Took all the soaps and shampoos

So I had a group check out yesterday, grandma and two teenage grandsons. When they left I was doing my walkthrough and noticed the baskets of soaps/shampoos/razors toothbrushes from both bathrooms were emptied out. It was a lot of stuff, I overfill these baskets and this is like the 2nd or 3rd time in 4 years a guest emptied it out. I WAS PISSED! But I know this is the risk I take.

As I was still there I got a text from grandma:

the tall boy is my grandson, the other one is my foster, I think he emptied the basket in the bathroom

I was like you knew this? Ugghhh. then after a few minutes I let it go and sent her this:

I hope he gets to feel secure with you and not feel the need to stock up on things like that at some point. I fostered my daughters from babies, they came with nothing I can only imagine how hard on a teen.

It was like $15-$20 worth of stuff, and I have plenty more to restock it. I am glad she told me the backstory



Your compassionate and understanding reply probably did more for grandma than most here can imagine. Based on what little I know of the foster system, she’s probably on eggshells much of the time and getting that reply would be a little exhale for her. Good job.


Well worth the $15-20 bucks. Probably stashing it for if he gets moved again.


My thoughts exactly, poor kid.



She probably didn’t realize he took the stuff until they got home and she saw it at some point. Good of her to message you about it. I have a friend who took in foster kids. She was way too trusting of them and she naively let one of them stand next to her when she went to the ATM. He saw what numbers she punched in, then took her bank card out of her bag one day, and took money out of her account. These kids have some sad backstories.

Foster kids also have assumptions made about them that are a challenge to overcome. At one point she fostered a brother and sister who had no backstory of abuse or deprivation or bad parenting. Their mother had died in an accident, and a year later their depressed father had killed himself. They only had one other family member, an uncle, and he didn’t want kids to look after, so they ended up in foster care. My friend would go into their schools and talk to the admin and teachers, letting them know that her fosters were not “problem” kids, and not to make any assumptions in that regard.

Those kids are grown now, she stays close with them, and has always considered them to be her kids, as much as her own 3 kids are.


Luckily you were compassionate with the grandmother in your wording. For future, assume that everything extra you leave out will be used. That’s why a lot of hosts only leave so many dishwasher or washing pods, soaps/conditioner/shampoo, towels.


I have been leaving a heaping basket of stuff out for years, it’s very very rare that someone will take it all. I know that it is a possibility, but I will keep doing it this way.



Good story, a good reminder that sometimes best to cut someone a break.


They hoard food, too. It’s awful and so sad. Your response was good and I’m glad she told you the story. Hey - maybe your $20 of stuff will help him feel secure and also gave grandma a teaching moment about being safe with her.


As someone who raised three kids, I can tell you that it seems most kids go through a bit of a klepto stage at some point, regardless of them coming from “good” homes and being raised with good values.

My oldest daughter, who was Miss straight A student, went through it in grade 6. Some classmate had brought a bunch of pens he had stolen from Walmart to school and was showing them off and the other kids then all tried to see if they could, too. (Kinda like the TikTok challenges of today, just not as potentially deadly as some of those) She and her girlfriend stole some small items, and got caught. Then my daughter tried stealing a candy bar from the corner store next to our house and got caught and banned from the store. Then I found a brand new pair of pants in her room, with the tags still on, which she claimed she had found by the river. On further questioning, she admitted she had stolen them from a store and I drove her there and made her go in and return them (she was mortified), and of course the manager told her she was banned from there as well.

I told her she was obviously not cut out to be a thief, as she managed to get caught every time, and she should probably give it up. I’m pretty sure the pants were the last attempt.

My middle daughter also stole stuff for awhile, but she was good at it- she never got caught, I only realized when I did a once-a-year deep spring cleaning of the kids rooms and found things.

The youngest tried it once and got caught. Over a stupid $1 eyeliner pencil. (She got an allowance, it wasn’t like she was deprived and couldn’t afford the dollar) I got a call and had to go up to the store dick’s office to retrieve her. As far as I know, she never tried to steal anything again.


The kid (and some adults) might not even have thought of it as stealing. Some adults and kids take everything put out in a hotel and they think the rules are the same in an Airbnb rental.


My neighbour at the cottage here had visitors with a difficult son. While everyone was inside, the son snuck out to my neighbour’s car and stole $1,000 that he had left in his wallet. My neighbour and his dad had been friends for years.

Point being that it can happen to even the best people.

Thank you for your kindness.


I have a friend whose son is a sociopath (perhaps a psychopath) who is in maximum security prison after a sexual assault he committed at age 16, and a murder he committed years later when out on probation. Before he was 16, he was doing break and enters and spent time in juvenile detention.
My friend was a good mom, and her other son is a normal human being, with a good job and a family. It isn’t always bad parenting or a bad home life that creates bad kids. Nature sometimes trumps nurture.


So true, you see this with two siblings from the same family, upbringing, opportunities, education, yet turn out night and day. Dissimilar scrambling of genes/nature?

I do the same and with snack foods and beverages as well. But I don’t put more than the number of guests booked.
From foster kids view, I feel sorry for him and if he finds toiletries to be a luxury, good for him. Just bless him with those and let go of any discomfort since you put more than enough. Just hope the kid does well.


Old friend of mine started life as a roadie in the 70’s, then settled down and became a well-respected employee of a major company. His sister was a doctor. His brother was a drug addict that ended up on the streets.

yes, my brother is borderline sociopath, we don’t talk to him anymore and for now he is married with little kids so hopefully keeping himself busy with that, and keeping his murderous thoughts at bay. He was always a disagreeable kid but sometime in his 20s he turned into a psycho. I moved 3000km away from him.


one of my host did same thing. One more thing he bring his dog and made huge mess in my house but good thing is that he pay extra $50 for clean up that was a good thing. :laughing:

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I am so sorry that it happened! But foster kids are damaged from life they were living before.
Yes, let it go… even bless that might be this goodies help to restore sense of kindness inside this boy.

But I do not put too much soaps and stuff anymore them …

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Perhaps next time its best to leave notes to not take everything or leave just small bottles,

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