April 29th 10:12pm - The Baby Fell on his Head

I have baked goods. Since I've been au pairing in New Zealand, every week I bake at least one batch of cookies. Oftentimes, brownies or a dozen muffins also melt in the oven. I say they're for the kids I babysit, but I bake so I can have a cookie with breakfast. I'm sly like the rat that lived underneath our stairs in college. He was as big as an overweight raccoon and would hide until someone traipsed upstairs to our apartment. Then he fired himself at their legs. At least once a week, our friends sprinted up the stairs shrieking because of Rat. This occurred any time from six at night until four in the morning. Rat never barraged people accessing the apartment above ours, he solely flung himself at our friends.

I baked cookies today and the baby was as enjoyable to be around as genital warts. He cried, convulsing, on the floor and in his high chair. The only places to put him are on the floor, in the high chair, or in someone's arms. I couldn't hold him because making cookies reigns supreme, and it was just me and him downstairs. A baby's relentless wailing makes me want to light my hair on fire. When his bawling and blubbering interrupted my intelligence, I began pouring a quarter cup of vanilla into the cookie mix. I knew I had to do something. I landed a laundry basket on the kitchen table and inserted the baby into the basket surrounded by pillows and toys. He whacked toys together and threw plastic across the room. I smiled at him and then turned back towards the mixing bowl. Five strokes later, a monumental crash and a dying howl from the five-month-old invaded my eardrums. The baby had catapulted himself from the laundry basket, Superman-toppled a chair with his body, and landed on his skull on the hardwood kitchen floor. He howled like he had just been told he could never suck on a nipple again. I shoveled him into my arms and shoved a finger-full of cookie mix into his wailing mouth. The baby's mom sprinted downstairs to find cookie batter smeared across the baby's face while I tried to bribe her kid to stop screaming with dough in his open sobbing mouth.
"What happened?" she surged to where her youngest son was crying like his leg had been chopped off. She took him from me.
"Ohhhhh, I had him in the laundry basket on the kitchen table and, um, he fell over."
"Did you catch him?"
"Yes, I sensed he was falling, turned around, and caught him mid-air before he hit the ground. He's crying from the shock of almost smashing his head on the wood." This was sarcasm. Kiwis don't do sarcasm like Americans.
"Okay, good. So he doesn't have a bump on his head or a concussion or anything," the baby's mom pronounced, fingering her son's skull and bobblehead-nodding.
I nodded, slowly, positive his entire cranium was swollen.
A half hour later, the baby slept in his crib while the mom had left to pick up her two daughters from school. My fingers skimmed the three-year-old's hair as I woke him up from his nap.
"I need you, Kara. Hold me," he implored, his arms tiptoeing around my neck. His brown eyes hugged me.
I carried him downstairs and asked if he wanted to sit on the couch or a kitchen chair.
"I guess the couch is a lot more comfortable, huh," I hummed after he motioned to the living room. I deposited the three-year-old on the couch. He crimped up with his blanket over his nose. When he's tired, he smells his blanket. The kitchen and living room are open with a counter and a step dividing them. I returned to the kitchen to remove the last cookie pan from the oven. Four seconds later, the three-year-old said, "Kara, I have to go wees."
"Well, let's go to the toilet then!" I replied, walked across and picked him up so he could run to the bathroom. His ass was wet. So were the couch and two pillows. Apparently he thought that pissing on the couch would be more comfortable than on the toilet. I undressed the three-year-old of his pants and underwear. He flailed his arms about telling me he wanted to fight. I knelt, removing the cushion and pillows from the couch. My eye became his punching bag. One of my contacts got knocked out. The mom and two daughters entered the room to see me kneeling on the wood groping for my contact, the three-year-old's willy hanging out, and the couch torn apart, marinating in urine.

April 27th 7:30am - Peed On

The mom I au pair for has crept baby duties into my workload as slowly as a disabled dung beetle. For the first two months, I held the baby. Then I put him to sleep. As of a few weeks ago, I changed his diaper. Tonight, I bathed him for the first time. He's five months old but wearing twelve-month clothing. He's grown in the past month and now his balls are quasi-average size, instead of abnormally colossal. Now he's hung like Michelangelo's David, instead of like a porn star.
I undressed the baby entirely and placed him on a changing pad on the bed. Then I looked for a towel. His baby gibberish mutterings leaked into the room as I looked in the closet. No towels were in the closet, and I turned back towards him to see urine arcing like half of the McDonald's arch onto the beige carpet. I blocked the stream with my body. I surveyed the bed with ADD eyes to discover an unused diaper. I was so frantic to stop the tidal wave of piss ushering from the baby that when I bent over, my face collided with baby urine. I seized the diaper and thrust it over his penis. It wasn't until afterwards that I recalled my mom's story of the first time my uncle changed my brother's diaper. He got a mouthful of baby pee. When changing diapers, always cover the penis at all times. Preferably with a cloth, not with your body. Babies stockpile urine until they can use it on someone.

April 24th 1:30pm - McDonald's and Excrement

In Sweden, there are ski-through McDonald's. In Germany, McDonald's serves beer. At the McDonald's five minutes from where I live in Auckland, New Zealand, there is a play structure. As the five children - the four older ones plus a friend - crazy-horse galloped through the restaurant towards the indoor playground, an old woman screamed and a baby cried. The mom and I exhibited more interest in the dinner menu than in her chaos club of crazy cubs. When Geriatrics squawked, wondering who the mother of the mob that almost gave her asthma was, the mom and I discussed words that are difficult to say when intoxicated.
When the mom and I had completed the three rounds of baby- and tray-carrying upstairs, I penetrated that play structure like I was Donald Trump.
"Dinner time," I announced. Five sets of little kid limbs jumbled and jangled to the door. I felt like a child pimp.
I followed behind the five-year-old, the last to exit the wonderland of plastic tubes and slides. We got through the door and to the table before she turned to me with raving berserk eyes.
"It's falling out," she wailed, the words rebounding off the heads and ears of over thirty seated McDonald's patrons.
"Shitrun," I rioted, pointing back towards the play structure and the bathrooms.
She ran, I chased. I feel like a pedophile almost every day. Last Thursday, it was when I picked up the toweled three-year-old after his bath and my hand accidentally cupped his balls.
I was three steps behind the five-year-old and seven from the bathroom door when she bent over like a hunchback and lifted up her jean skirt. Black shit peeked out from her pooper. The five-year-old frequently forgets to wear underwear. Recalling from my Excrement Bible that black turd is a sign of internal bleeding, I was still more hell-bent on getting her ass over a toilet seat than I was concerned for her ulcer potential.
I accelerated next to her and lobbed the door open. The five-year-old penguin-waddled past me with a handful of black excreta about to parachute from her bottom onto the tile. I lifted her by the armpits and chucked her onto the toilet as dung dropped.
I leaned against the open stall door breathing like a leper, sweat sprinkling my body.
"I'm glad I felt it coming," the five-year-old said as she farted wet and Geriatrics from downstairs entered the bathroom.

** Published by The Short Humour Site in September 2010

April 19th 10:15pm - Satan Bunny

Having a bunny and having chlamydia rank on the same appeal level. Neither bunnies nor chlamydia are very nice, fun to be around, or playful. In the list of pointless pets, hamsters rank higher than bunnies. At least you can put them in a rolly ball and watch them bounce down the stairs. I know this because my drunk uncle bought me a hamster for my birthday when I was six without previously consulting my parents.

When the oldest daughter I look after said she wanted a bunny for her seventh birthday, I told her dogs and cats are far superior. When tears wailed into her eyes, I modified with, "How exciting! What are you going to name it?"
This was about as creative as naming a yellow labrador Nala. Which my brother, sister, and I did. We had a yellow lab named Nala for over a decade.

She got a bunny for her seventh birthday. Thumper's two-story mansion squats near one of the walls of my pool house. When clouds and rain pattern the sky, the bunny gnaws on the six hundred dollar wood of his caged villa and then wakes me up when he assails the doors by launching his mini lop body against the wire.
Last week, the skies streamed and the wind belly-laughed. I awoke seventeen times to Thumper castrating himself against his cage.
The next morning, when the seven-year-old approached Thumper's cage with carrots, broccoli, and parsley cut into bite-sized bunny pieces by the mom, the bunny was gone. She cried. Not because her bunny had escaped, but because she was afraid her mom would rage about her lack of responsibility. When her mom assured her it wasn't her fault and then exited the room with tears skirting her eyes, the seven-year-old pointer-finger-motioned me to her small child eye level.
"I don't like Thumper," she breathed.
Through the door, I could hear the mom exhaling sorrow. The seven-year-old had harassed her parents for two and a half years for a bunny. After flaming debates and discussions, they concluded that, if their daughter's life depended on it, they would surrender. Their daughter had vowed life-ending misery if she didn't get a bunny.
"He doesn't do anything. He's boring," the seven-year-old persisted.
"Well, obviously. Bunnies attack you with their claws and hop around. You should've asked for a hamburger for your birthday," I replied. This didn't help.
After the seven-year-old went to school, the mom and I deliberated.
"It's just so very sad," the mom said. "We're never going to see him again."
"When I went to college, my mom called me a week later to tell me that the cat I had had since I was five had been torn apart by coyotes," I responded. "The thing is, she doesn't know that. She just knows that the cat disappeared."
This didn't help.
I wanted to tell the mom that we should crack open a bottle of wine and celebrate Satan's disappearance. Instead, I decorated a piece of paper with "Lost: Much-Loved Mini Lop Bunny, Grey White Black."
A mob of shouting twelve-year-old boys returned the bunny with conflicting stories of dogs and bears. Bears do not exist in New Zealand.
Three days later, Thumper bolted again. We found him again. Today, I have bunny scratches embroidering my hands.

April 18th 9:30am - Kid Shits Day 2

On my second day as an au pair, the five-year-old shit in the hot tub and held it out to me, saying, "I did poos."
After three months as an au pair, I sanctioned the five-year-old dropping a deuce in the corner of a school playground in Queenstown.

Earlier tonight, the mom was trying to get dinner together. The three-year-old playing tag with his mom's bottom and the five-year-old stealing cooking utensils for hide-and-seek piloted the mom towards asking me to take the kids down the hill to the school's playground. I needed octopus hands to grasp the four sets of kid extremities. The seven-year-old almost got hit by a car when she ran across the street to the playground. I contemplated throwing myself in front of the car and pushing her out of the way. But, then I realized she avoided the vehicle, and had I flung myself to head off the car like Batman, it probably wouldn't have occurred to me to release the other kid's hands. At least two of the other children would have come with me.
Immediately upon crossing the street to the school, the nine-year-old pointed upwards into the trees. His eyes jittered like a schizo's.
"Apple trees," he exclaimed. "Let's pick some apples!"
At his suggestion, the other three flared up in a frenzy. Cries of, "We can eat them," "We can make apple pie," and, "Apples make you pooh!" invaded my stability. Had I been seventeen feet tall, picking apples would have been easy. When I told my tribe of children we probably couldn't reach them, the nine-year-old generously offered my shoulders and himself. Five minutes later he sat on my shoulders shrieking, "I can't reach them, I can't reach them. Higher. Higher," as I stood on tip-toe pushing his ass up as much as I could. He got four apples.
The kids and I were playing a lovely game called Kill the Baddie, which in this case was a foreigner from China, when the five-year-old rushed towards my legs as if they were Chinese and she wanted to ram them with her forehead.
Tears howled down her cheeks. Her hands fired around my legs.
"It's coming out. It's coming out," she heaved words in between my legs.
"What's coming out?" I asked.
"The poos. The poos are coming out," she wailed.
We were in a playground behind a school. We had had to break the fence to get in. Bathrooms were locked. Nobody was here.
"It's coming out," the five-year-old screeched, followed by a bouncing shit dance. She almost burst my eardrum.
"Umm, okay okay, come here," I said, snatched the hand that wasn't covering her butthole, and towed her to the corner of the grass. I had her lean her ass against the fence corner with her feet out. She wanted to hold my hands.
"Don't go," she roared when I retreated a step.
"I'm not going anywhere, I just don't want to smell... or see... what I'm now smelling and seeing," I replied.
I scoped the area for toilet paper. An old grocery bag reposed in the corner of the playhouse. The five-year-old refused to wipe herself. I wiped her posterior with torn up bits of plastic bag while attempting not to gag. Her shit smelled like it had been simmering in rat stew for a decade. I covered the three-hundred-pound male-sized excrement with leaves.
When the three-year-old alleged that he too needed to use the toilet, I took the kids back to the house where the three-year-old continued to play tag with his mom's buttocks and the five-year-old commandeered cooking utensils for hide-and-seek.

April 16th 10:20pm - Kid Shits

The three-year-old is equally fascinated by rockets, dinosaurs, ships, excrement, and his penis. After playing with a rocket or dinosaur, he will scuttle to the toilet springing on his little-boy legs, shrieking that he has to do poos. After disemboweling, the three-year-old regularly slithers off, his butt juice mudsliding across the toilet seat. Then, he habitually studies his feces in the toilet. He prides himself on yielding brown sinkers and smelly shits.
"Look how big, Kara. It's a good poos," he has often disclosed before bending over so I can wipe his ass.

Yesterday, at breakfast, I excavated my plate and spaded cereal and Nutella toast in my mouth while seven kids threatened to fracture my cranium. When the mom I work for declared, "Kara, you look like you need a good tramp," Nutella bits and toast butts fell from my mouth in confusion. Seven kids, two moms, and I hiked around Lake Waikatipu's Twelve Mile Delta outside of Queenstown for four hours. We progressed a mile and a half. New Zealanders refer to hiking as tramping.
The ten of us tramped through orbed red mushrooms that belong in Alice in Wonderland. We jolted through winking rivers and joggled down dirt paths lined with bush whose green glossed over chocolate trees. We halted for lunch at a beach where sandflies and mosquitos physically assaulted my feet. I was wearing sandals.
When we paused so the mom could change the baby's diaper, the other six children trotted down a hill so we could horse-race ourselves around a looped trail.
After I lost four times and the kids glorified in their wins, the nine-year-old launched towards me.
"Kara, I have to go poop. I'm going poop. Right now," he said, holding his ass in his hands.
His facial expression resembled that of a woman in labor. I surged up the hill to the moms and stroller and clutched all remaining baby wipes. Once I had given three wipes to the nine-year-old, the seven- and five-year-olds established that they too needed to clear the chute. I overlooked three squatting child heads in the bushes when the three-year-old grappled my leg. I looked down into his nutty eyes and long-ass eyelashes.
"I have to do poos too," he wailed. It was a sympathy pooh. The younger kids imitated the oldest.
I stripped the three-year-old of his shoes, socks, pants and underwear. I felt like a baby fondler. After the three-year-old ejected dung from his butt, I wiped him with the last of the wipes. He then told me he needed to visit his older brother and his poop.
"I like his poos. It's so tight. He does good poos," the three-year-old informed me before spurting towards his brother's bush.
Twenty seconds later he sprung towards me screaming, "It smells bad, Kara. It smells so bad!" Then he cried.

April 11th 11pm - April 2010 Quote of the Month

3-year-old: "Kara, when you weren't here, I held my poos. I had to. In my hand."

April 6th 9:30pm - Day 1: Norman the Nissan

I have never rented a car before. This is because:
1: Behind the wheel, I have the skills of a retarded rhinoceros.
2: My cars are schizophrenic and crazy shit happens to them. Hub caps vanish, windows shatter, bumpers dislodge, dents materialize. The indentations repeatedly look like they were caused by two four hundred pounders copulating on the hood/rear/front of my car.
When an English girl and I decided to road trip around New Zealand's south island, for the safety of myself and others, I suggested hitchhiking and renting bicycles. We rented a car.
When English Rose drove into the neighborhood to pick me up, neither of us could finagle how cars accessed the house's driveway. I muddled down four flights with my luggage to Norman the Nissan. English Rose had never driven an automatic. A few months prior, I had never driven on the other side of the road.
We picked up the third member of our posse and determined on a day-trip through, purportedly, one of the most beautifully scenic drives in the country: from Queenstown to Wanaka through the Cadrona Valley. We were told Cadrona Valley has green hills laced with orange and caramel tree leaves. The polished metal mirrored water of the two lakes reflect the cerulean sapphire spiraling sky. We saw solely grey sky and black clouds. It rained. The entire day and night.
When we terminated our day trip and returned to Queenstown for the night, we hid from the monsoon in Starbucks and called hostels so we could sleep somewhere other than a Nissan. None were available. It was spring break. English Rose texted a fellow Brit temporarily living in Queenstown. She harassed the Brit and his two flatemate's phones without responses before we decided to go to their house.
We went to the grocery store for the night's booze stock and the next day's lunch supplies. Norman almost had a seizure bellying it up the hill to the house. We hadn't received confirmation that we could stay, nobody was home, and none of the doors were unlocked. We checked. So, we sat in Norman while Noah's flood raged outside. Our dinner comprised ham and bread initially intended for the next day's lunch, and alcohol. English Rose and I engorged ourselves on New Zealand's finest: Country Medium White Wine. Not Chardonnay, Pinot Gris, Sauvignon Blanc, or Riesling. Medium White. When one of the flatmates appeared half a wine box later, English Rose dropped her phone on the sidewalk in a lagoon formed from the typhoon flooding from the sky. She blew her phone dry with a hairdryer.
When we returned Norm to Jucy a week and a half later, there was an inexplainable dent on the left front bumper, a mysterious windshield knick, and unaccountable paint loss.