December 10, 2008

Unintelligible Fun

Guy 2 graduates from U.S. Air Force boot camp this week.
Boot camp was crazy. Babysitting was crazy too.

"Okay, have fun! I'll see you whenever you get back."

The door closes, and three eager faces look at me, wondering "What're we gonna do?"

I had built up this whole babysitting thing with the cousins, and now it was time to deliver.

The Characters:

The 2-year-old: Loves to communicate in unintelligible languages urgently. I'm convinced she speaks a mixture of a South African dialect, a little French, Dutch, and then sprinkles English on top to mess with my mind. It works.

The 6-year-old: Very sharp, loves to get a kick out of something I really didn't intend to be funny, laugh hard for a good long while, then bring it up all the time. It's like I'm a smaller person than her. She's nothing above 4'2", and I'm over 6 feet. But yet I still often feel left out, or that what goes on with her is way over my head. It puzzles and intrigues me. It must be a skill.

The 8-year-old: Avid reader of anything she can get her hands on, plays piano, has bright red hair but a fairly complacent personality, loves dancing and singing above all other sports (including eating, breathing, and keeping a regular pulse). She really, really loves to dance.

Me: Older cousin and babysitter now being stared at expectantly.

"Okay girls, are you hungry? Feel like pizza?"
Their excited response was encouraging, but not enough to pull me out of my small low I'd just tripped into realizing that painfully un-original me just played the stereotypical babysitter and offered the girls pizza. It was a hard hit to take, but after a moment, I swallowed a glass of water and moved on with my life.

Over glasses of milk, chips with salsa that was too hot (the animated and over dramatized yelling that happened on the two-year-old's side of the table was a poster on the wall that said "salsa. dumb idea. she's two.") I had seen her eating it earlier that day, but unfortunately the salsa didn't make it into the long-term memory part of her brain, because the first thing she did was ignore the pizza and go right for the mild, piling it all on a single pathetic corner of a chip, and plunging into her pallet before I had an opportunity to finish praying.

"In Jesus name..."
"yaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhh! hot! hot! hot!" the two-year-old yells.

"Amen. Two-year-old, no more salsa. Eight-year-old, could you pass it to this end of the table so she can't reach it? Thanks."

A few moments later, I look over at 6-year-old next to me, who isn't touching her pizza. "Hey, what's going on girlie? Can I cut up your pizza for you?"

"Sheesh, I thought you'd never ask. And I'm hungry too."

Feeling pretty bad I hadn't thought of it sooner, I cut her pizza up into bite-sized pieces for her.

"Oopsies" I said, then kept cutting. "Sorry Bob. Shoulda asked you sooner 'bout that pizza."

Then up from her toes came an incredibly loud roar of laughter, and hair flew all over the table as the six-year-old threw her face onto her plate and started cracking up hardcore.

"Sorry Bob! HAHAHHHAHHAAAAAAAA! He said 'Sorry Bob!'"

Perfectly even toned, not gracing the 6-year-old with the least bit of inflection, the eight-year-old coldly responded "It wasn't funny."

Your imagination can fill in the rest of the meal, and it probably wouldn't be that far from the actual dining experience I had.

Next task at hand: clean up dinner, then decide that cleaning up dinner was very boring. So we stopped cleaning, and skipped right to the dancing portion of the evening.
Take two cups of ballet and put them in the center of the room.
Next find one egg(head), give him a guitar, and tell him that no adults are around, he can act as dumb as he likes.
Then, take three tablespoons that are totally dirty, and set them on the counter where they will be ignored as the rest of the events in the evening unfold.
Add a half cup of general noise provided by two-year-old who could care less about the Tarzan soundtrack music, if people were dancing, she was too.
Sprinkle ever so slightly a little mosh action the girls picked up somewhere...from someone else other than me who didn't teach it to them the last time I babysat...
Then douse it all with hyper-ness, bake at a million degrees for about 45 minutes, and you have...

Me getting schooled by three girls who KNOW how to dance and all together don't add up to his age.

Thankfully after the girls went to bed, I still had an hour or so of quiet, danceless time which I used to clean the areas that looked like Katrina happened twice in. It made the house look really good when I put the furniture back where it belonged.

As I slowly drifted off to sleep that night, the sounds of the 80's still ringing in my ears and my legs aching from the many times I jumped into the air purposelessly, I thought to myself...

"Did you leave the oven on?"

Sleep didn't come so easily after that, because trying to drift off again having just gone from a relaxed horizontal position to a leaping, running, stove-checking frenzy of action brought my pulse rate up in a decidedly unhealthy manner.
The stove was not left on.
But I was no longer tired.
Oops, I'm totally not allowed to say that.
I meant "aw man!"

© 2008

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