13 September 2010

Adventures in Babysitting

Yesterday I babysat.



I babysat.

Me, Mandy.  The same Mandy who's spent the better part of a decade saying things like "If you just shake that baby it'll stop crying"* and "Can't you give her some NyQuil?"** in order to prevent anyone from even thinking about asking her to babysit. 

Our friends had asked if we (well, I, because Matt was celebrating his Christmas since yesterday was the first Sunday of NFL football) could watch their two girls for a few hours yesterday.  (I'd previously offered.  I really like their kids.)  And then I thought, "Hell, I might as well get Iris and Opal over here for an afternoon of girl fun."  This was my moment of genius, by the way, because if there's one thing I remember about my glory days of babysittting (hey, thanks, family, for spitting out 200 babies when I was fifteen), it's that four kids are easier to watch than one or two, because they'll entertain each other.

(I also had a little bit of an ulterior motive.  Watching a 7, 4, 3, and 2-year old, I decided, would either make or break my pro-babyness.  This was a test.)

So there were four girls, and me.  This shouldn't have been intimidating or scary.  I am a teacher, after all.  I teach something like 90 kids every day, so the thought of four very cute and sweet girls coming to my house for two or three hours shouldn't have freaked me out.  But it did.  It did because I didn't just want to be a babysitter.  I wanted to be the BEST babysitter.

Enter Target.  I shot over to my home away from home, and began to maniacally throw stuff into the cart.   Usually, I'm so restrained when I'm shopping, and I walk around and pour over each little silly purchase.  Not yesterday.  Yesterday I just walked up and down the arts and crafts aisles, grabbing things that looked fun.  It was like an episode of Supermarket Sweep.

And here's what I ended up with.

Glitter glue.  I did debate with  myself over the glitter glue.  Need or want?  Finally, I had to do what I always do in these situations.  I asked myself, "Will this glitter glue make me $4.44 happy?"  The answer?  Yes, of course it will. 

I also picked up sidewalk chalk, and had a brief moment of awesome when I realized that we could use the chalk on the Lagoon floor.  Hells yeah!

So the girls got here, and the fun commenced.  We made glitter glue collages.  We played Play-Doh and mixed the colors.  Opal pet Mitch.  We drew on the Lagoon floor with sidewalk chalk.  We made JMU cupcakes.  They played hide-and-seek while I cleaned up after the cupcakery (by the way, baking is messy when I am doing it by myself; it's insanely messy when I do it with four little ones--totally worth it, though.)

The little ladies, tired from all of the running, finally asked if I had On Demand.  (So mad that I didn't have On Demand when I was a kid.  All we had to watch were VHS tapes of Super Ted and some episode of Scooby Doo that Jordan had recorded.)  They watched Care Bears (because the show is so annoying that their parents won't let them watch it at home) and I popped popcorn.  And while they watched the show, I dipped popcorn into cake batter and thought to myself, "Yeah, I could do this.  No problem."

*That's a joke.  A bad, horrible, very funny and distasteful joke.  Don't shake babies because if you do they might die.

**Also a joke.  Don't give NyQuil to babies because they will get drunk, or sick, or something.  I haven't ever actually given NyQuil to a baby, so I'm not quite sure what would happen, but I'm sure it would be bad.

***And then the oven broke.  So really we made cupcake batter. I might have been able to get it to work, but I thought better of pumping my kitchen full of gas and then lighting matches when I had a house full of other people's kids.


  1. I'm so proud of you! You're growing up! Also, all those items made me think of Grattan Street. :)

  2. Ha! Caitie, why didn't we decorate the house on Grattan with glitter glue? The breakfast nook would've looked great all glittery. Why? Paxton. That's why. Paxton would have no glitter glue.

    Carly, not so much brave as stupid, I'd say.



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