I’ve been busy with the podcast as you may have noticed, but I haven’t forgotten that some people prefer the written word. I also haven’t forgotten that I babysat my friends kids a few weeks ago.
If you’re ever unsure if you’re ready for children, just babysit your friends’ kids. It’s like test driving a car but it’s a little less fun and you’re always fearful someone is going to get hurt.
Things were going pretty well with the 3 year-old and the infant. I was in charge of the 3 year-old and my girlfriend took the helm with the infant. I have made it abundantly clear that my expertise is of children 5 and up so my fatherhood won’t begin until tee-ball. I’m going to be really good but I need those first 5 years off. I made an exception because I didn’t feel comfortable with something (a baby) that weighs the same as a four-pack of red bulls and wears a straitjacket to bed.
We were all snuggled up for bedtime with the 3-year old who is super cute. He demanded all of us in his bed like a young Hugh Hefner and we obliged because we wanted a passing babysitter grade. I grabbed the nearest book for a bedtime story and opened it up. It only took the first sentence to make everyone cry inside.
NOBODY TO DANCE WITH. EVERYBODY IS DEAD!!!!!
That was the goddamn opener. You’re always taught to start your stories with an attention-grabber but if you’re a children’s author, I don’t think you’re supposed to freaking traumatize them all on page 1.
My friend told me the book was a gift. What kind of terrorist friend gives this as a gift? I’m 32 years old and I don’t think it’s age appropriate for me. So many tears, so little dancing.
Thankfully, I’m a magician and I just started MAKING SHIT UP after page two (damage may have been done) like those kids who read based on the pictures. He was tired and didn’t pick up on my manipulative ways. “You’re mom is coming home very soon” sounds a lot better than “everybody is dead and nobody likes to dance anymore.”
I think we dodged a bullet as babysitters but it’s too early to tell if the book did any real damage. There’s a chance that when he hears the word ‘dancing’ he’ll need therapy. Everybody is super diligent about covering up the sockets and baby proofing their homes.
Just make sure you proof-read the literature.