Tuesday, June 28, 2011

. . . and justice for all.

Even though my HUGE teacher paychecks just keep rolling in all summer long, I still like to supplement with a little extra income when I can. Summer nanny gigs are the perfect solution, mainly because I'm way too lazy to get a real job, but also because it keeps my only child out of my ass for a few hours a day. (I mean that in the nicest way possible.) For me, it's a part-time job; for him, it's a part-time brother.

Because I'm such a quick study, it's only taken me two weeks to get to the heart of the strange dynamic between my child and my charge. They aren't so much acting like friends; they're acting, well, like brothers. After two solid weeks of bickering and pissing contests, I've got them figured out. They don't give a hot damn about happiness or fun. They are completely unimpressed by even the most ambitious attempts at entertainment. The ONLY thing they are interested in, in fact, are obsessed with, is justice. I could lock them in a room full of snakes and rotting meat and all they'd care about is that they each got equally poisonous snakes and exactly the same portion of rotting meat.

"His meat is stinkier than mine!" I can hear them complain.

"He got more maggots than me! No fair!"

But now, I've got their number. I know where it's at. Screw fun, they just want fair. So today, we baked cookies. And not just any cookies—peanut butter cookies. We made chocolate chips last week, and it didn't go well. The randomness of the chips led to anarchy and near mutiny. But with peanut butter, I had some control. I explained to the boys that each and every one of these cookies belonged to both of them. They were going to work together, side by side, equally. They took equal turns with the beater, and got equal licking rights.

Notice my son, reaching for the other child's beater. Punk.

Next, I rolled the balls and handed them to the boys, one at a time, to roll in sugar. Even Steven. I had one boy press in all the vertical fork prints and the other, the horizontal. What could be more fair? There was only a brief uprising when vertical boy yelled, "Hey, he's smashing MY cookies!" Old habits die hard.

They'll probably continue to fight like brothers for the rest of the day, but who cares. I intend to eat the entire batch of cookies and be drunk by supper.

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