February 26th 10pm - A Headbutt and a Spit

Little children are bipolar. All little children. They like you if you give them chocolate. They love you if you buy them a Polly Pocket, or, if a boy, a toy rocket. They worship you if you construct a life-size race car in the backyard. This becomes inconceivable when available materials comprise string and construction paper. Little children do not comprehend impossibilities. And then they become bipolar. Their disappointment and bipolarity manifest through crying, hitting, kicking, name-calling, and launching forks at your head. Oftentimes children pirouette into The Evil One lacking a determinant.
The five-year-old's class terminates at two in the afternoon. The seven-year-old at the same school gets out at three o'clock. The school purposefully does this to abuse me. A plastic Barbie school has more available parking than a private, fifteen-thousand-a-year Hogwarts fortress that requires specific underwear and determines sweets in lunches illegal.
At two o'clock, I bribed the five-year-old with a cookie to not pretend to be dead when I picked her up instead of her mom. By two forty-five, we had played Secret Garden, tic-tac-toe, and let's-sit-on-Kara.
At two-fifty she molested my legs. At two fifty-three she licked my cheek. At two fifty-five we played a game I invented called Annihilate Kara's One Ab. She sat on my lap, my arms around her waist, and pitched her body in any direction. My ab righted us. She repeated, giggling and shrieking, "Again, again," in a school that demands plastic bags in lunches instead of saran wrap. At two fifty-eight she spat in my face.
At three-ten, the seven-year-old promenaded down the stairs pretending she wore heels. When she saw that the five-year-old hadn't brought her gym bag down to bring home, God's Assistant pranced upstairs to get her sister's gym bag. The seven-year-old presented it to her sister with a smile. Instead of displaying gratitude, the five-year-old headbutted her.

February 22nd 10:30am - February 2010 Photo of the Month

Location: Auckland, New Zealand
View from Devonport wharf to Auckland's city center

February 21st 7:30pm - Phones and a Trampoline in the Bush

My phones have drowned in lakes, swimming pools, and Vodka. They have been catapulted into floors, walls, and rabid animals. Cars violate them. Public toilets rape them. My phones are my lifeline to drinking companions and society. They do not allot me comparable appreciation.
Upon arrival in New Zealand, the family I au pair for presented me with a phone. The phone didn't include a calendar, calculator, camera, games, or, most important, a tip calculator. It had text messaging.
Yesterday, an Army intel man picked me up to go to a barbecue. I consumed a bottle of wine before I got in his car. I wore a stripper-short dress. I was surprised to see woodland as thick as my grandpa's nasal hair circumventing the house.
At the barbecue, more knee-height-and-below nurslings were in attendance than adults. A three-year-old asked me where my pants were. Of the adults, all but eight escaped with their tadpoles before nine.
By ten, an English girl and I ricocheted off each other on a trampoline in a backyard that I didn't know existed. I had thought it was just the bush. By ten after ten, England and I lay on our backs, our hair swinging together, stars chewing our eyes. Her boyfriend stood nearby, talking to us.
My memories terminate with a pool game, collisions with people and walls, and a new nickname: Rum Eye. Apparently I seal one eye and squint the other when I'm on the rum.
The next morning, Army Intel Man #2 rippled towards me. He must have been in a fight with a dingo. The couch cushions he slept on were camouflaged in soil. His khaki shorts were torn in half, his shirt looked like he had been bombarded with dirtballs, and one sandal had disappeared, along with his phone. My phone had exited my life too. Army Intel Man #2 couldn't extract a sane explanation for a night walk through the bush, why he had been in a fight with a dingo, or why he guised his sleeping quarters as if he were in Afghanistan.
After an intensive investigation for my phone, I accepted that my detective skills are as inadequate as my breast size. I bought a replacement cell. Within four days, the phone's back disappeared. A piece of tape currently holds the battery in place.

February 18th 9:30am - Frontal Lobe Collision by Lifeguards

Children have little hesitation when doing anything involving bodily functions. As an au-pair, I find it natural that a female four-year-old dig a hole and piss in it in the middle of a beach as crowded as Woodstock. The mother reacted as if her child had clouted her in the face with a two-foot fish on international television.
We drove into Piha Beach's domain expecting a serene beach day where the adults could repose in half-tranquilized states without worry of losing children or sacrificing them to the ocean. We had strapped the back floatie on the two-year-old before we left the house fifty minutes before. The parents' voices were husky with yearning when they told me that Piha should be deserted and, if we wore sunglasses, each of us might be able to plunder a two-minute nap. The car reverberated, intoxicated with exultant expectations. When we were a five minute drive from Piha, cars slowed to the pace of my standard drunken and incapacitated crawl. People channeled through the cars. Drivers sat, immobile, wishing they had a personal Maverick Jet.
A Surf Life Saving boating competition accounted for the masses. A quarter of the population in a half hour vicinity arrived to observe lifeguards in boats. Note to self: in person, lifeguards do not resemble those in television shows.
We nestled our towels, strollers, ice chests, diaper bags, and human-sized blow-up dolphin in between chain-smoking teenagers bumping rap and an elderly couple who looked like they used to be the chain-smoking tatted teenagers.
Two of the five kids boogie-boarded, one sat in a rivulet depositing child urine into the ocean, one ate sand, and the mom breast-fed the four-month-old. As the mom was telling me that the fifth child was an oops, the four-year-old gyrated into a digging dog position, bent over with feet spread. While I thought that her posture was likely demonstrated in a book called 365 Sex Positions - 355 Require You to be an Acrobat - she fired a sand fusillade onto the nursing mother and baby. A sheet of sand swooped into their eyes, mouths, hair, and onto the mom's wet nipple.
Five minutes and screaming later, the four-year-old dug a hole behind us. We head-swiveled to witness her standing over the hole and pissing in it. The judgmental - everyone over the age of thirty-five - looked at me and the mother with horror. I psychically communicated to the mom that I found this acceptable.
Most of Piha Beach was reserved for the boating contest. A section of the beach had been sequestered for spectators and swimmers. Ropes dictated where we could go. The Surf Life Saving boating race evolved into a Terrorize Swimmers competition. The lifeguards manning two of the boats maneuvered them directly towards the swimming sector of the beach. Bodies dove and jumped in all directions as the ten-passenger boats dynamite-erupted into the multitudes.
One of the casualties: the seven-year-old daughter. As she walked out of the water to escape the danger the lifeguards were breeding, one of the boats pummeled her in the frontal lobe.

February 12th 1:15pm - Trader Slaves and Cars

My friend Fi-T's jobs have varied as much as a midget prostitute's clientele. In college we lived above a Hawaiian bar and restaurant and below drug dealers. We lived in a flat that used to function as a whore house and, before us, as a ganja-growing den. Across the street, Trader Joe's radiated healthiness and two-dollar bottles of wine (twenty-four dollar wine cases). We were told that if you worked there, you got a store discount.
Trader Joe's applications include basic math problems that we learned in sixth grade. The owners don't want to employ people who can't do addition to work in their grocery store. I was staring at our engorged pantry shelves debating between macaroni and cheese or top ramen when Fi-T yelled from the living room, asking if I could help her.
"I'm twenty years old, in college, and I don't know if this math is right. I'm supposed to show my work and not use a calculator. Do we have a calculator?" She asked.
"Oh, that's easy. It's just addition, subtraction, multiplication and division. Nothing like calculus or that zero number thing," I replied after glimpsing her application.
Upon examining the problems longer than a second and a half, I realized that math concepts I learned from the age of nine onwards have dissolved into the chasm of my life. I may never recall them. Our other flatmates entered and we harassed them for help. An iPhone told us the answers. Between International Studies, English, and Exercise Sport Science majors, a few math problems took us forty minutes. And we had the answers.
Trader Joe's hired Fi-T. Within two days, she referred to her new employers as Trader Slaves.
On her fourth day she told us, "Trader Slaves made me stock lettuce on the shelves for my entire shift again."
"How long is your shift?" one of our friends asked.
"Eight slave-hours," Fi-T replied.
"How is it possible to stock lettuce for that long? Wouldn't it take like a half hour to do the whole supply?" I asked.
"Well, it's the fourth fucking day I've done it. Trader Slaves can suck my balls. The discount's not even worth it."
Five days later, Fi-T entered on her lunch break. It was eight o'clock on a Tuesday night and our housemate and I were eating tri-tip, potatoes, vegetables, and salad while guzzling our second bottle of Cabernet Sauvignon.
"I'm quitting Trader Slaves. I am not a slave. I am a college student. I'm done stocking lettuce," she announced for the twenty-eighth time in nine days.
"Oh, just quit right now," I said. "Just don't go back. Stay here and drink with us."
Fi-T slung food in her mouth. As she left to walk back across the street to servitude, we yelled for her to bring back more wine when she got off her shift.
She returned fifteen minutes later. Her manager was baffled when she came up and declared she was quitting. When he questioned when her last day of work would be, she replied that it was her last minute of work. She was quitting mid-shift. Then she retrieved a case of wine, paid for it using her employee discount, and left.
Before Trader Slaves, she had worked at Pasta Pomodoro. Going to work animated her. She relished the work, people, and atmosphere. She got the job two weeks before we went on a week-long Spring Break road trip down California's coast. After working five shifts, she told the manager she needed to take a week off. He said no. She entered the apartment with tears ledging her eyes because she had been let go.
Before Pasta Pomodoro, Fi-T worked as Event Staff for athletic events. Many of our friends and I worked as Event Staff. The athletic department paid us to watch basketball games. One game, Fi-T got assigned to valet park. I wasn't working and walked by at six-thirty with K-Hoe and Twat to see Fi-T standing at the parking garage entrance. Fi-T was going to park a car. K-Hoe, Twat and I were going to get drunk.
"Oh, just come with us. We have Vodka," I, Lucifer, emplored.
Fi-T sprung to a group of male soccer players walking past us. She passed her job to someone else. We didn't know who he was. His name was Dumbass.
"Can you drive stick?" Fi-T asked.
"No," Dumbass replied.
"Great. Here are the keys. You just drive it in the parking garage, park it, and come out for more. There's some system with the keys. You'll figure it out."
"But... I don't drive stick. I don't even work for Athletics Event Staff," he protested as feebly as I do when I say I don't want another drink.
"Ah, that's okay. I'm sure they know you. See ya!"
Fi-T left with us to get drunk. After sucking our beer bong Dick and inhaling a liquid dinner, we returned to the basketball game. Fi-T was still supposed to be working. We later found out that Dumbass crashed a car. It was stick-shift.

February 8th 3:20pm - Baby Penis

Last week the two-year-old announced, "I have to do poos," and then stood stationary in the center of the kitchen.
"Get to the toilet then," I shrieked and clapped. As if clapping would motivate him more. He shed his underwear and pants. I chased him to the bathroom. His baby penis flapped, I chased him, and I felt like a child molester.
After he took a shit, he slid off the seat, catapulting excrement from his butthole and departing with a feces ribbon across the white toilet seat. He propelled to the floor, bent over, and erected his butt into the air. As I wiped the two-year-old's ass, he screamed like he was being stalked by the crocodile from Peter Pan.
"What's wrong what's wrong what's wrong?" I asked, trying to vocalize over the hysterics.
"There's a bubble! There's a bubble!"
"Where's a bubble?" I questioned.
"Behind my doo doo," he said.
He had discovered his balls.

Tonight, I craved to be around the two-year-old as much as I desire to be in proximity to the Bubonic Plague. In the afternoon, he sobbed because the pool looked dirty. He howled when I wouldn't let him watch Silence of the Lambs. He bawled when he saw a bird fly past the window. He wanted the bird as a pet.
As he sat in the bathtub, I tenderly squeezed water from a flooded washcloth over his back. He panic-sobbed.
"What's wrong what's wrong what's wrong?" I bellowed.
He responded with tears and screams because his right fist clenched his penis and his left clamped his balls. He violently ripped his penis one way and his balls the other. Despite my desperate-babysitter efforts, the two-year-old hailed tears for ten minutes because of his masochistic tendencies.

February 7th 11:40am- Damnation Urination

Urination urgencies assail young children at inconvenient times. Prevailing pee episodes occur: three minutes before the end of a movie, two minutes before the bride and groom kiss, seconds after leaving the house or getting in a car, at birthday parties, and while in a pool, hot tub, bathtub, lake, river, or ocean. Proximity to water assembles urine in children's bladders like eating three meals in one sitting builds excrement in my rectum.
Two-year-olds rarely relieve themselves when they have to. They wait until you tell them to go, or they announce it and stand, static, in the middle of the floor. When they are tired, previously potty-trained two-year-olds will piss themselves. When enclosed in water, previously potty-trained two-year-olds will either pee in the water, or eject themselves from the water and piss themselves.
Last week, the two-year-old stood up in the bathtub and cried. As I asked what was wrong, he peed in the tub. His sister was in it. He pissed on her.
A few days ago, I forgot to force the child to urinate before swimming. While we were in the hot tub, the two-year-old announced, "I have to go wees," and seized his penis. I threw him under my arm and rioted from the jacuzzi.
Three seconds later, we exited the gate bordering the pool. Warm piss discharged on my hip and down my leg. I stopped. I stood with him in my arms until he finished.
"Well. You don't have to go anymore?" I tranquilly asked.
My leg smelled like bear drool and piss.
The two-year-old put his arms around my neck and located his face three inches from mine.
"Sowwy. I did wees on you," he said, serious as Hitler.

February 5th 8:35am - Feces and Fracas

While in the South Island, the dad I au-pair for judged it logical to bring his five children under the age of ten to his great-aunt's house.

We entered the house, the four-year-old in tears, the two-year-old screaming, the three-month-old shrieking. The house rambled geriatrics. Great Aunt Maude's immaculate white carpet, walls covered in yesteryear, and ancient baby grand piano paralleled the White House, if the White House housed chronologically advanced elders of a youth-challenged sort. The place echoed silence.
The last time a litter of five offspring spurted through the house, gas cost twenty cents a gallon, Cinderella opened in theaters, and CBS began broadcasting in color.

Great Aunt Maude chronicled her WWII nurse experience, fortified by vein-snaked finger-points to framed black-and-white photos on the wall.
Concurrently, the two-year-old physically assaulted the baby grand piano. Great Aunt Maude verbally persevered through the erupting sounds of ivory keys being finger-raped. Her hearing aids weren't functioning properly.
The four, six, and nine-year-olds concentrated charmingly on her stories. They had been told that, pending good behavior, they wouldn't be left on the side of the road for the homeless man to adopt as money-makers.
As Great Aunt Maude divulged to the adults that a surprising number of the army nurses were dirty whores, the two-year-old elevated piano sheet music books and bombed them onto the floor. When I shuffled through the floral upholstered chairs to retrieve the rogue hellion, my nostrils ignited with a stench resembling hair burning in raw sewage.
I retrieved the fossilized deranged sheet music books from the ground and turned to look at the mom. Our eyes clamped. She pointed at her baby's ass and mouthed changing pad, car to me. Her eyes breathed run.
I rotated back to see the hellion launch a white ceramic picture frame off the top of the piano. I recovered the photo of Great Aunt Maude clasping a certificate in her nurse's uniform, corralled the other seventeen photographs of Great Aunt Maude's life in my arms, and showered them into a corner of the room. I left the two-year-old seated at the piano wailing like a branded calf. I sprinted to the car, the heinous smell still raiding my nose. I had forgotten the keys. I flung myself back up the house steps, in the door, into the sitting room, into the mom's purse, and back outside, down the steps, and to the car. I seized the mat and surged up to the house.
The mom sat, clenching her baby in his armpits at arm's length. Liquid yellow excreta oozed through his onesie in the diaper's outline. I hurled the shit blanket on the floor and she pitched the baby on his back onto the material. She expertly shredded back the onesie at the crotch and detached the front of the diaper. Fluid sunflower-yellow shit cascaded from his submerged diaper onto his legs and shrouded the changing pad in lemon-colored film. Fecal matter slipped towards the pear carpet.
Great Aunt Maude postured in her chair, observing. The mom abundantly apologized. The three older children and dad sat, shrouded in silence. The two-year-old exclaimed from the piano bench, "Ooooh. He did big poos!"

February 4th 9:20am - Vomit and Tampons

Yesterday the two-year-old torpedoed tears, bull-charged down the hallway, and collided with my shin. I folded him in my arms and stood. His forearms blanketed my shoulders. My left fingertips smoothed the back of his neck. I murmured, asking why he was crying. He vomited in my hair.
Two hours later, I started my period. The parents, five kids, and I were on a two-week-long vacation on the South Island in a midget-sized beach town called Karitane. Population four hundred and twenty-seven.
Intelligent females track their periods. I never know. Each month it's a shock and surprise. Like my deteriorating driving record. After stripping my bags and raping my purse, I located two tampons. The solitary town store closed at five-thirty, and it was six.
I inserted one tampon and stationed the other on my bed. By midnight, the tampon had absconded. I reconnaissanced the surrounding area for the woman plug. It wasn't on or in my bed, shelves, bags, or bathroom. I queried my brain on if I had fabricated the existence of the second one. I audited the living room, sitting room, and ping pong room. I stalked the hallway, yard, and two bedrooms. I interrogated my mental capability. I thought I had a second one.
An hour later, I detected it. The kids had used the still-wrapped unused tampon as a boat. It was accompanied by plastic warships in the kitchen sink.

* Published by The Short Humor Site in May 2010

February 2nd 9:08am - Day 2: Excreta

Day Two:
I know as much about babysitting as I do about cultural practices in Tonga. The country name sounds fake. It sounds like a name I would bequeath on a pot-bellied pig.
When the four-year-old shit in the hot tub, cradled the pellet in her hand, held it out to me, and said, "I did poos," I laughed. Her eyes drooled tears.
I then realized that I was an adult. I shed my grin from my face and evolved my brain from a juvenile state to a more sophisticated age. I told her that she was a very naughty girl and I was very disappointed in her.
The tears tripped down her cheeks.
I let her stay in the spa. Ten minutes later, the four-year-old extended her hand to me. In it, she fondled excrement. Again. I laughed.

February 1st 8:05pm - Day 1: Hospital

The extent of my babysitting experience comprises eyeballing and beaming at young chance children. I occasionally cuddle them... if their parents are absent and alcohol breathes into my brain.
In Thailand, after Chang beer and Thai whiskey, my cranium capacity deteriorated from ardor for all mankind to loss of bodily function, speech, and memory. I reclaimed consciousness without friends, but holding a Thai five-month-old that could fit in my overweight uncle's pocket. Extreme maternal instincts inhabited my body. I don't recall if it was a boy or girl.
When I resolved to be an au pair instead of enlisting in the Navy, I needed references. My two references: one of my best friends, and my cousin. I estimated functioning as an au pair would be easier than dog walking. I calculated that acting as an au pair for five children would be easier than bathing my dog. Kids listen.

Day One: I careened off the plane at three-fifty in the morning. The mom, two daughters, and baby fetched me from the airport at nine-ten.
By noon I drifted in the pool, shelling the surface with my back. My eyes dripped into the clouds and my limbs feasted on leisure. And then I heard the shrieking.
The nine- and six-year-olds howled like they had just seen their bunny decapitated. I charged upwards and dog-paddled to the deep end to see what was wrong. They hopped onto me, bawling, their arms entwining my neck. I sank.
The kids' mom and grandma surged from the house to find me asphyxiated and drowning. They detached the kids from my head and established through the screaming that they had been stung by wasps. The nine-year-old in the head, the six-year-old on the finger. The six-year-old wouldn't cease the hysterics. The grandma took her to the hospital.