Someone needs to take a nappy nap!
Well. Have I got a great blog entry for you! Yes! I do!
I am taking care of a sweet little girl on Fridays named Brianna. She’s cute. Her parents are cool. They are the kind of parents I want to be someday. Laid back, sing song voice free, capable of carrying on a real conversation with another adult, kinds of parents.
I showed up today, and Brianna’s mom, Heather, told me about a neighbor who is looking for a last minute babysitter for her two year old son tomorrow night. I am broke and said, sure, give them my number. Brianna’s mom called her up on the spot and the other mom, Elena, asked to speak to me. Heather handed me the phone and Elena thanked me for being willing to jump in on such short notice. She suggested that she come over and meet us so that Strickland (Not his real name, but almost as ridiculous) would feel more comfortable. I said sure, come on over. They were on the doorstep in 2 minutes. Strickland and mommy were dressed in matching slickers and bumblebee rain boots. As I approached the door, I thought, “Shit, shit, shit. Bad idea. Take a lesson from your neighbor and hide.” But the door is glass and they were waving excitedly. It was too late. I opened the door.
Elena: Hidy ho there! you must be Katy. This is Strickland the Bumblebee Boy! He is so happy to come and play with you!!!
Me: Uh, hi. Come on in.
Elena: Let’s fly inside the house little bee! Wheeeee! We make honey and live in a:
Elena: That’s right! Wowee, what a smart bee you are. Flap flap, in we go! Bzzzzzzz, flip, stomp stomp, woo!
Me: Uh, sit! Have a seat!
Elena: Thank you Miss Katy! Strickland, what do you say to your new friend Katy? Huh?
Elena: So, I was thinking we could take a nice walky walk, stomp! stomp! to the community center and go to their open play time! How do you feel about that?
Me: Uh, well, I guess I fee…
Elena: I was talking to Strickland and Brianna.
Strickland and Brianna say nothing and stare at the floor.
Elena: Let’s get our jackety jackets on because it is so, so cold out! Is it snowing? Is it raining? Is it icy? I DONT KNOW! Yay!!! Let’s sing the coat song!
No one wanted to sing the coat song with Elena, so she sang it all by herself. Really. I had met this woman under five minutes ago, and I already wanted to kick her in the box and run like hell.
It was unbelievable. I kept thinking, “This can’t be happening right now. What can a person do in a situation like this?” I felt so helpless and cold and alone.
She kept uttering these random noises like: “woosh! wee! wowee! and boop beep!” She would also narrate her movements with “Hoppity Hop! Jump! Stomp! Slidy Sliding!”
It took us about 20 minutes to walk the six blocks to the community center. Not because we had toddlers with us, but because Elena wanted to use each flower, rock, sidewalk crack, bug, raindrop, cigarrete butt, blade of grass, pile of shit, etc. for a Toddler Learning Tool. She is one of those moms who needs to wrench and squeeze every last Learning Opportunity from the world and cram it into her child’s head. Strickland must be reminded at each corner why mommy wants him to hold her hand, why cars are dangerous, what would happen if he ran out into the street, etc.
I will spare you the details of the entire day. I will spare you the agony of recounting the four hours (yes. four fucking hours) I spent with them, thinking it would never end, that I would never get through it. But we ended up at their house, choking down grilled cheese sandwiches as she asked Strickland which special sippy cup he wanted, and which color bib he felt like using, and which plate he wanted, etc. I wanted to shout at her,, “Strickland doesnt give a flying fuck about whether or not his sandwich is cut into two or four pieces! DO YOU REALIZE YOU ARE GOING TO TURN HIM INTO A SERIAL KILLER???” The poor kid is constantly dizzy with choices and conversations about his feelings.
When we finally got out of there, I was dizzy and a little sick to my stomach. I took Brianna back home just in time for her mother to arrive. I stumbled back home and crashed on the red couch.
Jess came home and we talked about it, I cried a little, and felt better. I came up with some interesting questions/observations:
1) What was Elena like before Strickland was born?
2) Why is she still married?
3) I cannot wait to meet her husband. I wonder if she talks baby talk to him when they are alone.
4) He must have a job that keeps him at the office a lot.
5) He has to be cheating on her.
6) Strickland has his name painted on the wall in huge primary colored block letters.
7) Their house was basically a playground for Strickland. Every room was full of toy chests.
8) Every single photo in the house was either of him alone, or of him with one of the parents. Not a single one of them without the kid.
9) It is imperative that they have another child so that Strickland doesnt have to bear this alone.
10) The kid is surprisingly normal and not bratty
11) I cant believe I have to go back there tomorrow.