Adventures in Babysitting

The Christmas holiday brings an overabundance of holiday parties, which equals lots of babysitting opportunities!  Now, I can’t say that I’ve babysat since I was in highschool, but I got enough babysitting in to have a few hilarious stories on hand for any dull moment.  Those have all lasted me until now…

Five-year-old Chelsea lives down the street from the Bon House, and Christa and I take turns babysitting for her.  This hookup just sort of happened.  Last year, a few of the Bon House girls babysat Chelsea, so the job was just sort of handed down to us.  No complaints here…I could use a few extra dollars!

A week or so ago, Christa’s job took her out of town, just in time for an email from Chelsea’s mom, asking for a babysitter for almost every night of the week.  I was stuck…semi-gladly.  Chelsea is – for the most part – a super easy kid to babysit.  She comes home from school and wants dinner, which her mom conveniently sets out for her/me.  During/after dinner, Chelsea wants to watch the Food Network.  She LOVES Rachel Ray and boos when most other people are on.  One time, in particular, Paula Deen came on, dripping with southern accent, and Chelsea explained in disgust, “She says ya’ll cause she doesn’t know how to say you guys.”  Hilarious.

Chelsea’s obsession with the Food Network will probably turn her into quite a cook some day.  In the meantime, she loves playing restaurant and makes me play the costumer, while she is the chef/server.  “What do you want to drink,” Chelsea asks.  I look around for some clues, but find none.  “What do you have?”  “We have lemon juice or lime juice,” Chelsea replies.  “Mmm…lime juice!,” I say.  Then, she proceeds to mix together loose change, monkeys in a barrel, and several hair rubberbands in a toy frying pan on a toy stove.  Yum, isn’t imagination tasty?!

Another incident that has stuck with me over the past couple of weeks went something like this: Chelsea and I were watching the Disney channel.  Some girl band came on – two white girls and a black girl.  Chelsea pointed at the TV and said, “I like this girl, and this girl…but not THIS girl,” pointing to the black girl last.  I said, “Why don’t you like that girl?”  And Chelsea replied, “I don’t like brown people.”  I was slightly taken aback by this comment, because Chelsea and her parents are African-American (though her mom is lighter than Chelsea and her dad).  Cautiously, I said, “Well…aren’t you brown?”  And she said proudly, “I’m cinnamon… and my dad’s chocolate and my mom’s mint chocolate.”  I smiled and asked, “what am I?”  She said, “You’re chocolate!  White chocolate chip!”  I’m glad we’re all different flavors.  That’s much more exciting than white or black or brown anyway.

Spending so much time with Chelsea really made me happy (and exhausted).  Part of why I have loved it so much is because I just read – and loved – the book, All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten, by Robert Fulghum.  I guess it’s a pretty old book, but it’s an old treasure, that’s for sure.  I’ll put a snippet of it in a post tomorrow so you can check it out.

Kids rule, adults drool.  I’m pretty sure I learned that in kindergarten.


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