Monday, June 14, 2010

My Jeep ... and bad babysitting stories

I am learning WAY more about my Jeep than I think any woman should have to know.  Let me take that back a little ... more than any person should have to know.

Sidenote:  I have NEVER been a rabid feminist, but doggone it, do we HAVE to perpetuate stereotypes of who works outside the home and who takes care of children?  I'm a lousy, lousy mama type caregiver until the kid is old enough to be able to tie a shoe, go to the bathroom alone (read: not having to take a little boy into the women's bathroom with me), eat a meal without me cutting up the potato (I don't mind so much on steak, etc.) and maybe stay away from home for more than 2-3 hours.  I know plenty of men who are so much better at that stuff than me.

When my friends were having babies, it gave them great amounts of wicked pleasure to find ways to put those babies in my arms.  Then, they'd sit back and chuckle as all sorts of uncomfortable looks went flitting across my face.  I knew better than to hold the baby upside down by its toes until the mom got freaked out, but my goodness, I didn't love that.  I still don't get the whole 'ooh, look, there's a brand new baby, I must go see if I can hold it' thing.

My mother really messed up with me, I guess.  I'll be honest with you - after her descriptions of childbirth and raising three babies to childhood, I figured it out at the age of 13 - I was never going to want to give birth.  I never really changed my mind after that.

Rest of the story ... I only babysat outside the house with three different families when I was growing up.  One of those families had older children - I was way cool with that.  The other two experiences were horrifying.  The first was the daughter of a local doctor.  She'd been sick with something or other, I guess and was still an infant.  I smelled that I needed to change her diaper, but this had NEVER happened in my life before.  NEVER!  I had no idea what I was going to do.  I called mom, she chuckled and told me that the directions were actually on the box of Pampers.  Holy cow, she was right.  There I was at the changing table with the box turned to the directions.  I pulled off the dirty diaper and OMG, OMG, OMG ... the poop was a dark blue and was runny.  I called her back.  She laughed again and said that Doc probably had his daughter on something for the cold.  I cleaned it up, managed to follow the directions and get a diaper on the child and that was the LAST time I walked into that house to babysit the poor thing.  I did giggle a lot when I saw that she had graduated from high school ... such a story I wanted to go home and tell her.

The next family was even more exciting.  They were an interesting family - a little liberal in the way they raised their kids.  That was fine, I was flexible.  I got to their home and the three kids were aged 3 - 10.  The 10-year old had learned to climb up the hallway walls - they were spaced at just the right distance so that he could get his feet on one wall and hands on the other and make his way up.  He leapt out of the air and me and made me scream.  Oh yah ... he won that round.  Then, the three year old little girl was running through the house with only her diaper on.  I was fine with that until she decided that it needed to come off - so, she was running around naked.  Well, I was going to be fine with that, too, until her brothers let me know that their parents didn't like that so much.  Guess what, NOT Pampers ... this time it was a cloth diaper.  I had absolutely no idea what to do at that point.  I called mom.  In between her gales of laughter, she managed to drive over to the house, get the child in a fresh diaper and be gone before the parents returned.  That was the last time I walked into that house to babysit.

I quickly learned the teaching piano lessons in the safety of my house to children who had grown past that insane age of diapers was a better way for me to make some money while I was in high school.

So ... no, I have never fit into the traditional mold.

Now, what was I talking about?

Oh yah ... my Jeep.  Well, today I learned about the Throttle Position Sensor and the fact that it can go bad and make my Jeep guzzle oil and stall it out at stop lights and make my drive through Iowa not so enjoyable. I love and adore my Jeep more than I should, but somedays I want to go back to my 1969 Volkswagon bug that had a small engine in the back of the car.  I could open it up and pretty much make sense all by myself of the working parts.  Sigh ... Thank heavens for a garage that will take care of me, though.


Rebecca said...

I love picturing you changing that diaper... tooo funny! I have a hunch you are probably great with teenagers yes? I love newborns..up to the age of about 3... then I need them to go away until they are 13,14 and I can reason with them again! hehehe

Diane Muir said...

I do prefer anything over about age 11. So, yup, teenagers are great. And I've always seemed to get along with boys in middle school because my goodness, all they want is a little attention and for someone to 'get it!' Girls at that age are so pathetic, all I want to do is assure them that it will be ok.