Here's my good deed that backfired. Last summer, my boss and his family were staying at their mountain house for the weekend. He and his wife had been asked out to dinner and a play on Friday evening, but were not going to be able to go because her parents were not arriving until 7:00 p.m. and they couldn't leave the children home alone. I just happened to be house-sitting for some friends a few miles away, so I volunteered to stay with the kids (brother and sister) until their grandparents arrived.
The first thing out of the kids' mouth, after their parents left, was “We've never had a babysitter as old as you are!” And then all hell broke loose. Pillows are flying everywhere, these kids are chasing one another all through the house, up and down the stairs, tackling and dive-bombing each other with their bodies, totally out of control, and all I'm seeing is next morning's headlines, “Babysitter watches as brother and sister kill one another.” So, I say out loud, “Would anyone like to hear a story?”
They sat entranced while I made up story after story, and all the time I'm thinking where are the grandparents? My throat is getting hoarse and I can tell the kids are getting restless again, so I suggest they play an alphabet game where they make letters using the shape of their bodies. I think this is a brilliant idea since they'll have to go into all types of contortions and this will surely drain the energy from their little bodies. We go through all the capital letters and then the smaller case letters. They love it, but they're still not tired.
“Okay, let's play hide and seek,” I suggest, and out the door they ran. I had meant inside the house!!! <img src='style_emoticons//sad.gif’ border=’0′ style=’vertical-align:middle’ alt=’sad.gif’ /> The house hangs off a side of a mountain with huge boulders and stairsteps descending a quarter of a mile down to a rocky creek. The kids are nowhere to be found. Headlines, “Babysitter allows children to fall off side of mountain.” I scramble down the stairsteps in search of the children. I get to the bottom, and the children are at the top of the stairs laughing down at me. So I start the long climb back up the stairsteps. I'm half way up, and I'm thinking I'm going to have a heart attack.
When I finally get back into the house, I collapse onto the sofa only to have to get up again to answer the phone. It's the grandparents saying they are so sorry, but they have been delayed and won't be arriving until the next day! When the kids hear this, they both start crying and I spend the next half hour trying to console them.
By now, it's close to midnight, so I put them into their pajamas and tuck them into their beds. When their parents get home about a half hour later, both children are sound asleep, curled up in their beds like a couple of angels.