If you ever avail yourself of the services of your local babysitter, this might raise a smile or two – research published today reveals what babysitters believe to be UK parents' cheekiest habits.
Highest ranked was the 'smuggling' of friends' kids into a babysitting arrangement – with one sitter agreeing to look after one child, before being handed six at the door.
Parents coming home slightly worse for wear and 'arithmetically challenged' was also flagged, although a perk raised was the generous tips that can often follow.
'Strategic' placement of creased shirts beside an iron and ironing board in the TV room is another sitter pet-peeve along with late cancellations and unexpected pets.
The research was carried out by a recently-launched social babysitting app that lets parents find, book and pay local babysitters.
It also lets both parent and sitter review each other at the end of the night – which could surely be a recipe for serious trouble. Aggregated ratings are then displayed on a user's profile and help determine how high sitters are ranked in a parent's search and how likely a parent is to get their sit request met. The app also times the precise length of a sit and automatically calculates the price, and even enables online payment.
But it sounds like TripAdvisor – could you imagine the drama if your babysitter left you a bad review?! That's yet to happen, according to app co-founder Ari Last:
"Thankfully, we're yet to see a bad rating on either side and we don't expect many either – after all, hard-working parents are desperate for a bit more 'time off' and having a great rep among local sitters helps ensure they get it."
Here's the top ten list in full, as voted by UK babysitters:
1.The 'smuggle' – Adding friends' kids to the sit without asking first.
2.The 'math fail' – Spending 20 awkward minutes calculating the price and looking for exact change, and still getting it wrong.
3.The 'unexpected pet' – Not mentioning the pets that sitters are either allergic to or terrified of.
4.The 'round down' – Calculating the final price according to the previous round number, not the next.
5.The 'subtle hint' – Strategically placing a stack of creased shirts, iron and ironing board out in the TV room.
6.The 'bread and water' – Leaving an empty fridge during a long sit.
7.The 'late cancel' – Even on New Years' Eve.
8.The 'sleep guarantee' – Insisting that the kids will be sound asleep when you know they probably won't.
9.The 'just one more' – Nudging back home-time again and again because you've got a rare taste of freedom.
10. The 'School Bug' – Not mentioning that the kids were struck down with something contagious the day before.
So c'mon, fess up. How many of these 'crimes' have you committed when booking a babysitter?!
We'd love to hear your best and worst babysitter tales – leave us a comment below or join the debate over on our Facebook page.