We have started using a sitter for date nights. Actually it's a mom, with her 15 year old teen, who she is sort of training to babysit. It's a family from our church, generally like minded, home schooling single mom. They are sweet, dependable, very available, and my kids like them. Date nights have been such a positive thing for DH and I. We've used them 3 times now.
DH has set all of this up on the phone, at my request that he take charge of us doing this. The mom asked if we wanted them to do baths. DH told her that we don't do nightly baths, and didn't need them to bathe the kids. When we came home from our second date, the kids were bathed. I was a bit uncomfortable with this, but I'm a control freak, and I'm trying to let go more. I would have liked to have been asked first - perhaps a simple text (The mom has texted with DH some during our dates, mostly just saying "all is well"). The kids were fine, clean, happy, and ready for bed. I was glad to sit down and nurse my baby. I had a nice time with DH. I didn't comment.
The third date we were running late and I was getting dressed when they arrived. So, I came down to say bye to the kids after they'd been playing awhile. DD1 and the teen were playing with a craft that was up high out of DD1's reach (though in easy view of the teen). I was a bit irritated they'd taken it down (mosaic stickers, so hundreds of tiny stickers), but I figured they'd clean it up and I wasn't attached to the craft, and they were already doing it, so it didn't seem worth commenting. DD1 is THRILLED to have the undivided attention of a teen and doesn't want me involved.
They bathed the kids again that night. We got in late and they left quickly. The next day I saw paintings they had done, which startled me. Doing laundry this week I discovered clothes with lots of paint on them. I casually asked DD1 what paint they had used, and she said "my very special paint"!! This is her brand new Stockmar wet on wet paint - expensive paint designed to be very diluted. It was up high out of her reach, but again, in view, right with her nice glass paint jars. Not only did they use the paint, they put brushes directly in the bottles!!! We don't even do that with our cheap crayola paints. All three primary colors are mixed up, and most of the bottles are gone. This was about $25 worth of paint, which should have lasted years. It doesn't even look like kid paint. The bottles weren't even wiped off. The clothes are stained as well. I'm floored and having lots of trouble making this into an innocent mistake. I feel really violated here. It just feels so disrespectful of our property. They didn't ask if the kids could paint. I didn't think to tell them not to take down craft supplies out of kid reach. We have TONS of toys, books, and even craft supplies in easy kid reach that would have been FINE to use.
I've talked with DD1 about this, but I'm not sure how we should talk with the sitters. I wonder if I can feel comfortable leaving them with my girls in my home again. I don't want to start from the drawing board looking for a sitter. Should we just mention the paints? The baths too? Honestly, I think I'm ok with the baths, but I would have prefered having the chance to give explicit instructions on what to use on the kids and such. I don't know how to mention everything they might think to do with the kids. I don't want to make this about money. They are a low income family, and I do NOT want them to pay for the paint or the clothes.