Wednesday, November 17, 2010

The Babysitter

The babysitter is my arch enemy. He has been for a long time. I just wasn't aware of it until recently. It was my children who brought it to my attention.

The day I finally understood the rivalry between us was dreary. Cold drops of water fell from the dark sky, keeping us inside for the entirety of the day. The children and I sat snuggled in my bed. The last hour before bedtime seemed to travel slowly, without mercy. My husband had been out of town for 4 days and I was exhausted.

As I began to read the next chapter, the children began to giggle and wiggle. I thought they were just restless. I nudged them and reminded them to listen. The giggling and wiggling continued. Slowly, their heads disappeared under the covers.

"Are you guys done listening?" I asked gently, peeking beneath the blankets. Neither answered me. Both had mischievous grins on their faces. "Isn't the story fun anymore?"

"Mom,last night, when you were gone, Frankie let us build a huge fort with all the blankets and chairs in the house and it so much fun! Can we do it again?" I smiled, glad that they had enjoyed themselves in my absence. Not so much that they had enjoyed themselves, I guess, more so that they hadn't been set mindlessly in front of the TV.

"Not tonight, it's getting too late. Let's finish the story. It's almost done, okay?"

"Ugghhhhh," said the youngest one, "Frankie is the most fun ever. All you ever want to do is homework and reading!"

"Yeah!" intoned the other one before I had fully processed what was said.

"Homework and reading are important. We have to do that. But we do have fun too!"

The conversation went on, the children proving their point over and over. It was loud and clear. I was a parent, a guardian, the adult in their life who told them what to do and when to do it. I was fulfilling the role that the experts said children needed, but the experts must have been wrong. Children wanted and needed friends.

So, Frankie, if you are reading this, we are now enemies. You've been sly, deceptive, and are clearly far ahead as the fun factor in my children's lives. But I wasn't playing the game then. You just wait! I am going to be the most fun person my children have ever known!

*** Daily Writing Practice ***


  1. I was hoping there'd be a moral at the end; a reminder that moms need to have fun too, but the line "But I wasn't playing the game then" was a pleasant twist and made me laugh out loud. I'm Glad I'm not Frankie.

  2. I have to be honest and say that I vacillated on putting a moral at the end. But to what point would it have been?