The Babysitter


  Hannah grew weary of the children’s antics as they jumped from sofa to sofa and screamed with excitement. Every time she came over they seemed to be pumped about something, each subject as inane as the last.

  “What is it you guys are even excited about today,” she said wearily as she finally accepted the fact she would never be able to make out the dialogue of America’s Next Top Model over the ruckus.

  “Because our bedtime got later!” Bo said, jumping on a particularly worn out looking cushion – his favourite, perhaps.

  “By a whole half an hour!” said Bea, rolling on the floor for no particular reason.

  “Is that so,” Hannah said, dragging her hands down her face. She’d been looking forward to eight o’clock all evening. Would have been nice of the Bradleys to tell me something like that she thought to herself, isn’t it like, in the contract or something?

  “Psst,” Bo said, jumping off the sofa and whispering to his sister loud enough for anyone to hear, “dream big doofus.”

  “Oh, right,” Bea said, getting to her feet and peering over the armrest innocently, “What I meant to say was by a whole hour!”

  “More like it,” Bo said, giving her the thumbs up and beginning to jump again.

  “Is that so?” Hannah said, muting the set and squirming around in her seat to look over the back of the settee at Bo. “A whole hour? That’s what – nine o’clock? Pretty late for squirts like you.”

  “Hey!” Bo said, Indignant, “we’re not squirts you… you patoot!”

  “Tell you what,” Hannah said, getting up and walking towards the kitchen, “how about you guys go to bed on time, like good little brats, and I won’t tell your parent’s about how you finished off that whole tub of ice cream in the freezer.”

  “But, but, we didn’t have any ice cream! You gave us bread for desert,” Bo said, evidently irritated Hannah had forgotten already.

  “Yeah, bread,” Bea added.

  “Did I?” Hannah said, reappearing with a tub of Ben & Jerry’s in one hand and a spoon in the other, “could have sworn I saw you guys eat the entire thing.”

  She sat down in front of the television, turned up the volume and began to eat. After a couple of minutes she turned around, spoon in her mouth, and smiled. “Run along kids, you know how angry your mom gets when you have snacks before bed.”

  “You’re a- you’re a sneaky Susan,” Bea said, her voice even higher than usual.

  “And don’t your forget it.”

~ by Joseph Blame on January 5, 2011.

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