Saturday, March 15, 2008

Where everyone knows your name

I'm half-visiting my parents this weekend. They live near InLawTown, where dress shopping for SIL-1 is occurring tomorrow. So, I decided to visit my parents at the same time. We went out to dinner tonight (I had a ciabatta chicken sandwich... yummy) and some tall, 20-something, guy approached Mom while we were finishing up dinner. I shifted nervously as Mom sang out, "Jim!"

Aha! I remember him. I used to babysit him, Brother, and Jim's two younger sisters. Jim's Mom, Faye, came up with two teenage girls in tow. Faye introduced the girl next to her with short, pixie-ish hair, "Hi, Amanda. How are you? You remember Veronica, right?"

"Veronica?" I gasped. "I used to babysit you when you were six months old! The last time I saw you, I think, you were two. You have hair!" This was met with Veronica shifting uncomfortably while Faye laughed.

We continued talking and catching up. Veronica is fifteen. years. old. She's in high school for performing arts. The other sister, Betty, is graduating from college next year. Jim is in his first year of dental school. Faye is a real estate agent part-time and is working for a title company the rest of the time.

After we left Mom remarked on how much Jim had changed. He grew! He's tall! He has facial hair! I marveled over Veronica's ability to speak coherent sentences and feed herself. Dad told me that I had embarrassed her by the whole hair comment. I told him it could be worse. I could have told her that she's the reason why I'm waiting to have kids. (One memorable afternoon I babysat Veronica and Betty. Betty was "grounded" and couldn't leave her room and Veronica was sick. The former kept trying to sneak out of her room and whining about how "unfair life was and how this totally sucked." The latter cried inconsolably for two hours. Finally, I got her to sleep by rocking her in a chair. Then, I made the mistake of clearing my throat.)

Dad replied, "Well, I guess the hair comment is much better than you telling her that she's responsible for squashing your maternal instinct."

6 comments:

EcoGeoFemme said...

Ha! What a great story. :)

Academic said...

Your dad has some great verb usage. Thanks for the story!

Jennie said...

maternal instinct is a myth-but when my baby desire was high I watch a young boy <2yrs old once a week and got my fix. He didn't make me not want to have kids but curbed my desire because I got to be a "mom" once a week. Now that I've ridden the wave of desire out I'm content to never have kids, although I'm sure I will in a few years. Not want them, but have them :)

Mad Hatter said...

What a great story. I could blog about all the experiences that have made me not want to have kids, but then I'd never get to blog about any other topic again!

I don't know if I agree with Jennie that maternal instinct is myth. The way some women I know drool over babies.... If it does exist, I can say for sure I ain't got it.

But I do get all gooey over dogs, so maybe my maternal instinct imprinted on the wrong species!

ScienceGirl said...

I recently spent some time with a couple with a baby and a toddler. At the end, their mom made a remark along the lines of: "This will either convince SG that kids are not so bad, or will be the best birth control for her ever!"

Maybe if they tried leaving me alone with the kids I'd have a story more like yours ;)

CAE said...

The kids I used to babysit for are now aged 14, 17 and 19. The most memorable moment was the summer night when I came upstairs to investigate a noise and found the two oldest (both girls) standing and roughhousing on their nice tall dresser, which was right next to a wide open window. I think it was the only time I really yelled at them, and the only time they ever obeyed!