Monday, October 02, 2006


For those of you keeping track, here is an example of why I am occasionally tempted to kick my wonderful husband to the curb.

Next weekend, our small town is putting on a street festival (artisans, craftsmen, moonbounce, food court, etc.) Not only have I been organizing the food vendors for the event, but I am also going to have my own booth, for my business. Which means I should be preparing as we speak.

Recently, my husband decided that he needed one more day of golf before the snow started to fall. (Yes, where we live it is also early October, in case you are as confused by his urgency as I.) He chose next weekend. The day before the festival, when I really need to be focusing on getting things together.

Not a big problem--other than the usual issue of his golf extending my work week by one day--as long as he helped me out this past weekend by giving me time to prepare without the little one tugging on my apron strings.

Sunday morning when I reminded him that I still needed time, he replied "What do you mean? I gave you all of yesterday (Saturday) morning."

That's right. Of the 30-34 hours that I am awake in a given weekend, my husband saw fit to allot a grand total of 3 1/2 hours to my absolute discretion.

Thanks. A lot.

And now for more hijinx...

...I can still count on one hand the number of times we have used a non-family babysitter in our daughter's three years with us. Saturday night I went to pick up a new babysitter, recommended to us by a friend of a friend (who is apparently very picky) so that we could go see a movie.

I brought my daughter, so as to make an adventure out of the whole "Daddy and Mommy are going somewhere without you, but we're hoping pizza and a 15-year-old girl will fill the emptiness in your heart" thing. I should have known I would pay for that.

My daughter insisted on going to the front door to get the babysitter with me. On the front porch of the babysitter's house, indoor furniture was arranged as though awaiting a yard sale. Not quite trashy looking, but definitely out of place and a bit piled up.

My first glimpse of the b.s. (babysitter) indicated that she was still in her soccer uniform. Turns out, she was expecting me an hour later. That made my teeth hurt, especially when I had spoken to her a few times about when we would be needing her. But, she was ready to go, so it didn't really hold us up.

As we chatted at her front door, her dog and her father came out to check us out. Her father offered a handshake. The dog just sniffed and barked. My daughter wanted to pet the pooch, and with the b.s.'s go-ahead, I put her down and we all pet the dog.

That's when Pop-Pop showed up. The b.s.'s grandfather. He came out of the house to check us out, too. So now, it's getting pretty crowded on a small front porch already littered with couches and kitchen tables. There was no where to move.

As the old man (and I say this with some hesitation, because he might have been all of sixty?) neared, I was thinking that he could be one of those sweet, old Italian grandfathers who doesn't speak a whole lot of English, hence the loud talking on the part of my b.s. He had about five days' worth of white stubble across his chin, a missing bicuspid or two, and, as I would soon learn, vacant blue eyes. But he seemed to want to join in all the fun, and the b.s. made an effort to include him, yelling "Pop Pop, this is the family I'm going to babysit for."

Turns out he wasn't deaf; he was just hard-of-thinking.

What transpired is hard to describe, because it was surreal to me. He kept trying to touch my daughter. As she stood nearly between my legs, with nowhere else to go, he chucked her under her chin. I quickly scooped her up in my arms, and bent backwards, without being obvious, over a kitchen table as he started to sing a song that uses her name. She and I were trying to play along, but then he'd go and try to touch her again. Tickle her belly or some such nonsense.

God bless the 15 -year-old b.s., as she made a great effort to grab his hands whenever he went for my girl. Then, he came closer still and started clapping his hands in my daughter's face, instructing her to do so as well. The babysitter said, "Oh, this is his game...Pop Pop I think she's shy. She's too shy."

I reiterated the comment, "Yeah, she's being shy."

Without taking his crazy, vacant eyes off of my daughter, he said in a tone that resembled a threat, "She's not going to be shy with me."


My daughter curled into me, probably at my prompting, and he kept trying to touch her (unbelievably, so did the father at some point during all this) and I said (with a smile on my face, no less). "No thank you. NOTHANKYOU!" I made a further excuse (now I'm making excuses?) of needing to get her into her car seat.

And that is when, finally, he moved on.

The b.s.'s father watched the whole fucking thing go down. And me, with an idiot smile plastered on my face.

Lest you think I was in the clear, it got a little bumpy before my daughter and I (and the b.s.) finally made our escape. The b.s. went inside to get shoes and I told the father (and the looming Paulie Walnuts) that we'd have her back by 9:30 or 10:00 as the movie was at 7:30.

And the father says, "What movie are you going to see?"




No kidding, I answered in the form of a question.

He made offended and asked me what kind of movie was that? And the twelve year old in me started to explain about MTV and these guys who do stunts and it's all very funny and the father sat there and actually claimed to have never heard of it.


I think I was still explaining my choice of movie as I was getting into my car and backing out.

And this is why I want to divorce myself, some days.

On the bright side, the b.s. got in and apologized about her Pop Pop and how much he likes to touch and he usually visits on Sundays but her parents were going to be gone on Sunday so he's visiting today because he lives in the next town over but tonight her mom was at church, do you know the one I'm talking about it's just down the road...

Seriously, I thought I had just picked up Kelly from "The Office."

And when I dropped her off at the end of the evening, she wished me a very happy "What's that Jewish holiday on Monday?"

"Uh, Yom Kippur?"

Big smile, "Oh yeah. That's it! Bye."

Not only am I not Jewish, but I really don't think that Yom Kippur is one of those holidays that is as festive as say, Passover. Or Bay of Pigs Day.



At 5:24 PM, Blogger DD said...

Pop-pop sounds a bit too creepy for me to ever think you could ever leave your daughter there for any future baby-sitting gigs. It's a good thing the norm is for the baby-sitter to be at the child's home.

And you went to see Jackass? You must be in serious need of juvenile entertainment (how was it?).

At 6:34 PM, Blogger Kathy McC said...

Yikes. That made me uncomfortable just reading it! That poor girl.

At 4:13 AM, Blogger Hetty Fauxvert said...

Well ... the good thing is, you are now aware that (as dd said) you can't leave your daughter over at their house.

As for (also too touchy) dad being offended at "Jackass" -- well, isn't life just full of delicious little ironies? Hope you enjoyed the moment!

At 3:15 PM, Blogger theoneliner said...

Pop pop is freaky freaky. good grief what is wrong with that man? Someone needs to put him back under the porch. Now.

(loved your explanation on my blog BTW...and i think you're right!)


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