Gypsy's Travels

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Babysitting - Day One

Well, it is true, ABW has left me in charge of all 3 children for 12 days while she and DH go to Hawaii. We have made it through the first 2 days with everyone at least somewhat intact. I raised four children fairly successfully, but am really rusty on 24 hour care. Jr. kept me up most of the night last night so I am hoping for a better experience tonight.

It sounded fairly easy. ABW made a flow chart and had a bulletin board full of notes, directions, instructions, phone numbers, and maps. She began calling about 3 hours after her departure from home and has called 4 times from Hawaii. of course, one time was to tell us she had come face to face with a giant sea turtle.

Everything went well until morning #1. I put Jr. in the stroller and we walked the girls to school. Actually, they walked me to their school. I had a map but it seemed a simple route, so I did not take the map with me. The girls knew a short cut - through the neighbors' yards. I tried to explain that we don't do things like that, but had to run to keep up with them and by then we were on a path.
"See," they said, "it is simple."
We wandered in and around and finally reached the school which seemed much closer on paper. Everything went well until I started home alone - well, just Jr., enjoying his ride in the stroller, and me.

You must understand that I have almost no sense of direction. Fortunately, I have a GPS system in my car now, but I was walking. On a military facility, all the houses look alike and this one was no exception. I walked and turned and walked some more. I swallowed my pride and cut between two houses that might have been the ones on our route to school. They were not the same houses and the stroller ended up with dew-soaked wheels covered with grass clippings for my effort. Some things looked familiar but most of them didn't. I asked a young woman who was walking in the opposite direction if she knew where {my street] was. She, of course, had never heard of it. Jr. was beginning to get hungry as we rounded a curve and ended up on an exercise track that I had never seen before. I had not taken my cell phone since it was supposed to be a 10 minute walk. Besides, I didn't know anyone to call. Even if I had known someone, I would have been too embarrassed to make the call.

I had been walking about one hour and was beginning to get my bearings when suddenly, the girls' school appeared on the route again. I again attempted to follow the first morning's route in reverse, paying very close attention to my surroundings this time. I looked past the houses to the streets trying to find the cars in front of my destination. Ahhhhh, success! After spotting my car, I took off between houses with none of my former compunctions of trespassing. I was only intent on reaching home.

The rest of the day was fairly uneventful except that my extended morning walk had made me run late. I was supposed to attend a Veteran's Day Ceremony at the school with the girls. I saw a long line of parents at the school door so I joined them and waited about 15 minutes with very little progress toward the table ahead of us. Finally, I turned to the man behind me and asked why everyone was standing in line. He told me they were waiting to get their IDs back. Whoops! I left the line and headed for the playground. A stroller is a fast ticket into many areas. I missed the ceremony but Em said she was too far away to see it anyway. She sat with us while Jr. and I disposed of a hastily assembled picnic lunch.


  1. What a story for the kids when they get a little older, I loved it and could just picture you doing this.

    I always thought you were DH's navigator on those rally runs, was I wrong?

  2. They made GPS just for people like you, Mom.

  3. Yes, I was the navigator and we were the "southern California SOP Champions." I was termed "the best navigator in the business." The difference was, I had printed instructions to guide me!


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