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.