Saturday, February 04, 2006

The Babysitter

I am a kid magnet. I don't know if it is because I always have my kids with me and other kids think; Oh, here is person that just has lots of kids, let's chat with her. I don't know but they don't talk to Carmella or Beau but to me. It never fails and happens everywhere we go. Children just come up to me and start conversations with me: "Hi! I'm Jack. I am turning 5 and I'm having a Power Ranger party. You can come. I don't have the invitations because my mom mailed them all but you should come." Or, "I'm Lydia, do you like my dress? I'm 3 and 1/2." And then they linger and never go away.

Do people not teach their children not to talk to strangers anymore? I really don't know what the etiquette is here. How do you politely end a conversation with someone who has yet to figure out the social nuances of small talk and appropriate conversation. I don't want to seem rude by any means but seriously, I spend all day, everyday conversing with the sandbox set and honestly, it gets a bit tiresome.

On Mondays Carmella has gymnastics. It is only a 45 minute class and if it is nice I will run with Beau in the jogger or take him to the park but lately Mondays have been too cold or rainy so I have to wait in the lobby area with Beau while Carmella has her class. There are always lots of kids running around waiting for their class to start. There seems to be more kids than parents so I am beginning to suspect that this is just a place other moms drop their kids off to play and then go off and do errands-- regardless if the child has a class or not. Maybe they heard I was going to be there and figured I could hang with their kids too.

This past Monday it was raining so Beau and I had to wait inside. Beau is currently Beauman, the superhero, because he wears a cape everywhere. This garners him a lot of attention. He loves it but it draws lots of attention to me that I do not necessarily want. Don't get me wrong, I am as much of an attention whore as my 2 yr old but the cape thing is getting old.

This boy, David, he is 6 almost 7, came to inquire about Beau's superpowers. I told him Beau had the special power of bionic-tantrums and that he was a powerful combination of being terrible and being two. Not something to be messed with at all. David told me he was Blueman, his invention, and his special power was control over water. He showed me some of his moves. Beau showed David some of his moves. David then introduced me to his sister Pinkgirl. I asked her what her special power was and she said she didn't know. I told her she should have control over fashion trends and the princess twirl should be her move. She seemed unimpressed.

Pretty soon Beau and I were surrounded by about 10 kids all asking what their super powers should be and what their superhero name was and what their move should be. Never once did any of these kids parents come over and inquire who are you talking to and for God sakes leave this poor woman alone. No, I know what they were thinking, well the ones that were actually there-- Hooray! Little Johnny is entertained and I can have a moment to myself. Yeah, I'm a little bitter. Because, you see, I want to be one of those women who brings a book on rainy days and sits quietly and reads while every few pages I glance up when it has come Carmella's turn on the balance beam again. But no, with Beau being Beauman it is going to be quite awhile, if ever, that I am bookwoman.

Anyway, this goes on for what seems like to me, FOREVER. Somewhere along the way, trying to get my attention back to him, Beau says "Mommy! Mom-MEEEE!" And all the kids stop their chatter and look at me. David, the leader apparent of the group says to me, "You're the Mommy?" with shock and disdain written all over his little angelic face. And I openly admit to what I am and I say "Yes, I am Mommy," in my best superhero voice, striking the pose. He laughs at himself and says, "Oh, I thought you were The Babysitter." They all laugh and suddenly it is just me and Beauman.

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