Etiquette Hell

General Etiquette => Family and Children => Topic started by: oopsie on January 04, 2013, 11:04:41 AM

Title: Damage done during a sleepover.
Post by: oopsie on January 04, 2013, 11:04:41 AM
Two nights ago, my children had their three cousins over for a sleepover (two sisters aged 15 & 16 and their 11 year old brother). We've had them over many times before without incident. However this time, when I woke in the morning, I found a bunch of mysterious things had happened in my kitchen and living room which included items being switched and moved around, a pile of pistachio shells left on my brand new couch, dog food inside the cheesecake that was on the table (which my unknowing daughter had eaten some of that morning), writings and scribblings on my kitchen counter in permanent marker, etc.

Long story short, for various reasons (I won't get in to them), my husband and I both believe it was our 11 year old nephew who did it. He would have had the opportunity as the girls were sleeping downstairs and my son often falls asleep before he does. However, when questioned, he (as well as all the other kids, including my own) swore up and down that they had nothing to do with it. Even after my son (who is 6) started crying, worried that our house is haunted and stating that he wants to move, he did not come forward. I know my children very well and would bet my life that they had nothing to do with it or know nothing about it. I also do not believe that the older girls would have done it either.

In the end, there was no permanent damage done (thankfully, I was able to remove the permanent marker from my counter using magic eraser), however, I'm quite alarmed by it as it's pretty sneaky and the bold faced lying without any kind of remorse bothers me (there was plenty of opportunity to come forward with a promise of no repercussions).   

Is it worth mentioning to their parents? My gut says to just let it go as I don't have any concrete proof. Should I just chalk it up to a practical joke gone wrong and take care next time I invite them over? How would you handle this?



 
Title: Re: Damage done to my home during a sleepover.
Post by: Outdoor Girl on January 04, 2013, 11:09:31 AM
I would let the parents know what happened and that no one owned up to it, without telling them that you think it was your nephew.

And I wouldn't be inviting them again any time soon.

'I just wanted you to know that (these things happened) and that no one would admit to doing them.  I think it's best if the kids don't have sleepovers for a while.'
Title: Re: Damage done to my home during a sleepover.
Post by: NyaChan on January 04, 2013, 11:09:44 AM
I think you should mention it to the parents, but do not mention that you think it is their child who did it.  Emphasize that no one came forward either to admit that they did it or that they had seen who did it.  You don't really have any proof that it was the nephew, just your belief that it wasn't one of the others.  All of them had the opportunity - even if they went to sleep earlier, they could have woken up early or in the middle of the night.  I would just relate what happened, say that you are disappointed that none of them would admit to it even though there is no punishment forthcoming.  And then I'd say that you aren't comfortable letting the cousins do sleepovers at your house until you know what happened that night.  I wouldn't say that in terms of not trusting the cousins, but as a consequence for ALL the kids.  I am also a little surprised that you think the 6 year old could have been left without supervision during the night & aren't upset about that.  Were the older girls supposed to be watching him?
Title: Re: Damage done to my home during a sleepover.
Post by: MrTango on January 04, 2013, 11:16:31 AM
I'd let the parents know that the incident happened with details of what specifically was done.  Let them know that none of the children would fess up to it and as a result, there will be no further sleepovers.
Title: Re: Damage done to my home during a sleepover.
Post by: Sharnita on January 04, 2013, 11:18:38 AM
ANy chance any of the kids sleepwalk? Can you ask if anybody sleepwalks?
Title: Re: Damage done to my home during a sleepover.
Post by: Isisnin on January 04, 2013, 11:20:07 AM
You should tell the parents anyways as the girls probably will.  Probably best not to indicate what your suspicions are, just state the facts. 

Hopefully the parents will have a firm conversation with their kids to let them all know such behavior is not to be repeated.

If you have them over, any idea what precautions you could take?  Ideally, you would catch the culprit in the act "accidentally".  To do so, you'd have to stay up and go downstairs when you heard something.

It would be a shame to end the sleepovers as it sounds like the cousins enjoy being together. 
Title: Re: Damage done to my home during a sleepover.
Post by: athersgeo on January 04, 2013, 11:23:14 AM
ANy chance any of the kids sleepwalk? Can you ask if anybody sleepwalks?

Pod to this question. I have friends who sleepwalk and some of the things they've either found themselves doing by waking up in the act to by the evidence the next morning is downright scary; eating pistachios, scribbling on the counter and the rest of it does line up with that. AND it would explain why no one confessed.
Title: Re: Damage done to my home during a sleepover.
Post by: Kaypeep on January 04, 2013, 11:25:16 AM
I think you should mention it to the parents, but do not mention that you think it is their child who did it.  Emphasize that no one came forward either to admit that they did it or that they had seen who did it.  You don't really have any proof that it was the nephew, just your belief that it wasn't one of the others.  All of them had the opportunity - even if they went to sleep earlier, they could have woken up early or in the middle of the night.  I would just relate what happened, say that you are disappointed that none of them would admit to it even though there is no punishment forthcoming.  And then I'd say that you aren't comfortable letting the cousins do sleepovers at your house until you know what happened that night.  I wouldn't say that in terms of not trusting the cousins, but as a consequence for ALL the kids.  I am also a little surprised that you think the 6 year old could have been left without supervision during the night & aren't upset about that.  Were the older girls supposed to be watching him?

NyaChan, the way I read this is that the parents WERE there, this happened while people were sleeping.  The girls were downstairs (basement) together, parents and boys upstairs in bed.  Since their son falls asleep first, it sounds like the 11 year old nephew snuck downstairs and did some mayhem.

I wouldn't rule out the girls,  honestly.  Teen girls can be bad, too.  There was a post on here last year where the OP's daughters swore up and down they had nothing to do with their uncle's house being broken into, but later it turned out they DID give friend's access to the house while their uncle was away.  As a former teenage girl, I can admit we often do stupid things and deny them, and I think we get away with it more because we lie well and I think people are predisposed to think boys do more damage than girls, and I doubt that is the case.  I like the PP's suggestions of not laying blame anywhere, just telling the facts and stating no sleepovers as a punishment for everyone.

Did anyone try to blame Elf on the Shelf? 
Title: Re: Damage done to my home during a sleepover.
Post by: MorgnsGrl on January 04, 2013, 11:26:12 AM
If you think the kids' parents would be helpful, you could tell them that the kids "got up to some late night shenanigans" without providing details and ask them to talk to the kids and see if the kids would provide details. You might learn something that way! Otherwise I'd just ask them to have a conversation with the kids about what happened and to tell them that there won't be any sleepovers for a while because obviously when all the kids get together they have a tendency to make poor choices. I'm glad none of it was permanent damage, at least!
Title: Re: Damage done to my home during a sleepover.
Post by: JenJay on January 04, 2013, 11:27:27 AM
I would let the parents know what happened and that no one owned up to it, without telling them that you think it was your nephew.

And I wouldn't be inviting them again any time soon.

'I just wanted you to know that (these things happened) and that no one would admit to doing them.  I think it's best if the kids don't have sleepovers for a while.'

This is exactly what I'd do.
Title: Re: Damage done to my home during a sleepover.
Post by: NyaChan on January 04, 2013, 11:27:50 AM
Oh thanks Kaypeep, I get it now (correct age of the nephew included  ;)).  Haven't finished my first cup of tea yet...
Title: Re: Damage done to my home during a sleepover.
Post by: wolfie on January 04, 2013, 11:29:05 AM
I am also a little surprised that you think the 6 year old could have been left without supervision during the night & aren't upset about that.  Were the older girls supposed to be watching him?

Why would the 6 year old need to be supervised overnight in his own home? His parents were there.
Title: Re: Damage done to my home during a sleepover.
Post by: Calypso on January 04, 2013, 11:29:28 AM
Dog food in the cheesecake and scribbling on the counter? Everyone (except the 6-year old, who I gather is not a suspect) is way old enough to know better. Do tell the parents, emphasizing that you don't know who did it, you just want them to know someone thought this was acceptable behavior and you're giving them a heads up in case it's their kids.
Title: Re: Damage done to my home during a sleepover.
Post by: oopsie on January 04, 2013, 11:29:53 AM
I think you should mention it to the parents, but do not mention that you think it is their child who did it.  Emphasize that no one came forward either to admit that they did it or that they had seen who did it.  You don't really have any proof that it was the nephew, just your belief that it wasn't one of the others.  All of them had the opportunity - even if they went to sleep earlier, they could have woken up early or in the middle of the night.  I would just relate what happened, say that you are disappointed that none of them would admit to it even though there is no punishment forthcoming.  And then I'd say that you aren't comfortable letting the cousins do sleepovers at your house until you know what happened that night.  I wouldn't say that in terms of not trusting the cousins, but as a consequence for ALL the kids.  I am also a little surprised that you think the 6 year old could have been left without supervision during the night & aren't upset about that.  Were the older girls supposed to be watching him?

We live in a bungalow and DS's room is on the main level and DD's is in the basement. The boys would have been upstairs in DS's room. DS usually falls asleep before my nephew. In the past when this has happened, nephew has just gone downstairs to join DD and his sister's (they stay up pretty late). I suspect this time he decided to get in to some mischief...

ANy chance any of the kids sleepwalk? Can you ask if anybody sleepwalks?

I suppose anything is possible but given that I've had these cousins over for sleepovers many, many times before without any sleepwalking, I would be inclined to say no.

It would be a shame to end the sleepovers as it sounds like the cousins enjoy being together. 

Yes, definitely. I would prefer to not do this.
Title: Re: Damage done to my home during a sleepover.
Post by: JenJay on January 04, 2013, 11:32:53 AM
I expect that, under threat of no more sleepovers, the siblings of the guilty party will "encourage" a confession soon.  ;)
Title: Re: Damage done to my home during a sleepover.
Post by: bah12 on January 04, 2013, 11:58:38 AM
I think that it's very possible that more than one child was involved and I wouldn't tell the parents that you suspect it was the 11 year old. What others have said is pretty much what I would do.  Let the parents (who I'm assuming are siblings of yours) know that the one or more of the combined kids got into some mischief, but none of them are owning up to it, so you are going to nix future sleepovers for all of them for a time.

Also, this is an arrangement that has been going on for a while. There is history with these sleepovers and there haven't been issues in the past.  Something different happened this particular night.  Either one child decided to be mischievous all by themselves, or the kids, as a group, got out of hand.  Even though you don't suspect your own children, I would question them (including the 6 year old) about what they know.  You might get some information that would lead you to the final answer.
Title: Re: Damage done to my home during a sleepover.
Post by: oopsie on January 04, 2013, 12:11:36 PM
With the feedback from this forum, I sent an email to their mother. I just told her some of the things that happened in the night and that I have no idea who did it. I also mentioned that I spoke to all of them and that no one has owned up to it. I ended it with "just thought you should know."

Hopefully, this won't put her on the defensive....




Title: Re: Damage done to my home during a sleepover.
Post by: peaches on January 04, 2013, 12:18:02 PM
I would let the parents know what happened and that no one owned up to it, without telling them that you think it was your nephew.

And I wouldn't be inviting them again any time soon.

'I just wanted you to know that (these things happened) and that no one would admit to doing them.  I think it's best if the kids don't have sleepovers for a while.'

POD

If there are no consequences, what's to prevent the behavior from escalating the next time around?

It's a shame that the innocent sometimes get penalized along with the guilty. But there's no way I would entrust my home to this group for an overnight visit. It's a matter of trust. And they haven't earned that.
Title: Re: Damage done to my home during a sleepover.
Post by: oopsie on January 04, 2013, 12:22:25 PM
I think that it's very possible that more than one child was involved and I wouldn't tell the parents that you suspect it was the 11 year old. What others have said is pretty much what I would do.  Let the parents (who I'm assuming are siblings of yours) know that the one or more of the combined kids got into some mischief, but none of them are owning up to it, so you are going to nix future sleepovers for all of them for a time.

Also, this is an arrangement that has been going on for a while. There is history with these sleepovers and there haven't been issues in the past.  Something different happened this particular night.  Either one child decided to be mischievous all by themselves, or the kids, as a group, got out of hand.  Even though you don't suspect your own children, I would question them (including the 6 year old) about what they know.  You might get some information that would lead you to the final answer.

Oh believe me, I have. I really don't believe they would do this (seriously, writing on my counter with permanent marker, they totally know that is a no-no) although I suppose it is still possible.

Another thing about the marker on the counter, I can't even say that it was an accidental transfer, that it leaked through a piece of paper because some of the scribblings were on the edge of the countertop.

Honestly, I do kind of wonder about the sleepwalking possibility. I'd rather go with that as an explanation than believing that any of them would actually knowingly do any of this and then lie about it.  :(

Title: Re: Damage done to my home during a sleepover.
Post by: peaches on January 04, 2013, 12:31:03 PM
I think that it's very possible that more than one child was involved and I wouldn't tell the parents that you suspect it was the 11 year old. What others have said is pretty much what I would do.  Let the parents (who I'm assuming are siblings of yours) know that the one or more of the combined kids got into some mischief, but none of them are owning up to it, so you are going to nix future sleepovers for all of them for a time.

Also, this is an arrangement that has been going on for a while. There is history with these sleepovers and there haven't been issues in the past.  Something different happened this particular night.  Either one child decided to be mischievous all by themselves, or the kids, as a group, got out of hand.  Even though you don't suspect your own children, I would question them (including the 6 year old) about what they know.  You might get some information that would lead you to the final answer.

Oh believe me, I have. I really don't believe they would do this (seriously, writing on my counter with permanent marker, they totally know that is a no-no) although I suppose it is still possible.

Another thing about the marker on the counter, I can't even say that it was an accidental transfer, that it leaked through a piece of paper because some of the scribblings were on the edge of the countertop.

Honestly, I do kind of wonder about the sleepwalking possibility. I'd rather go with that as an explanation than believing that any of them would actually knowingly do any of this and then lie about it.  :(

OP, you seem like a very sweet person.

I used to sleepwalk as a child. I can tell you, with some confidence, that sleepwalkers do not put dog food in cheesecake!

I think with a little pressure from parents (on both sides) the truth should come out. I would be willing to wait out this process, and not jump into more sleepovers at this time.

Title: Re: Damage done to my home during a sleepover.
Post by: oopsie on January 04, 2013, 12:34:27 PM
I think that it's very possible that more than one child was involved and I wouldn't tell the parents that you suspect it was the 11 year old. What others have said is pretty much what I would do.  Let the parents (who I'm assuming are siblings of yours) know that the one or more of the combined kids got into some mischief, but none of them are owning up to it, so you are going to nix future sleepovers for all of them for a time.

Also, this is an arrangement that has been going on for a while. There is history with these sleepovers and there haven't been issues in the past.  Something different happened this particular night.  Either one child decided to be mischievous all by themselves, or the kids, as a group, got out of hand.  Even though you don't suspect your own children, I would question them (including the 6 year old) about what they know.  You might get some information that would lead you to the final answer.

Oh believe me, I have. I really don't believe they would do this (seriously, writing on my counter with permanent marker, they totally know that is a no-no) although I suppose it is still possible.

Another thing about the marker on the counter, I can't even say that it was an accidental transfer, that it leaked through a piece of paper because some of the scribblings were on the edge of the countertop.

Honestly, I do kind of wonder about the sleepwalking possibility. I'd rather go with that as an explanation than believing that any of them would actually knowingly do any of this and then lie about it.  :(

OP, you seem like a very sweet person.

I used to sleepwalk as a child. I can tell you, with some confidence, that sleepwalkers do not put dog food in cheesecake!

I think with a little pressure from parents (on both sides) the truth should come out. I would be willing to wait out this process, and not jump into more sleepovers at this time.

Dagnabbit! Way to burst my bubble (lol! JJ)

I suspected as much...
Title: Re: Damage done to my home during a sleepover.
Post by: DottyG on January 04, 2013, 12:35:28 PM
Quote
I can tell you, with some confidence, that sleepwalkers do not put dog food in cheesecake!

I think that's a pretty broad generalization.  You might not have done that in your sleep, but even a simple Google search turns up a multitude of instances where people have done far stranger things while sleepwalking.
Title: Re: Damage done to my home during a sleepover.
Post by: Lynn2000 on January 04, 2013, 12:48:25 PM
What an unfortunate situation! I agree, I would postpone sleepovers for the foreseeable future (like, at least a year, if not longer) until this gets resolved. It's not so much that anything so terrible happened, as that several strange and dramatic things happened all at once when there were no previous incidents. That needs to be nipped in the bud, and if that means no more kids overnight in the house than your own two, so be it.

This is kind of random, and I hope it's not true because it's creepy, but is there any possibility that it was someone who broke into your house that night? If you and DH and DS were sound asleep on the first floor, and everyone else was down in the basement... I'm thinking, were there any unusual marks on the outside door, mud tracked in, mentally ill homeless people in the neighborhood (scribbling on the counters, dog food in the cheesecake sounds kind of irrational), neighbors who come home drunk and might have opened the wrong door, etc.. I think it's a remote possibility, but since no one else mentioned it, I thought I would, just in case.
Title: Re: Damage done to my home during a sleepover.
Post by: GreenHall on January 04, 2013, 12:48:59 PM
NOT in any way knowledgeable about sleep walking/sleep-other activity.
I will give most of the incidents as possible.

...dog food inside the cheesecake that was on the table... I just cannot see

Is puberty associated with sleep walking?

ETA: I guess when it lets you know someone posted while you were typing you should read it?
Title: Re: Damage done to my home during a sleepover.
Post by: m2kbug on January 04, 2013, 12:50:06 PM
I would most definitely tell my sib what happened, but I wouldn't place blame on any one of her children specifically unless you have some serious evidence it was him and him alone.  I wouldn't rule out anyone, to be honest.
Title: Re: Damage done to my home during a sleepover.
Post by: oopsie on January 04, 2013, 12:52:24 PM
What an unfortunate situation! I agree, I would postpone sleepovers for the foreseeable future (like, at least a year, if not longer) until this gets resolved. It's not so much that anything so terrible happened, as that several strange and dramatic things happened all at once when there were no previous incidents. That needs to be nipped in the bud, and if that means no more kids overnight in the house than your own two, so be it.

This is kind of random, and I hope it's not true because it's creepy, but is there any possibility that it was someone who broke into your house that night? If you and DH and DS were sound asleep on the first floor, and everyone else was down in the basement... I'm thinking, were there any unusual marks on the outside door, mud tracked in, mentally ill homeless people in the neighborhood (scribbling on the counters, dog food in the cheesecake sounds kind of irrational), neighbors who come home drunk and might have opened the wrong door, etc.. I think it's a remote possibility, but since no one else mentioned it, I thought I would, just in case.

I thought of that possibility as well. But since we live in the country about a 10 minute drive from our small town, it seems like a long shot...
Title: Re: Damage done to my home during a sleepover.
Post by: squeakers on January 04, 2013, 12:59:50 PM
NOT in any way knowledgeable about sleep walking/sleep-other activity.
I will give most of the incidents as possible.

...dog food inside the cheesecake that was on the table... I just cannot see


http://smashingtops.com/weird/10-weird-things-people-did-while-sleepwalking/

I could see a kid grabbing dog food, dreaming they were putting it into the dog's dish and in reality was putting it into the cheesecake. 
Title: Re: Damage done to my home during a sleepover.
Post by: DottyG on January 04, 2013, 01:01:01 PM
squeakers posted the same link I was about to.  So I'll post the 2nd one I was going to post.  These are just a mere 2 of the myriad of ones you can find by doing a simple Googling of the topic.

http://io9.com/5898207/10-bizarre-things-people-have-done-in-their-sleep

Title: Re: Damage done to my home during a sleepover.
Post by: SPuck on January 04, 2013, 01:02:32 PM
When I was young I slept walked changed my clothes and even changed  a blanket one time, but this sounds like a case of someone doing it purposely.
Title: Re: Damage done to my home during a sleepover.
Post by: CrochetFanatic on January 04, 2013, 01:12:04 PM
I also wondered if one of them sleepwalked, but this reminded me of this one time I got in trouble with my mother.  I don't remember what I did, but I do remember that I was about ten years old and it was something stupid that seemed funny at the time.  My mom wasn't sure if I did it, or if my brother did it.  She promised that whoever did it would not be in trouble if they confessed, and with that promise (and feeling guilty) I confessed.  I ended up being grounded with no TV for a week because she thought my tone wasn't 'remorseful enough'.  Maybe whoever did it met with something like this before, and was afraid to admit what they did this time?  This might be a long-shot, and probably makes no difference either way.

Hopefully this will be the end of it, and their parents will try to get the truth from the culprit instead of getting defensive.
Title: Re: Damage done to my home during a sleepover.
Post by: kherbert05 on January 04, 2013, 01:21:28 PM

I think the heads up the parents was the right thing to do.

Both boys are at an age that we see an upswing in sleepwalking in my family. (All the descendants of my great-grandparents Edwin and Isabel sleepwalk, and have night terrors). We tend to see an up swing in 1st/2nd grade, again in Middle School, and another one in University.

Contrary to another poster we do see bizarre behavior - including dog food being put in weird places like in the ice cream container in the freezer. I regularly moved all the good silver around. One cousin turned all the chairs, side tables, and coffee tables roughly 45 degrees. Kids have been found sleeping in strange places including back and front yards (now everyone has alarm systems to keep the kids indoors). Early November I was stressed out. I woke up one morning and found that I had emptied the frig and freeze in my sleep and left everything to defrost. I was not happy.
Title: Re: Damage done to my home during a sleepover.
Post by: Lynn2000 on January 04, 2013, 01:45:07 PM
I had another thought. You said the 6-year-old was very worried about the house being haunted. Is this something new he just came up with, a recurring worry with him lately, etc.? Not that I'm thinking you really need to call Ghostbusters; but could one of the older kids have been playing with/teasing him about this during the sleepover, and tricked him into thinking that a ghost had done these things while he watched, or something? Maybe when they saw how upset he was about it during your questioning, that made them even less likely to want to confess, not more.

I was just thinking this might inform future questioning... Like, if the ghost thing came out of nowhere, maybe that means someone suggested it to the 6-year-old that night, and finding out who that was might point you towards the culprit.

Or maybe I've been watching too much Poirot...
Title: Re: Damage done to my home during a sleepover.
Post by: GreenHall on January 04, 2013, 01:45:43 PM
So out of curiousity, do you have dreams where you are doing things (with as much sense as any dream has), and instead of the normal 'it just happens in your head' you act out your dream as well? 

Also after comments about the cheesecake and sleep walking, I got to thinking about assumptions.  For Dogfood, I was defaulting to wet (ICK), and inside i was thinking of like a filled cupcake - effort and neatness, and from the assumptions of the OP, done deliberately as a prank.

If it was dry food, and maybe finger pushed in, That could be 'feeding the dog' and/or 'decorating a cake', I suppose (or other things totally unrelated...maybe I should stop trying to think through the sleep-walking since I have no experience...
Title: Re: Damage done to my home during a sleepover.
Post by: Editeer on January 04, 2013, 01:56:29 PM
Could it be that the teenage girls had one or two (unauthorized) friends over, and the friends and they got carried away? Dog food in the cheesecake sounds like a teen-level prank to me.
Title: Re: Damage done to my home during a sleepover.
Post by: oopsie on January 04, 2013, 02:01:06 PM
I had another thought. You said the 6-year-old was very worried about the house being haunted. Is this something new he just came up with, a recurring worry with him lately, etc.? Not that I'm thinking you really need to call Ghostbusters; but could one of the older kids have been playing with/teasing him about this during the sleepover, and tricked him into thinking that a ghost had done these things while he watched, or something? Maybe when they saw how upset he was about it during your questioning, that made them even less likely to want to confess, not more.

I was just thinking this might inform future questioning... Like, if the ghost thing came out of nowhere, maybe that means someone suggested it to the 6-year-old that night, and finding out who that was might point you towards the culprit.

Or maybe I've been watching too much Poirot...

No, our house is only 15 years old (we bought it last year from the original owners who had it built) and DS is not usually a scaredy cat.

That morning, when we were all trying to get to the bottom of it, one of the items that had been moved had been moved AGAIN (and once again, everyone denied doing it). It was at that time that he started to get scared that we had a ghost in the house.  ::)



Title: Re: Damage done to my home during a sleepover.
Post by: TootsNYC on January 04, 2013, 02:01:46 PM

I used to sleepwalk as a child. I can tell you, with some confidence, that sleepwalkers do not put dog food in cheesecake!


Not even if they dreamed that the dogfood was frosting or baked beans, and the cheesecake was cake or a chili pot?
Title: Re: Damage done to my home during a sleepover.
Post by: Girly on January 04, 2013, 02:02:28 PM
Ok, I'm not even going to go the 'sleepwalking' route here, because that just seems so over the top (even for this forum) and OP said there have been several other sleepovers with no incidents or other sleepwalking tendencies.

Either one or more of the kids had a bit of fun and don't want to own up to it. It's what kids do. Thankfully, no one or nothing was seriously harmed.

When I was around 10, I was at my aunts house, and I found her contact lens case in the bathroom. I, of course, knew better than to play with it, but I was so intrigued I opened the case and one fell out. When my aunt came later and was looking for them, I knew I would get in trouble, so I lied and said I didn't know what happened to them. It was obviously me.... as the only other people in the house were my teenage cousin and the cat, but I steadfastly stood by my denial.

Since you have already mentioned it to their parents, my next step would be to decide how else I want to handle it. Do I want to ask the kids again? Do I want to say no more sleepovers until this has been resolved? Would I just try to watch the kids better next time? etc.

I don't know that I would trust them alone again, or maybe I would just let it drop, but that's a decision for you, as it's your family and you are the one with the family dynamics and kids' friendships to think about.

I wish you luck, and hope you can get this figured out! At the very least whenever you have sleepovers again, you can remind everyone to leave the dogfood out of the people food for breakfast!!
Title: Re: Damage done to my home during a sleepover.
Post by: oopsie on January 04, 2013, 02:04:07 PM
Could it be that the teenage girls had one or two (unauthorized) friends over, and the friends and they got carried away? Dog food in the cheesecake sounds like a teen-level prank to me.

I really doubt that my daughter would have eaten it if she were in on the joke.
Title: Re: Damage done to my home during a sleepover.
Post by: TootsNYC on January 04, 2013, 02:14:17 PM
I also wondered if one of them sleepwalked, but this reminded me of this one time I got in trouble with my mother.  I don't remember what I did, but I do remember that I was about ten years old and it was something stupid that seemed funny at the time.  My mom wasn't sure if I did it, or if my brother did it.  She promised that whoever did it would not be in trouble if they confessed, and with that promise (and feeling guilty) I confessed.  I ended up being grounded with no TV for a week because she thought my tone wasn't 'remorseful enough'.  Maybe whoever did it met with something like this before, and was afraid to admit what they did this time?  This might be a long-shot, and probably makes no difference either way.

Hopefully this will be the end of it, and their parents will try to get the truth from the culprit instead of getting defensive.

Yeah, I don't know that I'd believe a grownup who said, "no repercussions."
Title: Re: Damage done to my home during a sleepover.
Post by: JenJay on January 04, 2013, 02:25:49 PM
I also wondered if one of them sleepwalked, but this reminded me of this one time I got in trouble with my mother.  I don't remember what I did, but I do remember that I was about ten years old and it was something stupid that seemed funny at the time.  My mom wasn't sure if I did it, or if my brother did it.  She promised that whoever did it would not be in trouble if they confessed, and with that promise (and feeling guilty) I confessed.  I ended up being grounded with no TV for a week because she thought my tone wasn't 'remorseful enough'.  Maybe whoever did it met with something like this before, and was afraid to admit what they did this time?  This might be a long-shot, and probably makes no difference either way.

Hopefully this will be the end of it, and their parents will try to get the truth from the culprit instead of getting defensive.

Yeah, I don't know that I'd believe a grownup who said, "no repercussions."

DH and I have that deal with our kids. We don't promise them that there will be no consequence, but it's definitely much less than if they lie and get busted later. We'll tell them "The consequence for X, if it was you, is this. If you are lying and we find out you'll not only still get that consequence but you'll be grounded off the xbox, computer and ipod for a week." So far they've always opted to be honest but they're still young enough that the trouble hasn't been too major yet. I suppose there will come a day when getting away scot-free might be worth the gamble. lol
Title: Re: Damage done to my home during a sleepover.
Post by: yokozbornak on January 04, 2013, 02:30:53 PM
I also think sleepwalking could be a possibility (and not just limited to your nephew.  It may be anyone in the house!).  My oldest is a sleepwalker and occasionally has night terrors.  She can talk and and function, but she has no awareness of what's really going on.  Occasionally, she has thought she was in the bathroom and has tried to go in the living room. I am a night owl so I have witnessed many, many episodes.  Also, it comes and goes so she may go months without an episode. 
Title: Re: Damage done to my home during a sleepover.
Post by: kherbert05 on January 04, 2013, 02:44:25 PM
I also think sleepwalking could be a possibility (and not just limited to your nephew.  It may be anyone in the house!).  My oldest is a sleepwalker and occasionally has night terrors.  She can talk and and function, but she has no awareness of what's really going on.  Occasionally, she has thought she was in the bathroom and has tried to go in the living room. I am a night owl so I have witnessed many, many episodes.  Also, it comes and goes so she may go months without an episode. 
My sister did that - but Dad was in the arm chair (she told him to move over) he grabbed her up got her to the bathroom in time. For a long time Mom thought we were awake and doing these things as pranks. That was the first episode she witnessed - she became a believer.

Couple of parents did 'sleep walking diaries and found that the kids slept walked more on allergy or cold/flu meds. Mom pointed out that they might have been more aware of the sleepwalking at those times, because parents only half sleep when kids are sick. That meant they were more likely to woken up by the sleepwalker than other times when the parents slept soundly.
Title: Re: Damage done to my home during a sleepover.
Post by: siamesecat2965 on January 04, 2013, 02:58:42 PM
When I was around 10, I was at my aunts house, and I found her contact lens case in the bathroom. I, of course, knew better than to play with it, but I was so intrigued I opened the case and one fell out. When my aunt came later and was looking for them, I knew I would get in trouble, so I lied and said I didn't know what happened to them. It was obviously me.... as the only other people in the house were my teenage cousin and the cat, but I steadfastly stood by my denial.

 

I had something happen to me, one year, at my grandparent's house, when we were there for Christmas. I still remember it, even though its been 25+ years. My parents and I had flown from the east coast to the west, where dad was from, to spend Christmas with his family, who all lived there. We stayed with my grandparents, and the rest of the family was in and out. Grandma didn't have a dishwasher, so I was doing the dishes one day, and had taken my rings off, and put them on teh kitchen table. Including my very nice, rather pricy, college ring. The table was IN the same room, and it was small, so I didn't think anything of it.

I finished the dishes, and went to put my rings back on, maybe 10 minutes later, and all were there, except for my college ring. We looked high and low, pulled the appliances out, dumped the garbage, etc. but it was nowhere to be found. I KNOW someone had to have taken it, but I didn't know who. And all we could do is ask if anyone had seen it.  Yes, it was partially my fault for leaving them there, but I still find it interesting all but that one were still there.  To this day, it has never surfaced, even when my dad and his siblings cleaned out the house after my grandparents were gone.
Title: Re: Damage done to my home during a sleepover.
Post by: oopsie on January 04, 2013, 03:03:22 PM
I also think sleepwalking could be a possibility (and not just limited to your nephew.  It may be anyone in the house!).  My oldest is a sleepwalker and occasionally has night terrors.  She can talk and and function, but she has no awareness of what's really going on.  Occasionally, she has thought she was in the bathroom and has tried to go in the living room. I am a night owl so I have witnessed many, many episodes.  Also, it comes and goes so she may go months without an episode. 
I also think sleepwalking could be a possibility (and not just limited to your nephew.  It may be anyone in the house!).  My oldest is a sleepwalker and occasionally has night terrors.  She can talk and and function, but she has no awareness of what's really going on.  Occasionally, she has thought she was in the bathroom and has tried to go in the living room. I am a night owl so I have witnessed many, many episodes.  Also, it comes and goes so she may go months without an episode. 
My sister did that - but Dad was in the arm chair (she told him to move over) he grabbed her up got her to the bathroom in time. For a long time Mom thought we were awake and doing these things as pranks. That was the first episode she witnessed - she became a believer.

Couple of parents did 'sleep walking diaries and found that the kids slept walked more on allergy or cold/flu meds. Mom pointed out that they might have been more aware of the sleepwalking at those times, because parents only half sleep when kids are sick. That meant they were more likely to woken up by the sleepwalker than other times when the parents slept soundly.

I'm not sure if this is evidence or not but one of the other things I found (which is REALLY odd) was the dog or cat vomit that I found on my floor near the scribbles on the edge of the countertop had some of my liquid hand soap in/on it! I'm looking at it like "seriously??!" The dispenser was in its usual spot beside my kitchen sink.

Even as far as pranks would go, this just make zero sense to me...unless of course someone thought it would be funny to feed liquid hand soap to one of my animals which then caused them to vomit...?  ??? ??? ???

Edited to add:
I swear I am not making any of this up. In fact I took pictures to show my family as I was sure no one would believe me, lol!!
Title: Re: Damage done to my home during a sleepover.
Post by: Yvaine on January 04, 2013, 03:08:59 PM
I'm not sure if this is evidence or not but one of the other things I found (which is REALLY odd) was the dog or cat vomit that I found on my floor near the scribbles on the edge of the countertop had some of my liquid hand soap in/on it! I'm looking at it like "seriously??!" The dispenser was in its usual spot beside my kitchen sink.

Even as far as pranks would go, this just make zero sense to me...unless of course someone thought it would be funny to feed liquid hand soap to one of my animals which then caused them to vomit...?  ??? ??? ???


That part doesn't say "prank" to me, it says "pet horked and then kid misguidedly tried to clean it up," and by "clean" I mean "dump some soap on it and hope someone else takes care of it."
Title: Re: Damage done to my home during a sleepover.
Post by: oopsie on January 04, 2013, 03:11:17 PM
I'm not sure if this is evidence or not but one of the other things I found (which is REALLY odd) was the dog or cat vomit that I found on my floor near the scribbles on the edge of the countertop had some of my liquid hand soap in/on it! I'm looking at it like "seriously??!" The dispenser was in its usual spot beside my kitchen sink.

Even as far as pranks would go, this just make zero sense to me...unless of course someone thought it would be funny to feed liquid hand soap to one of my animals which then caused them to vomit...?  ??? ??? ???


That part doesn't say "prank" to me, it says "pet horked and then kid misguidedly tried to clean it up," and by "clean" I mean "dump some soap on it and hope someone else takes care of it."

LOL!! That's pretty much exactly what my mom said too.
Title: Re: Damage done to my home during a sleepover.
Post by: CakeBeret on January 04, 2013, 03:19:48 PM
Sometimes kids can be irrational about 'fessing up.

Once, when I was about 9, I was at a family friend's home. I washed my hands in the kitchen and dried them on a towel. A few minutes later, the mom was very upset that the towel was wet, because apparently it was an heirloom and not supposed to be used. I was shocked, and I was painfully shy at that point in my life, so I refused to confess. The mom made all of us kids sit on the couch for two hours waiting for someone to confess, and I couldn't bring myself to do it.

OP, I think mentioning it to the kids' parents is the best thing to do. It would drive me crazy not knowing, though! 
Title: Re: Damage done to my home during a sleepover.
Post by: jibby on January 04, 2013, 03:21:45 PM
...
I wouldn't rule out the girls,  honestly.  Teen girls can be bad, too.  There was a post on here last year where the OP's daughters swore up and down they had nothing to do with their uncle's house being broken into, but later it turned out they DID give friend's access to the house while their uncle was away.  As a former teenage girl, I can admit we often do stupid things and deny them, and I think we get away with it more because we lie well and I think people are predisposed to think boys do more damage than girls, and I doubt that is the case.  I like the PP's suggestions of not laying blame anywhere, just telling the facts and stating no sleepovers as a punishment for everyone.
...

I agree that it's hard to really rule out anyone; that thread popped in my head as well.  I want to say it was BalletMom.  Her daughter's deception completely tore apart their family, and the daughter wasn't even made to offer a sincere apology or effort to make it right.  It was one of the most disturbing threads I've read. 

OP said she had reason to think it was the nephew, so perhaps the threat of no more sleepovers (without actually accusing anyone) will encourage a confession.
Title: Re: Damage done to my home during a sleepover.
Post by: DollyPond on January 04, 2013, 03:22:48 PM
Maybe they had a late night game of Truth or Dare and no one wants to admit it.
Title: Re: Damage done to my home during a sleepover.
Post by: lisastitch on January 04, 2013, 03:26:48 PM
POD to JenJay.
I would talk seriously to each child individually (though you might ask their parents talk to your nieces and nephew) about what happened, how much it bothers you, how much you want to resolve it, and that it means it's hard for you to trust the children. 
Our children grew up knowing that if they did something wrong and confessed they would receive an appropriate punishment, but that if they lied about it, they received the appropriate punishment for the original infraction, plus punishment for lying about it. 
One of the things we really emphasized was that when they lied about something, we couldn't trust them, and we demonstrated what that meant ("No, I'm sorry, but you can't stay home alone while I go to the store because I can't trust you right now.").  Then they had to earn our trust again. 
Of course, if one of them was sleepwalking, they won't be able to "come clean", but I assume that you'll be alert for other possible sleepwalking episodes.
Title: Re: Damage done to my home during a sleepover.
Post by: Lynn2000 on January 04, 2013, 03:29:26 PM
I wonder if, when the answer is finally known, it will all make sense in some kind of bizarre way.

Like, kid gets up for a midnight snack of pistachios. Dog grabs the bag and starts eating them on the couch, making a mess. Kid tries to lure dog away with dog food. Dog won't fall for it, so kid tries to sweeten the pot by putting the dog food in the cheesecake. Eventually dog throws up, kid tries to "clean" it with the soap--maybe thinking the soap would dissolve it somehow? I've got nothing on the permanent marker on the counter, though, unless someone thought they could "color over" the mess?

I'm assuming there's no way it could be solely the work of the pets, right? If it weren't for the permanent marker scribblings...
Title: Re: Damage done to my home during a sleepover.
Post by: Yvaine on January 04, 2013, 03:32:47 PM
I wonder if, when the answer is finally known, it will all make sense in some kind of bizarre way.

Like, kid gets up for a midnight snack of pistachios. Dog grabs the bag and starts eating them on the couch, making a mess. Kid tries to lure dog away with dog food. Dog won't fall for it, so kid tries to sweeten the pot by putting the dog food in the cheesecake. Eventually dog throws up, kid tries to "clean" it with the soap--maybe thinking the soap would dissolve it somehow? I've got nothing on the permanent marker on the counter, though, unless someone thought they could "color over" the mess?

I'm assuming there's no way it could be solely the work of the pets, right? If it weren't for the permanent marker scribblings...

 ;D ;D ;D I like this idea--that it all makes a unified story in some way!
Title: Re: Damage done to my home during a sleepover.
Post by: oopsie on January 04, 2013, 03:34:56 PM
I wonder if, when the answer is finally known, it will all make sense in some kind of bizarre way.

Like, kid gets up for a midnight snack of pistachios. Dog grabs the bag and starts eating them on the couch, making a mess. Kid tries to lure dog away with dog food. Dog won't fall for it, so kid tries to sweeten the pot by putting the dog food in the cheesecake. Eventually dog throws up, kid tries to "clean" it with the soap--maybe thinking the soap would dissolve it somehow? I've got nothing on the permanent marker on the counter, though, unless someone thought they could "color over" the mess?

I'm assuming there's no way it could be solely the work of the pets, right? If it weren't for the permanent marker scribblings...

Yeah, like the ending to a bizarre episode of CSI. I'm going to talk to each of my kids again, one-on-one, and see if I can get any more clues or an idea to timeframe. One thing I do know is that the marker and vomit thing was done BEFORE I went to bed. I came upstairs after finishing watching movies with the girls at 1:30am and found them at that time. The other things could have been done then but I never thought to check (living room light was out so I couldn't have seen in there anyway). I checked in on both boys before I went to bed as well and both were in their beds, fast asleep.

Edited to correct spelling.
Title: Re: Damage done to my home during a sleepover.
Post by: White Lotus on January 04, 2013, 03:47:01 PM
OP has at least one dog, so not a stranger, and no visitors, or the dog would have gone off, I think, waking OP.
The damage itself leads me to suspect age 11 thinking it is funny, or trying to prank the 6 year old who is scared of poltergeists by creating one, maybe after scary bedtime stories when they were alone.  However, the plot seems a little complex for one 11 year old acting alone.  What if the teens decided to prank the youngest with a faux poltergeist, and, clever little devils, decided to make the damage of a kind that points to the 11 year old?  A sister could come up with that, and her cousins would egg her on and join in the fun.   They are all good suspects, so I think handling it the way you did -- notifying the parents, not assigning blame, and imposing equal consequences -- was both correct and courteous.  Especially since there are other, less likely but possible, causes, like sleepwalking or even mental illness, the parents might want to look out for.
Title: Re: Damage done to my home during a sleepover.
Post by: RingTailedLemur on January 04, 2013, 03:49:47 PM
The trouble is, the more time elapses the harder it gets for the kid to confess if he/she wants to.

I'm fascinated, OP, as it is a bizarre catalogue of incidents.  I hope you find out who did it - and perhaps more importantly, why.
Title: Re: Damage done to my home during a sleepover.
Post by: MrsJWine on January 04, 2013, 03:51:27 PM
I woke up once rearranging the furniture in my room. I was bent over my nightstand when I opened my eyes, fumbled for the light switch forever and found several things in my room moved around. My brother walked out to our car in the middle of South Dakota winter in nothing but his underwear and lay down to go to sleep (he likely would have died if my dad hadn't woken up when he went out the door). A friend of my sister's who had quit smoking a while ago drove to the store in her bathrobe and only her bathrobe, bought a pack of cigarettes, smoked one, and went back to bed.

So I wouldn't rule out sleepwalking, especially since it's much more common in kids. It can also come and go. I would go months without sleepwalking and then do something really bizarre. I still do it about once a year. But it seems really, really weird that all of these separate things would have happened during one sleepwalking episode, unless there were some logical progression (logical within the dream) in the person's dream.
Title: Re: Damage done to my home during a sleepover.
Post by: athersgeo on January 04, 2013, 04:12:20 PM
But it seems really, really weird that all of these separate things would have happened during one sleepwalking episode, unless there were some Illogical progression in the person's dream.
Fixed that statement; any dream that features pistachios, dog food and permanent marker does not strike me as having anything approaching logical progression! ;) (This from the woman who regularly finds herself dreaming that the penguin who lives on her PC tower is giving her employment advice - though as far as I'm aware I've never actually left my my bed to hold the conversation.)

Getting back on topic, the other thing that occurred to me was that possibly there was no one single culprit. That perhaps the teens had done the pistachios and soap-in-puke while the younger/s did the marker and the dog food-in-cheesecake.

That might explain why no one was owning up - because no ONE person did it.
Title: Re: Damage done to my home during a sleepover.
Post by: MrsJWine on January 04, 2013, 04:15:37 PM
But it seems really, really weird that all of these separate things would have happened during one sleepwalking episode, unless there were some Illogical progression in the person's dream.
Fixed that statement; any dream that features pistachios, dog food and permanent marker does not strike me as having anything approaching logical progression! ;) (This from the woman who regularly finds herself dreaming that the penguin who lives on her PC tower is giving her employment advice - though as far as I'm aware I've never actually left my my bed to hold the conversation.)

Hah! I meant logical within the dream, which, as you said, is no sort of logical at all to people who are awake and sane.
Title: Re: Damage done to my home during a sleepover. Update #52.
Post by: bonyk on January 04, 2013, 04:21:40 PM
Maybe the perp put dog food on the cheesecake to get the dog to eat it, and the dog ate it and threw up?  And then the child tried to clean it?  No marker explanation.

Kids (even teens) do weird stuff that they know they should not.  I can think of a few things I did that I've since confessed to my parents as an adult.  They were mostly happy to have the mysteries solved.   ;D
Title: Re: Damage done to my home during a sleepover.
Post by: RingTailedLemur on January 04, 2013, 04:30:25 PM
...
I wouldn't rule out the girls,  honestly.  Teen girls can be bad, too.  There was a post on here last year where the OP's daughters swore up and down they had nothing to do with their uncle's house being broken into, but later it turned out they DID give friend's access to the house while their uncle was away.  As a former teenage girl, I can admit we often do stupid things and deny them, and I think we get away with it more because we lie well and I think people are predisposed to think boys do more damage than girls, and I doubt that is the case.  I like the PP's suggestions of not laying blame anywhere, just telling the facts and stating no sleepovers as a punishment for everyone.
...

I agree that it's hard to really rule out anyone; that thread popped in my head as well.  I want to say it was BalletMom.  Her daughter's deception completely tore apart their family, and the daughter wasn't even made to offer a sincere apology or effort to make it right.  It was one of the most disturbing threads I've read. 

OP said she had reason to think it was the nephew, so perhaps the threat of no more sleepovers (without actually accusing anyone) will encourage a confession.

Really?  Wow.  I remember the original thread (I just looked at it again) but I didn't recall that the DD admitted she had done it, after all.  Wow.
Title: Re: Damage done to my home during a sleepover. Update #52.
Post by: DottyG on January 04, 2013, 04:34:48 PM
Could you link to that thread?  I vaguely remember it, but I'm not remembering all of it.

Title: Re: Damage done to my home during a sleepover. Update #52.
Post by: Queen of Clubs on January 04, 2013, 04:41:12 PM
Really?  Wow.  I remember the original thread (I just looked at it again) but I didn't recall that the DD admitted she had done it, after all.  Wow.

If I remember rightly, the follow up thread (about Balletmom's indignation that the uncle wouldn't forgive her DD) was deleted.

OP, I think you were right to mention it to the other children's parents.  If you were with the girls watching movies and none of the girls went upstairs before you found the pet sick etc., then I can understand why you're convinced it's your nephew.  I hope you get the mystery cleared up somehow.
Title: Re: Damage done to my home during a sleepover. Update #52.
Post by: PurpleyBlue on January 04, 2013, 04:42:31 PM
Really?  Wow.  I remember the original thread (I just looked at it again) but I didn't recall that the DD admitted she had done it, after all.  Wow.

If I remember rightly, the follow up thread (about Balletmom's indignation that the uncle wouldn't forgive her DD) was deleted.

OP, I think you were right to mention it to the other children's parents.  If you were with the girls watching movies and none of the girls went upstairs before you found the pet sick etc., then I can understand why you're convinced it's your nephew.  I hope you get the mystery cleared up somehow.

Yes, it was deleted.  Here's the original thread though:

http://www.etiquettehell.com/smf/index.php?topic=81277.0 (http://www.etiquettehell.com/smf/index.php?topic=81277.0)
Title: Re: Damage done to my home during a sleepover. Update #52.
Post by: RingTailedLemur on January 04, 2013, 04:43:10 PM
Could you link to that thread?  I vaguely remember it, but I'm not remembering all of it.

http://www.etiquettehell.com/smf/index.php?topic=81277.msg1930103#msg1930103
Title: Re: Damage done to my home during a sleepover. Update #52.
Post by: oopsie on January 04, 2013, 04:49:27 PM
I just spoke to DD and DS again. Here is what I know:

 - Girls and I came upstairs at around 9:30pm to get some snacks. Nephew was coming out of the bathroom. I offered some to him and took it in to DS's room where I found DS in bed under the covers and the lights out. DS later told me that he did hear me come in and they then turned on the light and the tv, got themselves some drinks and picked at the popcorn.

 - Vomit/hand soap thing and red marker on counter top happened sometime between when DH left for work at 10:30pm (he was on midnight shift) and 1:30am when I went to bed. This definitely was not the girls as I was with them the whole time.

 - DS and nephew came downstairs sometime between 10:30-11:00pm to ask us to turn the movie down (DS's room is right above our family room in basement).

 - DS said that after that, they went back to his room where DS fell back asleep and nephew played his Nintendo DS.

 - About 30 minutes to an hour later, I heard motion upstairs and I remember thinking to myself that the boys must still be awake and expected to see them coming downstairs to watch the movie with us. They never did.

 - Not long after that, at around 11:30pm, as I was downstairs with DD and her teenage cousins, still watching movies, we all heard the dog howling upstairs. We all looked at each other and wondered what was wrong with him. DD went upstairs, saw him waiting at the patio doors and just figuring he really needed out badly, let him out. She did not see anyone or notice anything else unusual.

 - DD said that after I went to bed, her and her cousins watched a couple more hours of TV and then fell asleep. To the best of her knowledge, none of them went upstairs after I left to go to bed except for herself who got up in the morning to use the washroom (and to grab that bite of cheesecake).

 - DS said he and nephew set his alarm clock so that they could wake up the girls in the morning. He said they ate some bagels and cream cheese for breakfast, played outside for a bit, played a prank on his oldest cousin (they put snow in her socks which DS admitted without hesitation was his idea).

 - DS said he noticed the pistachios on the couch in the morning and mentioned it to nephew who said that it must have been the girls.


When I spoke with DD and DS, neither were nervous or had any inconsistencies in their story whatsoever. It could be that they are duping me (or that they are all of a sudden destructive sleepwalkers) but again, my gut tells me they are telling me the truth.

Personally, I still think nephew did it (as DH pointed out, he has a history of grand storytelling almost to the point of being a liar) and I think he did it after DS fell asleep and before I came upstairs, likely around the time I heard the motion and the dog started acting up. Whether or not he was sleepwalking while doing it, I guess will remain a mystery...?

Still no response from their mother to my email.


Title: Re: Damage done to my home during a sleepover.
Post by: bloo on January 05, 2013, 07:24:28 AM
Sometimes kids can be irrational about 'fessing up.

Once, when I was about 9, I was at a family friend's home. I washed my hands in the kitchen and dried them on a towel. A few minutes later, the mom was very upset that the towel was wet, because apparently it was an heirloom and not supposed to be used. I was shocked, and I was painfully shy at that point in my life, so I refused to confess. The mom made all of us kids sit on the couch for two hours waiting for someone to confess, and I couldn't bring myself to do it.

OP, I think mentioning it to the kids' parents is the best thing to do. It would drive me crazy not knowing, though!

I've followed this thread with interest, but find myself sidetracked by your post, CakeBeret!

I could understand your viewpoint of mentioning the incident to the kids' parents. In your case, it would've gone like this maybe:

FamilyFriendMom: I just wanted to let you know that earlier we had an incident here. One of the kids wiped their hands on a heirloom towel in my kitchen. I've had them sat down for the last two hours and NONE of them have yet to confess. We may have to suspend playdates.

CakeBeretMom:  :o So to clarify, what must've happened is one of the kids washed his hands in your kitchen and dried them off on a towel? Uh...okay. Suspending playdates sounds like a good idea. ::)

I'm not in anyway comparing this to OP's situation (I'd want to get to the bottom of it as well), but your FFM seems...OCDish?Yikes. Was it ever mentioned to your parents?
Title: Re: Damage done to my home during a sleepover. Update reply #52 & #64.
Post by: Piratelvr1121 on January 05, 2013, 08:25:58 AM
If I had been Cakeeater's mother I might have asked the mother "Well, did you tell the girls not to touch that towel?" because it was out, where towels would be usually kept that are meant for drying hands, and if no other option was available, what are they supposed to do?

Yeah, I would have no objection to permanently suspending playdates at that house...
Title: Re: Damage done to my home during a sleepover. Update reply #52 & #64.
Post by: oopsie on January 05, 2013, 08:45:10 AM
.

Title: Re: Damage done to my home during a sleepover. Update #52 & #64, mom's reply #67
Post by: NyaChan on January 05, 2013, 08:51:37 AM
I don't know why, but her response kind of bugs me.  Maybe because it seems so flippant, like it is a joke?
Title: Re: Damage done to my home during a sleepover. Update #52 & #64, mom's reply #67
Post by: Isisnin on January 05, 2013, 08:57:19 AM
What an odd reply!  1st she says she thought it was you, then she goes on about ghosts.  Is she usually like this?

How do you feel about this reply?  do you feel like letting this email and chain events go now?  Or responding to her to clarify to her that you are concerned about what happened and want to discuss with her how to handle to ensure similar events don't happen in the future?

Title: Re: Damage done to my home during a sleepover. Update #52 & #64, mom's reply #67
Post by: RingTailedLemur on January 05, 2013, 08:58:27 AM
I don't know why, but her response kind of bugs me.  Maybe because it seems so flippant, like it is a joke?

Or because it falls foul of Occam's Razor?

Sorry, but I don't know whether to laugh or face palm at that response.
Title: Re: Damage done to my home during a sleepover. Update #52 & #64, mom's reply #67
Post by: CakeBeret on January 05, 2013, 09:02:33 AM
I don't know why, but her response kind of bugs me.  Maybe because it seems so flippant, like it is a joke?

Uh, yeah. "Surely it wasn't one of my little angels - must have been a poltergeist!"

Title: Re: Damage done to my home during a sleepover. Update #52 & #64, mom's reply #67
Post by: violinp on January 05, 2013, 09:03:18 AM
I don't know why, but her response kind of bugs me.  Maybe because it seems so flippant, like it is a joke?

Or because it falls foul of Occam's Razor?

Sorry, but I don't know whether to laugh or face palm at that response.

Same here. That's so strange.
Title: Re: Damage done to my home during a sleepover. Update #52 & #64, mom's reply #67
Post by: peaches on January 05, 2013, 09:08:06 AM
I would tell her "Since our house is haunted, future sleepovers can be at your house".
Title: Re: Damage done to my home during a sleepover. Update #52 & #64, mom's reply #67
Post by: oopsie on January 05, 2013, 09:09:16 AM
What an odd reply!  1st she says she thought it was you, then she goes on about ghosts.  Is she usually like this?

How do you feel about this reply?  do you feel like letting this email and chain events go now?  Or responding to her to clarify to her that you are concerned about what happened and want to discuss with her how to handle to ensure similar events don't happen in the future?

Honestly, I'm not entirely surprised. This is the same woman referenced in this thread:

http://www.etiquettehell.com/smf/index.php?topic=123848.0

I still hadn't decided for absolute certain whether I was going to back out on the vacation or not but I think her reply to this matter may have clinched it.

DH really doesn't like this woman at all and never really has (it's his brother's ex-wife). He says not to even bother replying. What could I possibly say in response to this? He also said that those kids must have it really easy over there. They never do anything wrong...it was a ghost!
Title: Re: Damage done to my home during a sleepover. Update #52 & #64, mom's reply #67
Post by: Hillia on January 05, 2013, 09:13:13 AM
Reminds me of those Family Circus cartoons where there's always a little ghost named Not Me or Ida Know when the parents are trying to get to the bottom of something.
Title: Re: Damage done to my home during a sleepover. Update reply #52 & #64.
Post by: Lynn2000 on January 05, 2013, 09:17:07 AM
You do come up with brilliant out of the box ideas, so I'm on the fence with this one.  The other thing is I don't think any of the children would have done the stuff that had happened.  They might play tricksters sometimes, but they wouldn't mess with your house (hopefully). 

Count me as someone else who finds her reply odd. At least she didn't get angry... ? The part I don't like is what I've left above. She says she thought you were playing a trick on the kids, okay, fair enough I guess, but then when you tell her it wasn't you, she's like "I'm on the fence with this one"? Does she still seriously think you might have done it, and are just extending the joke to her? And then she goes on to say she doesn't think it could be any of the kids... so who would that leave? I was assuming her "ghost" comments were joking, but if she doesn't think it was the kids or you... what's her idea?

I think I would reply to let her know that indeed, it happened, I don't know who did it, and I'm upset about it. Also, I noticed in your email to her you didn't say you were suspending the sleepovers until this is resolved. If that's indeed what you've decided to do (which I personally think is a good idea), I would be sure to tell her that in your reply. Maybe that would make her take it a bit more seriously, and finally get her to realize you're not just playing some prank on everyone. PP have suggested good phrasing for that--I think one was, "We won't be doing anymore sleepovers for the time being, as the kids can't seem to behave when they're together." That doesn't point out any one kid, or her kids, as those at fault. From the timeline of events you posted earlier, I can see why you thought it was the nephew, though!

Maybe I'm being silly with this, but she talked about ghosts a lot in her email, and I think you said the 6-year-old just came up with this ghost fear suddenly. It really makes me wonder if they've been talking about ghosts at her house a lot lately for some reason, and that gave someone (nephew?) the idea to prank your son with a ghost story and some "ghost" evidence. Maybe he talked to your son about ghosts, then was going to produce the evidence but your son fell asleep first. Red marker scribblings on the countertop could be someone's simulation of "writing in blood," mwhahahahaha...

Some of the other stuff, I still wonder if one of the pets could have done it. Obviously it was one of the pets who threw up; that might have had nothing to do with anything else, except someone made a lame attempt to "clean it up" with the soap. Could one of the pets have gotten into the pistachios and found they didn't agree with them?
Title: Re: Damage done to my home during a sleepover. Update #52 & #64, mom's reply #67
Post by: Sharnita on January 05, 2013, 09:25:04 AM
You said the 11 yo tells fantastical stories, almost to the point of lying. My guess  is that  he believes every word  and that his mom is his source material.
Title: Re: Damage done to my home during a sleepover. Update #52 & #64, mom's reply #67
Post by: Isisnin on January 05, 2013, 09:26:11 AM
 oopsie, your DH is wise.  Don't bother to respond.

When the cousins sleep over again, you could tell them that that behavior is not to be repeated - clean up after oneself, property is not to be damaged, and don't mess with food as people can get sick.

Instead of a long vacation with the cousins, y'all could day-cation to parks, etc. nearby a couple times.

Reminds me of those Family Circus cartoons where there's always a little ghost named Not Me or Ida Know when the parents are trying to get to the bottom of something.

I've missed Not Me and Ida Know!  That's where they are - ex-SIL's house!!
Title: Re: Damage done to my home during a sleepover. Update #52 & #64, mom's reply #67
Post by: oopsie on January 05, 2013, 09:42:15 AM
oopsie, your DH is wise.  Don't bother to respond.

I agree. I just don't see the point. We are at an impasse. I could no more convince her that it was one of the kids that did it than she could convince me it was a ghost.
Title: Re: Damage done to my home during a sleepover. Update #52 & #64, mom's reply #67
Post by: lady_disdain on January 05, 2013, 09:45:02 AM
You said the 11 yo tells fantastical stories, almost to the point of lying. My guess  is that  he believes every word  and that his mom is his source material.

Yup and it explains why the OP's son is now worried about ghosts in his house.
Title: Re: Damage done to my home during a sleepover. Update #52 & #64, mom's reply #67
Post by: Talley on January 05, 2013, 09:47:13 AM
Coming late to this thread, but I have to say the reply from cousins' mom strikes me as weird...  ???

Now, I do believe in ghosts, but... I'm kind of scratching my head here. Does the mom usually believe in ghosts? Has something like this come up before? I am kind of wondering if perhaps such things have, in fact, happened at her house, and she has explained them away as 'ghosts', because she doesn't think that any of her kids would do such a thing? Other than that, I've got nothing.  :-\
Title: Re: Damage done to my home during a sleepover. Update #52 & #64, mom's reply #67
Post by: oopsie on January 05, 2013, 09:55:45 AM
Coming late to this thread, but I have to say the reply from cousins' mom strikes me as weird...  ???

Now, I do believe in ghosts, but... I'm kind of scratching my head here. Does the mom usually believe in ghosts? Has something like this come up before? I am kind of wondering if perhaps such things have, in fact, happened at her house, and she has explained them away as 'ghosts', because she doesn't think that any of her kids would do such a thing? Other than that, I've got nothing.  :-\

Based on her reply to me and giving me the 411 on types of ghosts, I would guess that she does. She also said "You know, because I have extensive knowledge of this" I wasn't sure if she was being sarcastic or ironic or dead serious. It's not something we've ever discussed before.
Title: Re: Damage done to my home during a sleepover. Update #52 & #64, mom's reply #67
Post by: HorseFreak on January 05, 2013, 10:01:57 AM
I had a friend when I was 9 years old who was a pathological liar. Her mother completely ignored her fantastic stories about keeping her pregnant hamster in the minivan and had no response when I asked if she was really going to charge me to use the bathroom as her daughter had informed me. These were just the tip of the iceberg and I honestly don't think the mom cared all that much or believed her princess was doing/saying all these crazy things.

Personally, I would just suspend sleepovers for now as I doubt mom will ever admit that her kids are anything but angels. You probably will never get a confession out of any of them. Heck, my brother took 20 years to finally own up to cutting off the cat's whiskers when we were kids!
Title: Re: Damage done to my home during a sleepover. Update #52 & #64, mom's reply #67
Post by: Snooks on January 05, 2013, 10:02:19 AM
Very strange reply, I'm with everyone else, just disengage with her and stop sleepovers.
Title: Re: Damage done to my home during a sleepover. Update #52 & #64, mom's reply #67
Post by: oopsie on January 05, 2013, 10:05:54 AM
I had a friend when I was 9 years old who was a pathological liar. Her mother completely ignored her fantastic stories about keeping her pregnant hamster in the minivan and had no response when I asked if she was really going to charge me to use the bathroom as her daughter had informed me. These were just the tip of the iceberg and I honestly don't think the mom cared all that much or believed her princess was doing/saying all these crazy things.

Personally, I would just suspend sleepovers for now as I doubt mom will ever admit that her kids are anything but angels. You probably will never get a confession out of any of them. Heck, my brother took 20 years to finally own up to cutting off the cat's whiskers when we were kids!

This describes nephew to a T. He once told me all about their trip to play mini golf and he rode a Bowser ride from Super Mario Bros and was describing it in complete detail with sound effects to boot. I turned to one of his sisters and asked "when did you guys go to play mini golf?" and she replied "we didn't. None of that actually happened."
Title: Re: Damage done to my home during a sleepover. Update #52 & #64, mom's reply #67
Post by: Talley on January 05, 2013, 10:08:33 AM
Coming late to this thread, but I have to say the reply from cousins' mom strikes me as weird...  ???

Now, I do believe in ghosts, but... I'm kind of scratching my head here. Does the mom usually believe in ghosts? Has something like this come up before? I am kind of wondering if perhaps such things have, in fact, happened at her house, and she has explained them away as 'ghosts', because she doesn't think that any of her kids would do such a thing? Other than that, I've got nothing.  :-\

Based on her reply to me and giving me the 411 on types of ghosts, I would guess that she does. She also said "You know, because I have extensive knowledge of this" I wasn't sure if she was being sarcastic or ironic or dead serious. It's not something we've ever discussed before.
Since she wrote that she has knowledge of ghostly activities, I would be tempted to ask her if something like this has happened at her house before. But I am not sure that this would be a good idea. This might be a can of worms that better stay closed.

On the other hand, if you found out that stuff like this has happened at the mom's house (and while the kids were at home) - how big are the odds that both your places are 'haunted' like this?

It might be best, though, not to reply and just not do sleepovers anymore...
Title: Re: Damage done to my home during a sleepover. Update #52 & #64, mom's reply #67
Post by: zyrs on January 05, 2013, 10:10:06 AM
Coming in a little late, but this gives you the perfect reason for canceling the vacation together;  "What with the price of ghost-proofing the house, the trip we planned isn't feasible anymore.  Plus, we wouldn't want it following us to another location and causing problems for other people.  That would be rude of us."

edited to change a poltergeist into a ghost.





Title: Re: Damage done to my home during a sleepover. Update #52 & #64, mom's reply #67
Post by: oopsie on January 05, 2013, 10:34:45 AM
Coming in a little late, but this gives you the perfect reason for canceling the vacation together;  "What with the price of ghost-proofing the house, the trip we planned isn't feasible anymore.  Plus, we wouldn't want it following us to another location and causing problems for other people.  That would be rude of us."
edited to change a poltergeist into a ghost.

I love it! Could I really do this or would I burn in e-hell?  >:D
Title: Re: Damage done to my home during a sleepover. Update #52 & #64, mom's reply #67
Post by: sevenday on January 05, 2013, 10:45:30 AM
I think the only thing you CAN do is just quietly drop it.  The next time a sleepover opportunity comes, either have it at THEIR house, or sit the kids down - ALL of them! - and say, "Look, what happened last time - you remember, the pistachios, the magic marker, etc - WILL NOT repeat itself this time, or there will be no more sleepovers at all."  If someone goes "But it was a ghost," you can just say, "Well then you guys had better keep a close eye out for this ghost, and if you see it, tell them to knock it off." 

For your six year old, gently point out that he's been living here however long, and there was no sign of this ghost until that sleepover, which means that the 'ghost' is one of the three cousins, most likely the boy for the reasons you've described already.  If he asks why the cousin would lie and say it's a ghost, explain that the cousin was afraid of getting in trouble so he wouldn't admit that he did it, just like he (The six year old) might lie if he accidentally broke something.  You could turn it into a life lesson about lying and such.
Title: Re: Damage done to my home during a sleepover. Update #52 & #64, mom's reply #67
Post by: JenJay on January 05, 2013, 11:07:00 AM
I think the only thing you CAN do is just quietly drop it.  The next time a sleepover opportunity comes, either have it at THEIR house, or sit the kids down - ALL of them! - and say, "Look, what happened last time - you remember, the pistachios, the magic marker, etc - WILL NOT repeat itself this time, or there will be no more sleepovers at all."  If someone goes "But it was a ghost," you can just say, "Well then you guys had better keep a close eye out for this ghost, and if you see it, tell them to knock it off." 

For your six year old, gently point out that he's been living here however long, and there was no sign of this ghost until that sleepover, which means that the 'ghost' is one of the three cousins, most likely the boy for the reasons you've described already.  If he asks why the cousin would lie and say it's a ghost, explain that the cousin was afraid of getting in trouble so he wouldn't admit that he did it, just like he (The six year old) might lie if he accidentally broke something.  You could turn it into a life lesson about lying and such.

I agree completely. You will never get one of the cousins to admit it was them now that their mom is backing the ghost story. If you want to suspend sleepovers for awhile this incident is the perfect reason. If you don't, sit them all down and give them the "This is behind us now, however, if it happens again there will be NO more sleepovers. Zero. Period. Got it?!" talk.
Title: Re: Damage done to my home during a sleepover. Update #52 & #64, mom's reply #67
Post by: Giggity on January 05, 2013, 11:08:52 AM
Ghosts? Oh please. Yeah, no more sleepovers.
Title: Re: Damage done to my home during a sleepover. Update #52 & #64, mom's reply #67
Post by: Jones on January 05, 2013, 11:18:06 AM
**blink, blink**

I believe in ghosts too, but I did not see that coming. Wow.

ETA: If she asks in the future why you are no longer inviting her children over, would you be comfortable suggesting that since there have been no other signs of a poltergeist, you have to assume it's haunting one of her children and therefore inviting said children over would be asking for trouble?
Title: Re: Damage done to my home during a sleepover. Update #52 & #64, mom's reply #67
Post by: snowdragon on January 05, 2013, 11:24:48 AM
Not only would I not allow sleep overs with these kids at my home again, I would not allow these kids to come over again.  If I can't trust you, I can't trust you and you are no longer welcome. IF you want to visit at all - go there or to a neutral location.
Title: Re: Damage done to my home during a sleepover. Update #52 & #64, mom's reply #67
Post by: oopsie on January 05, 2013, 11:39:39 AM
The sleepover thing is very one sided. Actually, the relationship as a whole is very one sided. She or their father has not had my kids over for a sleepover, or much else other than general birthday parties (and sometimes not even then).

Their mother is also one of those people who believes her kids are a "package deal" lest anyone's feelings get hurt so I can never just invite the girls over for my DD's sake. That's a whole different issue though.
Title: Re: Damage done to my home during a sleepover. Update #52 & #64, mom's reply #67
Post by: snowdragon on January 05, 2013, 11:42:45 AM
The sleepover thing is very one sided. Actually, the relationship as a whole is very one sided. She or their father has not had my kids over for a sleepover, or much else other than general birthday parties (and sometimes not even then).

Their mother is also one of those people who believes her kids are a "package deal" lest anyone's feelings get hurt so I can never just invite the girls over for my DD's sake. That's a whole different issue though.

Then I would not have the girls over and explain to DD that since this happened you need to make sure that it never happens again and that auntie feels that the girls can't come alone, with out the boy = none of them can come.  But if you have them over again - you need to be prepared for worse to happen since they have been backed by their mother in their "innocence"
 
Title: Re: Damage done to my home during a sleepover. Update #52 & #64, mom's reply #67
Post by: Harriet Jones on January 05, 2013, 11:45:37 AM
I guess the kids are a package deal since it gives the mom a break from the "ghost" in their house.  ::)
Title: Re: Damage done to my home during a sleepover. Update #52 & #64, mom's reply #67
Post by: Jaelle on January 05, 2013, 11:47:36 AM
I had a friend when I was 9 years old who was a pathological liar. Her mother completely ignored her fantastic stories about keeping her pregnant hamster in the minivan and had no response when I asked if she was really going to charge me to use the bathroom as her daughter had informed me. These were just the tip of the iceberg and I honestly don't think the mom cared all that much or believed her princess was doing/saying all these crazy things.

Personally, I would just suspend sleepovers for now as I doubt mom will ever admit that her kids are anything but angels. You probably will never get a confession out of any of them. Heck, my brother took 20 years to finally own up to cutting off the cat's whiskers when we were kids!

This describes nephew to a T. He once told me all about their trip to play mini golf and he rode a Bowser ride from Super Mario Bros and was describing it in complete detail with sound effects to boot. I turned to one of his sisters and asked "when did you guys go to play mini golf?" and she replied "we didn't. None of that actually happened."

Just as a note. This doesn't mean they're necessarily bad kids. (It depends how the stories are used, of course.) My brother did this sort of thing when he was little. He'd earnestly tell people intricate, elaborate stories about how we went here and did this ... when we really didn't do any or it. He was a good enough storyteller even at an early age that he was usually believed! Just had a really good imagination ... I think he believed some of them himself!

He's 30, a respected high school teacher and about to get married now. Kid turned out OK. :D
Title: Re: Damage done to my home during a sleepover. Update #52 & #64, mom's reply #67
Post by: LeveeWoman on January 05, 2013, 12:00:11 PM
I can  just see her in a future juvenile court hearing explaining to the judge that it's not her son's fault but a ghost's fault.
Title: Re: Damage done to my home during a sleepover.
Post by: gramma dishes on January 05, 2013, 12:15:04 PM
...   My mom wasn't sure if I did it, or if my brother did it.  She promised that whoever did it would not be in trouble if they confessed, and with that promise (and feeling guilty) I confessed.  I ended up being grounded with no TV for a week because she thought my tone wasn't 'remorseful enough'.  ...

Way to ensure that no one ever EVER confesses to anything again!!   :(
Title: Re: Damage done to my home during a sleepover. Update #52 & #64, mom's reply #67
Post by: MariaE on January 05, 2013, 01:27:01 PM
Ghosts? Oh please. Yeah, no more sleepovers.
I agree. I had no idea people over the age of 12 still believed in ghosts. I figured it was something like Santa or the Boogeyman that you eventually grew out of seriously believing in.

The more you know...
Title: Re: Damage done to my home during a sleepover. Update #52 & #64, mom's reply #67
Post by: violinp on January 05, 2013, 01:36:35 PM
Ghosts? Oh please. Yeah, no more sleepovers.
I agree. I had no idea people over the age of 12 still believed in ghosts. I figured it was something like Santa or the Boogeyman that you eventually grew out of seriously believing in.

The more you know...

Hey, now. Believing in the supernatural doesn't mean you blame misbehavior thereon. I believe quite firmly in ghosts, and I think the mother of these children is being utterly ridiculous.
Title: Re: Damage done to my home during a sleepover. Update #52 & #64, mom's reply #67
Post by: BarensMom on January 05, 2013, 01:40:36 PM
I agree with the PP's who said no more sleepovers.  According to most ghost lore, Poltergeists ::) often attach themselves to prepubescent children, so you can tell your EXSIL that you don't want it to  transfer to one of your children, hence no more sleepovers until everyone is past puberty (in other words, NEVER).
Title: Re: Damage done to my home during a sleepover. Update #52 & #64, mom's reply #67
Post by: MariaE on January 05, 2013, 01:42:05 PM
Ghosts? Oh please. Yeah, no more sleepovers.
I agree. I had no idea people over the age of 12 still believed in ghosts. I figured it was something like Santa or the Boogeyman that you eventually grew out of seriously believing in.

The more you know...

There are many cultures in the world that believe in spirits and ghosts and I think it's a little rude to dismiss those beliefs as childish.

I never dismissed them as being childish. I honestly did not know until this thread that some adults believed in them. As in, my jaw dropped twice when I read the mom's response. First because I thought it was an incredibly rude way of having the OP on, then because I figured out she wasn't having the OP on, but was actually being serious.

I didn't mean to imply that I thought everybody who believed in ghosts would act the way the mom did, and I apologize if it came across that way.
Title: Re: Damage done to my home during a sleepover. Update #52 & #64, mom's reply #67
Post by: AustenFan on January 05, 2013, 01:52:16 PM
The fact of the matter is that any of the kids could have done this and there is no real proof that it was nephew instead of one of the others.  Cousin's mom is declaring the innocence of her children just as vehemently as oopsie is declaring the innocence of her own.  So why is everyone so quick to jump on Cousin's mom when, to me, the two are arguing the same point: that their kid didn't do it.  Without proof it doesn't seem fair to me that nephew is painted as the bad guy.

POD. Suspicion is not proof, and since Balletmoms thread was a perfect example of how trigger happy parents can be when they feel their kids have been unfairly accused I really wonder why posters have been so quick to jump on SIL.
Title: Re: Damage done to my home during a sleepover. Update #52 & #64, mom's reply #67
Post by: oopsie on January 05, 2013, 02:24:41 PM
The fact of the matter is that any of the kids could have done this and there is no real proof that it was nephew instead of one of the others.  Cousin's mom is declaring the innocence of her children just as vehemently as oopsie is declaring the innocence of her own.  So why is everyone so quick to jump on Cousin's mom when, to me, the two are arguing the same point: that their kid didn't do it.  Without proof it doesn't seem fair to me that nephew is painted as the bad guy.

POD. Suspicion is not proof, and since Balletmoms thread was a perfect example of how trigger happy parents can be when they feel their kids have been unfairly accused I really wonder why posters have been so quick to jump on SIL.

Yes, I admit that it is technically possible that any of the kids could have done this (even my own) which is why, despite my suspicions, I didn't place blame on anyone or anything in my email to cousins' mom.

I think that in this situation, a response that would have been more appropriate would be something like "I'm sorry that happened. I certainly hope that it wasn't my children who did it (I don't think they would have as I raised them to know better than that). Regardless, I will have a chat with them about it just incase."

That's how I would have handled it anyway if the roles were reversed. To pretty much dismiss it altogether by placing the blame on a ghost seems like a cop out - whether you genuinely believe in them or not.
Title: Re: Damage done to my home during a sleepover. Update #52 & #64, mom's reply #67
Post by: RingTailedLemur on January 05, 2013, 02:38:44 PM
Whether ghosts exist or not, blaming one shouldn't be the first response when there is a mundane explanation possible.
Title: Re: Damage done to my home during a sleepover. Update #52 & #64, mom's reply #67
Post by: AmethystAnne on January 05, 2013, 02:42:18 PM
OP, were you able to remove the marker mess from the counter top?
Title: Re: Damage done to my home during a sleepover. Update #52 & #64, mom's reply #67
Post by: m2kbug on January 05, 2013, 02:43:09 PM

Yes, I admit that it is technically possible that any of the kids could have done this (even my own) which is why, despite my suspicions, I didn't place blame on anyone or anything in my email to cousins' mom.

I think that in this situation, a response that would have been more appropriate would be something like "I'm sorry that happened. I certainly hope that it wasn't my children who did it (I don't think they would have as I raised them to know better than that). Regardless, I will have a chat with them about it just incase."

That's how I would have handled it anyway if the roles were reversed. To pretty much dismiss it altogether by placing the blame on a ghost seems like a cop out - whether you genuinely believe in them or not.

Oopsie, this is pretty much what I would have said if I was in this spot.  When she first mentioned the ghost, I thought she was joking, because I think all of us have encountered the "wasn't me" ghost.   :)  But to place full blame on one? 
Title: Re: Damage done to my home during a sleepover. Update #52 & #64, mom's reply #67
Post by: RingTailedLemur on January 05, 2013, 02:45:19 PM

Yes, I admit that it is technically possible that any of the kids could have done this (even my own) which is why, despite my suspicions, I didn't place blame on anyone or anything in my email to cousins' mom.

I think that in this situation, a response that would have been more appropriate would be something like "I'm sorry that happened. I certainly hope that it wasn't my children who did it (I don't think they would have as I raised them to know better than that). Regardless, I will have a chat with them about it just incase."

That's how I would have handled it anyway if the roles were reversed. To pretty much dismiss it altogether by placing the blame on a ghost seems like a cop out - whether you genuinely believe in them or not.

Oopsie, this is pretty much what I would have said if I was in this spot.  When she first mentioned the ghost, I thought she was joking, because I think all of us have encountered the "wasn't me" ghost.   :)  But to place full blame on one?

When I was a small child I blamed the "scribble fairy"...
Title: Re: Damage done to my home during a sleepover. Update #52 & #64, mom's reply #67
Post by: JenJay on January 05, 2013, 02:46:56 PM
Ghosts? Oh please. Yeah, no more sleepovers.
I agree. I had no idea people over the age of 12 still believed in ghosts. I figured it was something like Santa or the Boogeyman that you eventually grew out of seriously believing in.

The more you know...

I didn't start believing in ghosts until I was 22. Heck, I'm still not sure what I saw. I can tell you this - she hadn't been there a moment before, she wasn't there a moment later, and I wasn't the only one who saw her (or else I'd be convinced I imagined it).  :)

That said I'd still be 99.9% more likely to blame any middle of the night weirdness on my kids. I have a feeling this SIL's ghost coincidentally takes a break whenever her son isn't at home. I bet, if it was him, he thought OP's household would get a kick out of the "ghost" like his mom obviously does.
Title: Re: Damage done to my home during a sleepover. Update #52 & #64, mom's reply #67
Post by: gramma dishes on January 05, 2013, 02:47:59 PM
OP, were you able to remove the marker mess from the counter top?

...   In the end, there was no permanent damage done (thankfully, I was able to remove the permanent marker from my counter using magic eraser)   ...
Title: Re: Damage done to my home during a sleepover. Update #52 & #64, mom's reply #67
Post by: oopsie on January 05, 2013, 02:50:42 PM
OP, were you able to remove the marker mess from the counter top?

Yes, magic eraser is a beautiful thing and pretty much the only reason why heads did not roll. It would not have worked if "the ghost" had decided to write on my new couch instead though.
Title: Re: Damage done to my home during a sleepover. Update #52 & #64, mom's reply #67
Post by: AmethystAnne on January 05, 2013, 02:51:30 PM
Thank you, gramma dishes! I missed that.

Oh good. Magic erasers are truly magic!  ;D
Title: Re: Damage done to my home during a sleepover. Update #52 & #64, mom's reply #67
Post by: AmethystAnne on January 05, 2013, 02:53:11 PM
OP, sorry, I had missed that. Those Magic Erasers are great!
Title: Re: Damage done to my home during a sleepover. Update #52 & #64, mom's reply #67
Post by: Sophia on January 05, 2013, 03:01:58 PM
I have never in my life said this before...

CRUD MONKEYS!!

Seems like one response is needed.  To announce that there will be no vacation and no more sleepovers.  Woman is a whack-a-doo. 
Title: Re: Damage done to my home during a sleepover. Update #52 & #64, mom's reply #67
Post by: kudeebee on January 05, 2013, 03:25:37 PM
I would not do anymore sleepovers with the cousins. Meet them instead at a park or the mall or mini golf or a movie==each family paying their own way of course.

If the subject of a sleepover is brought up, say something along the lines of "There won't be any more sleepovers due to what happened at the last one."  Repeat, repeat, repeat.  No explanations, excuses, promises, etc.

I would also cancel the vacation with this family.  In the other thread you said your kids don't want to go back to dw, so that is the perfect out.  Give exsil a list of websites if she wants to plan her own vacation.  I would also be leery of taking the cousins with me on an extended vacation.  Do stuff around your home location with them instead if you feel the need to treat them.
Title: Re: Damage done to my home during a sleepover. Update #52 & #64, mom's reply #67
Post by: Amava on January 05, 2013, 04:35:09 PM
Quote
I actually heard the story in triplicate.  Okay.  So I honestly thought you were putting on an act to entertain the children and mess with their heads in a fun Auntie oopsie way.  You do come up with brilliant out of the box ideas, so I'm on the fence with this one.  The other thing is I don't think any of the children would have done the stuff that had happened.  They might play tricksters sometimes, but they wouldn't mess with your house (hopefully).  You just might be the proud co-habitant of a ghost.  Nothing to be afraid of.  If it were a poltergeist, you would have been attacked since the spirit is angry and lashing out.  A ghost just wants to be acknowledged.  You know, because I have extensive knowledge of this.
 
 Keep me posted!  And good luck!
 
 Take it easy!
cousins' mom
What the heck??
Ghosts aside, she really thinks /you/ would have done all this to "mess with the children's head"?
Tell me, Oopsie, do you make a habit of frightening your young son by pulling tricks and making him believe your house is haunted? "In a fun way"??? I did not think so. (By the way, this was a rhetorical question. No need to answer it because I don't think at all that you would do that.)

Tell me, does she really think you would ruin a perfectly good cheesecake by stuffing dogfood into it to play a trick on the kids? Or scribble on your own kitchen furniture?
She's out of her mind.

I honestly think that the part of the email that blames you for playing trickster is much more offensive and ludicrous than the part about the ghost.
Title: Re: Damage done to my home during a sleepover. Update #52 & #64, mom's reply #67
Post by: oopsie on January 05, 2013, 04:50:30 PM
Quote
I actually heard the story in triplicate.  Okay.  So I honestly thought you were putting on an act to entertain the children and mess with their heads in a fun Auntie oopsie way.  You do come up with brilliant out of the box ideas, so I'm on the fence with this one.  The other thing is I don't think any of the children would have done the stuff that had happened.  They might play tricksters sometimes, but they wouldn't mess with your house (hopefully).  You just might be the proud co-habitant of a ghost.  Nothing to be afraid of.  If it were a poltergeist, you would have been attacked since the spirit is angry and lashing out.  A ghost just wants to be acknowledged.  You know, because I have extensive knowledge of this.
 
 Keep me posted!  And good luck!
 
 Take it easy!
cousins' mom
What the heck??
Ghosts aside, she really thinks /you/ would have done all this to "mess with the children's head"?
Tell me, Oopsie, do you make a habit of frightening your young son by pulling tricks and making him believe your house is haunted? "In a fun way"??? I did not think so. (By the way, this was a rhetorical question. No need to answer it because I don't think at all that you would do that.)

Tell me, does she really think you would ruin a perfectly good cheesecake by stuffing dogfood into it to play a trick on the kids? Or scribble on your own kitchen furniture?
She's out of her mind.

I honestly think that the part of the email that blames you for playing trickster is much more offensive and ludicrous than the part about the ghost.

If this were my first rodeo with her, I'd completely agree with you. She has just said and done so many things in the past that make me furious/scratch my head/bang my head against a wall that this one rolls right off my back.

It's true, I do play inventive games with the kids (I'm the aunt who buys those "BeanBoozled" Jelly Bellys to try with all my nieces and nephews - which they love me for). However, participation is completely optional and I would never do anything that would damage property or "mess with their minds".

She clearly just does not get it...

I imagine I will be on this forum quite a bit with ex-SIL stories unless and until she finally/irrevocably gets the cut direct.
Title: Re: Damage done to my home during a sleepover. Update #52 & #64, mom's reply #67
Post by: Iris on January 05, 2013, 05:13:49 PM
"Your house was trashed? Must have been you. It wasn't? Ghosts then. Certainly wasn't MY precious angels"

Now I really HAVE heard everything. I hope.
Title: Re: Damage done to my home during a sleepover. Update #52 & #64, mom's reply #67
Post by: Slartibartfast on January 05, 2013, 08:48:41 PM
Here's my guess:

1) She does genuinely believe in ghosts

2) Her kids know this, and possibly have pulled little pranks like this before at her house (which their mom swallows hook, line, and sinker)

3) Ghosts have been on their brains lately, so the topic naturally came up when the kids were at your house for the sleepover

4) Your DS cobbled together bits and pieces of what he heard, added it to what he already knew about ghosts, and that plus the knowledge that his aunt really thinks they're real (because at that age, if a grownup says something is true it must be true!) got him worried about ghosts

5) One or more of the kids (but probably the nephew) decided to play some ghost-related "pranks" around the house.  The dog food in the cheesecake sounds particularly like something a kid might do and think would be hilarious.

I'd suggest you ask your own kids (particularly your son) if they had been talking about ghosts at all, and if so, what?  That might help your DS get over his fear if you can set him straight, and might give you some more answers.
Title: Re: Damage done to my home during a sleepover. Update #52 & #64, mom's reply #67
Post by: dawbs on January 05, 2013, 10:03:15 PM
**blink, blink**

I believe in ghosts too, but I did not see that coming. Wow.

ETA: If she asks in the future why you are no longer inviting her children over, would you be comfortable suggesting that since there have been no other signs of a poltergeist, you have to assume it's haunting one of her children and therefore inviting said children over would be asking for trouble?

I was thinking this same thing.

"What Jane?  you want to send Buffy and Bilky over for a sleepover?
Honestly, since you mentioned the likelihood of ghosts after our last sleepover, I did some research.  When only my family is there without Buffy and Bilky, we've never had anything 'weird' like this happen so when i read that sometimes PEOPLE are haunted, not places, it all made since.  Until we're sure which of your children is the haunted one and that the ghost has been sent on, I'm really not sure I want to expose my kids to what the poltergist could do..."
Title: Re: Damage done to my home during a sleepover. Update #52 & #64, mom's reply #67
Post by: cheyne on January 05, 2013, 10:27:31 PM
The first question I would ask myself, "Which children don't like cheesecake?"  If there are 3 out of the 5, that would narrow it down a bit.  Your DD ate the dog food in the cheesecake, so I believe that exonerates her.  Your 6 year old was asleep before the "fun" started, so he's out too.  That leaves the cousins.  If you were in the basement with the girls while this "prank" was going on, I believe the Nephew is the culprit.

With the background of the divorce, the "package deal" of the kids and SIL thinking it's ghosts, it wouldn't surprise me if nephew is having some troubles and acting out.  What bothers me is your dog yelping (was he being smacked or his tail pulled?) and putting dog food in the cheesecake.  That was deliberately done to be gross and humiliating to someone.  These are pretty nasty acts and go beyond pranks IMO.  I would suspend sleepovers until you find out who did it and not reply to SIL's email.  I would also let SIL know ASAP that the vacation is off.

Title: Re: Damage done to my home during a sleepover. Update #52 & #64, mom's reply #67
Post by: SiotehCat on January 05, 2013, 10:30:10 PM
It doesn't have to be one of the kids by themselves. Kids can do silly/stupid things at sleepovers.

Also, we don't know that OP's son was asleep when it all happened. We know that he said he was. But we also know that nephew said he didn't do it. Their word doesn't mean much, I think.
Title: Re: Damage done to my home during a sleepover. Update #52 & #64, mom's reply #67
Post by: oopsie on January 05, 2013, 11:07:19 PM
Yes, the girls definitely didn't do at least the handsoap in the vomit or the marker on the counter as I discovered those items before I went to bed and I was with them watching movies before then.

That would make DS and nephew the primary suspects. It's possible that DS acted alone but I think it's more likely that if he was involved, he had an accomplice (i.e. nephew).

Again, I don't want to be one of those parents who thinks their child is completely above doing something only to be proven wrong. I'm not going to say without a shadow of doubt that DS wasn't involved because I simply can't (I wasn't with him every moment and he did admit to their putting snow in his older cousin's socks and that it was his idea so clearly he/they aren't above pulling pranks). I will say though that if, at 6 years old, he is able to dupe us so very convincingly and con us with crying over a fear of a haunted house, we clearly have bigger problems on our hands than some marker on a counter.

At the very least, I think DS and nephew probably shouldn't play together for a while.

Oh yeah, DS's birthday party is next weekend and guess what? It's a sleepover party with ALL his cousins invited (obviously invitations were sent out before this incident). Great...just great.
Title: Re: Damage done to my home during a sleepover. Update #52 & #64, mom's reply #67
Post by: Virg on January 05, 2013, 11:49:41 PM
oopsie wrote:

"Oh yeah, DS's birthday party is next weekend and guess what? It's a sleepover party with ALL his cousins invited (obviously invitations were sent out before this incident). Great...just great."

Sounds like investing in a small "nanny-cam" device wouldn't be a bad idea.  Set up so that it views the kitchen, it would provide proof positive if any of the kids got up to any hijinks after lights-out.  Heck, maybe you can make some cash selling the footage to one of those ghost hunting shows!  ;D

Virg
Title: Re: Damage done to my home during a sleepover. Update #52 & #64, mom's reply #67
Post by: snowdragon on January 06, 2013, 12:24:50 AM


Oh yeah, DS's birthday party is next weekend and guess what? It's a sleepover party with ALL his cousins invited (obviously invitations were sent out before this incident). Great...just great.

Talk to DS about having another type of party.
Title: Re: Damage done to my home during a sleepover. Update #52 & #64, mom's reply #67
Post by: sammycat on January 06, 2013, 12:59:26 AM
The first question I would ask myself, "Which children don't like cheesecake?"  If there are 3 out of the 5, that would narrow it down a bit.  Your DD ate the dog food in the cheesecake, so I believe that exonerates her.  Your 6 year old was asleep before the "fun" started, so he's out too.  That leaves the cousins.  If you were in the basement with the girls while this "prank" was going on, I believe the Nephew is the culprit.

With the background of the divorce, the "package deal" of the kids and SIL thinking it's ghosts, it wouldn't surprise me if nephew is having some troubles and acting out.  What bothers me is your dog yelping (was he being smacked or his tail pulled?) and putting dog food in the cheesecake.  That was deliberately done to be gross and humiliating to someone.  These are pretty nasty acts and go beyond pranks IMO.  I would suspend sleepovers until you find out who did it and not reply to SIL's email.  I would also let SIL know ASAP that the vacation is off.

Not only would I not allow sleep overs with these kids at my home again, I would not allow these kids to come over again.  If I can't trust you, I can't trust you and you are no longer welcome. IF you want to visit at all - go there or to a neutral location.


I agree with these comments.

Re the bolded: I wonder if Nephew was doing something to get the dog poop at that point, and it hurt the dog which is why s/he yelped.
Title: Re: Damage done to my home during a sleepover. Update #52 & #64, mom's reply #67
Post by: Redsoil on January 06, 2013, 01:03:36 AM
I'd be changing the BD party from a sleepover to something else, and letting people know that the last sleepover caused problems which you prefer not to repeat. 
Title: Re: Damage done to my home during a sleepover. Update #52 & #64, mom's reply #67
Post by: Redsoil on January 06, 2013, 01:05:12 AM
Oh, and definietly do NOT take the cousins on vacation!
Title: Re: Damage done to my home during a sleepover. Update reply #52 & #64.
Post by: sammycat on January 06, 2013, 01:05:44 AM
I actually found SIL's response quite offensive.  Not because of the ghost comments, but it reeks to me of "my little darling/s could never do anything like this, despite the fact that he has a history that could quite clearly point this in his direction, so I'm just going to bury my head in the sand and am just going to put the blame (back) on you and make you seem like an idiot".
Title: Re: Damage done to my home during a sleepover. Update #52 & #64, mom's reply #67
Post by: m2kbug on January 06, 2013, 01:30:54 AM
Are these kids regularly destructive?  I didn't catch that "vibe" with this post and the OP regularly takes in these kids, it sounds.  I wouldn't bar sleepovers over this one incident, but certainly cover the rules the next time they were over, both with her children and my own.  If this is a constant issue, then, yes, I would stop sleepovers.  Who knows if the next incident would be irreparable or costly to fix.  I guess with the upcoming sleepover, just cancel it if destruction is a regular theme.  I know my kids would be very disappointed if their cousins didn't get to come over, but sorry kids/sister/cousins, if they can't behave themselves when they're together then no more sleepovers. 
Title: Re: Damage done to my home during a sleepover. Update #52 & #64, mom's reply #67
Post by: CrochetFanatic on January 06, 2013, 03:09:10 AM
I don't think anyone's suggested this (unless I missed it), but would it be a bad idea to go through with the next sleepover, and address everyone as a group?  Something like, "I don't know who it was the last time, and I'm not accusing anyone.  But if there are any pranks tonight, this is the last sleepover for awhile."

I'd probably back out of the vacation, but that's just me.
Title: Re: Damage done to my home during a sleepover. Update #52 & #64, mom's reply #67
Post by: Steve on January 06, 2013, 04:18:31 AM
In addition to CrochetFanatic I would also get a small webcam, they are not that expensive and can probably be borrowed. In combination with a laptop it makes a great security cam, and my kitchen would only be vandalized once more....
Title: Re: Damage done to my home during a sleepover. Update #52 & #64, mom's reply #67
Post by: m2kbug on January 06, 2013, 04:52:56 AM
I don't think anyone's suggested this (unless I missed it), but would it be a bad idea to go through with the next sleepover, and address everyone as a group?  Something like, "I don't know who it was the last time, and I'm not accusing anyone.  But if there are any pranks tonight, this is the last sleepover for awhile."

That's pretty much what I was saying, you just said it so much better.  :)
Title: Re: Damage done to my home during a sleepover. Update #52 & #64, mom's reply #67
Post by: POF on January 06, 2013, 08:45:33 AM
I would call off the sleepover.... you are not looking forward to it and frankly, I think the kids know who did it.... they might not fess up - but I can not imagine culprit not bragging. 

I can see the ghost talk being escalalted and all the kids afraid or more pranks being pulled.

I think your SIL's response was WAY OUT OF LINE... I do believe in ghosts and I have had a trickster ghost in my house ... but really the dogfood in the cheesecake ... naaaa.

Good Luck.
Title: Re: Damage done to my home during a sleepover. Update #52 & #64, mom's reply #67
Post by: BarensMom on January 06, 2013, 10:09:14 AM
Don't have these kids overnight in your home again.  If that means you have to change the nature of DS' party, so be it. 


After all this, you shouldn't even let those kids see the inside of your house, much less let them stay overnight.  You can tell your EXSIL that you don't want a "poltergeist" in your house.

Edited because I had trouble with those blasted dots.
 
Title: Re: Damage done to my home during a sleepover. Update #52 & #64, mom's reply #67
Post by: Dr. F. on January 06, 2013, 10:16:52 AM
I kinda wonder if nephew isn't actually sleepwalking, and the odd things he does at night are credited to "ghosts" by SIL. It's altogether too incidental that she has ghosts in her house, and they show up in yours when nephew spends the night. But I think it's still possible that something is happening without the perp being completely aware, as the incidents are all so random.
Title: Re: Damage done to my home during a sleepover. Update #52 & #64, mom's reply #67
Post by: Giggity on January 06, 2013, 10:23:38 AM
Occam's razor: simplest answer is generally correct. For ghosts to have done this, ghosts must first exist. Nephew has it over on ghosts in that he indisputably does exist.
Title: Re: Damage done to my home during a sleepover. Update #52 & #64, mom's reply #67
Post by: CrazyDaffodilLady on January 06, 2013, 10:29:47 AM
I am not a parent, but I have nieces who visited me when they were younger, and they were close friends with some neighbor kids.  These were all good kids, but I was very surprised to discover that they would do very stupid things (esp. at a sleepover) and the extent to which they would lie.  Several times the kids did things that hurt me and other people; they knew this, and yet they continued to lie. 

Some of the incidents required discussion with the parents, who were concerned and spoke to their children.  The parents never declared that their children were incapable of doing these things or lying.  One parent said, “The kids came clean too easily.  There’s more to the story than they’ve admitted.”

The children are all in their 20s now, and all have turned out to be decent human beings. 
Title: Re: Damage done to my home during a sleepover. Update #52 & #64, mom's reply #67
Post by: oopsie on January 06, 2013, 10:33:50 AM
Another reason that we suspect nephew (I keep remembering things that help the puzzle pieces come together)...it was him who "discovered" the dog food in the cheesecake. How would one even know to look there unless you knew about it before hand?

Also, DH said he checked in on the boys before he left for work and he said DS, though awake, could hardly keep his eyes open, further corroborating DS's story.

Nephew has been pretty heavily affected (more so than his sisters) by the split of his parents. Like I mentioned in the other vacation post, ex-SIL was successful in turning her son against his father where for a period of time, nephew was refusing to go to his house for visitation and blaming his dad for everything. Also, two weeks ago, his dad's girlfriend had a baby. A boy. Nephew had made it quite known that he didn't want this baby to be a boy as he wanted to remain his father's only son.

Not definitive proof by any means but it might help give some additional insight as to why we do suspect nephew was involved. Attention seeking behaviour perhaps?
Title: Re: Damage done to my home during a sleepover. Update #52 & #64, mom's reply #67
Post by: MorgnsGrl on January 06, 2013, 11:12:48 AM
What if you got all the kids together (or just talked to them separately if that would be too hard to arrange) and told them that unless you were able to get to the bottom of the pranks, the birthday sleepover would not be happening because you couldn't trust them to all behave when they were together? (Or that the cousins wouldn't be able to attend the birthday sleepover because no pranks had ever happened except for that time they were there, so either they were responsible or something about the dynamic created when all the cousins were together was responsible for an atmosphere in which people were tempted to play pranks?) I suspect that if you told them if they were honest about what happened, you would consider letting the sleepover happen/let them attend the sleepover, they might confess.
Title: Re: Damage done to my home during a sleepover. Update #52 & #64, mom's reply #67
Post by: oopsie on January 06, 2013, 11:40:07 AM
What if you got all the kids together (or just talked to them separately if that would be too hard to arrange) and told them that unless you were able to get to the bottom of the pranks, the birthday sleepover would not be happening because you couldn't trust them to all behave when they were together? (Or that the cousins wouldn't be able to attend the birthday sleepover because no pranks had ever happened except for that time they were there, so either they were responsible or something about the dynamic created when all the cousins were together was responsible for an atmosphere in which people were tempted to play pranks?) I suspect that if you told them if they were honest about what happened, you would consider letting the sleepover happen/let them attend the sleepover, they might confess.

Unfortunately, I don't think this would work. I think if I did this, once she found out, cousins' mom would get her hackles up and go on the defensive. It wasn't her kids. It was either me or a ghost that did it.
Title: Re: Damage done to my home during a sleepover. Update #52 & #64, mom's reply #67
Post by: LeveeWoman on January 06, 2013, 11:45:17 AM
Another reason that we suspect nephew (I keep remembering things that help the puzzle pieces come together)...it was him who "discovered" the dog food in the cheesecake. How would one even know to look there unless you knew about it before hand?
Also, DH said he checked in on the boys before he left for work and he said DS, though awake, could hardly keep his eyes open, further corroborating DS's story.

Nephew has been pretty heavily affected (more so than his sisters) by the split of his parents. Like I mentioned in the other vacation post, ex-SIL was successful in turning her son against his father where for a period of time, nephew was refusing to go to his house for visitation and blaming his dad for everything. Also, two weeks ago, his dad's girlfriend had a baby. A boy. Nephew had made it quite known that he didn't want this baby to be a boy as he wanted to remain his father's only son.

Not definitive proof by any means but it might help give some additional insight as to why we do suspect nephew was involved. Attention seeking behaviour perhaps?

Very revealing.
Title: Re: Damage done to my home during a sleepover. Update #52 & #64, mom's reply #67
Post by: snowdragon on January 06, 2013, 11:45:42 AM
What if you got all the kids together (or just talked to them separately if that would be too hard to arrange) and told them that unless you were able to get to the bottom of the pranks, the birthday sleepover would not be happening because you couldn't trust them to all behave when they were together? (Or that the cousins wouldn't be able to attend the birthday sleepover because no pranks had ever happened except for that time they were there, so either they were responsible or something about the dynamic created when all the cousins were together was responsible for an atmosphere in which people were tempted to play pranks?) I suspect that if you told them if they were honest about what happened, you would consider letting the sleepover happen/let them attend the sleepover, they might confess.

Unfortunately, I don't think this would work. I think if I did this, once she found out, cousins' mom would get her hackles up and go on the defensive. It wasn't her kids. It was either me or a ghost that did it.

And she will look like a twit.  Are you really willing to risk your home and the safety of your pets and children if these kids come back, just to keep this woman from getting upset?
Title: Re: Damage done to my home during a sleepover. Update #52 & #64, mom's reply #67
Post by: gramma dishes on January 06, 2013, 11:55:21 AM
If it were my house, the party would happen.  The sleep over would not.  All children would be made aware of exactly why not. 

I suspect that somehow, somewhere, the answers will eventually magically appear when the kids realize that there really are consequences.
Title: Re: Damage done to my home during a sleepover. Update #52 & #64, mom's reply #67
Post by: oopsie on January 06, 2013, 12:07:48 PM
What if you got all the kids together (or just talked to them separately if that would be too hard to arrange) and told them that unless you were able to get to the bottom of the pranks, the birthday sleepover would not be happening because you couldn't trust them to all behave when they were together? (Or that the cousins wouldn't be able to attend the birthday sleepover because no pranks had ever happened except for that time they were there, so either they were responsible or something about the dynamic created when all the cousins were together was responsible for an atmosphere in which people were tempted to play pranks?) I suspect that if you told them if they were honest about what happened, you would consider letting the sleepover happen/let them attend the sleepover, they might confess.

Unfortunately, I don't think this would work. I think if I did this, once she found out, cousins' mom would get her hackles up and go on the defensive. It wasn't her kids. It was either me or a ghost that did it.

And she will look like a twit.  Are you really willing to risk your home and the safety of your pets and children if these kids come back, just to keep this woman from getting upset?

LOL!!

You have a very good point. I think I'm stumbling over doing a sleepover cut direct because it has never happened before and because I feel like I'd be punishing everyone for the actions of one (or possibly two).

My gut tells me it was nephew and based on that, I wouldn't mind doing a sleepover cut direct for him but because I doubt that cousins' mom would then let my nieces come over without him (her kids are a package deal), I'm reluctant to pull the trigger.

Does that make any sense?




Title: Re: Damage done to my home during a sleepover. Update #52 & #64, mom's reply #67
Post by: snowdragon on January 06, 2013, 12:13:04 PM
What if you got all the kids together (or just talked to them separately if that would be too hard to arrange) and told them that unless you were able to get to the bottom of the pranks, the birthday sleepover would not be happening because you couldn't trust them to all behave when they were together? (Or that the cousins wouldn't be able to attend the birthday sleepover because no pranks had ever happened except for that time they were there, so either they were responsible or something about the dynamic created when all the cousins were together was responsible for an atmosphere in which people were tempted to play pranks?) I suspect that if you told them if they were honest about what happened, you would consider letting the sleepover happen/let them attend the sleepover, they might confess.

Unfortunately, I don't think this would work. I think if I did this, once she found out, cousins' mom would get her hackles up and go on the defensive. It wasn't her kids. It was either me or a ghost that did it.

And she will look like a twit.  Are you really willing to risk your home and the safety of your pets and children if these kids come back, just to keep this woman from getting upset?

LOL!!

You have a very good point. I think I'm stumbling over doing a sleepover cut direct because it has never happened before and because I feel like I'd be punishing everyone for the actions of one (or possibly two).

My gut tells me it was nephew and based on that, I wouldn't mind doing a sleepover cut direct for him but because I doubt that cousins' mom would then let my nieces come over without him (her kids are a package deal), I'm reluctant to pull the trigger.

Does that make any sense?






 Sort of.. but you have to you decide if the safety of your home, family and pets is more important than the reaction of this woman.   That's what it comes down to safety vs this woman being unhappy. If she refuses to let the girls come because the boy can't - that's on her not you. You have to do what is right and what makes things safest for you and yours. Don't let her manipulate you into allow this to happen again.
Title: Re: Damage done to my home during a sleepover. Update #52 & #64, mom's reply #67
Post by: oopsie on January 06, 2013, 12:15:42 PM
If it were my house, the party would happen.  The sleep over would not.  All children would be made aware of exactly why not. 

I suspect that somehow, somewhere, the answers will eventually magically appear when the kids realize that there really are consequences.

I've invited all DS's cousins which include 5 nieces and 1 nephew who were not there that night and are 110% innocent in all of this. Do I still cancel the sleepover? Do I tell my kids they are not allowed any more sleepovers at all with anyone? Somehow that doesn't seem right either...

Title: Re: Damage done to my home during a sleepover. Update #52 & #64, mom's reply #67
Post by: Amava on January 06, 2013, 12:16:57 PM
I'd do a sleepover again alright, and I'd be ready to ambush that "ghost".

On the off-chance that there really is a ghost or sleepwalker involved, then at least you'd know that, too.

Title: Re: Damage done to my home during a sleepover. Update #52 & #64, mom's reply #67
Post by: Outdoor Girl on January 06, 2013, 12:19:18 PM
You don't think it was your kids so go ahead with a sleepover with the others and just not let these three come.  Or if you do, plan on nanny cams and/or staying up all night in a hidden spot so you can watch for any shenanigans from nephew.
Title: Re: Damage done to my home during a sleepover. Update #52 & #64, mom's reply #67
Post by: LeveeWoman on January 06, 2013, 12:20:05 PM
If it were my house, the party would happen.  The sleep over would not.  All children would be made aware of exactly why not. 

I suspect that somehow, somewhere, the answers will eventually magically appear when the kids realize that there really are consequences.

I've invited all DS's cousins which include 5 nieces and 1 nephew who were not there that night and are 110% innocent in all of this. Do I still cancel the sleepover? Do I tell my kids they are not allowed any more sleepovers at all with anyone? Somehow that doesn't seem right either...

I'd go with just a party this time but I wouldn't forbid the kids who weren't there from sleeping over in the future.
Title: Re: Damage done to my home during a sleepover. Update #52 & #64, mom's reply #67
Post by: MrTango on January 06, 2013, 12:22:09 PM
I agree with a couple PP's who suggested Nanny Cams.  If you go with this option, no one except you and your DH should know about the cameras' existence, not even your own kids.
Title: Re: Damage done to my home during a sleepover. Update #52 & #64, mom's reply #67
Post by: Piratelvr1121 on January 06, 2013, 12:23:35 PM
Get a Ouija board? Have a seance? ;)  Could be fun anyroads, can't tell you how many slumber parties I went to in high school where they attempted to contact Kurt Cobain.

Seriously, don't walk on eggshells around this woman, it just gives her more power.
Title: Re: Damage done to my home during a sleepover. Update #52 & #64, mom's reply #67
Post by: snowdragon on January 06, 2013, 12:24:40 PM
If it were my house, the party would happen.  The sleep over would not.  All children would be made aware of exactly why not. 

I suspect that somehow, somewhere, the answers will eventually magically appear when the kids realize that there really are consequences.

I've invited all DS's cousins which include 5 nieces and 1 nephew who were not there that night and are 110% innocent in all of this. Do I still cancel the sleepover? Do I tell my kids they are not allowed any more sleepovers at all with anyone? Somehow that doesn't seem right either...

  You cancel this one, have just the party, tell the parents what happened and why you are not having a sleep over.  And have sleep overs with the children you trust. The cousins involved in this should never be allowed in your home again.  Yes canceling this one might be unfair to the cousins who were not there, but you know that  might just be how you find out who did this. When the cousins get mad and pressure the culprit into confessing to you.  But there is no way I would ever allow these children in my home again, especially as a package deal. Also with that many kids - it's going to be harder to make sure nothing else is damaged.
Title: Re: Damage done to my home during a sleepover. Update #52 & #64, mom's reply #67
Post by: Lynn2000 on January 06, 2013, 12:29:41 PM
I get that you're reluctant to punish kids who are definitely innocent (the cousins who weren't there) or probably innocent (your kids and the two girl cousins) in order to punish the one who probably isn't. But at the same time, I think you have to show that bad behavior has consequences.

It's not your fault that exSIL makes her three kids come as a package deal. If the two girls suffer because of something their brother has done, maybe they will put pressure on him to behave better in the future, or pressure on their mom to break her unfair arrangement.

And actually, the punishment of canceling the next few sleepovers will show all the kids that you mean business. They've all been well-behaved before; that's great. But this will show them not just that they get privileges for being well-behaved, but that they will get punishments for being poorly-behaved.

Personally, I would change the birthday party to a non-sleepover. I think you have a good reason to change the conditions of the party, given that something bad happened at the exact same kind of gathering so recently, and more importantly no one has owned up to it. Obviously you would need to contact all the parents right away and let them know, in case their own plans have to change (coming to get their kids that day rather than the next, for example). And you would understand if some of them had to cancel because of this.

Again, it's not you punishing your son--it's you showing all the kids that there are consequences for mischief and lying. And the lying, specifically, means that the consequences are broad across everyone, rather than being focused on the one person who actually caused the mischief. So next time, kids, don't cause mischief; or if you do, at least don't lie about it, because then everyone suffers for longer.
Title: Re: Damage done to my home during a sleepover. Update #52 & #64, mom's reply #67
Post by: oopsie on January 06, 2013, 12:35:56 PM
I'm thinking of sending cousins' mom the following reply in hopes that it will settle this matter:


Hi cousins' mom,

I'm not going to debate the existance of ghosts, however, I'm pretty sure that if they do exist, they did not scribble on my counter in permanent marker or insert dog food in the cheesecake.

Given that DS's sleepover party is this Saturday, I would really prefer that this not happen again. Please have a chat with your children and I will do the same.

Thanks,
oopsie



Should I send this? Or not? Thoughts? Suggestions?
Title: Re: Damage done to my home during a sleepover. Update #52 & #64, mom's reply #67
Post by: AngelicGamer on January 06, 2013, 12:42:18 PM
oopsie, I'm late to the party (pun intended  ;D ) but that letter sounds a bit aggressive to me.  I wouldn't send it but I would change the party plans.  I agree that there should be no sleepover for a while, especially since nobody will fess up to what was done.  Yes, it does punish the innocents, but better something that might make whoever did it fess up rather than something worse happening. 

Also, you have a family member in your house that cannot communicate in human language.  You do have a obligation to make sure your dog is kept safe from whatever happened to make him yelp.
Title: Re: Damage done to my home during a sleepover. Update #52 & #64, mom's reply #67
Post by: Amara on January 06, 2013, 12:55:19 PM
I don't really care for that letter, OP, though I understand why you are writing it. It seems to me that through the use of this letter you are hoping your ex-SIL will stand up and do the "right" thing, that is, assume that her child was the culprit and get him to confess and promise never to do it again.

I believe you know that is unlikely to happen. So my question is: What do you want to happen? What can you realistically expect to happen. Given your updates, I would say you will never get a confession. If your nephew is sneaky enough to cause your dog pain, ruin your counters, and put dog food in cheesecake he is not likely to accept responsibility for the hurt it causes you. So what should you do?

The previous posters have given you ideas, good ones, but I sense you prefer something else. I think you would like your ex-SIL and her son to take responsibility. Alas, I fear you are doomed to disappointment. If that is the case, then what do you want to do?

If it were me, I would refuse to allow the nephew to return. I'd probably talk to him one-on-one and tell him why in a straightforward, non-blaming manner. But I'd make it clear that I felt strongly it was him and I'd tell him exactly why. I'd finish by asking him again if he did it. If he denied it I'd accept that but add that I could not allow him to come over any more because I felt I could not trust time. If at some time in the future he was able to win my trust back the sleepovers could resume, but not until then.
Title: Re: Damage done to my home during a sleepover. Update #52 & #64, mom's reply #67
Post by: JenJay on January 06, 2013, 12:59:37 PM
I'm thinking of sending cousins' mom the following reply in hopes that it will settle this matter:


Hi cousins' mom,

I'm not going to debate the existance of ghosts, however, I'm pretty sure that if they do exist, they did not scribble on my counter in permanent marker or insert dog food in the cheesecake.

Given that DS's sleepover party is this Saturday, I would really prefer that this not happen again. Please have a chat with your children and I will do the same.

Thanks,
oopsie



Should I send this? Or not? Thoughts? Suggestions?

Send it! To the end of "... not happen again" I'd add "and if it does there will be no further sleepovers."
Title: Re: Damage done to my home during a sleepover. Update #52 & #64, mom's reply #67
Post by: bloo on January 06, 2013, 01:01:26 PM
I agree with a couple PP's who suggested Nanny Cams.  If you go with this option, no one except you and your DH should know about the cameras' existence, not even your own kids.

I'm uncomfortable with videotaping persons w/o their knowledge. It seems undignified and embarrassing if they find out later ("Aunt Oopsie saw me picking my nose when I thought no one was looking"). And the parents better tell me if there's a hidden camera where my kids will be spending the night.

Aside from that, the purpose of a hidden camera would be to actually catch the hooligan responsible if it happens again. Whereas I'd have the goal of using it to avoid trouble in the first place.

I think if I was going to go the camera route, I'd tell everyone '...and we decided to put up cameras to see if we can tape the 'ghost' that's been up to no good whenever there's a sleepover...ha ha...'.

Just typing that out doesn't sound right. So I'd probably do away with the sleep-over aspect of the party and explain to the kids the reason for it or I'd have them all sleep in one room (say, the living room) and plop my own sleeping bag* down in between all of them and drink lots of coffee or go-go juice.

As far as the email, I didn't see anything wrong with it but since more than one PP thinks it's a bit much, maybe you shouldn't send it. And if she's brittle and takes offense easily - what would be the point?

Oops...just saw JenJay's response and she makes an excellent addition to it though!


*I actually did this when my teens and I went to an amusement park last year and each brought 2-3 friends; everyone was too tired to leave from my house when we got back so a bunch of teens crashed in my living room - we scrounged up a bunch of pillows and blankets and I brought my sleeping bag down and got in the middle of them and resolved to stay awake til they were all asleep - and I did as I was keyed up on the caffiene I'd ingested to stay awake to drive home.
Title: Re: Damage done to my home during a sleepover. Update #52 & #64, mom's reply #67
Post by: Lynn2000 on January 06, 2013, 01:11:57 PM
I'm thinking of sending cousins' mom the following reply in hopes that it will settle this matter:


Hi cousins' mom,

I'm not going to debate the existance of ghosts; however, I really think it was one or more of the children who did these things. Luckily there was no permanent damage this time, but I'm really bothered by the fact that it happened at all, and that no one will own up to it.

DS's sleepover party is this Saturday. If anything like this happens again, I will be suspending all future sleepovers, because obviously the kids can't behave when they're together. I will be making all the kids aware of this when they gather for the party Saturday, so I wanted to mention it to the parents as well.

Thanks,
oopsie



Should I send this? Or not? Thoughts? Suggestions?

In red are my suggestions. I think this email is more clear and direct, without singling the cousins out (even though you're pretty sure it was Nephew). It says you're telling everyone, even people who couldn't possibly have been involved (the new cousins), the consequences, and you're telling all the parents too, so they will know. Of course it depends on your personality and your relationship with exSIL, but in this case I felt it was better to be a bit serious, since I read her response as kind of flippant and dismissive of your concerns.
Title: Re: Damage done to my home during a sleepover. Update #52 & #64, mom's reply #67
Post by: RingTailedLemur on January 06, 2013, 01:15:53 PM
I like Lynn2000's revisions.  "I would really prefer that this not happen again" sounded far too wishy-washy.  Say what you mean - that this will not happen again.
Title: Re: Damage done to my home during a sleepover. Update #52 & #64, mom's reply #67
Post by: gramma dishes on January 06, 2013, 01:17:10 PM
If you feel you MUST have the sleepover because other children (and your son especially) are looking forward to it, then I agree with Jen Jay's additional words.

But personally I still would not have this sleepover.  I would explain to the mothers of the other cousins (those who weren't there this time) that some things happened that were not acceptable at the last sleep over at your home and that you have decided to change this particular specific party to one that doesn't include sleeping over for anyone.  Assure them that their children most definitely WILL be invited for sleepovers in the future, as you enjoy their company and know that obviously they had nothing to do with what happened at this recent sleepover.

I would still have the party itself.  The part where everyone in the house is awake and alert.  But there may be children who will not be able to attend with the change in plans and you would have to be prepared to accept that.

I would not confront the nephew -- at least not right now.  Although you are 99% sure he's the culprit, there really are other possibilities and it would be horrifyingly sad to blame the nephew if it turns out that in fact he is actually innocent.
Title: Re: Damage done to my home during a sleepover. Update #52 & #64, mom's reply #67
Post by: weeblewobble on January 06, 2013, 01:19:00 PM
OP, has the vacation issue from the other thread been broached with exSIL?  Is it possible that your nephew is reacting negatively to the plans being altered?  If not, this incident would definitely change my willingness to take the nephew on a long, expensive trip.
Title: Re: Damage done to my home during a sleepover. Update #52 & #64, mom's reply #67
Post by: Snooks on January 06, 2013, 01:30:45 PM
I wouldn't send the email, I also wouldn't cancel your son's birthday party.  I'd be more tempted it ignore what exSIL has said about ghosts and sit the kids down (if possible without the kids who weren't there) before the sleepover and tell them that no-one has owned up to causing the damage done at this sleepover and if anything happens at this sleepover then there will be no more sleepovers.  If your nephew says anything about ghosts causing it you can just reply that you don't believe that ghosts caused the damage.
Title: Re: Damage done to my home during a sleepover. Update #52 & #64, mom's reply #67
Post by: Sharnita on January 06, 2013, 01:40:44 PM
I kind of agree about not hiding a videotape. Any way an adult could sleep in the "hotspot" to montor activity and protect them from ghosts?
Title: Re: Damage done to my home during a sleepover. Update #52 & #64, mom's reply #67
Post by: oopsie on January 06, 2013, 01:50:46 PM
With the feedback from the forum, I've decided, as much as I want to (and oh how I want to), not to send the email.

DH definitely wants to go ahead with the sleepover so we will be doing that too. I will keep the dog and cat in our room and have the conversation with all the cousins to let them know that any damage or mischief making will not be tolerated.

I will also have all cousins sleeping together in our family room in the basement so hopefully that will help alleviate any risk of individual wrong doing.

I realize that we are taking on a risk in having this sleepover and that we will have to be prepared for any consequences. If something does happen again, then all sleepovers will cease for the foreseeable future.

OP, has the vacation issue from the other thread been broached with exSIL?  Is it possible that your nephew is reacting negatively to the plans being altered?  If not, this incident would definitely change my willingness to take the nephew on a long, expensive trip.

No, I have not mentioned anything to ex-SIL (aka cousins' mom) yet about backing out of the vacation. However, I have now (especially after this incident) 110% decided that we will not be going and will have to start seriously thinking of a way to break the news to her. 
Title: Re: Damage done to my home during a sleepover. Update #52 & #64, mom's reply #67
Post by: NyaChan on January 06, 2013, 02:12:14 PM
I think you are right to have the party and the sleepover still.  I would just have the quick talk with all the kids assembled letting them know that if pranks happen again, there won't be any more sleepovers.
Title: Re: Damage done to my home during a sleepover. Update #52 & #64, mom's reply #67
Post by: VorFemme on January 06, 2013, 06:34:45 PM
With the feedback from the forum, I've decided, as much as I want to (and oh how I want to), not to send the email.

DH definitely wants to go ahead with the sleepover so we will be doing that too. I will keep the dog and cat in our room and have the conversation with all the cousins to let them know that any damage or mischief making will not be tolerated.

I will also have all cousins sleeping together in our family room in the basement so hopefully that will help alleviate any risk of individual wrong doing.

I realize that we are taking on a risk in having this sleepover and that we will have to be prepared for any consequences. If something does happen again, then all sleepovers will cease for the foreseeable future.

OP, has the vacation issue from the other thread been broached with exSIL?  Is it possible that your nephew is reacting negatively to the plans being altered?  If not, this incident would definitely change my willingness to take the nephew on a long, expensive trip.

No, I have not mentioned anything to ex-SIL (aka cousins' mom) yet about backing out of the vacation. However, I have now (especially after this incident) 110% decided that we will not be going and will have to start seriously thinking of a way to break the news to her. 


Do it AFTER the sleepover - as you don't want her ranting to the kids about how you're being mean and giving anyone any reason to get upset.  Poltergeists and other mischief makers seem to get worse when upset pre-teens are around - whether that is cause or effect does not matter.  No need to increase the likelihood of SOMETHING happening.

Not a whisper of it before the birthday party.

If anything DOES happen - then the vacation has to be cancelled - whether it is related to the costs of repairs or just not wanting to take any poltergeist magnets along, I don't think explaining it beyond "we won't be able to do this after the incident at the last sleepover".
Title: Re: Damage done to my home during a sleepover. Update #52 & #64, mom's reply #67
Post by: BarensMom on January 06, 2013, 07:38:34 PM
OP, if you have the sleepover, make sure you check ALL your foodstuffs before anyone eats or drinks anything.  Nephew or whoever did this will probably strike again because he got away with it last time.  Perhaps if you stay awake, you can catch him/her red-handed.

Hide the Sharpies, secure your animals, and have plenty of 5-Hour Energy shots on hand.

Personally, I just wouldn't have the sleepover, if only because anyone who hurts my dog would be unwelcome in my home.

Title: Re: Damage done to my home during a sleepover. Update #52 & #64, mom's reply #67
Post by: Jones on January 06, 2013, 08:12:02 PM
If you offer me cake, I will be willing to donate my time ghosthunting your kitchen  ;D

I have a voice recorder and a camera...
Title: Re: Damage done to my home during a sleepover. Update #52 & #64, mom's reply #67
Post by: DottyG on January 06, 2013, 08:55:18 PM
I am not, at all, excusing Nephew if he is guilty. However, the below makes me sad for him. OP, can you maybe let him know that you're a safe person in his life if he needs to talk to someone or just listen if he needs a compassionate listener. I know you are one, but make sure he knows that. He's already at a weird age that's hard enough to deal with under good circumstances. But he's got some stresses on him that are compounding the usual emotions. :( Poor guy.

Quote
Nephew has been pretty heavily affected (more so than his sisters) by the split of his parents. Like I mentioned in the other vacation post, ex-SIL was successful in turning her son against his father where for a period of time, nephew was refusing to go to his house for visitation and blaming his dad for everything. Also, two weeks ago, his dad's girlfriend had a baby. A boy. Nephew had made it quite known that he didn't want this baby to be a boy as he wanted to remain his father's only son.

Title: Re: Damage done to my home during a sleepover. Update #52 & #64, mom's reply #67
Post by: oopsie on January 06, 2013, 09:16:21 PM
I am not, at all, excusing Nephew if he is guilty. However, the below makes me sad for him. OP, can you maybe let him know that you're a safe person in his life if he needs to talk to someone or just listen if he needs a compassionate listener. I know you are one, but make sure he knows that. He's already at a weird age that's hard enough to deal with under good circumstances. But he's got some stresses on him that are compounding the usual emotions. :( Poor guy.

Quote
Nephew has been pretty heavily affected (more so than his sisters) by the split of his parents. Like I mentioned in the other vacation post, ex-SIL was successful in turning her son against his father where for a period of time, nephew was refusing to go to his house for visitation and blaming his dad for everything. Also, two weeks ago, his dad's girlfriend had a baby. A boy. Nephew had made it quite known that he didn't want this baby to be a boy as he wanted to remain his father's only son.

You and me both. Believe me, these kids got the short end of the stick when it comes to both their parents and their grandparents. I really do love those kids and I've made it my mission for many, many years now to be their soft place to fall. That doesn't mean I'll tolerate bad behaviour but I won't stop being there for them regardless.
Title: Re: Damage done to my home during a sleepover. Update #52 & #64, mom's reply #67
Post by: oopsie on January 06, 2013, 09:34:17 PM
With the feedback from the forum, I've decided, as much as I want to (and oh how I want to), not to send the email.

DH definitely wants to go ahead with the sleepover so we will be doing that too. I will keep the dog and cat in our room and have the conversation with all the cousins to let them know that any damage or mischief making will not be tolerated.

I will also have all cousins sleeping together in our family room in the basement so hopefully that will help alleviate any risk of individual wrong doing.

I realize that we are taking on a risk in having this sleepover and that we will have to be prepared for any consequences. If something does happen again, then all sleepovers will cease for the foreseeable future.

OP, has the vacation issue from the other thread been broached with exSIL?  Is it possible that your nephew is reacting negatively to the plans being altered?  If not, this incident would definitely change my willingness to take the nephew on a long, expensive trip.

No, I have not mentioned anything to ex-SIL (aka cousins' mom) yet about backing out of the vacation. However, I have now (especially after this incident) 110% decided that we will not be going and will have to start seriously thinking of a way to break the news to her. 


Do it AFTER the sleepover - as you don't want her ranting to the kids about how you're being mean and giving anyone any reason to get upset.  Poltergeists and other mischief makers seem to get worse when upset pre-teens are around - whether that is cause or effect does not matter.  No need to increase the likelihood of SOMETHING happening.

Not a whisper of it before the birthday party.

If anything DOES happen - then the vacation has to be cancelled - whether it is related to the costs of repairs or just not wanting to take any poltergeist magnets along, I don't think explaining it beyond "we won't be able to do this after the incident at the last sleepover".

I definitely agree.

OP, if you have the sleepover, make sure you check ALL your foodstuffs before anyone eats or drinks anything.  Nephew or whoever did this will probably strike again because he got away with it last time.  Perhaps if you stay awake, you can catch him/her red-handed.

Hide the Sharpies, secure your animals, and have plenty of 5-Hour Energy shots on hand.

Personally, I just wouldn't have the sleepover, if only because anyone who hurts my dog would be unwelcome in my home.



I will absolutely be on my guard. I will be very upset with myself if there is damage to my home or harm to one of my guests or pets. Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me...

If you offer me cake, I will be willing to donate my time ghosthunting your kitchen  ;D

I have a voice recorder and a camera...

I could offer you cake but I can offer no guarantees that you will not find dog food in it when you take your first bite...  ;)
Title: Re: Damage done to my home during a sleepover. Update #52 & #64, mom's reply #67
Post by: Sophia on January 06, 2013, 10:32:30 PM
...No, I have not mentioned anything to ex-SIL (aka cousins' mom) yet about backing out of the vacation. However, I have now (especially after this incident) 110% decided that we will not be going and will have to start seriously thinking of a way to break the news to her.

I think now is a very good time.  You were probably going to do it anyway, but this incident that more likely.  She knows deep down who did it, and that she was just giving you a bunch of drivel.  If she didn't believe in ghosts, it would have been your dog doing the pranks.  Backing out on the vacation will be a nice natural consequence.  I would also say now that this would be the last sleepover and changes are being made to where everyone sleeps because of the pranks. 

I would encourage you to also disinvite nephew to the sleepover part. But, I understand why that would be hard.

Remember, her getting her hackles up will not harm you.  In fact, I think it will do her good. 
Title: Re: Damage done to my home during a sleepover. Update #52 & #64, mom's reply #67
Post by: BarensMom on January 07, 2013, 06:39:27 AM
Oh yeah, and don't forget the old Nair in the hair conditioner or rubbing alcohol in the eyedrops trick.
Title: Re: Damage done to my home during a sleepover. Update #52 & #64, mom's reply #67
Post by: Giggity on January 07, 2013, 06:48:03 AM
What if you got all the kids together (or just talked to them separately if that would be too hard to arrange) and told them that unless you were able to get to the bottom of the pranks, the birthday sleepover would not be happening because you couldn't trust them to all behave when they were together? (Or that the cousins wouldn't be able to attend the birthday sleepover because no pranks had ever happened except for that time they were there, so either they were responsible or something about the dynamic created when all the cousins were together was responsible for an atmosphere in which people were tempted to play pranks?) I suspect that if you told them if they were honest about what happened, you would consider letting the sleepover happen/let them attend the sleepover, they might confess.

Unfortunately, I don't think this would work. I think if I did this, once she found out, cousins' mom would get her hackles up and go on the defensive. It wasn't her kids. It was either me or a ghost that did it.

Then she's too thick to deal with. Seriously, if this does not happen when your kids are home, and only happens when her kids are over ... easy answer, easy solution. No more sleepovers.
Title: Re: Damage done to my home during a sleepover. Update #52 & #64, mom's reply #67
Post by: Giggity on January 07, 2013, 06:48:58 AM
I'd do a sleepover again alright, and I'd be ready to ambush that "ghost".

On the off-chance that there really is a ghost or sleepwalker involved, then at least you'd know that, too.

It won't be either of those things, so the OP could indeed learn something interesting.
Title: Re: Damage done to my home during a sleepover. Update #52 & #64, mom's reply #67
Post by: bah12 on January 07, 2013, 09:47:18 AM
I don't know why, but her response kind of bugs me.  Maybe because it seems so flippant, like it is a joke?

Uh, yeah. "Surely it wasn't one of my little angels - must have been a poltergeist!"

I know a lot has been said and I'm commentig on something pretty far back...and I also am not picking on this particular post.  It's one of a few I could have quoted.

But, I do think it's kind of unfair to get on the SIL for assuming it wasn't one of her kids.  Sure, her response was kind of odd, but it seems to me she was trying to make light of "mystery."  Just like the OP, she probably thinks it was a kid that doesn't belong to her and doesn't want to come out and accuse them directly. 

It would have been better had she responded with something like "Yes, I heard the story in triplicate and if I get any useful information from the kids I'll pass it on", but outside of that, I don't think it's all that unusual for her to jump to the assumption that one of her kids wouldn't have done something like that.  It's the assumption the OP made about her own children and without any concrete evidence of who did it, maybe it is easier to try to laugh it off and forget about it.

OP, I think you're fine for going through with the sleepover and the measures that you are taking seem fair to all the kids across the board.  Hopefully, this is an isolated incident. 
Title: Re: Damage done to my home during a sleepover. Update #52 & #64, mom's reply #67
Post by: Lynn2000 on January 07, 2013, 10:35:12 AM
bah12, I kind of agree with you. The reason I didn't like the mom's response was because it seemed so dismissive of the entire incident--"Oh, it wasn't you playing a prank on the kids? Must have been a ghost! Ha ha!" She didn't seem to take it seriously.

Now, of course I don't know the mom and the whole backstory like the OP does; but if the mom heard the story "in triplicate," maybe she drew the conclusion from the stories that it was the OP's son who did it, or the OP herself, or just the dog, or whatever. It's not like the 11-year-old is going to say something to implicate himself to his mom. Though the OP feels almost certain it was nephew who did it, and the evidence she presents makes it seem likely to me, too, she doesn't feel it's solid enough to actually accuse the boy--there's a reasonable doubt, in other words, and for exSIL, who wasn't there and probably hasn't heard the timeline the OP gave us, it probably seems even more up in the air. So, just based on this--and again, I understand that knowing them personally could change things--it doesn't seem weird to me that the mom doesn't automatically think it's one of her own kids.

That's why I think the OP should make it clear to all that there will be consequences for this act; or at the very least, that there will be consequences if it happens again. Maybe that would make exSIL take it more seriously. I guess exSIL doesn't really need to take it seriously, though, as long as the OP holds her ground about the consequences, so maybe that's a moot point.
Title: Re: Damage done to my home during a sleepover. Update #52 & #64, mom's reply #67
Post by: DottyG on January 07, 2013, 11:17:31 AM
Quote
rubbing alcohol in the eyedrops trick

Please tell me people don't really do something like this to another person?  This isn't a prank; this is seriously dangerous.

Title: Re: Damage done to my home during a sleepover. Update #52 & #64, mom's reply #67
Post by: violinp on January 07, 2013, 12:33:18 PM
Quote
rubbing alcohol in the eyedrops trick

Please tell me people don't really do something like this to another person?  This isn't a prank; this is seriously dangerous.

Yeah, that goes beyond a joke to sheer malice.
Title: Re: Damage done to my home during a sleepover. Update #52 & #64, mom's reply #67
Post by: Virg on January 07, 2013, 01:38:29 PM
Angelic Gamer wrote:

"Also, you have a family member in your house that cannot communicate in human language.  You do have a obligation to make sure your dog is kept safe from whatever happened to make him yelp."

BarensMom wrote:

"Personally, I just wouldn't have the sleepover, if only because anyone who hurts my dog would be unwelcome in my home."

I just wanted to point out these two comments and contrast them to oopsie's description.  She said, "Not long after that, at around 11:30pm, as I was downstairs with DD and her teenage cousins, still watching movies, we all heard the dog howling upstairs. We all looked at each other and wondered what was wrong with him. DD went upstairs, saw him waiting at the patio doors and just figuring he really needed out badly, let him out. She did not see anyone or notice anything else unusual."  Based on this, there's no indication that anyone hurt the dog at all, much less with malice.  The dog got sick but there's no indication that anyone caused this (and our dog has occasionally had nervous issues when we have lots of visitors) and the dog howled at the door to be let out but there was nobody bothering the dog when DD got there (and dogs don't normally howl when they're being hurt), so assuming that nephew did anything bad to the dog is overreaching.

Virg
Title: Re: Damage done to my home during a sleepover. Update #52 & #64, mom's reply #67
Post by: AngelicGamer on January 07, 2013, 02:04:03 PM
Angelic Gamer wrote:

"Also, you have a family member in your house that cannot communicate in human language.  You do have a obligation to make sure your dog is kept safe from whatever happened to make him yelp."

BarensMom wrote:

"Personally, I just wouldn't have the sleepover, if only because anyone who hurts my dog would be unwelcome in my home."

I just wanted to point out these two comments and contrast them to oopsie's description.  She said, "Not long after that, at around 11:30pm, as I was downstairs with DD and her teenage cousins, still watching movies, we all heard the dog howling upstairs. We all looked at each other and wondered what was wrong with him. DD went upstairs, saw him waiting at the patio doors and just figuring he really needed out badly, let him out. She did not see anyone or notice anything else unusual."  Based on this, there's no indication that anyone hurt the dog at all, much less with malice.  The dog got sick but there's no indication that anyone caused this (and our dog has occasionally had nervous issues when we have lots of visitors) and the dog howled at the door to be let out but there was nobody bothering the dog when DD got there (and dogs don't normally howl when they're being hurt), so assuming that nephew did anything bad to the dog is overreaching.

Virg

Oh dear - Virg, thank you for pointing out the dog howled and didn't yelp.  I don't know how I got it into my head at the dog yelped.

I still wouldn't have the nephew or the nieces over again but that's me.  I do hope nothing happens during the planned sleepover, OP.
Title: Re: Damage done to my home during a sleepover. Update #52 & #64, mom's reply #67
Post by: NyaChan on January 07, 2013, 02:17:27 PM
The fact of the matter is that any of the kids could have done this and there is no real proof that it was nephew instead of one of the others.  Cousin's mom is declaring the innocence of her children just as vehemently as oopsie is declaring the innocence of her own.  So why is everyone so quick to jump on Cousin's mom when, to me, the two are arguing the same point: that their kid didn't do it.  Without proof it doesn't seem fair to me that nephew is painted as the bad guy.

POD. Suspicion is not proof, and since Balletmoms thread was a perfect example of how trigger happy parents can be when they feel their kids have been unfairly accused I really wonder why posters have been so quick to jump on SIL.

Sorry to deviate from the topic, I remember reading the thread, but can't remember what happened at the end - anyone know?
Title: Re: Damage done to my home during a sleepover. Update #52 & #64, mom's reply #67
Post by: jibby on January 07, 2013, 03:48:06 PM
POD. Suspicion is not proof, and since Balletmoms thread was a perfect example of how trigger happy parents can be when they feel their kids have been unfairly accused I really wonder why posters have been so quick to jump on SIL.

Sorry to deviate from the topic, I remember reading the thread, but can't remember what happened at the end - anyone know?
Balletmom's daughter admitted that she had shared the key to Uncle's (Balletmom's Brother) house.  BM's daughter offered a very halfhearted sort-of apology to Uncle and was not made to replace any damaged items.  BM was ofended that Uncle didn't immediately and completely forgive her daughter and forget the incident, despite the fact that BM badmouthed Uncle over the incident to the point that it caused a terrible rift within their extended family.  I was not being dramatic when I referred to it as disturbing.  I can't fathom any other reaction than mortification and restitution.
Title: Re: Damage done to my home during a sleepover. Update #52 & #64, mom's reply #67
Post by: NyaChan on January 07, 2013, 03:50:26 PM
Wow, I don't know how I forgot that.   :o  All I remembered was that the Uncle was going to go to the police.  Thanks for clueing me in!
Title: Re: Damage done to my home during a sleepover. Update #52 & #64, mom's reply #67
Post by: DottyG on January 07, 2013, 03:54:52 PM
Can you give a link to that one?  I'm not remembering it at all.

Title: Re: Damage done to my home during a sleepover. Update #52 & #64, mom's reply #67
Post by: Snooks on January 07, 2013, 04:00:02 PM
The link's earlier in this thread but someone mentioned the later thread where the truth of the situation came out was locked and deleted.
Title: Re: Damage done to my home during a sleepover. Update #52 & #64, mom's reply #67
Post by: jibby on January 07, 2013, 04:04:46 PM
The link's earlier in this thread but someone mentioned the later thread where the truth of the situation came out was locked and deleted.

Correct.  BM started the second thread to complain about her brother, after her daughter admitted to sharing his house key.  No clue why that thread was completely deleted.


Oopsie, I have to say that you're nicer than I am.  I would go ahead and call off the sleepover in the hopes that the culprit would be outed.  I'm wishing you the best, that following your warning there won't be any more trouble.
Title: Re: Damage done to my home during a sleepover. Update #52 & #64, mom's reply #67
Post by: VorFemme on January 07, 2013, 04:21:28 PM
Quote
rubbing alcohol in the eyedrops trick

Please tell me people don't really do something like this to another person?  This isn't a prank; this is seriously dangerous.

Yeah, that goes beyond a joke to sheer malice.

Kids think of things as pranks or minor issues - then find out that taking a bottle of 100 full strength aspirin will make their stomache acid enough to start sloughing the lining (a friend of DD's called her with what was probably supposed to be a suicidal gesture - only to end up with me at her house after calling an ambulance and she got her stomache pumped).

They don't know enough chemistry or read enough murder mysteries to KNOW that what they just did as an annoyance can be blinding a person or kill them (enough denatured alcohol may taste nasty to a healthy person - but if someone has lost their sense or smell or they've spiked a really strong tasting medicine.....well, the results may land them in juvenile court or even being tried as an adult).
Title: Re: Damage done to my home during a sleepover. Update #52 & #64, mom's reply #67
Post by: Slartibartfast on January 07, 2013, 04:48:12 PM
I agree with VorFemme - sometimes kids do something just to be puckish, not realizing it's a bigger deal to adults.  Sometimes kids also do something wrong, realize they crossed the line, and don't do it again.  I know I can remember several times throughout my childhood where I was doing something just to be silly/bratty/difficult, it caused a royal ruckus and got my parents really angry, and even though I never confessed I knew not to ever repeat my performance.  (So mom, really sorry I picked half the wallpaper off the bathroom walls while bored one day!  I never admitted it was me, but it was probably kinda obvious!)
Title: Re: Damage done to my home during a sleepover. Update #52 & #64, mom's reply #67
Post by: VorFemme on January 07, 2013, 05:48:30 PM
About fifteen or twenty(?) years ago, the junior high school where I was bullied from 12 to 14 burned to the ground.  Seems that, as a prank to get out of school early for the year, some little twerp started a "small fire" - that quickly got out of hand in a fifty or sixty year old building...ashes & rock from the outer walls were about all that was left (based on the news article and photos).

I did not go look at it because I figured dancing for joy would not go over well.  Besides - the police might start asking where I was at the time the fire started....

I understand that everyone else finished up the year in a makeshift school in a couple of warehouses.

The little twerp ended up in juvenile hall for at least a couple of years - possibly longer (I know that they had hauled her off, but I didn't see the story with her final sentencing).  Going to school in orange denim overalls has to be an "educational" experience.  She had no idea that an old building with a very dried out wooden frame would burn up that fast, I'm sure.
Title: Re: Damage done to my home during a sleepover. Update #52 & #64, mom's reply #67
Post by: oopsie on January 09, 2013, 08:20:16 PM
A most sincere thank you to everyone who has taken the time to way in on this issue. I love this forum!!

I just thought it may be worth mentioning that I saw nephew's father this evening and told him what had happened last week. IMO, he took the news very seriously. He looked very solemn as I told him what had happened.

A few minutes later he followed me in to the next room and quietly thanked me for telling him as he wouldn't have known or been told otherwise. He went on to explain that nephew has some issues and is also having problems at school. He didn't come right out and say it but I think that he believed that there was a good possibility that nephew was involved and he said that he would talk to him.







Title: Re: Damage done during a sleepover. Update #52,#64, mom's reply #67, dad's #194
Post by: Lauren on January 09, 2013, 08:37:43 PM
Quote
A few minutes later he followed me in to the next room and quietly thanked me for telling him as he wouldn't have known or been told otherwise. He went on to explain that nephew has some issues and is also having problems at school. He didn't come right out and say it but I think that he believed that there was a good possibility that nephew was involved and he said that he would talk to him.

I agree with your assessment.

Are nieces and nephew's parents still married? That's not a good sign if they are.
Title: Re: Damage done to my home during a sleepover. Update #52 & #64, mom's reply #67
Post by: LeveeWoman on January 09, 2013, 08:38:57 PM
A most sincere thank you to everyone who has taken the time to way in on this issue. I love this forum!!

I just thought it may be worth mentioning that I saw nephew's father this evening and told him what had happened last week. IMO, he took the news very seriously. He looked very solemn as I told him what had happened.

A few minutes later he followed me in to the next room and quietly thanked me for telling him as he wouldn't have known or been told otherwise. He went on to explain that nephew has some issues and is also having problems at school. He didn't come right out and say it but I think that he believed that there was a good possibility that nephew was involved and he said that he would talk to him.

I'm glad there's one parent who's not a nut.
Title: Re: Damage done during a sleepover. Update #52,#64, mom's reply #67, dad's #194
Post by: sammycat on January 09, 2013, 10:32:14 PM
I'm glad Nephew seems to have at least one sensible parent. 
Title: Re: Damage done during a sleepover. Update #52,#64, mom's reply #67, dad's #194
Post by: Sophia on January 09, 2013, 10:38:31 PM
...Are nieces and nephew's parents still married? That's not a good sign if they are.

I seem to remember that the breakup of the marriage was part of the nephew's problem.
Title: Re: Damage done during a sleepover. Update #52,#64, mom's reply #67, dad's #194
Post by: Ladybugs on January 10, 2013, 12:39:40 AM
I'm late coming on the thread and didnt take the time to read every reply but I did read some...at this late point not sure if op ever actually found out who did it

I know I'm really new here but I will add in my two cents also...I guess we all base our advice partly in our own beliefs and leanings...
I have always felt a strong conviction to not take things at face value, things aren't always as they might seem to us

I guess I am of the camp who feel nobody really knows who did it. The op admittedly says she can't in any fairness say for sure who did it, but then goes on to say the nephew found the dog food in the cheesecake, as if that means he's guilty. I understand the point but one could actually say the opposite....if he was the one who did it, he probably wouldn't want to make himself stand out that way by findng it. If I put dog food in cheesecake, I wouldn't want to make it obvious by drawing attention to myself in that way. I might pretend to be asleep in bed instead,..so one can't say either way. Yea, it could look guilty that he found the dog food, but if you take it another step, a guilty person on the other hand might not want to look obvious that way.
Title: Re: Damage done during a sleepover. Update #52,#64, mom's reply #67, dad's #194
Post by: RingTailedLemur on January 10, 2013, 02:01:39 AM
I guess I am of the camp who feel nobody really knows who did it. The op admittedly says she can't in any fairness say for sure who did it, but then goes on to say the nephew found the dog food in the cheesecake, as if that means he's guilty. I understand the point but one could actually say the opposite....if he was the one who did it, he probably wouldn't want to make himself stand out that way by findng it. If I put dog food in cheesecake, I wouldn't want to make it obvious by drawing attention to myself in that way. I might pretend to be asleep in bed instead,..so one can't say either way. Yea, it could look guilty that he found the dog food, but if you take it another step, a guilty person on the other hand might not want to look obvious that way.

I disagree - the perpetrator knows who did it.

I also disagree about the "finding the dog food".  In my experience, children often give themselves away like that.  He/she played a joke for the reaction it gets, and if the discovery and reaction don't happen quickly the child often gets frustrated and "discovers" it him/herself to push along the joke and be sure to witness the reaction he/she wanted.
Title: Re: Damage done to my home during a sleepover. Update #52 & #64, mom's reply #67
Post by: Marbles on January 10, 2013, 02:16:24 AM
A most sincere thank you to everyone who has taken the time to way in on this issue. I love this forum!!

I just thought it may be worth mentioning that I saw nephew's father this evening and told him what had happened last week. IMO, he took the news very seriously. He looked very solemn as I told him what had happened.

A few minutes later he followed me in to the next room and quietly thanked me for telling him as he wouldn't have known or been told otherwise. He went on to explain that nephew has some issues and is also having problems at school. He didn't come right out and say it but I think that he believed that there was a good possibility that nephew was involved and he said that he would talk to him.

I'm glad there's one parent who's not a nut.

It's good to hear that your nephew has one parent who is addressing his behavior struggles. Do you have a way to contact Dad, should you need to follow up with kudos or more concerns after the birthday party?
Title: Re: Damage done during a sleepover. Update #52,#64, mom's reply #67, dad's #194
Post by: MariaE on January 10, 2013, 02:38:40 AM
I also disagree about the "finding the dog food".  In my experience, children often give themselves away like that.  He/she played a joke for the reaction it gets, and if the discovery and reaction don't happen quickly the child often gets frustrated and "discovers" it him/herself to push along the joke and be sure to witness the reaction he/she wanted.

This is definitely my experience as well.
Title: Re: Damage done during a sleepover. Update #52,#64, mom's reply #67, dad's #194
Post by: AfleetAlex on January 10, 2013, 01:41:11 PM
On top of everything else (on a much less important note) there was the regrettable ruin of a perfectly good cheesecake.  ;D
Title: Re: Damage done during a sleepover. Update #52,#64, mom's reply #67, dad's #194
Post by: Kaypeep on January 11, 2013, 11:49:47 AM
Good update.  Also good that this happened at home and not on the planned group vacation.  I'd take it as a sign that no good deed goes unpunished and so it's best the notion of taking those kids on a trip with you is just not wise right now. Maybe when nephew is older.  If at all.  And definitely never with SIL, who appears to be one of those "not my child" parents who will never own up to the possibility that their kid did something wrong.
Title: Re: Damage done during a sleepover. Update #52,#64, mom's reply #67, dad's #194
Post by: NyaChan on January 27, 2013, 04:49:10 PM
OP, any update on this?
Title: Re: Damage done during a sleepover. Update #52,#64, mom's reply #67, dad's #194
Post by: floridamom on January 27, 2013, 11:05:04 PM
On top of everything else (on a much less important note) there was the regrettable ruin of a perfectly good cheesecake.  ;D

I fully agree!  ;D
Title: Re: Damage done during a sleepover. Update #52,#64, mom's reply #67, dad's #194
Post by: oopsie on January 28, 2013, 05:57:59 PM
OP, any update on this?

DS's birthday sleepover went off without a hitch and the "ghost" did not reappear...

 ;)
Title: Re: Damage done during a sleepover. Update #52,#64, mom's reply #67, dad's #194
Post by: Marbles on January 28, 2013, 08:53:43 PM
That's great to hear! I hope your home continues to be poltergeist-free.  ;)
Title: Re: Damage done during a sleepover. Update #52,#64, mom's reply #67, dad's #194
Post by: Twik on January 30, 2013, 08:50:37 AM
It could be worse. I recall a story a few years ago about a family that spent $60,000 trying to find how some strange person was controlling the electricity in their home. He'd turn could somehow turn power off and on, and would leave gloating messages on voicemail.

It was solved when one investigator put in nannycams, and found that it was the mother's teenage son. He wasn't happy with his new stepfather, or the home they'd moved into, and was trying to get them to move back to where his friends lived.

His mother was devastated. She said she would never have believed it was him without seeing the videos, "because early on I asked him if he was doing it, and he said no."
Title: Re: Damage done during a sleepover. Update #52,#64, mom's reply #67, dad's #194
Post by: alkira6 on January 30, 2013, 08:58:46 AM
It could be worse. I recall a story a few years ago about a family that spent $60,000 trying to find how some strange person was controlling the electricity in their home. He'd turn could somehow turn power off and on, and would leave gloating messages on voicemail.

It was solved when one investigator put in nannycams, and found that it was the mother's teenage son. He wasn't happy with his new stepfather, or the home they'd moved into, and was trying to get them to move back to where his friends lived.

His mother was devastated. She said she would never have believed it was him without seeing the videos, "because early on I asked him if he was doing it, and he said no."

This kid would be paying me back for the money I spent until he retired.
Title: Re: Damage done during a sleepover. Update #52,#64, mom's reply #67, dad's #194
Post by: Twik on January 30, 2013, 09:31:18 AM
This kid would be paying me back for the money I spent until he retired.

Yes. They'd completely rewired the whole house, trying to find how the "interloper" was cutting the power, and (apparently) bugging the place so he could hear what everyone said. Turns out, the kid was just pulling breakers and flipping switches.