I'm more than halfway through the summer of learning that I probably don't want kids. I love being able to give these children back to their parents at the end of the day. It's my favorite part. Especially since this week was sass city in this household (I'm reluctant to say that I could be the cause of this...I'm pretty free with my sarcastic conversations). Regardless, it pissed me off.
We started off the week with a surprise visit from pest control. I was unsure if he was there for the vermin or the children (they seem to synonymous this week), but either way I had not been informed of his impending arrival. So when a strange looking man showed up on the front porch, I was wary. I felt bad for being so suspicious, but his opening words were, "So how's everything looking inside?" No mention of his occupation. Um, things are great sir, thanks...move along. He saw the terror-stricken look on my face and recognized his blunder. "Oh! I'm pest control. I'm supposed to be here!" Nevertheless, I called the mother and verified before letting him enter. It created hassle that could've been avoided with a quick note. Maybe something simple along the lines of "oh hey, that guy that's gonna show up on our porch? He's actually not there to kidnap you all. He's just checking for bugs." Some heads up would have been nice.
They had lists of chores to do this week, and that was blissful. Because it meant I got to just give orders instead of inventing new and exciting things for us to do. Violin was practiced every day in the form of a horrible game that I inadvertently made up. I regret it. Brother and Sister play pieces and I have to guess what songs they are butchering. If I fail, they get a point. If I am correct, I get the point.Somehow I think this game would be more encouraging of perfection in practice if I got points when they didn't play the song correctly enough to be recognized. But the other system stuck so I'm left gaping in bewilderment as they play obscure pieces like "Minuet 596." I made them do 30 minutes of Turkish Rosetta Stone everyday, as well as empty the dishwasher and pack for their vacation. Slavedriver? Absolutely.
Thursday morning I allowed them to watch Disney Channel (their parents really limit television) and decided it would be fun for them to eat breakfast in the living room while lounging in the beanbag. So I served them blueberry pancakes and strawberries and cups of milk, cautioning them to be extra careful. Brother's first statement, "I actually like the strawberries not this red..." What do you propose I do about that dilemma? I replied, "Well I don't make them, Brother. This was in your refrigerator." As he wiggled around to find a comfortable spot on the beanbag I saw his foot heading toward the cup of milk. The rest happened in slow motion. Just as I was saying, "be careful" (my mantra of the summer), his toes made contact with the cup. Splash. His darling sister had complaints of her own, "Taylor, how about less syrup on my pancakes tomorrow?" after she had let her breakfast sit there for a good half an hour, guaranteeing the sogginess of her meal. I think that's about the time I shut off the TV and took their plates back to the kitchen. I wasn't about to put up with attitudes like that!
They brought the soccer slides back out on Thursday because they had packed their other sandals. I warned them before we left the house that I wasn't going to tolerate any shuffling. To which they replied, "we don't shuffle!" My retort? "I will have no sympathy when you fall as a result of not picking up your feet." Sure enough, traipsing around Wal-Mart led Sister to pitch forward, sprawling on the floor. There wasn't an empathetic bone to be found in my body. They'll learn.
All the annoying tidbits and patience-trying phrases aside, I really do have a great job. On Wednesday I spent a quality few hours lounging poolside, relishing strawberries and a good book, while making sure nobody drowned. I get paid 10 dollars an hour for that?I can handle some smirky comments. Brother and Sister led me into the kitchen, eyes closed, to surprise me with a birthday cake and homemade cards to celebrate my Sunday birth. I couldn't pretend to not be touched. They were extremely liberal with the icing application...I managed one bite. But I treasure the fact that they remembered. They've already asked me to return next summer. And A Very Lucky Girl is left wondering...why not?