A friend of my sister's asked if she and her two children could stay at mine for a week so she could visit my sister. They lived a few hundred miles away (in the area that my sister and I grew up) and wanted to avoid the expense of a hotel.
The first night was fine but when I woke up after the second night things had gone wrong. I went to use my upstairs toilet to find it blocked because an entire roll of toilet paper had been shoved in it. I went downstairs to find the same had happened to the downstairs toilet and the were the obvious signs that someone had gone to the toilet on the floor. My sister's friend was still asleep and her two children (ages 6 and 9) were wrecking my house.
My book shelves had been emptied and some of the pages had been ripped out of the books. Two of the sofa cushions had been torn open and they were drawing on my painted floor with black marker. I grabbed the marker off of them and woke their mother (I wasn't happy and didn't want to clean up their mess all by myself). She moaned at me and said they were only children playing and I shouldn't be angry.
I stormed into the kitchen to get some gloves and cleaning materials and the next thing I remember was laying on the floor with a paramedic above me. The children had tipped an entire bottle of washing up liquid onto the floor and I'd not noticed and slipped in it. I knocked myself out on the cooker and broke my wrist and sprained my back when I landed on the floor.
I ended up staying in hospital for four days because I needed surgery on my wrist and my sprained back was quite severe. I couldn't stand and had lost control of my bladder. When my sister visited I told her that if her friend and their children were still there when I got home I'd call the police and report them for trespass.
They were gone when I got home and my house had got cleaned and the floor repainted. A week later I was given money to replace my sofa and the books that were wrecked. I was very surprised as this woman didn't seem the type to pay for damage caused by her children. I found out a couple of months later that it was actually my sister's money and that she'd almost emptied her savings account. Her friend never paid her back and I have never received an apology from the friend. I felt awful that my sister had spend hundreds of pounds fixing her friends children's mess. I tried to give her the money back but she refused.
The following year I went to visit some old school friends who lived in the area that my sister's friend lived in. I found out that she had spread rumours that I'd hit her children and kicked them out and stole money and posesions from them. My friends knew I'd never do that but I received a lot of verbal abuse whilst I was in the area from others who did believe it. I've never gone back.
I have had children of other friends and family members and I've never been treated as disrespectfully as I was by those children and their mother. Their behaviour was rude, destructive and obnoxious. I haven't let their behaviour turn me against the idea of letting children in my house but I am very cautious when I do allow children over.
I thought, after reading the comments that I'd address a few things that came up a bit.
My sister's friend stayed at mine because at the time my sister lived in a tiny bedsit and didn't have room for them. The friends husband was visiting his mother and said he didn't want to take the kids with him (I found out later that his parents would no longer allow the kids to visit because of their atrocious behaviour).
She and her husband didn't believe in disciplining children and were of the opinion that when children got a bit older their behaviour would correct itself (possibly one one the stupidest things I've ever heard).
My sister no longer speaks to her and that is partly down to her behaviour at my house and the nasty rumours that were spread about me. There are other reasons but my sister didn't want to talk about them when I spoke to her about no longer being in contact with her friend. My sister did consider taking her to the small claims court but decided in the end that it wasn't worth it as it wasn't clear if a claim would be successful and even if she did her friend and husband were on a low income and she didn't like the idea of being in contact with her for the lengthy time it'd take to pay her back.
I did eventually fully recover from the injuries that I received that morning. It took a bit of time and physiotherapy.
The main reason I went anonymous was because over time there was a lot of feuding between her family and my friends and a couple of family members that lived in the area (that was quite surprising as my immediate family have very little contact with the family in that area because they never approved of my father's army career). Slowly all of that has stopped and I don't want to rock the boat and cause all of it to flare up again. This woman only started spreading rumours when she heard I was going to the area for a visit. I think she was afraid that I would tell loads of people what actually happened and she decided to get in there first.