Wednesday, November 24, 2004

Babysitter's Blog: Day 4 of 6

This is my fifth day with little sleep the previous night. I have done at least two dozen loads of laundry. Cleaned and re-cleaned each room at least a dozen times (a baker's dozen perhaps?) and have run the dishwasher five times. I have changed about two dozen diapers (some of them containing toxic waste as Derek would say). I have helped three children with their homework each night, trying to explain the differences between different types of Canadian settlers, helping with third grade vocabulary and first grade speech lessons. I have wiped away uncountable tears and have rocked the small and the big babies to sleep. I have stayed up late making last minute arrangements for the next day, picking up toys and watching a bit of unanimated TV. I have worked hard this week to make the house clean, the children happy and the environment upbeat. I'm telling you, having five kids around is hard work!! And I've loved every minute of it. I've laughed so hard my sides have hurt more times than I've changed diapers. And I've had a blast making the messes that never seem to get cleaned up. And there have been more moments of pride for their accomplishments than there have been loads of laundry.

A big piece of me wants to just stay here forever. No. Here's a better plan... how about the Faerbers come home from Tahiti to switch places with me? And then when they're at their end they'll switch with me again. And we'll just keep switching and switching. A week at home with the kids. A week on Tahiti with the sun. Sounds like heaven to me.

Monday, November 22, 2004


"Poison" is the name of the perfume by Christian Dior that once resided in a fancy purple glass bottle with a clear glass lid. Less than five minutes after our arrival home from church, as I was just starting the mass production of chocolate sandwiches, Fallon, number four of the five children I'll be watching until Friday evening came up to me and handed me Poison. Empty. With the lid gently placed back in position. With a Q-tip inside. She looked up at me as if waiting for a thank you after her discovery. I don't know the worth of the perfume. Or how much was in there. But I do know that her breath smelt like a woman ready for a night of dancing. I panicked. Within five minutes I had killed their little girl. I sent the other kids downstairs and searched for the Ipecac. I couldn't find any. I called my mom. No answer. I called her cell phone. No answer. I called Sandy. She said it was probably fine, to give her milk and to call 911 and talk to Poison Control. I poured Fallon some milk as I called 911.
"911 Emergency. How can I help you?"
"My little girl swallowed some perfume. Could you please connect me to Poison Control?"
"Is she vomiting?"
"Does she look sick?"
"Do you want me to send an emergency vehicle to look her over?"
"No. I think she'll be okay. I just want to talk to Poison Control to make sure."
"Okay, I'll connect and when they answer I'll talk first."
"Poison Control. How can I help you?"
"I have a mother on the line who's little girl drank perfume. Go ahead." (She hangs up. I stop for a second to try to understand why it was that she had to talk first to say absolutely nothing I couldn't have said.)
"How old is your little girl?"
"What did she drink?"
"Poison. It's the name of the perfume she drank ironically enough."
"Well, perfume is alcohol based with a few oils in it. It would just be irritable to their mouth."
"Didn't seem to phase her any."
"Is she in good health normally?"
"No, she has Down syndrome and a bad heart."
"Huh. Okay. Ya, well... she probably won't even throw up. Did you give her some milk?"
"Okay, well she should be fine. If she starts acting funny or getting sick give us a call back."
"I will. Thank you."

And that was my first day on the job. Poison and 911. I'm ready for my bad mommy award...

Friday, November 19, 2004


Tomorrow morning I leave for Seattle to watch five babies for five days. I'm excited. Really.

Also, I just saw on TV that a new Adam Sandler movie is coming out. I love him. Really.

It's 1am and I haven't packed yet. Mostly because my clothes are still in the dryer and partly because I'm too lazy. Really. Really.

Thursday, November 11, 2004

Relax. Just Do It.

I'm getting to that point in the semester where I'm starting to sweat a bit. So I've taken up some new modes of relaxation.

I've started coloring during class. At first I tried to sneak it. Picking only one or two crayons out of my backpack and quietly coloring a page of Mickey and Minnie mouse enjoying a campfire, hidden behind a notebook and my purse. But then a girl asked, "What are you doing that for?" And I had no answer ready so I told her the truth. "Because I like it. It relaxes me. And because I like Mickey Mouse." She watched me color. "Wow, you're right. It's relaxing me just watching you color." I'm a genius. I pulled my box out and proudly added color upon color until Mickey and Minnie were in matching outfits and the night sky had brilliant mixed colors of blue and blue-violet.

I've also taken to a new website I thought of visiting after thinking about how much I missed my friend Heather and how I'd give anything to be in Southern California doing anything but what I'm doing right now. So I went to the San Diego Zoo online. Animals are relaxing. They eat and sleep and don't stress about how many words are in an essay. Then I discovered that not only are there pictures and information about animals but you can actually watch them! As if you're really at the zoo! So I now spend spare moments I find between the hours of 9am and 4pm Pacific Time watching the pandas eating bamboo, the apes swinging between trees, the elephants just walking around and the polar bears playing with whatever they throw in their cage for entertainment.

Also, I've found that almost killing my mother with a quickly developed lie is also relaxing. I have recently inherited five children for five days. I will be watching them during Thanksgiving break while their parents enjoy the blue skies and blue waters of Tahiti. The other night I decided I'd best tell my parents soon to give them time to adjust to the idea. My dad answered, and I told him the new plan. He laughed. Not because he was excited but because he knew I would be murdered by a piercing scream when I told my mother. I heard him creep into his and my mother's bedroom and say, "Linda? Emily's on the phone. She has some shocking news. But it's okay. Everything's okay. The news is just sort of shocking so be ready." I laughed at the introduction and between the three seconds between the end of that intro and the "Hello?" from my mother led me through this thought process..."Wow... this is perfect... he totally set me up... I'll tell her I'm engaged... she'll freak out... no, she'll really like it... then when I take it away she'll be disappointed and as if I'll ever get married and then she'll be even more mad... no, can't use engagement... pregnancy then... yes, i'll tell her i'm pregnant... fornication is funny..." And so I took a deep breath.
"What is it?" she asked.
"Mom... I'm pregnant."
Followed by a quiet, "What?"
"I'm pregnant. I know it's a bit shocking but it's going to be okay."
Almost thirty seconds passed of complete silence and then she laughed, "No you're not!"
I laughed too. Wow, I had her going there. "No, I'm not. But I will have five babies on Thanksgiving."
"No you're not!!"
But I am. And I can't wait! I'll have my coloring pages, my online zoo and my babies. What more does a girl need in her finals survival kit?

Tuesday, November 02, 2004

My Big Fat Toe

I had to go in for another ingrown toenail surgery today. But it wasn't with the regular doctor I liked. Because my BYU Health Insurance wouldn't cover it. It was at the BYU Health Center. With some guy I didn't trust and who swung his sharp cutting tools around like an overconfident gunslinger about to shoot his own foot. So instead of paying $70 with the guy I like and trust, I spent a $10 co-pay and $37 on medications and powders I'm sure I don't need. I'll also be paying another $10 in two weeks for a check-up that I'm sure I don't need either. So what did I save? About $13 and a trip to SL. What did it cost? My faith in BYU for deciding that students didn't deserve a doctor that's actually gone to medical school, and my feeling of safety when within a mile radius of that place.