This is the last week I will be babysitting the precious angels I have been watching on Mondays and Thursdays for the past six months. Today was a day filled with ups and downs. The ups included a trip to Ben & Jerry’s (babysitters demand), and the fact that there were no play dates (read: no forced contact with other filthy, grimy children). Also, it turned out that the Fresh Direct chicken fingers that were assigned for dinner were mislabeled and actually buffalo chicken fingers, far to spicy for the kids (read: two zesty, microwave chicken fingers for Mama. Score).
The downs are as followed:
- We spent a good two hours traversing the Upper West Side in search of the perfect Silly Bandz. Someone is sitting pretty thanks to these stupid shaped rubber bands. Kids go bonkers for these things. Once after I picked the girl child up from school, we went to a stationery store to look at these things, and swarms of kids surrounded the rack. I thought one of them was too old for this nonsense, about 12, but he was on a cell phone describing the stores selection of Silly Bandz. I’m pretty sure he was a dealer.
- We visited (gag) two pet stores. I thought the first one was bad. When we walked in it smelled like gerbil piss and failure. The kids walked around admiring the stupid ugly fish, while I turned my head at every corner to make sure one of the iguanas hadn’t escaped. “Which bird is your favorite?” the girl asked. I thought they all sucked, but I didn’t want to crush her soul, so I pointed to a parakeet that I found to be only mildy offensive.
- But if the first store was gross, the second store was Hell. The stench we walked in was pretty bad, but there was a dalmation inside to lift my spirits. The kids, though, obviously were only concerned in the parrot that the store was known for. “It talks!” the boy child said, all hoped up on the coffee ice cream. We stood there for ten seconds as the kids shouted “hi!” at the bird, but he only ignored him and ate his food (as I often do). The girl got bored and decided to head downstairs, so I tapped the boy who still aimlessly tried to get the bird to talk. As we walked down the steps, I felt my stomach turn. The odor of the store coupled with the obscene heat in the basement made me reconsider all aspects of my life. “This is the scariest place I’ve ever been,” I whispered to myself (not a lie) as I my eyes adjusted to the absurd lighting. Tanks of strange fish and rodents surrounded me. I jumped of fright at least three times. “Ok, that was fun,” I said eventually, leading them up the steps. Again, the boy stopped to coerce the bird into talking, and eventually it said, “Hello,” causing the children to lose their minds. I became nervous that after too much annoyance, the bird would get annoyed with the boy and attack his face, and I’d be put in the awkward position of explaining why he now only had one eye and a strange skin graft. However, just as I was about to distract him by pointing out the sweet, beautiful labrador in the front of the store, I noticed a cat sitting above the cash register, and headed back to the bird. Soon we discovered he could not only say “Hello,” but also “Parrot,” which I thought was pretty dumb, but the kids got a laugh out of it, so whatever.
Finally, we found ourselves back at the apartment, and before I knew it their mother was home, and I was on the train, admittedly a little sad that I would probably never browse a smelly pet store again with those brats.