By ROSIE WATERLAND
Recently, I was asked to spend a day looking after three kids I’ve never met. Apparently, the idea of a clueless 20-something babysitting kids (ie; a bunch of tiny people) is hilarious. Which I didn’t really understand, since I was pretty convinced that I’d be fabulous at it. I accepted the invitation without hesitation.”Kids?” I thought. “Easy! I can take a day out of my busy TV-watching schedule to do that. You just feed them and let them follow you around, right?” Yeah – it wasn’t exactly like that.
Just as an FYI, you should know that this post is sponsored by CHUX. But all opinions expressed by the author are 100% authentic and written in their own words.
This is what happens when you have to handle whatever life chux at you (including a 7-year-old who nearly gets you arrested): I’m never quite sure how to act around kids – I always seem to go full-on baby-talk or total adult-conversation. I don’t quite know how to handle those 20 years in between. This may explain why I’m not quite sure what to do when I first meet Ben, 12, Annabel, 9 and Sally, 7. Do I shake their hands? Or pat them on the head maybe? Already I’m overwhelmed and missing my TV. Just as I’m trying to decide if Kate and Jim are ecstatic or terrified, they literally cheer as they walk away.
I guess they’re ecstatic then. I turn around. I am now officially in charge of the lives of three human beings. I decide that my strategy for the day will be to say yes to everything so that they think I’m cool. Foolproof parenting, amiright?
The plan is laser tag and bowling followed by lunch and shopping. I get a little too excited as we head into the laser tag place and I see that there’s a bar inside. Kids drink vodka, right?
My first shock of the day is how expensive it is to entertain little people. One game of bowling and one game of laser tag is HOW MUCH? Do you know how many items I could buy on ASOS with that kind of money? Geez. How can anyone afford to have more than one?
Bowling is up first. I decide this is the perfect opportunity to try and figure out what’s ‘cool with the kids’. Taylor Swift is in, Miley Cyrus is out. Ben says Annabel likes One Direction, but she denies it. Katy Perry’s Roar comes on screen and we have a very interesting discussion about the contradictions one finds when comparing the lyrics to the video. For example, Annabel informs me that she sings about a tiger but tigers don’t roar. Duh. Also, it’s not realistic that she would be perfectly made-up after being stranded in the jungle so long. AND – why is she singing about a tiger but wearing a leopard-print top? “I like how the elephant is the shower,” is all I manage to add. Since when are kids so freaking smart?
Next up is laser tag, which is basically just an opportunity for me to run around screaming like a confused banshee. The kids try to be patient with me, but give up when they realise I’m clearly deranged. And let me tell you something – laser tag is exhausting. You basically just run around in a dark room for fifteen minutes. It’s like being inside a video game but you don’t get to sit down.
I’m losing so badly that I decide it’s time to leave decency out of this and I start targeting Sally, the 7-year-old. I know, I know – not the classiest move, but I don’t want to come last.
I come last.