A Modern Mary Poppins

I’ve seen Piper’s future and her name is B. She’s our new babysitter. We met her at our church’s Peace Camp. I should have known then. Piper and Sissy dragged B over to me and announced that this was the young women they’d chosen for their new cargiver. I just do what I’m told, so B has spent the last few days at our house while I’ve been reacclimating to life in a suit.

B is a modern day Mary Poppins. She arrives with arts and crafts ideas. She takes the girls to the pool and organizes all the children into a rousing game of Marco Polo. She spends hours at the park where babies flock to her and she swings on the monkey bars like one of the gang. Piper said, “B does all the voices right when we’re playing Laloopseys!” B and Sissy talk fashion and food. And Sissy said the best part, which is vital for a ten-year-old that doesn’t feel like she needs a babysitter, is that “B just plays. She’s not really in charge. She’s like one of us.”

“What does she do if you and P are arguing?” I asked.

“Oh,” Sissy answered, “she makes us wrestle and she declares the winner.”

Okay. The kids are happy. They’re safe. They’re running around the neighborhood enjoying the last moments of summer as kids should. The tv is off. B sounds dreamy, doesn’t she? She is. But that’s not even the best part.

B has blue hair with streaks of hot pink. At the park and the pool the other kids call her “the girl with rainbow hair” as in “let’s go hang out with the girl with rainbow hair!” B has put some modern flare into her Mary Poppins drag.

Yesterday B showed up wearing a rainbow tutu. It matched Piper’s exactly. By the look on Piper’s face, I thought Santa Claus himself was standing at our front door, but it was just B, in her rainbow tutu towering over P in her rainbow tutu. They’d planned the whole thing.

In fact, B has a collection of tutus. She also has a Pinkilicious backpack. Apparently, all the high school backpacks weren’t stylish enough. How could they be?

I’ve seen the woman Piper may grow up to be, and she’s just as awesome as I imagined. Better than that, she’s entirely herself.

Drunk Dialing or Something Like It

Kid tantrums while exhausted are the equivalent of love confessions while drunk.  You can’t believe either one.  Nobody takes them seriously.  Just listen and laugh.  And it’s good to always have a video camera handy.

Piper fell asleep in the car today and woke up in time to meet the new babysitter we were auditioning.  It wasn’t pretty.  Piper was disoriented and angry about the waking up part. Then there was a stranger at her door. The babysitter, however, was awesome.  She came with a stuffed bag of goodies like Mary Poppins.  She asked the girls all the right questions.  Piper took one look at the babysitter’s smile and threw herself on the ground crying. “Why do my parents always leave me alone?” she wailed. We haven’t had a date night in six months.  This was a one hour coffee break.  I peeled Piper off the floor, slung her over my shoulder, and took her to her room.  It’s okay to throw a fit in our house.  If you feel it, fine.  Just do it in your room behind closed doors. Through Piper’s door I could hear her add insult to injury, “That babysitter doesn’t even look like an adult!”  True.  She did look young, but she came highly recommended and we’re a little desperate around here. Piper’s fit ended as quickly as it began.  She swung her bedroom door open and grabbed the babysitter’s hand. We didn’t even get a good-bye wave.

An hour later when we returned Piper declared the new babysitter her best friend.  “Why do my parents always ruin my fun?” she complained loudly as we came in the door.  Clearly, we’d arrived just in time for bed.

Here’s a logging of complaints following a tantrum due to her father’s clearly unreasonable insistence on brushing her hair.  Be sure to watch until the end so you can see Piper’s version of perfectly coiffed hair.