Remind me to never again hire an incompetent babysitter. Ever. It’s hardly worth the aggravation I suffered as a result of inviting said twit into my home to care for my children. Granted, my husband and I enjoyed an enchanting evening together, which is a rarity in and of itself, and the delightful buzz derived from the three (or was it four?) glasses of something-or-other I quaffed was utterly decadent. However, those savory nuggets of goodness were but a distant memory once we crossed our threshold and laid eyes upon the mother of all messes.
The devastation we witnessed there was unconscionable. Rest assured, our charges were alive and well—and thankfully, hadn’t torched the place or climbed onto the rooftop to pet a squirrel. Just the same, I was baffled as to how our happy home had been transformed from the tolerable state of disarray in which we left it to the state of total annihilation in which we found it—just two hours later. It was inconceivable.
Dora the Explorer underwear, sweat socks and remnants of cheesy pizza littered the coffee table. Discarded clothing and half a roll of Scotch tape hung from the sofa like Spanish moss. Puzzles (Lord knows how many!) had been dumped and abandoned in front of the television set—which was blaring a lovely little blurb about Girls Gone Wild at roughly 120 decibels. A slew of videos and DVDs lay behind the couch like forgotten Frisbees and scads upon scads of marbles (which I failed to remember we even owned) were strewn about the place like chicken feed. I’m still finding the wretched things. Grok!
Needless to say, the floor itself was barely visible. Throw pillows, toys and a bevy of books lay like carnage throughout the house—as did unfettered markers and crayons and those pebble-ish clumps of Pay-Doh I’ve grown to know and loathe. And there were scissors (SHE GAVE THEM SCISSORS FOR CHRIST’S SAKE!) along with bazillions of confetti-like bits of paper scattered the world over.
At least I found no one’s ponytail amidst the rubble. There is a god.
Had I been sober, I might have recognized in an instant the telltale signs of ruin. Oddly enough, I do remember noting (yet pooh-poohing) the waist-high piece of string that led from my treadmill, where it had been crudely tethered, through the den, across the kitchen and into the vastness of the living room where presumably, it was tied to yet another stationary object—the babysitter, perhaps (i.e. the shiftless lump on the couch)?
It wasn’t just any old string either. Apparently those wily imps of mine had pilfered every blooming piece of lacing string, craft string and ribbon they could get their mitts on, purposefully knotting them together to form an anaconda-sized tightrope (read: a fiendish device for ensnaring unsuspecting creatures, great and small). They then must have wound the ends around key pieces of furniture in each of the aforementioned rooms, careful to keep it taut and thoroughly entwined every step of the way. It was masterful, I must admit. But WHERE ON EARTH was the babysitter during the eternity that it must have required for a couple of twerps (who can’t even tie their own shoes!) to construct something so profoundly complex and sinfully marvelous!? And why OH WHY hadn’t she put a stop to their foolishness by ordering them to put away the first behemoth-sized batch toys before piling into the NEXT behemoth-sized batch of toys!!? That’s just plain stupid. That’s what it is. Stupid.
So was the string thing.
What if instead they had decided to smear the cat with Vaseline, and then felt the compelling desire to festoon him with the vat of confetti they had created?! What if they had yanked every purple Popsicle out of the freezer and set it on the counter for the purpose of conducting some warped little melting experiment?! What if they had filled the tub with Gatorade or lime-flavored Jell-O?! I shudder to think. The string thing was bizarre enough.
But how could I (BLITHERING IDIOT THAT I AM) stroll past such a monstrosity without shrieking in protest and abject horror (at least within the confines of my own mind), knowing full well that something was terribly, terribly wrong with this picture!? Moms just know. At least they’re supposed to.
Then again, I’m supposed to have a handle on the incompetence thing as it relates to babysitters and whatnot.
So much for that.
Planet Mom: It’s where I live (wondering whether I dare to hire another babysitter–ever).
Copyright 2008 Melinda L. Wentzel