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Thursday, January 22, 2009

All Strung out

We tumble into the house after school and greet the new potential babysitter. Hopefully in one hour from now, we shall have found our perfect match in return for the three hour minimum charge.

Our extra play date victim introduces herself, “Hi I’m Felicity, I’m here all the time so you’re gonna have to get to know me too.” I blink as I think. I sincerely hope this is wishful thinking rather her future reality. My own children are otherwise immediately occupied with dogs and cats and Nonna.

I interview and brief the babysitter by modeling. She stands by the kitchen door as we exchange information. Homework is on hold whilst I juggle. I juggle snacks, enquiries and queries from the five humans in my care, the usual blur of activity.

My daughter brings Thatcher back into the house after a frolic in the garden and talks to him as she towels him dry, “poor ickle wickle puppy is frozen cold.” Immediately we have a dose of the usual, a piercing scream of horror from my youngest as he hurls himself to the floor in a reverie of agony, “oh no! My dog is froze. I don wan a popsicle dog.” I glance at the baby sitter, “did I mention that he’s rather………er…….highly strung?” I scoop him up as there is no point in talking to the literal, far better to offer him the evidence of his own eyes. The eyes of the baby sitter are no longer glazed but gleam, with a slight tincture of alarm. I park him vertically, in front of Thatcher who pants and scratches and shows every degree of being alive and well. Poging, of the gleeful variety, overtakes him as he throws his arms around the furry neck, “ooo my own twoo dog, you are be alive!” he coos in the most beguiling of tones.

After 45 minutes in our company, I sign the papers to release the babysitter. I watch as she skuttles down the path, without so much as a backwards glance.

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