Today I spent nearly all day, nine hours, babysitting my seven year old cousin. We get along pretty well, and I had a good day, but he has so much energy. His favorite game is tackle Leila. It always catches me unaware. I could be playing a board game with him, anything, and out of the blue he’d come hurtling towards me and in a second he’d be on top of me. He must be destined to be a football player because he sure can tackle.
I forgot how full days are when you’re eight. But I haven’t been an eight year old, or spent a whole day with an eight year old in a very long time. They do so much. First, I helped him with his homework. He had to write a story. He wrote one about walking in the forest and coming across a fish too big for his pond. Then he read me a book. When he finished he had me read him a story. After that he had to practice the piano for fifteen minutes. I never knew seven year olds had to do school over the summer. He seems to have gotten a rotten deal. He really didn’t want to practice the piano. I set the microwave timer for fifteen minutes. He humored me for a couple minutes, then spun around on his piano stool and refused to play any longer. I had to tickle him until he submitted.
We went to the basement to play with various things and paint until twelve, when I decided it was time for lunch. He decided it wasn’t. He was not hungry, the food in the refrigerator was stupid, and he would not eat it. But I remembered that today was National Lasagna Day. And there was lasagna in the refrigerator, very convenient. So once I told him, he gladly let me heat up the lasagna for him. He even ate it while I ate my sandwich.
Around one o’clock my cousin and I were convinced we heard a burglar. I grabbed a remote and my cellphone. I think my plan was to knock the burglar out with the remote while calling 911 on my cellphone. I shielded my cousin the best I could, he was carrying handfuls of rubber bouncy balls and clinging to me, while we crept up the stairs. We walked all around the house like that, it took us a while to realize we were the only ones in the house. I felt pretty stupid. Especially because I was supposed to be the adult in that situation.
At six fifteen my dad came by to pick me up on his way back from work. My Aunt and Uncle weren’t back yet so we sat in the living room watching my cousin run around in circles. It made me tired just watching him. He has a lot of energy, I can’t always follow what he does. He put a gold star sticker on my back and I didn’t know until mom picked it off me when I got home.