Saturday, June 19, 2010

Adventures in Babysitting: Chapter 2

Well, it only took 4 years, but my brother asked me to baby-sit again.  Some of you may remember my first time babysitting my nephews, as rendered in The Funniest Story Ever Written (by Me).  It was a harrowing experience because it was my first (and as of today ONLY) experience of changing a diaper.

This time, my brother Ed and his wife had a wedding to go to near DC.  Lucky for me, Sammy is four and a half, and potty-trained.  There would be no more staring down of the poo.
The boys in Wildwood NJ, August 2009.

When I was out at Daniel’s 5th grade graduation, two weeks ago, he got an I-Pod as a present.  When I asked what music he likes, he stunned me by saying “80’s music.”  He specifically mentioned “You Give Love a Bad Name” and “Living on a Prayer” (Bon Jovi), “Letting the Days Go By” (Talking Heads), “Rock and Roll Train” and “You Shook Me” (AC/DC), “Don’t You Want Me Baby” (Human League), “Don’t You Forget About Me” (Simple Minds).

This is where having me as an uncle pays off.  So with that song list in mind, I loaded up a thumb drive with some other tunes I thought he might like.  Mostly they were songs like the Bon Jovi and AC/DC songs, rather than the New Wavy stuff.  I told Daniel the best songs are ones played by real people using real instruments.  Synthesizers should add a little snap, not carry the entire song.  Drums should be beaten, not programmed.

Anyway, we didn’t much get around to evaluating the songs because the boys were too eager to play some Family Room Soccer.  I love how kids just make up games and rules as needed.  They decided one boy would guard a big oversized chair and that would be the goal.  The other boy would try to kick a small, soft, stuffed ball past the goalie and hit the chair.  I played some of my handpicked songs on the PC while we played, but Daniel wasn’t really in the mood to dig on the music, so I didn’t press it.  There will be time…

You would think that the age difference between the boys would have been more of a factor, (4 and 11) but Sammy proved quite adept at kicking goals past his big brother.  The smack talk was fun to watch and Sammy had the line of the night, if you can call it that.

Daniel bent down, put his hands on his knees and said to Sam, “OK, show me what you got.”

Sam then turned around, put his hands on his knees, and farted with great gusto.  (Sorry, CB... “tooted”.)  Game, set and match to the Little One.  Their “grown-up” babysitter commenced to laugh his ass off.  Then Sammy began referring to his hardest shots as his “gas kicks.”

Sammy’s other favorite expression seems to be “nuts,” as in “Watch our for my nuts”, “Don’t hit my nuts”, “I got you in the nuts.”

He gets that from Daddy,” Daniel explained.

I cannot understate the impact that Daniel has on his little brother.  Sammy kept asking me to turn him upside down, which I do with a great flourish, before either setting him back on his feet, or dropping him on the couch.  As soon as I got him though, he’d squeal, “Daniel, save me!

Daniel is also The Law in the house.  Occasionally Sammy would get all wound up and kick me a little too hard, or continue to punch (as we’re playing) after I’d tell him to stop.  Of course, he wouldn’t stop.  Then Daniel would look up from his laptop game and go, “Sam!  Stop it.”  Then he’d give him the look… And Sam would stop like he just got unplugged. 

I was like, “I got me a Deputy!” 
Easter, 2009

We also had some fun playing with their foam broadswords.  Best of all, every time one of us got in a good shot, we’d get to quote from the Black Knight in Holy Grail.

Your arm’s off.”  “No it isn’t… it’s just a flesh wound.”

We had a nice dinner of Stouffer’s Lasagna, which filled and satisfied.  Sure takes a while to cook though… and hour and forty minutes??  I probably should have started it a little earlier.

Nothing of consequence really happened the rest of the night.  We put on Pirates of the Caribbean about 9, Daniel played Revolutionary War-era war games on his laptop, and Sammy fell asleep on me about 10:30.  Mom and dad were home by 11:30.  The children were alive, the house was unburned and best of all, there was no poo anywhere to be seen.

I hope it doesn’t take another 4 years before I get to watch the boys again.  I figure I don’t have more than another couple years before Daniel will be able to mind the store by himself.  I think I was maybe 13 when Mom and Dad would go out to dinner and leave me in charge.  But then it was on my watch that we knocked down the Christmas tree by horsing around in the living room.  I’m pretty sure, though, that Daniel is already more responsible than I was.  I blame his father. 

He never listened to me any more than Sammy does now. 

Favorite Political Cartoon of the Moment: (as collected from First Door on the Left.)


  1. Sam now tells his Dad, "I need 'oderant" after hearing Daniel mention deoderant. But since there's no more poo, he'll be ok for awhile.

  2. That may be my fault. My favorite thing to tease he and Daniel about is smelling bad.

    A couple times yesterday, Sam wanted to know how his breath smelled.

    My usual answers: Feet, bad cheese, garbage dumps, fishbait...

  3. So you are babysitting humans, and Keil is babysitting two dogs. HAHAHAHAHA! Which do you prefer? Our daughter and her husband and our two granddaughters have gone to Ontario, and New Hampshire, and they asked Keil to sleep at their house and take care of the dogs. Keil is reluctant to leave the safety of his computer, so we are helping him out by having afternoon play dates with Callie and Nuget, and Precious, the queen of our household. Things are not going well. Precious has her nose in the air because these two youngsters have invaded her turf, Keil has unplugged his computer and taken it to their house, and Rod is over there right now, giving the dogs their valley fever pills. Precious and I are holding down the fort here, laughing at all of this!! Rod is happy that we have the house to ourselves. but I am wondering just how he is going to celebrate this. If it involves me, he is out of luck. I have had an exhausting day on the golf course, and I am
    GOING TO SLEEP! Later, Bluzdude!

  4. I had dog-sitting duty once before, about 17 years ago when I still lived in Albany NY. Some friends were going on their honeymoon and asked me to house/dog-sit their 2 golder retrievers.

    Now I used to have a golden and they are my favorite dogs in the world, so I jumped a the chance. But wow, they were just a ball or attention-suck. I called them the 2-Headed Dog Monster because they were always right there, side by side, demanding that I play with them RIGHT NOW!

    Still, I had a ball. One day soon I'm going to have to write the story about my golden, Jesse. But that's one for which I'll have to steel myself.

  5. I know what you are saying! I had the most wonderful dog, Marshall, who was a cross between a shepard and a sheltie. I still think about him, and dream about him. He was my wonder dog.

    Now I just have "the brat" who thinks she is a pit bull. Her bark is worse than her bite, though.

  6. I still dream about Jesse, even though she's been gone since 1979. I look at it as her coming to visit me, and I always wake up happy.

  7. We are thinking about getting another dog. There was the cutest rescue dog in the paper Saturday, and we called about him. We were asked to call back at 11 tomorrow, and if he was still available, we can go see him. They asked that we bring Precious with us so we can see if they will get along. We plan to have a little chat with her tonight about being on her best behavior at the pound, or we will leave her there!

  8. Well the boys have good taste in music AND movie quotes. I just watched the "Holy Grail" with my kids a few months back. Love that scene. Love the whole movie!

    Glad you had fun and you made it through another round of babysitting.

    Next time it will be dirt bikes and who knows what else. Better start working out for that one.

  9. Sounds like you were just what they needed. How fun. I grew up the oldest of five, so I babysat most of my childhood life. I, too, love how games can be made up on the spot, except my brother always cheated. :)

    The political cartoon is priceless! Hope you don't mind if I grab it? (cloudyeyz=tomncristy - separate blogs for different audiences)

  10. Damn right 'tooted'! Don't be teaching those boys the 'f' word!!!

    I may have to come over there and teach them some words that will really disappoint their parents and it will be another 4 years fucker!!!!

    I remember the FIRST babysitting story! You should've posted it yesterday so everyone could have read it first!!!

  11. I love being an aunt.. you get to do all sorts of things that are frowned upon normally. I would imagine being an uncle is similar. My cousin is forever griping at me for spoiling her kiddoes but its my job!! Spend money on them, give them crap for dinner, let them go a little nuts and then send them home!!

  12. When our Tucson granddaughters were little, we would occasionally babysit. They always wanted to go to Hometown Buffet because we would let them get anything they wanted to eat. Gracie has always been an extremely picky eater and some meals consisted of mashed potatoes and pudding.

    Once we were asked to babysit by taking them to Disney Land for a few days. We were so exhausted by the end of three days that when we got home, we hid out for a week just to recouperate.

  13. Your nephews are just adorable! I can't believe 80s music is making a comeback. Oh, and just have to say, I LOVE Monty Python and the Holy Grail! One of my fave flicks.

  14. It's too bad you live so far away, Bluz...The Guy and I might have some Fries in the next year or two, and great babysitters are sure hard to come by!

    Glad you three amigos had a great time.

  15. Judie,
    I’m sure Precious will jump at the chance for a new friend. She’s not the jealous type, is she?

    I love the big Buffet places… I stuff myself silly, just on principle. (which is why I don’t go often or I’d be as big as a house.) But mashed potatoes and pudding sound pretty good to me… Just find a way to add bacon and I’m in.

    Amusement parks totally sap my feet and knees. I’d so much rather walk than just stand.

  16. Cristy,
    The site “First Door on the Left” posts a slew of killer political cartoons every Friday. You can find a link on my blogroll. I grab from them all the time, so of course you can grab from me. I love how political cartoons can cut right to the heart of an issue.

    I know you just love the shout-outs!

    The boys know all the words… they have not really been shielded from R-rated movies. As I was telling Daniel on Friday, “Bad words never hurt anyone, they’re just words. It’s all about ‘time and place.’ And the time and place is never around your meemaw.” (The Church Lady)

    And hey, my posts are long enough without prefacing them with other posts… I DID link to the original babysitting story… the laughs are just one click away.

    That is spot on… Exactly what being an uncle entails. Then add in telling embarrassing stories about their old man.

    But it’s better when the parents are there, because then they’re responsible for behavior and damage control. If I’m babysitting, all damage is on my watch so I have to run a tighter ship. Or in my case… I have to make Daniel run a tighter ship.

  17. Raven,
    I think Daniel got into it from the movie “Rock Star” with Mark Wahlberg. (Movie is about a singer in a metal tribute band that gets called to replace the singer from the actual band. It’s loosely based on Judas Priest.) It was on HBO (again) while I was babysitting and he wanted to watch again. It’s loaded with 80’s metal hits. And like I said, I try to encourage him to gravitate towards music with some crunch to it.

    Holy Grail transcends generations! Silliness is universal.

    “On second thought, let us not go to Camelot. It is a silly place.”

    Is it just me, or can you just watch the Knights of the Round Table song over and over?

    Bachelor Girl,
    Best wait until they’re potty trained, or else my rates go through the roof. (Hazardous duty pay.)

  18. Guy,
    Now, even the 4-yr old likes Holy Grail.

    The French Taunter always goes over well.

    Lucky for me, both boys are impossibly skinny, so they won’t be knocking me over any time soon. Now running around me may be another story…

  19. My favorite ride at Disney is California Adventure. It is like taking a ride in one of those ultralites over the coastline and wine country of California. The most important thing about it is that it is COOL and breezy, and I can rest my feet and knees. The scenery isn't to bad either.

    We have our monthly art guild meetings at the Hometown Buffet because they have a big meeting room, and breakfast. My Best Friend Artist makes a dive for the bacon. I try to figure out just what kind of frightening creation I can put on my plate with an egg frittata, salsa, mushrooms and tabasco sauce. People are afraid to sit by me.

  20. I was only ever at Disney once, back in the mid 70's. I was kinda underwhelmed. Seemed more for the kiddies than the 15-year old me.

    Out our way, we had a park called Cedar Point. Even back then, it was known as a roller-coaster enthusiast's park. Now, the rides are gargantuan... real technical marvels. Funny how the "baddest" rides back when I went there are practically kiddie rides now.

  21. I told Daniel the best songs are ones played by real people using real instruments. Synthesizers should add a little snap, not carry the entire song. Drums should be beaten, not programmed.

    I totally disagree with this and want you to know how full of shit you are, as you requested. I mean, yeah, I like bands like The White Stripes who record live, but life would be so sad without fake instruments.

  22. Mundane,
    I can only assume you're being your usual ironic self and don't really mean that. Or else I may have to readdress your blogging relationship... which would suck because who else can I count on to commiserate with about public transportation?


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