Adventures in Babysitting (Part: “My Brother Doesn’t Read This Blog”)


Well, last time we talked about how I am, more often than not, a danger to myself and others. What can I say? It’s a gift. I’ve been preternaturally clumsy my entire life. (I think that means I bump into ghosts. Not sure. I really need a better thesaurus.)

In addition to the poor nephew of the last post, I also have a niece. She’s of the more fragile age of … turning-3-tomorrow. So for now, she’s 2. TWO. It helps that she’s scarily precocious to the point that I *really* want to check her closet for a hidden laboratory, but I digress….

Look, this past weekend, I fell out of bed and only woke up when I landed on my face. I injured myself with a hairbrush and nearly blinded myself with eyeliner. I am not the first person who should come to your head to entrust something you’ve been working on for like 3 years and that you spent nearly 10 months cooking! But my brother and sister-in-law are adorable and naive and still think that I can’t totally warp their kid in the space of 6 hours. (Seriously, you’d think they’d know better….)

So they let me:


Would YOU trust me with your kid? I didn't THINK so!


….with the malleable, still forming synapses of this:



Innocent, malleable, possibly forever warped now....

Now, lest I leave you with the wrong impression, despite yesterday’s claim that leaving your kid with me makes you automatically a bad parent, my brother and my sister-in-law are actually really good parents. This picture is of her, her stuffed Mickey pumpkin (named “saltypants”) and the bed she’s snoozing on at Disney World because that’s the kind of parents she has. She turns 3? They go to the magic kingdom of fun and sugar overloads.

They’re good parents. I’m pretty sure that’s why they have the kid and I don’t. God is apparently on top of this stuff.

Anyway, so when left with their precious, precocious and giggle-faced toddler, what did I do?

Well, first we got tattoos.


Not REAL ones. (Though I did tell her that when she’s ready for her first one to call me ’cause I’ll probably want one, too, and I’m totally the “cool” aunt.)  But we did get tattoos and we talked about the anti-feminist themes of major Disney princess movies and — okay, well, *I* tried to, but at that point she insisted we go make pretend pie in her Tinkerbell kitchen, so I think maybe my point was lost. I probably shouldn’t discuss complicated socio-gender concepts with her until she’s at least reading chapter books.

So we made pie in the Tinkerbell kitchen and she took my order because she likes to play waitress and despite my attempts to get her to play bionuclear chemist FROM SPACE, she really wanted to play waitress.  So she took my order. A lot. I asked for chicken, but they were all out. (She frowned at her pink learning laptop while she informed me that there was a chicken shortage.) I asked for ice cream but got a lecture on eating my “reglaler food” first before I ruined my appetite.  So I asked her what they had and all they had was Clifford pizza and Bazagna.  I tried not to think about what cartoon pet pizza might signify and asked for the “Bazagna.”  I was told I had to eat “Bazagna and a bean” before I could have ice cream (in which they only carried pineapple flavour).

And you know, the longer I sit here and think about it, I realize what they were up to.  Suddenly, I’m not so sure who was babysitting whom….



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