Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Why You Don't Want Me to Babysit Your Children

My parents were going through a divorce when I was sixteen. That Christmas was going to be awful because my Dad was in NC with his girlfriend and my Mom had a new boyfriend in DC. When I got a letter from a family that I had babysat for asking me to come to London for three weeks to help care for their kids, I jumped on that offer!

I babysat for this family since I was 12. They lived two houses down on our street in Virginia. They had two sweet little girls, Megan and Katie. They wanted a little boy too and about a year before they moved to London they had Thomas. Thomas was a spoiled brat because he was the youngest and he was a boy. He got anything he wanted. I didn't realize how bad he was until I arrived.

I thought the parents were very cool. They were both young, in their mid-thirties. The mom would sneak cigarettes outside and give me wine to drink at night. My job was to care for Katie(4) and Thomas(2), Megan went to school during the day. I wasn't a full time Nanny, the mom didn't work. Since this was Christmas time, she was busy shopping and out at parties with her friends.

The first week I was there, I had fun. It was like vacation. One weekend, they even took me to the Cadbury chocolate factory. I love Cadbury chocolates. Comparing Hershey's to Cadbury's is like comparing gerbil balls to goat balls. I'm especially fond of Cadbury Roses, it's an assortment of caramel and nut chocolates. I bought five boxes.

At night, I would feel sad and homesick. Even though my family was a mess, I wished we were still one unit. I missed my sisters and my friends. It was the first Christmas I was alone. I'd lie in bed, cry while listening to "Now That's What I Call Music 1993" tape on my walkman and ate Cadbury Roses. One night, I was PMSing so the crying and cravings were worse. I got carried away and ate the entire box of Roses while feeling sorry for myself, it was probably over 30 pieces.

The next morning, the Mom came in my room to wake me up. She found the empty box of Roses and wrappers beside my bed. She asked me if I'd eaten the entire box in one night. When I told her I did, she decided to keep the rest of the boxes hidden until I went home. She took my chocolates away and I'd bought them with my own money! Bad move. Things just went downhill from there.

Christmas Day I was even more melancholy. Everyone was so happy and cheerful but me. The children had mountains of gifts to open. I had two. It brought back memories of my childhood and how things would never be the same again. I smiled and pretended to be happy but all I really wanted to do was listen to my music and eat chocolate.

The next night, the Mom was going out with friends for drinks. I was in charge of fixing dinner for the children. Thomas would never eat his food, his parent never forced him to eat either. His diet consisted of animal crackers and juice. Thomas always had a sippy cup full of juice and that was the reason he was never hungry.

While I was in the kitchen heating up green beans, tater tots and chicken strips, Thomas came in waving his empty sippy cup at me. "Jjjj-UUUU-sh?"

"No, Thomas. No juice now. I'm fixing you dinner, you are going to eat soon."

"NO! Jjjj-UUUU-sh! I want Jjjjj-UUUUUUU-SSSHH" and he fell into a heap on the floor, screaming for his juice and kicking his legs in the air.

God, I didn't feel like dealing with his bullshit. Thomas, his sippy cup and juice was like an addict with a pipe and crack. I grab the cup out of his hands and the wailing gets louder. I decided to trick him and put two tablespoons of juice in the cup and filled the rest with water. Diluted juice would hold him over until I could finish making dinner.

He was a little whipper snapper though. He took a sip of my concoction and then gave me that "You don't fool me" look.

"This NOT Jjjj-UUUU-sh!" He threw the cup on the kitchen floor. The lid came off and juice splashes everywhere. I saw red and it wasn't just the juice either.

I know that I cannot beat the crap out of the kid. I grabbed him by his arm though. He won't walk and he acts like dead weight. I tell him he is going to sit in the TV room until I'm finished with dinner. He still refuses to move, so I drag him by the arm in the TV room. Katie is watching "Land Before Time" and behaving very well when I drag Thomas into the room. I deposit him on the floor and go back into the kitchen to clean up the floor and finish dinner.

Once I have the meal on the table, I call the kids in and the girls happily eat. Thomas won't touch his food and gives me the evil eye. The Mom walks in while the girls are eating. When Thomas sees her, he bursts into tears.

"Thomas Baby, what's wrong?" She asks as she runs over to hold him.

"No Jjjj-UUUU-sh!" He says while glaring at me.

She runs to the kitchen to get his fucking juuush. She returns and hands it to him but he will not hold it with his left arm. (The arm that I used to drag his bratty butt into the TV room.)
"Thomas does your arm hurt, what's wrong my sweet boy?" The mom asks brat boy.

He looks in my direction and points at me. Great, now the shit's gonna hit the fan. She asks if I know what happened to his arm. Before I could explain, sweet little Katie decides to help me out. Thanks, girlfriend.

"Thomas was being bad so she had to drag him by his arm into the TV room."

The Mom's face went pale. She runs into the kitchen and breaks out cookies and candy. She hands him all these goodies but he won't use that arm. She thinks I pulled his arm out of socket. Now, I'm getting concerned. I know I pulled him but I didn't yank him. She calls her husband and tells him to come home right away because they are going to take Thomas to the hospital. All I could think of was going to jail in London for child abuse.

Thomas was a Daddy's boy. Once he saw his Daddy walk through the door, he ran into his arms and hugged his neck tight. He used both arms. The little actor forgot to play the part once he saw Daddy. I was relieved and apologized but I was never forgiven. The Dad wasn't as angry with me as the Mom. She wouldn't leave me alone with any of the kids that last week. She took me to the airport two hours early too, she didn't want me to miss my plane!

Needless to say, I wasn't invited back to London for any Nanny jobs again.

As a side note, I ordered some Cadbury Roses a few years ago, I can't find them in the US. The UPS guy left them in the blazing sun on the porch. When I discovered them, they were all melted and ants were crawling on the box. I stuck them in the freezer, waited for them to harden back up and ate them, ants included. Chocolate covered Cadbury ants! Just more protein, right?


At 10:04 PM, Blogger E-Speed said...

I babysat for three little brats. I will never babysit again. I had batteries thrown at my head and had to literally tie the kid to the chair for time out. Outrageous!

At 10:07 PM, Blogger Dori said...

Ye gads, I wanted to beat that kid. Um, comparing gerbil balls to goat balls? You do live on a farm.

At 11:16 PM, Blogger the Dread Pirate Rackham said...

Oh. My. God. You poor thing! What a horrible, horrible situation to be put through! Ack! Three weeks and the bitch took your Roses away? I'da killed her AND her little brat-lets!

My husband is British, his family often brings me Roses choccies when they come to visit. I understand your affliction. Did you know you can get them here?

At 12:03 AM, Blogger 21st Century Mom said...

I am so impressed that you can remember all of this stuff. I remember nothing from when I was younger. I remember the kid who almost choked to death on the hot dog when I baby sat but that's about it. You roool!

At 4:20 AM, Blogger Chris said...

I hope that mom reimbursed you for the chocolates that you bought and didn't get to eat. That sounds like it was just overall an awful time! Ugh.

I dunno about kids. Sometimes they're adorable and sometimes they're like Thomas. Makes me wonder if and when I want to have any of my own...

At 7:32 AM, Blogger nancytoby said...

The bitch took your chocolate? She's lucky you didn't drown all her brats in the bathtub, and then smother her in her sleep.

At 8:14 AM, Blogger Flatman said...

All I can do is laugh at this story....

You have some funny-ass stories!

At 12:54 PM, Blogger Robin said...

Lived in London for 6 mo. after college. Cadbury ALWAYS beats Hershey's HANDS DOWN! I remember having this debate with someone I was working within London and the Engish guy thought Hershey's was better, while *I* was arguing for Cadbury! Go figure.

At 10:30 PM, Blogger Robin said...

Hmm, I'm very curious: You said they got divorced when you were 16, and that even tho' the family was so messed up, you had wished you were all still one unit. Now, at your current age, do you think it was a good idea they got dovorced, or do you now think they should have kept the family togther as one unit?? I'm just curious....

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