Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Totally Awkward Tuesday- Bad Hair Day

I'm participating in my first Totally Awkward Tuesday (hosted by Tova Darling) and realizing that this blog so far is less about being "Almost Grown-up" and more about memories from my childhood.

Nevertheless, here we go!

Totally Awkward Tuesday: Bad Hair Day

So, picture it. I'm about six years old, in summer school for first grade (not out of an academic necessity, more because my mom needed to put me somewhere while she worked and summer school was free and optional at the time). My hair is a light brown/blondish color, about down to my skinny little butt.

My teacher is endeavoring to teach us some nonsense. Maybe time-telling. Maybe spelling. Probably spelling, I never really paid attention to that. It was my innate gift back in the good old first-grade days.

So anyway, my teacher's up at the board, being very academic and all that jazz. I'm sitting at my desk, playing with my safety scissors. Big no-no. But I trimmed away at pieces of scrap paper, making fun shapes, shaved away at my pencils, but I was running out of things to use my fancy-shmancy scissors on.

...The hairdresser lady used her scissors on my hair. Why couldn't I do the same?

So, with a little hesitation, I pulled my long hair into my desk. Snip. Ooo. That was kind of entertaining. I snipped again. And I snipped and I snipped until eventually my teacher noticed that I wasn't looking at her, but rather the inside of my desk.


I winced. My whole name. This couldn't be good.

She stood over me and regarded me sternly. "What are you doing there?"

"Nothing?" I hastily withdrew my hands.

She peered into the dark recesses of my desk and must have seen some glimmer of hair. "Do you have a doll in there?"

"No!" I tried to stop her. I really did, but before I could say anything, she had reached in and withdrawn an enormous clump of my hair.

Mmmhmmm. Totally awkward.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Adventures in Baby-sitting Part 2

Job #2: The family had 3 children: 2 boys (who behaved fine), and 1 girl who was about 6, who we'll call Cruellina. The days were fine. It was the nights that were difficult.

After a day of playing on the swing-set, we'd have dinner and relax with a movie. It would all start innocently.

"Jen, can I have a snack?"

"Sure. Your mom said one snack was alright. What do you want?"


I procure the snack and we settle back in. After a few moments, Cruellina hops up from the couch again. I assume she's going to the restroom. Until I hear a telling rummaging coming from the 'fridge.

"Cruellina... what are you doing?"


"Cruellina. I hope you're just getting a juice box."

Rummage. Rummage.

"Cruellina, your mom was very specific. One snack. One. Get out of the 'fridge."

No response. I walk over to see her struggling to pry the top off of a pudding. Unbelievable. I pluck it from her hands and put it back on the shelf. She grabs it again and resumes her efforts to free the pudding from its plastic prison.

I take it away again and close the fridge. "No. Your mom said one. I'm sorry. If you're really hungry she said you could have a vegetable. Do you want some celery or something?"

"I. Want. PUDDING!" Pale cheeks turned red with fury.

"Sorry, your mom said no. If you're that hungry, I told you what you could have."

"PUDDING!" she screamed. Her blue eyes spat hate at me. She stomped her little feet, yanked at her long blonde hair, and I swear, I thought her head was going to start spinning a la The Exorcist.

I refused again and she took matters into her own hands, trying to shove me from my position in front of the refrigerator. Thankfully, while I have no claims to Hulk-like strength, I was still able to best a six year-old.

She let out a screech that had not since been duplicated by a creature of this earth and sprinted for the front door.


Cue me running after her, thinking frantic thoughts about how she'd disappear into the night and I'd be the-baby-sitter-who-lost-a-kid. I caught up with her halfway down the driveway (I still don't know where she was trying to go) and carried her into the house. She flailed around as she scratched me, kicked me, pinched me, and--


--bit me. I deposited her in her room telling her that "Congratulations, you earned an early bedtime." I stood guard outside of her room as she tried to dart past me, screaming incoherently and doing her best to do me bodily harm (she succeeded a few times).

After about forty-five minutes of this, as her brothers alternated between watching the television and the spectacle their sister was making, she finally tired herself out. I got the boys into bed at their appropriate bedtime for well-behaved children and collapsed on the couch.

When their parents arrived home, I showed them the evidence of their daughter's mauling.

"I'm really sorry, but I just can't baby-sit for you anymore."

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Adventures in baby-sitting

I was supposed to baby-sit today while home for a weekend. It didn't work-out; we had unfortunately differing schedules. It's not a big deal, but I was kind of looking forward to the extra cash and to seeing the kids. I've been baby-sitting for them for years.

Not the biggest deal in the world, but it made me think back to my first baby-sitting jobs.

Job #1: I was unreasonably excited. At the tender age of twelve, I'd been reading The Babysitter's Club books for years and had just gotten my hands on a baby-sitting manual by the very same experts. I printed fliers, I made business cards, I pimped myself out as a baby-sitter or a "mother's helper."

My mother's friend was the only one who hired me.

Regardless, I was absolutely ecstatic. I couldn't wait to find out my baby-sitting style. Would I be like Kristy, playing sports with the kids? (Hah. I made myself laugh) Would I be like Claudia: Artsy, and a little out there? I wished I was Stacy, with her fantastic New York life and sense of style. I think I wound up being more like Mary Anne, who always struck me as someone who would grow up to be a housewife.

Ah, pointless tangents. Where would blogging be without them?

Aaaanyway, that first night started off fan-freaking-tastically. I was the cream of the crop as far as baby-sitters went. I got the kids dinners, cleaned up after them, created fun, revolutionary games for them to play, and was basically the epitome of firm but fun supervision.

The kids got changed and readied for bed. And then the little girl walked out in the hallway, clad in her Lizzie Mcguire pajamas and asked, with wide eyes, a very simple question that scared the bejeesus out of me.

"Jen, where's the hamster?"

I'm sorry. What? The rodent masquerading as a pet is running loose? Where it might easily scurry over my toes? Nibble at my toenail? Get droppings on my lap as I lounged on the couch, awaiting your parents' return?

I was hopeful. Things couldn't be that bad. "He's... ummm... not in his cage?"


I was wrong. Things were that bad. So, after combing the house for the lovable little guy, I did what any pre-teen girl would do.

I called my Daddy.

He, of course, saved the day, found the hamster and got it put away. I received $20 for a job well done. I now had untold riches at my disposal! I could buy all kinds of stuff at Limited Too now! I secured another baby-sitting job, and went home flush with success.

One week later:

"Jen, where's the bunny?"

I dialed the phone.

"Daddy, you're not gonna believe this..."

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Little White Lies

I usually consider myself an honest person. But, I'm realizing that from time to time it's alright to benefit from just the littlest lie.

Example one: Simple. Sometimes a new person will come to my house for some small reason. They've never seen the house before and express an interest in "The Tour." What I'm about to tell them is fairly believable because I'm kind of a slob of epic proportions.

"I'd give you a tour," I say with a sheepish look, "but my room is a total disaster area right now."

Okay. Sometimes this is true. As I've just said, I'm messy.

But sometimes, it is a big, fat (little) lie. I can be oddly private about my room. Beyond my roommates, some of my closer friends, and myself, very few people see it in any condition. Most other people who have seen it, have seen it at a party, when I have cleaned my room for the occasion, lit my lights, and thrown the door open in invitation. Sometimes, I just don't want people in my space.

Example two: A party at my house. Didn't really feel like drinking much, but I was a good sport and had a couple sips/shots. For some reason, many of my good friends were thus determined to see me drunk. This prompted them to replace my baby shots (i.e. shots of a mild liquor that were about a quarter full) with a full shot similarly colored liquor that was stronger. This lead to a short-lived buzz that they all enjoyed, but I didn't really want.

But they weren't satisfied!

I then began the somewhat tiring task of pretending to be drunk. This means that I let my eyes become heavy-lidded. I laughed loudly and obnoxiously at stupid things. I tripped over my own feet more than I usually do (I'm something of a klutz). I hauled a half-empty bottle of Captain Morgan around with me as a handy prop.

No one bothered me for the rest of the night, and when one o'clock rolled around, I was able to sleep the sleep of the sober, which, for me, is so much more restful than a drunken sleep.

My little lies don't trouble my conscience. And I'm sure I'm going to employ them again in the somewhat recent future.
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