I almost forgot to tell you about my latest adventures in “Watching Minors.” I think babysitting children is like being a cast member of a sit-com.
The characters are all the same:
The precocious preschooler
The attention stealing toddler
The giggly tween who has the entire world to conquer
The moody teen who is much to serious to be understood
A few weeks ago, I watched Lil T. Lil T is Cousin L’s daughter. She will be 5 in ten days. Her first day of kindergarten arrived during her parents planned business trip. I agreed to take her to school.
I was fine with it until the questions began.
My friends wanted to know how it came to pass that I was taking Lil T to school. There seemed to be some concern in their voices.
My co-workers didn’t think I understood the ramifications of such a task.
They took me through the tasks one by one.
1. What was I going to feed her?
I said, she asked for grits for breakfast. I was informed to make sure she eats before she gets dressed. GENIUS!!!! I would have never thought of that on my own.
2. What is she wearing?
Her uniform. I was advised to keep the uniform away from her until she is getting dressed as she might play with it.
3. What time to I plan to leave for the drop off?
I figured 20 minutes. I learned that her school has a pretty nasty drop-off with a high number of professional parents who need to get to work. I should plan to get there 30 minutes early and hope to be on time. There was the drop off traffic to navigate as a new parent. And in years past, the news media has covered the first day of school at this particular building.
4. Are you nervous?
Yes, I was nervous I was nervous about getting her to school on time. I was warned that I had to get her there on time for her first day of school. Just so you know, I didn’t.
5. How does she feel about school?
I really didn’t know. She seemed okay. It was foretold that little girls who seem okay the day before the first day of school are not usually okay on the first day of school. I was urged to remain inside or outside of the class for several minutes to make sure that she was settled.
6. what time do you plan to pick her up?
I figured when she gets out. My co-workers reminded me about the ridiculous drop-off and suggested that I remember that the pick-up would be equally congested.
Okay, I was set.
First, Lil T took her bath at night and went to bed on time. In the morning I made the grits, eggs and sausage for her.
I forgot that children only like scrambled eggs. Yeah, my bad. I made her eggs over medium (my favorite). I also forgot that her parents do not eat pork. I couldn’t figure out why she kept frowning at the delicious sausage. Yum Yum. I asked her to finish the grits and the eggs and get dressed.
A few minutes later she presented herself to me. I didn’t really look her over so I can’t say if the tags were still on her clothes or not. She looked clean. So, I said get your lunch bag and lets go.
About ½ way to the school I take a look behind me
I notice that Lil T’s cheeks seem swollen. I asked her if there was something in her mouth. She showed me a mouthful of grits and eggs. I asked her to swallow it.Look at her cheeks.
I realized that she had not only dressed herself but she had been in the car for 15 minutes before I realized she was hoarding food in her mouth. Did someone tell her that she would not eat at Kindergarten?
Just so you know. I was late. The whole lineup for the drop off was difficult to maneuver. I walked her to class she sat down and ignored me. Isn't the floor colorful? I acutally forgot to wait. I walked pretty slowly because I wanted proof that I was not the last parent to drop off a kid. (even though I am technically not a parent). I know, selfish on my part but no LilT running after me. She was fine.Here she is opening her locker.
Picking her up was interesting.
All of the parents must wait in a group about 40 yards away from the door. The kindergartners are first. Of course, Lil T was the first child through the door.
On her face was a look of utter disgust. As if her little brother had slobbered on her favorite doll. Or had a very loud smelling bowel movement near her. She eyed all of the parents with her mean gaze.
I was afraid of her. My co-workers had warned me to the point of irritation that little girls do not handle the first day of school very well. They told me stories of crying fits and screaming. I didn’t know what was going on in Lil T’s head.
I was afraid to walk towards her.
I thought that maybe the sun was in her eyes and in a few minutes she would smile or otherwise not look so mean.
No. I cautiously walked towards her. She recognized me but continued to “mean-mug” the other parents. It was so bad that I just wanted to disappear.
When we were out of sight hidden behind the yellow buses, I asked her “why do you look so angry.”
She whined as if almost ready to cry, “I want to ride on the bus.”
That girl makes me laugh coming and going...
I found the tags for her clothing on the floor of the guest bedroom. I was relieved. Finding the tags meant that I did not send her to school with tags on her clothing. But I am not sure that she brushed her teeth.
She also asked about my missing tv everyday and at least three times a day during her stay. She didn't understand why the TV had broken any more than I did.