Yesterday during snowcopalypse 2016, when the radio announcers were telling everyone to stay the heck home unless they had 4-wheel drive, we went to the grocery store in a car that barely had half-a-wheel drive. We like keeping the roads safe… half a wheel at a time. I’m pretty sure it was karma that whilst we were in the grocery store, we ran into someone I’d hoped I’d never see again for the rest of my entire lifetime. The last time I’d seen her I was probably 10 years old, and goodness knows I’ve changed since I was 10… because I’m an adult now… and am no longer frizzing my bangs and wearing saucer-sized horn-rimmed spectacles the size of my noggin. The point of me discussing my appearance from nearly 30 years ago is to say that it was highly likely that this person would never have recognized me if we had passed in the store, but I just so happened to be grocery shopping with Madre, and Madre hasn’t changed a wit in 50 years, so the lady immediately gleed right on over to Madre and gave her a hug… I kept walking, hoping to avoid any awkwardness, but Madre wouldn’t have that, and immediately yelled… and you remember Whitney!? To which I had to turn back around and feign excitement. OH HELLLOOOOO… IT’S BEEN AGES!!
What on Earth do I have against a perfectly nice lady from my childhood? Not a thing… except that I almost got her children killed approximately 850 times in the space of a neverending summer. You see, they were our neighbors back in the day, and one year when I happened to be the tender age of 8, I was hired to work full time one summer from 7:30 a.m until 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday, babysitting her 3 children. I was 8… the oldest boy was 7, there was a 5-year-old girl, and a 1-year-old baby boy… let me repeat, I was 8! Mind you, I looked very mature for my age… like a 55-year-old woman with a 5-year-old brain… but looks do not determine maturity, and so the havoc those children wreaked on the house and the neighborhood that summer is stuff that legends are made of.
As an 8-year-old girl, I’d find myself getting so caught up with playing with video games with the 7-year-old or Barbies with the 5-year-old that I’d totally forget about the 1-year-old who by that time was walking all over the place and into everything! One day, the mom came home to the baby having drawn with permanent black sharpie marker all over a brand new recliner and the walls. I didn’t even know he was doing it on account of the fact that the Kapers had to be Keystoned and we were on level 10 of the Atari game, Keystone Kapers!
Several times, perfect strangers would knock on the door with the baby in hand saying he had been wandering the streets and they’d almost run him over. The kids ate what they wanted because Whitney didn’t know how to make toast… let alone anything with health benefits in it. One day they ate a whole pan of brownies (with my help of course)… brownies that the mother had made to take to a potluck that night. I was easily distracted and horribly irresponsible… but I was also 8.
Standing in that grocery store yesterday, trying my best to keep my red ears from popping off my noggin, I wanted to apologize for my 8-year-old self, but I didn’t. I wonder when she saw me if a flood of horrid memories came back to her from the summer all 3 of her children nearly burnt the house down with their 8-year-old babysitter holding the lighter fluid. I think it’s only fair she make another pan of brownies to celebrate the fact that they all 3 made it to adulthood. No thanks to Whitney, Babysitting Services Extraordinaire!
Lindsay says Baby BoBear wants to move to Russia… it’s too cold in Russia Baby BoBo…
They’re also teaching him to straight up lick the nasty shopping cart handles… YOU WILL BE A GERM-A-PHOBE, BoBo!