I huff and I puff and I blow 1/5 of the dandelion down. With cameo appearances by Romeo and Tofu.
We celebrated Cousin Lauren's 8th grade graduation recently and she made lovely flower crowns and necklaces for all the little girls in attendance. I marvel at Lauren's natural kindness and caring and how easily she plays with little kids. She has always been responsible and mature for her age; even at 8 years old I remember her at family gatherings, keeping an eye on all the younger cousins running around and she was so gentle and creative in inventing games to entertain them. I admire that so much in young kids--when they are compassionate and sweet and genuinely nice people. I give much more credit to a kid who has those traits because that means they are inherently good.
Which reminds me of how exactly opposite I was when I was her age. And beyond. Despite my obsession with The Baby-sitters Club books and my perfectly replicated "Stacey" handwriting, my parents would not give into my pleas to post flyers around the neighborhood offering my babysitting services. How hard could it be? Go over, read some books, serve some hot dogs, collect cash money.
So one time, ONE time, they finally let me babysit two boys that lived across the street. I was 12, the boys were 6, and my parents would be 100 yards away, home the entire time. Piece of cheesecake.
Until The Incident. The Incident which involved plastic dinosaurs filled with urine. OLD, STANKY, LITTLE BOY URINE.
All I remember was going into the boys' room and they were like, "You want to see our dinosaur?" Channeling my extensive Baby-sitters Club knowledge, I said, "Sure, little boys. Let's play with your dinosaur."
I reach out to grab it, something SLOSHES inside, and then I feel it. And worse, I smell it. Dark yellow liquid splashes onto my bare wrist, and then onto the off-white carpet. The boys start laughing hysterically and run out of the room. 12 year old Vicky is like, "Oh no you dii'n't just splash PISS all over your babysitter. Homey don't play this."
I remember running after them and making them tell me WHAT WAS IN THE DINOSAUR, BOYS. When I poured the pee into the sink, it was not yellow. It was BROWN. It was prehistoric piss in a plastic dinosaur and it sealed the deal. I never babysat anyone again. No amount of cash money was getting me back in that game.
Congrats on making it through 8th grade Lauren. You're a much better young woman than I was.