Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Uncle Jesse's Big Adventure!

My ex-boyfriend Zane's sister has 3 lovely girls (ages 4, 5, and 12) and asked if I could babysit them in New Jersey while she went for an anniversary with the hubby to Chicago. I love the girls and thought it would be a walk in the park, but WHAM!  Who knew 4 year olds couldn't bathe, cut their food, or get dressed without a giant ordeal? Yes, I am now schooled on all things child...including Justin Bieber!

My friends texted me (from various parties) that Child Protective Services was being called.  I didn't even have time to text back because I was up at 7 am and in near-constant crisis management until bedtime.  In one small, more memorable example, I drove the 12 year old to musical practice at her school which was a half-hour away.  After dropping her off, the the younger girls and I went to the Pier Village beach and had fun in the sand, at the playground, at lunch, and then we went wading.  One of them fell into the water, so we had to race home for a change of pants.  Race is never the case, these kids were hard to wrangle up and even harder to make them hold my hand across the busy cross-walk.  Danger!!

The GPS navigator helped me get back to their home, and upon arrival there were pieces of the sack lunch I had packed for  the 12 year strewn all over the house.  Not only had we forgotten to bring her lunch to rehearsal, their dog had managed to get onto the kitchen counter, have a buffet, create mass chaos, and then poop all over the living room.  I get that cleaned up, get the girls changed, dog walked, a new sack lunch made, and we're back in the car to pick up their elder sister.  Then I discover there is no address plugged into the GPS for her school.

Lost on the road, the youngest begins to scream and yell hysterically because the other said she wasn't her friend (or some like-drama), so we had to pull over and remedy that while at the same time call Uncle Bam Bam so he could get on the internet and help me figure out where exactly I needed to go in New Jersey to pick up the 12 year old by the time her rehearsal ended.   Small miracle we made it!

I have new respect for parents everywhere.  What an education!  Things came out of my mouth I never thought possible, "How do you turn the TV on in the Escalade?" for example.  I also got real creative, real quick.  I thought they'd just obey my every word, but bribes (ice cream, pet store, movies) came immediately.  Outright bluffs took me a little longer, but I have now learned how to procure peace with threats of imminent police action!

I loved the challenge even though being responsible for young lives is stressful.  I also admit it's a bit tough getting called a "girl" by 4 and 5 year olds.  Amazing how gender roles are assigned at so young an age.  I can't even like the color pink!  Almost fortuitously to fuck (and I didn't swear all weekend!) with the plague of gender roles, after taking the ferry home Sunday night I headed to the first annual, first ever Mr. Trans-Man pageant in Brooklyn.

I was there to support my fantastic trans-man friend Sawyer and it was a riot!  I got to enjoy lines like, "Oh shit!  I left my cock at coat-check."  Just what I needed - a little balance!  So how has babysitting changed my life?  I am up at 6 am today.  What do you kids want for breakfast??


Shirley said...

As a single mom of a girl.. LMAO!! I love it. But I stopped at one. :)))) Way to go Jesse! I have found yet another reason to adore you! :) Big hugs!!! Shirley

Tony said...

Aww, Uncle Jesse:

Hysterical story and good for you for taking the job on. That gender role comment by the kids is very interesting, even though it's a little disturbing. Wonder if it's partly "hardwired." Cultural cues from the kids' environment are probably also at play.
Here's a far-out thought: What you did, in stepping in for the parents, may be a role designed by evolution for gay aunts and uncles. So being gay is a natural, adaptive trait, despite claims to the contrary by ignorant 'phobes.

carmel said...

imagine the fun your folks had with you and your siblings! the hardest part is that you have one kid and you think, k I got this, but then the next one comes out and COMPLETELY DIFFERENT! send the handbook!

Karri said...

Jesse, catching up on your blog and I loved this...as a gay man with two daughters I remember this phase well. Now I have two teenagers who pepper me with questions about boys. And while I am never one to shy away from conversations with friends...it is instantly stressful to have a conversation with your daughter about the fact at the recent dance she could feel a boy's erection and should she comment on it to him!? But, I get through and am so glad that they have a gay dad they look to for this information.