I was nearing the end of a very enjoyable, but hectic, stint as the babysitter for three very darling, but energetic, young children. Their parents went on a dream vacation to a faraway land. They patched together a tag-team trio of babysitters to make it all work.

Not going to tell you where they went. Just know that it was someplace REALLY far away . . . like Tibet.

Now, it has been years and years since I had to do the after-school Mommy March. You know: get them in from carpool, drop their backpacks, go potty, wash hands, have snack, grab their stuff for swimming class, buckle them into seatbelts and the carseat, find the car keys, back out without hitting anything, and zoom away . . . all in about 5 minutes.

For younger women, that’s nothing. For us aging matrons . . . uff da.

We slammed into the swimming class place a little late. I hurried them into the changing room. The little one, just turned 4, needed help pullllllling down his pants and pulllllllling down his underpants and pullllllllling off his shirt, and pullllllling up his swimtrunks and pulllllllling his swimtop over his head. It was not a speedy process. But he jumped into the water only a few seconds late.

Watching the class was a blast. Those little fishies! All the kids were thoroughly enjoying themselves.

But then it was time to reverse the process. There seemed to be 4,000 other parents and young children crowding into the hallways as I hurried the little one, now dripping wet, back into the changing room. I got down on my knees on the wet flooring to help him get dressed.

After toweling off, we were back to pullllllling down his swimtrunks, dripping all the way, rolling up into a coil so tight I think it morphed into nuclear fusion. And then we were pulllllling his swimtop over his head. And pullllllling. And of course it stuck and he couldn’t see and he was thrashing around and I felt the other parents outside in the cold hallway waiting for a changing room telepathing to me, “Hurry up, you old bag! Hurry up!”

Then, of course, his legs were damp. I had a difficult time pulllllling up his tiny little cotton underwear, size 4T. I inched up a little fabric on the left side. I inched up a little fabric on the right side. Inch here. Inch there.

Finally, they were on! I gave the waistband a celebratory little snap!

Then I noticed that the darling little boy was glaring at me:

“YOU HURT ME!”

I felt HORRIBLE! I didn’t mean to. I was just hurrying! The LAST thing I would EVER do was hurt this beloved little kid!

He said it loud enough that I knew the 4,000 other parents and the swimming place manager had Child Protective Services and the Omaha Police Department on speed dial. Child abuse! Child abuse!

They would come with big nightsticks and accuse me. “Are you this child’s mother?”

“No!”

“Where are his parents?”

“They’re in Tibet.”

“Tibet! Tibet?!? Suuuuuure they are. Beat her with the nightstick, Larry! Book her!!!”

Quickly, I came back to reality. I gazed convincingly into his eyes.

“Look. My underwear is older than you are. LOTS older. The elastic lost its snap a long, long time ago. I am sorry that I didn’t realize yours would still snap like that. I sure didn’t mean to hurt you.”

His eyebrows arched. He looked unconvinced. But then he sighed with pity, and gave a slight nod of forgiveness.

Haste makes waste. Waste makes you have to think fast to get out of trouble with a 4-year-old. It’s doable . . . but not exactly a SNAP.

 

(H)e that hasteth with his feet sinneth.

— Proverbs 19:2b


By Susan Darst Williams | www.TheDailySusan.com | Family Funnies | © 2017