Adventures in Babysitting: More Discovery Channel and less Elisabeth Shue

Earlier this week, my sister generously agreed to babysit – including putting the two critters to bed. I think we all get in our routines and so familiar with our kids that we forget what it’s like for someone else walking in to the frontier. The next day my sister emailed me the below story and frankly, getting the Aunt’s perspective is hilarious. While we can agree that her evening was less this (anyone else forget Vincent D’Onofrio was in that movie?):

fabulous movie

It seems she instead felt her evening was a little more surviving in the African plains:

More Darwinian...less Hollywood...Chez moi. Photo Credit: Medford Taylor

Below is her account of surviving a night in the ‘burbs alone with two kids savages:

The gazelle was trapped. Hunted all night by the 3-year-old red-headed wildebeest.

The gazelle was exhausted and scared. 

She took refuge on the couch, her eyes darted around her unfamiliar surroundings and she dared not stir from her seat for fear of waking the beast. But can’t be! The wildebeest has awoken! The gazelle is frozen in fear. Should she pretend not to notice the tuft of red hair poking around the wall?

Should she slide off the couch, crawl across the floor and approach from behind?

Anyone else considered the army crawl out of a room to escape the sight of a toddler who won't stay in bed?


No, said the gazelle. She will approach head on: Face to face with her opponent.
And showdown begins.

Slowly the gazelle approaches.  The red-headed wildebeest stares intently. Her blue eyes begging for the gazelle to make a move. The gazelle gives only a nod of recognition and stares back. The wildebeest, cloaked in the latest spiderman costume, makes the first move. A slight smile, or is it a smirk, crosses her face.

The gazelle, taken off guard, hesitates.  She smiles back as she desperately thinks of a way out.  If she speaks, she runs the risk of the red-headed beast opening her mouth in rage and awakening the elder of the wildebeests. If she lunges at the beast and attempts to corral her back to her cave she surely will be faced with this same situation again. 

How to out-wit her opponent? Surely she has age, life experience and size, on her side?

Ah ha! The gazelle has an idea. 

There is nothing more coveted in the world of the red-headed wildebeest than playtime in the shiny yellow Mini Cooper. The gazelle holds the key to coveted treasure. Should she use this bribe to tame the beast?


And so she speaks. In a strong, clear, confident voice, the gazelle negotiates time in the shiny yellow mini in exchange for the beast retreating to her cave.  A moment of silence. Has the beast bought it??  Will the gazelle survive the night without more fear?  Victory! 

The red-headed wildebeest lowers her head in defeat and accepts the future offer. High on the sweet taste of victory, the gazelle picks up the red-headed wildebeest and carries her to her cave. She sings songs about future playtime in the shiny yellow mini and rocks the beast to sleep. As she lays the beast in her blankets and says good night, the gazelle thinks she sees a small smile cross the face of the beast.  The victory may have been hers tonight but the gazelle has learned that she can never underestimate the power of the 3-year-old red-headed wildebeest.

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One Response to Adventures in Babysitting: More Discovery Channel and less Elisabeth Shue
  1. mjg
    February 23, 2012 | 3:40 pm

    That’s very funny. This little red head is a very cleaver little girl and quite adept at outwitting the average adult. The gazelle did very good.

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