4 hours ago
Tuesday, December 23, 2008
After more dithering than usual, I admit defeat and hire a babysitter, such that I am able to visit the dentist without a care, or less care than I would otherwise experience.
I prep the baby sitter and demonstrate the choice of five different holiday crafts available to entertain the troops. I hand her the itemized check list regarding bolters, unexpected hazards such as toilet brushes, guide her to the snacks and generally cross all ‘i’s and dot all ‘t’s.
As I hover in the kitchen I explain that technically Nonna is in charge, that she, the baby sitter is her designated helper, but not really, although she really is. She looks at me with a quizzical expression. Clearly my earlier confirming telephone conversation fell on deaf ears, and they weren’t Nonna’s deaf ears. I am confident that I will return within the allotted time span, before the bewitching hour of 5:30 and electronics time, just in time to make a scratch supper. I dither as the minutes tick by, say my good-byes and depart.
I stagger home with a brilliantly shining set of gnashers two hours later. Two years of clag has been chiseled off my teeth, post braces and surgery. I am probably two stone lighter. The house is both calm and silent, surely it is uninhabited? At the table sits the baby sitter, cutting coupons. There is no sign of Nonna or anyone else for that matter. On the table are three tree ornaments from a remarkably creative set of hands. I wonder whose hands? I look at the baby sitter and she smiles in return. “Um…..all well?”
“How are the children…….or rather……where are the children?”
“Oh they’re jus playin. If yah can sign the forms?” I scribble my illegible signature on the papers and skuttle off on the hunt for small people. All the small people are in the hall, wired into their computer games at 5:10 in the afternoon. “Did you get electronics early for making those wonderful decorations?” No-one so much as lifts an eye-brow because I am invisible, despite the flashy neon teeth. I peek in on Nonna with an open book on her chest. “Everything go o.k? Any problems?” I yell.
“No….everyting fine…..but I was bored you know….coz you can’t talk to dem when dey are doing the electronics times.”
“Oh I’m sorry about that…..how long have they been doing electronics?”
“From the moment you left…….dat was it….” she opens her arms in a gesture of defeat, one that I am all too familiar with.
“Did you like it?”
“Yes they’re perfect…….magnificent…….” I beam as the light dawns.
“You know………it’s dah first time I have ever done anyting like dat before.”
"This time next year we'll have you all set up on Etsy!"
"You can knock out a dozen a day! We'll all be millionaires!"
There’s a first time for everything I suppose, although I expect 'exploitation of elders' may put a spanner in the works.