After summer zoo camp, the only jobs I could get were various babysitting gigs. There was the night I took over Amazon’s nanny job and two adorable little boys tried to convince me that their mom fed them ice cream for dinner. Nice try guys. Then there were the parents that would come home hours late, smelling of booze and missing key items of clothing. I also spent a lot of time watching my twin cousins, helping my grandmother take care of them while my aunt worked.

One evening my aunt asked me to watch the twins at her best friend’s house while they went out to dinner. I knew that her best friend – who we shall call MormonMom – had a number of children. I assumed that my aunt just wanted to make sure that the twins didn’t eat something they were allergic to – since they were allergic to almost everything. MormonMom actually had five kids, the oldest one was 8 and the youngest was 2. You do the math.

I showed up and MormonMom and her husband were already in the car practically screeching down the driveway. My aunt let me in and then skeedadled. Suddenly I realized I was left with seven children all by myself for the next few hours. At first things were going well, they were watching some religious TV show. But soon they realized that their overprotective parents were out of the picture and they went wild. Picture 7 children in a small house screaming and running around half naked. While I tried to pry forks out of two of the kid’s hands (they were sword fighting), three more were outside playing in the mud. After hours of trying to manage more children than one person should, the parents came home.

I am NOT Alice – I can’t watch that many children at once!

Specifically, they came home to seven quiet, tired but muddy children who hadn’t eaten since lunch time (it was around 8pm). All the kids were awake including the toddler and as soon as the adults walked in there was a child exodus to the front door in a wave of sticky, dirty mess, screeching about dinner.

“You didn’t feed them anything?!” MormonMom accused in an angry tone.

“I didn’t know I was supposed to be watching your kids! I had no instructions!” I shot back.

My aunt pulled me aside and paid me , but when I went to MormonMom to get payment, she claimed I wasn’t there to watch her children at all, only my cousins. This is yet another moment I wish I had been more outgoing and demanded compensation. But at 15 I didn’t have the self confidence to stand up to an authority figure, even when I knew they were wrong.

They never asked me to babysit again, although I wouldn’t have even if they had begged. I contented myself with the knowledge that they would face Karma…later that evening when they pulled back their covers and saw the “surprise” the toddler left under the covers. Let’s put it this way…the bathroom was taken by a different sibling and the toddler had eaten a few too many berries leaving a nasty sludge you couldn’t pay me to clean up…and they hadn’t paid me at all!

I had a few more babysitting gigs, but then came the day I quit babysitting after I watched a little girl so awful, so evil that she made me cry…