Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Adventures in Babysitting, gangbanger style


The babysitting stint is almost over and I feel like Elizabeth Shue's character in "Adventures in Babysitting" when she took on the gangbanger in the subway and said, "Don't %$#@ with the babysitter!" The difference is I am not taking on a gangbanger, just 5 kids under 7, two of whom have SPD (oh, didn't I mention that? Yeah, Danny and my nephew BOTH have SPD, along with a host of other developmental delays), an African water frog, and a ferocious kitten (Sam may be adorable, but I have bite marks all over my ankles from this feral kitty).

Personally, I think Shue had it easy when sparring with a knife wielding gangster. I almost envy her.

Seriously.

Because those Chicago gangs? Yeah, they could learn a few things about turf warfare and territory rivalry, not to mention sheer determination from my 5 charges. These kids are more territorial than a pack of Red-bellied Lemurs.

My long weekend has been lived to the soundtrack of "That's Mine," "I had that First," "You Can't Have That," and my personal favorite "She's Looking at/Talking To Me."

I cannot believe the things they have fought over. There's the typical: Leapsters and other electronic devices, books and fun toys. And there are the toys that are so plentiful, we could be in a toystore (like the Legos) yet they still wrestle over the particular yellow rectangle that one kid has, despite there being a pile of identical ones right there on the floor. And then, there is the downright ridiculous: at one point Danny and his cousin were fighting over a piece of paper.

Yep, paper. And not even some cool paper, but a little scrap of dogeared, crusty paper.

And though it sounds extreme, the reason I envy Shue's movie character is that at least she had
some instinct on how to deal with the situation. Me? Not so much.

I have tried time-outs for the kids, time-outs for the toys, even a time-out for me, along with reasoning, (hey, at that point I was desperate) distracting the kids, bribes, threats, and of course, my old standby, screaming. And really, though the fighting has decreased, I don't think it was due to any of my strategies.

OK, gotta run. All the kids are awake. The day is starting already. Not sure if I am mentally prepared, but I guess I have no choice. The battle awaits.

6 comments:

Amy Jane said...

Hang in there, Patty! You're doing great. I totally admire you - I could never do what you're doing. And you certainly haven't lost your sense of humour! :)

Denise said...

I miss you, Patty! Hang in there....won't be long and you'll just be with YOUR OWN and WITH the help of Bil! Can't wait til then.....cause then I will get to play with you too. This 3 week bout without you is killing me! I don't even know how to get in touch with you by phone....jeepers.

Sarah said...

I hate to break it to you, Patty, but yellow rectangle legos do differ from one another---geez, get a mit and get in the game. You deserve a Patty day...pick something you like, find a sitter and go do it---that's an order!

susanlindgren said...

Well your done now..hope you are resting!

B’s Mum said...

My old standby when babysitting was just to separate them! The Mum would come to pick them up and ask why they weren’t all together, she would say she usually let them fight it out amongst themselves. Personally I couldn’t stand the noise! My strategy was, if they couldn’t play nicely together then they couldn’t play together until they could play nicely… you’re a brave woman!

Schmutzie said...

You are being featured on Five Star Friday!
http://www.fivestarfriday.com/2009/08/five-star-fridays-edition-67.html