Lots of my friends have kids, are pregnant or are planning on getting pregnant. I swear for every friend that I’m close to, there is at least two extra people in my life because of their collective children. But hey, I only work part-time, go to school part-time and generally don’t have any pressing priorities in my life unless I have a test or a paper is due. So this past year I’ve actually wound up being a by-default baby-sitter. Seriously too. They all hate asking each other to watch their kids because they all already have kids, so I normally get the first call…which comes once a week usually when I’m living near them.
“Can you take T-Dawg for a couple of hours today?”
“Do you mind watching Hell Spawn for an hour while I run out to get groceries?” (My friend knows I don’t change diapers so when she leaves me with 2-year old Hell Spawn she is literally gone for exactly one hour)
“Can you come help me with Accident, Larry and Peanut for the afternoon?”
And yes, I call all of their kids by these names. T-Dawg, Hell Spawn, Accident, Larry, Peanut, Squirt, Chewy, Nip, Tuck, Tad…they all get their own special nick name because it helps me remember who is who…because I’d hate to lose a kid and forget which mom I need to call. Not that I’d ever do that…but the one I call Squinty once got a ripper of a bleeding nose because he ran into a wall during a rousing game of “Don’t Wanna Bath” and I phoned the wrong mommy freaking out because I broke her child.
But I really do love each and every one of those kids in my own twisted way. Here’s why:
5) When I do something right, it feels like I’m on top of the world – Serious too! I only have to baby-sit maybe once or twice a week tops so I don’t have to deal with every day baby/toddler/kid stuff like bleeding noses, tantrums, potty training and “THE FUCK DID THAT KID JUST EAT?!” So when I do something for my first time or do something right, I celebrate and the kids celebrate with me. Almost every cool thing I do as a baby-sitter is a reason to dance like a moron and toss around some high fives and fist bumps. Except that time Peanut ate a worm…we still high-fived, but I still researched if he was going to die or not and called other moms to ask if I’d just killed Peanut.
4) Gosh darn to they have good snacks – My friends never send me off with their kids or have me help out with their kids without providing some seriously awesome munchies for both the kids and I. You bet I’ll happily share a sippy cup full of whatever organic, vitamin infused juice my crazy friends are pouring down their kids throats…that shit tastes like a freaking rainbow. Oh and the animal crackers. I’ve tried buying animal crackers on my own, but they are just so much more awesome when given to you by a spit-covered hand that just wants to share. Plus…it’s free and kids snacks are darn expensive.
3) I get to spend a few hours getting nothing accomplished that I need do, but still feel like I did a lot – Let’s be serious, folks, I should be doing my homework. I should be working on that essay due next week. I probably could have finished that chapter I was reading. Except I was totally playing with my friends kids for three hours because she needed to run a few errands or needed me to pick the kid up from daycare because she had to work late. That works just fine. I love playing and I love watching cartoons. I can skip a homework session or two for that.
2) They shit they say is brilliant – I’ll never forget the day I was in my friend, Kyla’s backyard playing with her twins Nip and Tuck who were 5 at the time. We were playing a game I invented called “Find Cool Stuff While Talking in Bad Accents” when Nip yelled out “HOLY SMOKING JESUS GIRAFFES ON A STICK OF SWEET VIRGIN MARY!” when he found something on the corner of their house. I nearly died choking on spit and laughter because what he had just said was so freaking brilliant and blasphemous (Kyla is a devout Christian) that the phrase was purely crafted of pure win. Plus he’d found what looked like two grasshoppers humping but to him it was a two headed grasshopper.
1) I get to give them back – I love them, but it’s awesome that after the few hours that I’m trusted with the care of these wee children that I get to give them back.