May 22 2011
Greetings, Cool Peeps:
Yes, I want to get married. And yes, believe it or not, I want to have children. When I was in high school, I had lots of babysitting jobs; it was a great way to enjoy the company of children and earn money.
But now I’m older. I adore kids, but I am too old to babysit. Just as I don’t want to attend any weddings until I have my own, I don’t want to babysit for any kids until I have my own.
About six years ago, I ran into a high school classmate here in Swansea. She had gotten married right out of high school (even I didn’t want to do that) and had three kids by the time she was twenty-three. When I saw her, she looked absolutely frazzled. She was pregnant with her fourth, taking her three-year-old twins to the doctor, and the babysitter at home had just called to say she had a family situation and couldn’t stay.
“Oh, Molly, I just live five minutes away from here, on Devonshire. Could you stay with Benjamin until I get home? I’ll only be an hour. You would be saving my life!”
I’m a nice person. How could I say no to saving a friend’s life? So I went to her house, relieved the anxious babysitter, and said hello to Benjamin, her five-year-old whom I’d met several times before.
The teenager on duty had informed me that it was Benjamin’s bath time and that she had just drawn a bubble bath for the grassy-kneed, mud-covered child. Wasting no time, I took Ben upstairs (I so had not bargained for that) only to find that in his effort to help the babysitter, he had poured out half a bottle of bubbles into the running water. The freakin’ bathtub was overflowing. The bubbles were everywhere.
My horror was no match for Benjamin’s delight. That’s right. De-freakin’-lighted. Before I knew it, the fully clothed child began splashing water and bubbles all over his clothing and his face. Then, he jumped in the tub and submerged himself in water. And then I saw him go “gulp!” And then another “gulp!”
“Oh, Benjamin,” I said, in utter mortification, pulling him out of the tub. “You’ve swallowed bubbles!”
The child looked around the bathroom, assessing the situation and wanting to reassure me all was well. “Don’t worry, Molly,” he said, looking at the bubbles that now covered the floor. “There’s still lots left.”
The inner me screamed, and I told Benjamin we would have to drain the tub and clean the bathroom and start all over again. Cleaning the bathroom, redrawing the bath, and washing Ben without clothes took forty-five minutes. No sign of his mother. Just as Ben was finishing his bath, she finally called. I was thrilled.
“Hi, Molly. Everything okay? The doctor had a hospital emergency, so he’s just seeing patients now. You don’t mind staying with Benjamin for another hour, do you?”
I wasn’t happy, but karma being the bitch that it is, I thought I might score some points with the cosmos by playing the happy camper.
Determined to be a stellar role model to this bubbly child in his mother’s absence, I explained to him that after he got out of the tub and dressed, we would wash his soaking wet clothes because you should only put dry clothing into a hamper.
After Ben was finally toweled dry, he told me that he wanted to use the toilet by himself. I gave him his privacy and told him I’d just be in the next room if he needed me.
I went into the den and sat down. This wasn’t so bad. I would enjoy being a mother some day.
“Molly!” came the scream. “The toilet threw up!”
Benjamin, after doing his business, had decided to surprise me by washing his wet clothing—in the toilet. For all of our sakes, I will not describe in graphic detail. It wasn’t a pretty sight.
I know, peeps, I’m lame. I’ll toughen up when I have my own. I’m sure of it.
So, make me feel like a real duh-you-moron wimp. Tell me your crazy kid stories. I can take it.