This is me:
and these are the seven children I spent my day with yesterday:
I would just like to say one thing, here: How in the hell do these people find me??? I do not know these children. One of them, the Dylan one, is in Owen’s class at school and they share the bus stop together so the extent of my relationship with his mother is that she stands there gabbing with her friends on one side and I stand by myself and try not to make eye contact on the other.
Then, last week, I overheard her telling her friends about all of her money problems and how she was in a panic because her rent wasn’t going to be getting paid. I came home and I made a few phone calls and got her some referrals to a couple of places that can help with that sort of thing and then the next time I saw her at the bus stop, I told her she could follow me home and get some contact numbers, which she did.
I never told her my name and she never told me hers.
Then, yesterday, I hear a knock on my door and there she is with the Caleb kid who goes to afternoon kindergarten and she wants to know if I can grab her kids off of their buses after school. I agree before fully realizing that I wasn’t walking them to their house and was instead bringing them to my house.
So, Owen and Dylan ride bus number one which picks them up at 8:45 and drops them off back home at 12:45. Caleb gets picked up at 11 and dropped off on the same bus as Matt and Noah at 2:45. I was walking back and forth to the bus stop a bit more than usual yesterday which was interesting only because along with me to the bus stop came Olivia and Emi and then once the younger boys got home I had to show up at 2:45 to get the older boys with Owen, Dylan, Emi, and Olivia to pick up Matt, Noah and Caleb.
I worried that I looked more like a whore than usual toting all those kids around.
What was more bizarre is that I’d never even seen the older boys and could not identify them so as kids were pouring off the bus in the afternoon, I had the Dylan one standing next to me and I would have to point to each kid and say, “What about that one? Does he belong to you?”.
And then what happened next blew my mind: Other kids were trying to come home with me, too. Kids that didn’t belong to me or to this lady who left her kids with me. The first one was this little dark skinned boy who, as I was herding my troop together at the bus stop, I spotted crying under a bush. He must have been about seven or so and I knelt down the way adults do when approaching crying kids who don’t belong to them as if they are rabid dogs and might attack at any minute. I held my hands out and in plain view so that he may sniff them if he so desired and I moved veeeery slowly towards him and then asked him what was wrong.
Some kid hit him, he said.
Which kid?, I asked.
That one in the blue coat, he replied.
Whatsyer name?, I asked him.
Elijah, he said.
Well, I like the name Elijah and so I told him to stay put and that I would take care of it and I got up and followed the blue coat for a second and then said something like, “Hey, kid. You in the blue coat!” and he turned around and I walked up to him and said, “See that kid over there? That’s Elijah and he happens to be a very good friend of mine. Now, Elijah says that you hit him and he is very upset about it and I don’t like to see my friends upset so I’m gonna tell you what. You ever lay another hand or nasty word on him again and they’re gonna be loading you onto that school bus in pieces. You understand me?”
Wide eyes just nods and then I tell him Very good, then you are excused.
So, back to Elijah I go and I pat him on the head sort of and say, “Just for the record, if your name was Steve I wouldn’t even have walked up to you. Now, hurry on home.”
Elijah trots off and I collect up my entourage and instruct them that they are to walk quietly and stay with me at all times.
They fucking took off. Each of them in a different direction.
Jesus fucking Christ!, I holler. Didn’t you listen to me at all?? Come back here right this instant! I am running in a zig zag pattern trying to collect up the smaller ones first before they can haul ass into the road or something and I nab the Dylan one first because he is slow and a bit flat footed and then I have him by the jacket and I get Owen when he stalls to find his friend and then I am sort of dragging those two plus Emi and trying to chase the others and finally I get them all congregated sort of by my building and do a head count.
There are two extra children.
What the fuck? I try to pick out the two who do not belong and narrow it down to a smaller blond kid with glasses as I don’t remember a kid with glasses being a part of my crew. I say something to him, like, “Uh… where are you going?” and he says back, “I dunno.”
“Well, where are your handlers?”, I enquire.
“Handlers?”, he says pushing his glasses further up his nose.
“Yeah, you know… your PARENTS???”
“Oh. They’re at work.”
“Okaaaaaay… do you live around here somewhere?”
I am beginning to fear that I am going to have another child I don’t know hanging out in my house and as I am having this conversation with Glasses, I see the other Mystery Kid floating off towards my house and I call him back.
“How old are you, Mystery Kid?” I ask.
“Ten.” he replies.
“Okay, you’re older. Beat it.”
He looks at Matt and Noah who just sort of shrug at him and then he goes slouching off and I return my focus to Chicken Little.
“Okay, Chicken Little,”I says. “Is there an adult at your house?”
“Uh-huh. My mom.”
“But you just told me that your parents are at work.”
“My mom is home.”
I swear to you I heard church bells in his words and so I made him show me where he lives and then I deposited him safely in his house with his mom. Then, I turn around and my crew has bolted again, those fuckers.
It took me another ten minutes to round them up and herd them into the house and once I got them inside, they all went apeshit. I have never in my life seen children go so completely fucking insane before. It took all of about three seconds for them to locate the lightsabers and then start beating the shit out of each other with them and so I confiscated those pretty quickly and they were off to find other things to beat each other with. I thought maybe if I fed them, they’ll all sort of calm down a bit and so I stuck my fingers in my mouth and blew a shrieking whistle which made them all stop dead in the tracks and stare at me. And then… I made this very big mistake:
“Peanut butter and Jelly or Bologna.”
The response to this was about twenty straight seconds of people shouting out different requests… no cheese! No mayo! You got Miracle Whip?! What kind of peanut butter?! Can you make me some chicken?!
My response to this was to tell them all to go to hell and that I would make whatever I wanted and they would all damn well eat it, too. So, off to the kitchen I went where I assembled six sandwiches and applied Fritos and poured milk for everyone in different colored cups and then I shuffled them all back out in the living room and sat them down and said, “Now eat it.”
And they did.
Now, the Dylan kid is sort of flighty and quiet and just seems to float from one room to the next which was fine by me except that he was in la la land most of the time and if I needed him I’d have to walk directly up to him, place my lips right by his ear and shout at him. The Caleb kid is obsessed with the baby who he referred to as a “he” the entire time as most kids do. He wedged himself right by her side and never really moved too much. The Noah one was very polite although right at the beginning he told me that he is controlled by Satan and does whatever Satan tells him to do. I told him that I outrank Satan in my house and that never has the Devil gotten one past me before and he wasn’t about to start today. Needless to say, Noah was a darling.
My kids were total assholes.
Matthew did just about everything he could to bring madness upon the dwelling and Owen kept dropping to the ground to flop like a fish and scream for no reason. Olivia just got into shit in a bad way and hit people with the lightsabers and everything else she could get her hands on and Emi was just damned fine so long as Caleb was looking in her general direction. If he turned his head for even a second, she was whimpering and tearing up until he looked back at her and then she was cooing and giggling at him which was very strange to see considering she was snotty and teary and laughing.
Naturally, all the kids left about three minutes before Dean got home and so he didn’t have the privilege of being trapped in the house with five boys under the age of 8, three semi-toddlers and an infant.
I was pleased that I really didn’t have too many problems and therefore, wasn’t forced to crack skulls together.
I have a feeling this mystery woman is going to be dumping these kids off on me a lot and I have a feeling that I won’t be answering my door anymore.
And before you can ask, she said she was paying me…. and then didn’t.
Hence, the locked door.