February 08, 2007
Yesterday I babysat our neighbors' four year old while they were in the hospital delivering their second. All in all, I think I did pretty well, in spite of the fact that I have no idea how much a four year old eats, how fast he can walk, how long he should nap, and how often I should reply to the incoherent strings of speech flowing nonstop from his mouth. I went in pretty blind, but we managed to get along. The only headache all day was this kid's bipolar spastic attitude towards the dog. "Charlie, come here!" he'd screech at the top of his lungs. Five seconds later: "Charlie, go away!" We had a couple close calls where the kid would dangle a toy at Charlie's nose and then yell at him if he took it, or where he thought it was great fun to keep tapping Charlie in the face with his bare foot, but thank heavens Charlie supressed all his normal dog instincts and just went with the flow. And I realized what a blessing it will be that our child will just grow up alongside Charlie so he won't be such a novelty.
So I managed to handle a kid for 12 hours...with the extreme help of Lightning McQueen, Mike Wazowski, and Willie Wonka. And I realized how much I should cherish the absolute silence of our home for as long as is still possible; it will never be that way again.
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