Adventures in Babysitting


…phone ringing…

Mel: Hello?

Sam: Ayyy, whatupbro? Can you watch the kids for me tonight? My babysitter cancelled on me.

Mel: Dang man. Wish I could, but I have to teach tonight. I can ask Bri if she can do it. I’ll call you back.

Sam: Ok. Thanks.

Mel: No problem.

5 minutes later…phone rings…

Sam: Hello?

Mel: She can do it. Just bring them by the house after 7. She will be there.

Sam: Thanks bro. I owe y’all one.

Mel: No you don’t. Just enjoy your date night.

Jaylah and Kameron….Kameron and Jaylah. Monsters of the Midway. Twin Terrors….or my personal favorite…Sam’s kids.

At first glance, these two look to be angels sent from Heaven. They greet you with gentle smiles and warm hugs. Then they politely ask to play with building blocks just before they scurry away to amuse themselves in the corner. All the while, having you think that this will be a piece of cake.

My two little Angels.

My two little Angels.

Before the nights end, you could possibly be pulling out your hair. Soon you find yourself clawing at the door in hopes that their parents are just steps away from freeing you from your recent torment. You realize why their parents gave you the side eye as they thanked you for keeping their bundles of joy, and gave each other a high five as they walked out the door.

Just kidding. They are not bad. Not by a long shot. They just like to have their own type of fun which is coupled with endless amounts of energy. For Jaylah, it’s playing house with tiny dolls, and then sipping “tea” and “feeding you” a meal she just prepared in her brand new kitchen. For Kam, having fun means sprinting up and down the hallway until he falls…then hopping right back up and doing it all over again. He does this while totally ignoring your pleas for him to slow down and stop…endless amounts of energy.

Of course I’m joking about my little buddies being tiny monsters or even terrors. They are, in fact Sam’s kids, and so they act like he did so many years ago. Always full of energy and enthusiasm. If your not prepared for their type of fun, it could overwhelm you. This is what I feared may happen to my dear wife.

So as I made my way into class all I could think about was how tired Bri was gonna be when I got home. I can hear her now: “Boo, I’m soooo tired. I don’t know if I can do it again. They wore me out.” My poor baby was gonna be a hot mess when I got home.

A couple times a month I used to teach a class called Victim Awareness. In this class I, along with a co-facilitator, would baby sit, I mean, show the youth of Santa Clara County the importance of respecting their fellow man (with a very strong emphasis on victims of crime). This was a great way for me to reach out to my community and make a difference. Most of the young men and women who attended these classes were focused more on the clock than on our words of wisdom.

Those that did pay attention made positive strides in life. Those that didn’t usually ended up back in our class 30-60 days later. In spite if their total disregard of our teachings, we never stopped pushing them to do better…as if we were parents, legal guardians, or… sitters. Eventually it would stick.

On this night in my class full of juvenile delinquents, I found myself focusing on the Mrs. In between pleas to use the potty and gentle taps on the table to get “John” or “Joan” to pick their heads off the desk I fought the urge to call her and check in. 9 pm couldn’t come fast enough for me so that I could go home and see the outcome of our social experiment.

When I walked into the apartment, I expected to see a space that had been ravaged by twin tornados. Toys would be scattered everywhere. My dear wife’s face would be filled tears of fear and terror. Well, maybe I exaggerate a bit, but I did expect to hear her voice raised as my little homies ran a muck.

To my surprise, when I opened the door I was greeted with the exact opposite. Kam was in the corner building a castle with his blocks. On the other side of the room Jaylah and Bri both lay comfortably on the couch watching Dora the Explorer.

I gave my beautiful wife a cool smile and a nod to let her know that I was impressed….very impressed. She just turned and brushed her shoulders off as if to shame me for ever doubting her. Touché my dear….touché.

When they noticed that Uncle was in the room. Both little ones broke their silence and greeted me with their usual forms of child like affection. Kam stood up and did his happy dance (rocking from side to side while twirling in a circle). Then Miss Jaylah screamed “UUUNCLEEE!!!” As she ran and jumped into my arms.

For just a moment I was jealous of Sam and Renee. No matter how bad your day is, and no matter what life takes you through…to be greeted with such honest love and affection will melt any cold heart. They were very lucky to be greeted with this type of “welcome home” each and every day. I can remember thinking “I could get used to this.”

After we said our goodbyes, Sam and Renee took the kids home. I was preparing to take a seat on the couch and enjoy some quality time with the Mrs. Then she told me that she would be right back.

While she was gone, not gonna lie, I used the next few minutes to get drawn into the latest Dora adventure. “Swipers no swiping.” I whispered to myself as I became totally engulfed into what I was watching. You laugh now, but once a kid comes into the picture watch how much “adult” tv you watch then in comparison to now. Things will change my friend.

Then Bri came around the corner, and my attention shifted back to her. Her demeanor had changed. She seemed nervous and a bit jittery.

So, Miss lady walked towards me and uttered softly “here” as she handed me a small object. I glanced down at my new found prize only to realize that it was truly a game changer.

A white stick with a green plus. Is this really what I think it is? I looked up at her and asked “really?” She assured me that after 5 or 6 tries with the same result….yes really. WE ARE HAVING A BABY!!!

So, now there’s no need to be jealous anymore. In just a few short months Avery Olivia-Lynn Hughes will greet mommy and daddy with warm smiles and gentle hugs.

Here's our bundle of joy!

Here’s our bundle of joy!

Oh yeah. In my excitement of finding out that I was about to become a daddy, I tried my best to play it cool. I could feel something bubbling inside me that made me want to jump for joy (no, it wasn’t the burrito I had earlier). When I finally calmed down and brought myself back to reality, I paused and asked myself one quick question….”Did this chick just put a pee stick in my hand!?!”

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