so they could relax and hang out."
"Yesterday I had to go pick up some stuff from his place because the supermarkets didn't have them anymore. I ring and Alana opens the door. I was kind of taken aback because I didn't think she should be commuting in these times."
"My brother came out and he patted Alana on the back and said thanks for getting it. Bro invited me to stay for dinner. Here I saw the weird behavior."
"She sat down with us because the kids were out for the night. We all started talking and joking and even drinking a bit (I was planning on staying the night at this point)."
The following conversation raised an eyebrow.
"Then my brother started saying weird sh*t about how he wanted to take Alana to [place where they could do 'shared' hobby better]."
"I thought that was inappropriate because Alana is at least 20 years younger than my brother. SIL didn't seem to mind it and later that evening showed me some pictures of the 3 together going to Disneyland etc."
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"When Alana went to bed my brother was like 'oh god if we didn't have her we would have been f'ked during this time.'"
"Idk if it was the wine or the weird atmosphere but I spilled the beans. I told him that it looked like they were either grooming her or creepily trying to make her their surrogate daughter. Especially because she is currently living there to help with the kids."
The accusation did not go over well at all, and the brother was appalled.
"My brother got mad at me and called me a f'king creep and told me to get out as soon as I wake up. I did that but I tried reaching out and he has iced me out."
"His wife told me to give him some space because the comments that I made were inappropriate. Were they though? AITA?"
With the question asked, Reddit weighed in to judge where guilt belongs by declaring:
- NTA - Not The A**hole
- YTA - You're The A**hole
- ESH - Everyone Sucks Here
- NAH - No A**holes Here
The backlash against the OP was severe, with a majority of Redditors calling YTA (You're the A**hole).
"YTA for calling their twins a litter. Also for judging Alana for being at his house when you went for a recreational visit."
"Maybe they planned this out so she is quarantining at their house and still doing her job? She sounds more like a nanny tbh, they can become part of the family." – TAgrinch
This person criticized the OP for their immaturity and for being judgmental.
"There's a lot of weird judgement, I agree YTA op."
"Both are working parents and you say 'they don't have time for them many days a week' like it isn't perfectly normal for parents to have childcare while they work."
"And I can guarantee that many parents would love to have a live in nanny if they could afford it, especially now when people are still trying to work from home and manage their kids at the same time."
"Why do you have so much judgement for your brother's family? The entire post reads like it was written by a 14 year old who is clueless about children."
"You should really think about what you said to your brother if you want to understand why he's so angry."
"You accused him of being a cheating pervert, and based your accusation on what's clearly a complete lack of understanding of what parenting and working life is like with a family of four young children." – CatSpecificTuna
"Honestly, OP should have written the title as: AITA for calling my brother a cheating pervert? Because that's much more accurate than the title they used." – Bookdragon345
If the couple was involved in a consenting polyamorous relationship, it was not the OP's place to judge them for being "creepy."
"And if on the off chance that they are in a relationship, and his wife knows, and they're all consenting //adults// then what room do you have to say your brother can't be poly?"
"It's not creepy or weird so long as they're all consenting adults who are happy with the situation."
"And even if they're all completely professional about it; they're allowed to be close. You don't just live with someone and help take care of their kids without becoming at least a little close. Yta from so many angles op that you look like a kaleidoscope." – DeathPunkin
This user was skeptical about the OP's narrative based on a lack of pertinent information and didn't think that a pat on the back constituted further implication.
"YTA, based on more information. Inappropriate overreach, and you really need to apologize to your brother and sister-in-law."
"INFO: I kind of think the shared hobby place might be important for the story. Darts at a bar? The golf course? D&D at the local comic shop? All of these kind of have different implications. Did he say or do anything even remotely sexual? Were the kids at Disneyland with them, and that's why Alana possibly came?"
"It feels like you are framing this as being creepy without really giving much examples of creepy behavior beyond maybe a back pat?" – nobodysbabydoll
"YTA. Nannies, especially if they live with the family often become a part of it."
"Suggesting they're trying to groom her is just creepy on your part and it says a lot more about you than anyone else." – anime-for-trump
Don't slam nannies.
"I worked with a family for 1 year for 17 hours a week when finishing undergrad. I knew everything about their marriage, their children's medical conditions, the grandfathers time in the war, the dads potential switch of careers."
"You spend that much time with a family you get really used to being the pseudo family member yourself. You eat with them and go to birthdays and sports games and on weekend trips." – Feistythrowaway2
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"Exactly! Also coming from a family where I was one of four children, our nanny came on every single vacation with us because well my parents wanted a bit of a vacation too."
"She also has always lived with us and still lives with us 25 years later although she does other work now. OP YTA really reaching." – wtfrickfrack
Whatever goes on inside that house, it was not a place for shaming or for interference from the OP.