Y’all, I am continually amazed that people still let me watch over their children unsupervised. I tell stories like about the farting contest that had to turn into an emergency trip to the bathtub or about how I made my nephew pee his pants by not bothering to stop when I suspected he needed to go because we were only twenty minutes from home or about how, after that, on the next trip, I stopped every time he or his brother made like they had to go to the bathroom and bought them Reese’s peanut butter cups each time we stopped until they were a sugared up grouchy mess that finally, mercifully, fell asleep in my back seat.
Don’t get me wrong, clearly, kids find me good fun and, if there’s anything I’ve learned about children, it’s that they will deceived folks so that they can do fun things. So, I’m sure that, when asked, kids are all like “Oh, god, yeah, that B. She sucks. She makes us eat broccoli and do math problems.” and so the parents are all “Hey, B., I’m going to learn about some hippie shit, could you make sure my kids don’t die in some freak accident?” assuming, of course, that I’m capable of that.
Yesterday, I let SuperMousey and Nogg eat their fill of funnel cake, cotton candy, Mountain Dew, and, yes, I even introduced Nogg to Sun Drop.
Sadly, for me, at least, they were all running around like their tails were on fire–up and down the playground equipment, over and under slides, around and around jungle gyms that might have been new in my dad’s day–and I was the one who ended up a grouchy mess reduced to writing plaintive pleas for help in chalk on the sidewalk.
The kids also got to meet Mrs. Wigglebottom and the Butcher, which was good fun. Later, the Butcher and I were talking about why kids like us. Partially, I’m sure, it’s because I’m letting them eat a bunch of junk food, but also, watching the Butcher with them, I think it’s because we treat them like normal human beings.
I was watching other folks with their kids and there’s just a lot of weird talking down to kids that folks do that I don’t think we do a lot of. At least, I hope not.
Still, I think that gives me a blind spot when it comes to them. I assume they know what they’re talking about and, if they think they can do something, they probably can.
Clearly, parents must be able to walk that line between what their kids want to do, think they’re capable of doing, and what they can and should be doing.
I’m not sure I could do that.