Today, I’m going to tell you about the time I joined the Babysitter’s Club by accident.
I met Allen through a friend many years ago. While he wasn’t exactly my type, he did have a pair of gorgeous eyes. The kind of eyes that are generally described in romance novels. The kind of eyes that Debbie Gibson sang about. When we were introduced, I actually lost my words for about 10 seconds. To top it off, the man had one of those thousand watt smiles and a beautiful body. When he left us, I asked my girl what the defect was. She laughed and said, “he’s hot, and funny. But because he’s short…he doesn’t get a lot of play.”
When Allen asked me out a week later I said yes (and wore flats). We went out to a jazz club and enjoyed many many laughs over many many shots of whisky. A couple of weeks later, Allen followed up for date number two and I said yes. He suggested that coming Saturday and when I looked at my calendar to confirm, I was reminded that I had promised to take a friend’s son to the Science Centre. Could we make it another time?
Well I have my son that weekend and I have a family pass to ROM… how about we all go together?
Since the boys were the same age, I thought, “why not?” I had ended up making a play date even though I don’t have any kids. This date reminded me why that’s the case.
We agree to meet at the museum and Allen is already there. I meet his son, and the boys being 8-year-old boys, bonded within 10 seconds. Perfect. The boys will occupy each other, and I’ll have a chance to get to know Allen more.
Have you ever been around an 8-year-old boy? The last time I was around an 8-year-old boy was when I was an 8-year-old girl, and I didn’t enjoy it then. Things I learned that day:
- It’s hard to keep up with 8 year olds when you’re wearing heels.
- When faced with African fertility statues, 8-year-old boys will find the “boobies” hilarious and reference them every ten minutes.
- 8-year-old boys WILL try to climb exhibits. Even if you told them in the last room that they can’t climb anything at all.
- 8-year-old boys will challenge everything you say. You can tell them the sky is blue while pointing to a clear blue sky, and they will tell you that blue is just a name we’ve given the colour and the sky could really be purple.
walking running, I caught the eyes of a few women around me. They were giving me a look. I didn’t recognize the look.
Maybe it was the way I repeatedly told my friend’s son, “wait until your father hears about this”, or the way I would say to each boy, “you have five seconds to get down off of that or we’re leaving!”, but it slowly dawned on me as I sat on the bench outside the kids dino exhibit, they were giving me that, “oh girl, we know” look.
A universal look of sympathy that one mother gives to another when her child is acting up in public. Because Allen, his son, and my friend’s son were all about the same shade as me…people thought we were a family…and that I was the mom.
Where was Allen? Well that was the other reason I was getting the “oh girl we know” look. Allen was walking at least 10 paces behind us the entire time. Allen was walking slower than the old people who exercise in the malls before they open. I swear I saw a kid with a cast move faster than Allen down a flight of stairs. The funny witty Allen from a few days ago?
Gone. Replaced by hung over Allen. Yes. Allen was hung over from partying the night before. That crippling kind of hangover…the kind where you don’t get out of bed. But Allen had his son with him, so he had to get out of bed.
But he didn’t cancel the date.
No. Not when I was “doing so well with them.”
“You’re really good with kids… you must’ve been a great babysitter.”
FACT: I babysat ONCE when I was teenager. For my next-door neighbour. About an hour in, I called my mom in for backup and never babysat again. Until this date…
Yes. He roped me into babysitting his son. My date was spent chasing after two rambunctious 8-year-old boys through a museum. In heels.
It was time to leave the museum…we needed to feed these kids. Standing outside the museum, we debated where to go. The boys spot the McDonald’s across the street and ask if we can eat there.
In perfect unison, I say “NO!” and Allen says “yes” at the same time.
The boys plead with me to go to McDonald’s, and I insist on something with real food on the menu. Allen, Mr. “My Body is a Temple” (seriously, dude was ripped), realizes that he let his hangover do the talking and eventually agrees with me. My nephew decides to get mouthy and challenge me the way 8-year-old boys do.
“We’re not going and that’s final. If you don’t want to eat elsewhere, you can go home and eat. In fact, let me get you a cab right now and send you to your father’s”
(yes. I’m the kind of person who will uber a child home. THIS IS WHY I DON’T HAVE KIDS)
“Well fine. Put me in a cab. I’ll just tell him to take me to McDonald’s!”
“NOT IF I PUT YOU IN THE TRUNK!”
Pro tip: threatening to put a child in the trunk of a car while standing on a busy street on a Saturday? This will cause old White ladies in fur coats to whip out their cellphones ready to call 911.
We take our children to a family friendly restaurant (gawd help me) near the museum. I immediately order off the drinks menu. The boys draw boobies on the kraft paper tablecloth in crayon. But we make it through the meal and Allen (finally) contributes to the day by taking the boys to the bathroom before we head home.
Our waitress comes over to the table and says to me, “I just gotta tell you that your boys are just so adorable! The entire wait staff is in love with them!”
They’re not mine. I’m sending them back to where they came from as soon as you bring the cheque…
No other dates with Allen. Play or otherwise…
Post script: in my post date conversation with my girl I repeatedly mention the hangover.
“Oh yeah. Allen binges on the weekends quite a bit. He’s usually hungover most Saturdays and Sundays…”