me: i'll do it.
t: um. i've heard about your cat.
me: meh. a cats a cat. a person's a person.
me: do you have wireless internet?
me: can i use your washing machine?
t: yes, i guess.
me: do you have cable?
t: yes. and a big tv.
me: okay. as long as you're home by 11:30 p.m. i can't stay later than that.
me: oh. wait. one more thing. i need to be able to document this on my blog. i will change the name of the innocent.
so t and her husband are at pirates of the carribean and i am here. i left my laundry at home, though. thankfully, they didn't check my references:
MY BABYSITTING RESUME IN A NUTSHELL
ryan was an asshole. if you had told me when he was three that he would grow up to be a decent high school soccer player, i'd have snorted yeah, right and wondered if his mom was going to have to also tryout for the team, because there is no way this whiney runt was going to ever disengage from her leg long enough to contribute to the game. and no one wants a midfielder spewing snot and tears. during his toddler-hood he was only happy in a moving stroller and so i happily moved his stroller directly to my mom's house, where she could be held responsible for his tears.
his parents were cheap. years later, i ran into his father at a bar. he had the creepy ogle of a man who wants to play "i'm the dad, you're the babysitter, let me drive you home, my wife doesn't understand me, my you're blossoming into womanhood. nicely."
callie, as a five-year-old, enjoyed lounging in a beanbag and suntanning. her favorite videos on mtv included: janey's got a gun, talk dirty to me and jeremy by pearl jam. when i tried to treat her like a five-year-old, drink boxes and crayons, she rolled her eyes and seemed to be saying "please, woman. don't insult me." one day she wore to school long underware beneath a two-piece swim suit. she intimidated the crap out of me.
sometimes her dad was home and sleeping as i babysat. i always hated that. when the kids were napping, he would come into the basement and watch "yo mtv jams" with me, but never say a word.
michelle, michael and jonathon loved nothing more than jesus. their entire world was filtered through a very christian-centric filter. it wasn't that they did not want to fight, jesus didn't want them to fight. their favorite songs were hymns, which they performed together in a creepy cultlike singalong. soonafter they accused me of french-kissing my boyfriend, i was no longer asked to babysit. i can only assume they wanted no part of where my handbasket was headed.
while sean and michael were hockey players who championed mullets and liked to wrestle and swear, it was their three-year-old sister kristin who locked me in the family's laundry room. i stood inside the room, yanking on the doorknob. it wouldn't turn and she stood on the other side giggling manically like a freakish chucky doll. as i prepared in my head what i would tell their parents, i felt ... pathetic. not to mention weak. on a similar note, the fischer kids knocked the sliding door between the kitchen and living room off its roller. they were on the fun side. i was in the kitchen. through their back window i could see my boyfriend's parent's house. i watched them watch tv and ate potato chips and let the fischer kids do whatever the hell they wanted.
once while babysitting my cousin, i told him that if he didn't go to sleep something bad would happen. i also told him that if he took one of these pills [a cheerio] his knee would stop hurting. it didn't occur to me that these are both pretty terrible things to say to a kid. thank god his mom didn't get into a car accident that night. and thank god he didn't become a drug addict. yet.
my only positive babysitting experience was little matt. he wasn't that much younger than me. in fact, he did most of the actual monitoring of his siblings and i flirted with him and thought: i can't wait until we're both in high school and it won't be creepy if we date.
the last time i was charged with the care of a child, my neice mel was about three. i played the song "just like heaven" in the car, hoping she'd stun her parents pista with some "show me show me show me" lyrics before bedtime. we zipped through the burnsville mall doing wheelies with her stroller. i let her lay on the floor in the shoe department and dismantle a display. when we left the mall, i realized that parking lots are giant death traps for people under 3-feet tall. i put her on my shoulders and sprinted to the car and decided to never take a toddler in public ever again.
these days i don't see kids very often. and whether i like them or not is really case-by-case. for instance, the seven-year-old ninny who lives across the street from chuck sucks. not just because she did the universal and judgemental "pewy" waft when i walked past her with a cigarette. no. i loathed her the first time i heard her riding her bike up and down the street in 12 foot increments, singing some song with ridiculous and repetitious lyrics. clearly someone at some point told her she is cute and she continues to believe it. on the other hand, i like the three-year-old boy who lives about three doors down from chuck. i often stop at the window to watch his little mind whirl with busyness: i want to be in my pool. look, there's the dog! i need to get to the sandbox! hey! where'd i put my wheelbarrow? i'm going to put my dumptruck in the pool. is that an airplane? it's an airplane! HI AIRPLANE!
so. this has been a pretty seamless night. t's tot likes to be thrown in the air and she likes to hang upside down. she likes to mush crackers in her hand and then try to feed them to you. she can say "puppy" "kitty" "table" "baby" and "no." and really, i'm not sure anyone needs to know more than that.
i read her the same book 50 times and she laughed at all of my jokes. at one point, i got her drool in my eye. i also changed a diaper that was actually not yet dirty, and then realized that i'm not sure if i put this one on backward or forward.
i've eaten about six pieces of salt water taffy, nine pringles and one of their chicken kiev's. i'm hoping the fact that i've gone into t's tot's room every 10 minutes to make sure she is still breathing will make up for my gluttony in their eyes.