Soon, the doorbell rang, and I skipped down the stairs to get it. As expected, Holly Samson was at the door. She’s a really sweet lady that I babysit for sometimes. It’s weird to call her a lady when she only graduated from high school like four years ago.
“Hi, Lula! Ready?”
“Yeah. Let me just grab my phone,” I told her. I dashed upstairs again, grabbed the phone from my dresser and flew back down the stairs.
“Mom!” I yelled, “I’m leaving now! Holly’s here!”
“Okay, dear,” she yelled back. “Call if you need me!”
When we were buckled into our seatbelts, Holly gave me instructions for the evening.
“We shouldn’t be out terribly late,” she told me. It might has well have been a week. “Little Beau had a really late nap, so he won’t be falling asleep anytime soon.” Great, I mumbled to myself. “You can give him the leftover spaghetti on the counter and some pudding for dessert. It’s in the fridge. There’s enough for you, too, if you haven’t eaten yet. Just clean him up when he’s done and make sure he doesn’t get into any trouble!”
“Okay.” Little Beau was a handful for anyone who didn’t have six hands.
“Oh, and would you mind feeding Howie after you feed Little Beau?”
“Hey, I just noticed. You’ve done something different with your hair, haven’t you?” she asked.
“I tried to bleach it and ruined it instead,” I confessed. “Mom had to cut it and make it look better.”
“Oh, it looks fine, Lula. Even cute.”
“Thanks, Holly.” She probably just said that to make me feel better.
As we pulled into the driveway, Little Beau ran screaming from the house, “Lulululululu!” He threw his tiny arms around my legs and almost tackled me to the ground. He’s pretty big for a kid his age.
“Hi, Little Beau,” I said as I knelt down and hugged him. “Are we gonna have fun together?”
“Yeah!” He grabbed my hand, did his best to pull me to my feet by grunting loudly, and dragged me into the house. Big Beau and Holly were ready to leave.
“Bye, sweetie. Be good for Lula,” Holly said to her son.
“No! Don’t go, Daddy!” Little Beau started throwing the mother of all tantrums. Is that another pun? I’m getting good at that. Anyway, he screamed, he kicked, and he tried to bite me when I took his hand.
“We’ll sneak out when you take him to the kitchen,” Big Beau whispered. That never worked out well—at least not for me.
“Hey, Little Beau, how about some spaghetti for dinner? Does that sound good? If you eat it all, you can have some pudding for dessert.”
“’kay,” he said, calming down instantly. He grabbed my hand again and dragged me into the kitchen, as his mommy and daddy sneaked out the front door. I warmed up the spaghetti in the microwave (good thing they didn’t know what happened this morning) and dished some into bowls for us, cutting the baby’s spaghetti into small pieces.
“Me wan bwedstix.” Little Beau said.
“Let me see if I can find any.” I looked through the cupboards and in the breadbox. Then I scoured the pantry. “Sorry, buddy, I don’t see any breadsticks. How about some crackers instead?”
“’kay.” I sat him on his booster seat and placed the bowl of cut-up spaghetti on the table with a Donald Duck baby spoon and a couple of crackers. I sat across from the little guy and we started to eat. A couple of bites into it, I see Little Beau raising a hand high above his head and, before I could blink, it came crashing down on the pile of crackers, sending crumbs flying through the air, onto the table and floor, and into my hair.
“Why did you do that?” I asked, trying to remain calm, as a good babysitter should. Of course, I would be the one that would have to clean up the mess.
“No cwackers! Beddle budder.” Luckily, I speak “Little Beau” and I knew this meant bread and butter.
“Why didn’t you tell me? I’ll get your bread.”
“Yes, and butter.”
While I was fixing the bread and butter, I turned my back on my little buddy—I swear, it was only one second. When I turned back with it in my hand, he had dumped the bowl upside down and was eating it off the table! His little face and pudgy hands were smeared with sauce.
“Little Beau! What are you doing?” I yelled, no longer keeping calm.
“I a doggie!” he grinned playfully.
“You’re not a doggie. You’re a little boy. Little boys eat with a spoon.”
“No, I a doggie.” I scooped the spaghetti back into the bowl and handed him the spoon. He grinned at me with his spaghetti-sauce face and little pieces of noodles in his hair. I sighed and grinned back.
“That wasn’t very nice,” I scolded him gently.
“Lulu mad?” he frowned.
“No, I’m not mad. But if you want some pudding, you have to eat all of your spaghetti like a little boy—with your spoon!” Little Beau giggled and stuffed a huge spoonful into his little mouth and showed me how well he could chew it with his mouth open and spaghetti noodles hanging out. Totally gross. Reminds me of my brothers. But he ate it all, and with his spoon. When we finally finished eating, I dampened a paper towel and scrubbed his face and hands. Crackers crumbs were brushed from the table into the wastebasket and the table was wiped down.
“Puddin’!” he shouted, chubby arms waving and hands slapping the table.
“Okay, I’ll get it.” I placed the wastebasket back in the corner and looked in the fridge for the pudding. There were two single cups of ready-to-eat vanilla pudding on the top shelf. So, I took those to the table and placed one in front of Little Beau.
He stared at the container for a minute and then shouted, “No! Chockit!” Oh boy. Here we go.
“Sorry, Little Beau. We only have vanilla—no chocolate.”
“No! No! No! I want my daddy!” He began to kick and scream. It wasn’t long before he’d knocked his bowl, spoon and the pudding to the floor. Luckily, the pudding landed upright and hardly spilled a drop.
“Little Beau! Stop that! If you don’t stop right now, you won’t get any pudding!” He stared up at me with a shocked look on his face.
“’kay,” he said. I went to the pantry and found a bottle of chocolate syrup and squeezed a little into the vanilla pudding and stirred it up.
“Chockit!” he said with a satisfied look on his face. Little Beau finished the pudding off quickly, with most of it ending up on his little round face. I like to babysit, r...