Journalist. Mother. Bunny enthusiast. Pop culture junkie.

Journalist. Mother. Bunny enthusiast. Pop culture junkie.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Adventures in Babysitting (Part I)

Last week I was on the computer at the library, when I heard somebody call out my name.

I looked up and a good-looking blonde guy was waving at me. I scowled at him because I don't like it when strangers acknowledge me, but he continued to wave and then eventually came over.

"I can't believe it's really you!" the hot guy gushed. "It's been so long!"

Oh shit, I thought, did I date this guy? I racked my brain over my past relationships and dating disasters. Perhaps it had been so traumatic, my brain simply destroyed the memory!

"You were the best babysitter I ever had," the boy continued. "You are just as beautiful now as you were when I was ten."

A smile froze on my face. The strapping young gentleman standing before me was none other than Scottie, one of the kids I used to babysit when I was in college.

Holy shit.

Am I that old?! Well, I must be.

In honor of this blast from the past, I have decided to share my babysitting experiences from college with you.

Spoiler alert: They're not boring.

My stories are too lengthy to put in one post. So, I will be doing a three-part series.

You're welcome.

My first story revolves around: Scottie.

Scottie lived in a huge three story house located a block away from my parents' home. He was absolutely adorable, with a mop of shaggy blonde hair and big blue eyes. He was in fourth grade.

An hour before his bedtime, Scottie announced he was going to do his math homework.

I was pre-med at the time, juggling 18 hours of advanced calculus, physics, chemistry, and biology lab that semester.

I smugly told Scottie that if he had questions with his little fourth grade homework, I would be more than happy to help.

Sure enough, ten minutes later, Scottie called from the living room to say he needed my assistance.

I walked over to the coffee table and looked over his shoulder.

The problem stated:

"Jane ordered five pounds of chicken, two pounds of beef, and a half-pound of turkey from the butcher shop. The chicken was two dollars per pound, the beef was three dollars per pound, and the turkey was fifty cents per pound. She gave two-thirds of the chicken to her mother, who reimbursed her for half. Jane had $20 in her pocket, but dropped a $5 bill on her way to the store. How much money did Jane have left in her pocket when she got home that night?"

Are you fucking kidding me?

"I thought you were only in fourth grade," I said, wearily.

"I am!" Scottie responded.

I rubbed my temples and sighed.

"Scottie, I think you've been working so hard that you need a break!" I said. "Shoo! Shoo!" And I waved him out of the room.

He looked at me strangely and slowly walked up the stairs.

"But I only just started," he tried explaining.

I shooed him away again.

As soon as he was out of sight, I ran into the kitchen and grabbed the phone book.

I dialed the number for the nearest butcher shop.

Thankfully, it was still open.

"Hi, my name is Jane and I would like to purchase five pounds of chicken, two pounds of beef, and a half-pound of turkey," I told the employee when he answered.

"Oven-gold chicken or honey-roasted?" the man asked. "And would you like the beef 93 percent lean?"

Shit. The math book hadn't specified!

"Um, whatever is two dollars a pound," I answered, meekly.

"Our chicken is $4.27 a pound," he said. "Honey-roasted is a dollar more."

Wait, what?

"I need to give two-thirds of it to my mother!" I stuttered, practically in tears.

"Excuse me?" the man asked.

I hung up quickly.

What the fuck was I going to do? I couldn't admit to Scottie, or have his parents find out, that somebody studying to be a doctor couldn't even help him with his fourth-grade math homework!

So, I did what I did when I had calculus homework I couldn't figure out.

I called my father.

Surely, a physicist could figure out this stupid shit.

When my father answered, I asked him if he could help me with Scottie's math homework.

He was disgusted. "You can't figure out a fourth grader's math assignment?" he asked. "You're taking Advanced Calculus!"

I explained the homework assignment over the phone. There was silence on the other end.

"That's retarded," he dad finally said. "I'm coming over."

So, my dad came over and had a look at the math book. He was dumbfounded by the complexity of the problem for a fourth grader. It only took him a few minutes to figure it out and he left before Scottie even knew he was there.

When Scottie came downstairs, I proudly showed him the solution. He was impressed.

"Now you can go to bed!" I said, cheerfully.

Scottie shook his head.

"No I can't," he said. "I still have 24 more math problems just like it!"

Yes, my friends, it was a very long night. When Scottie's dad got home around midnight, we were still trying to figure out how much Jane had left in her pocket after the clumsy little bitch dropped five quarters outside a flower shop.

Anyway, it was a delight seeing Scottie again after all those years. He informed me that he is graduating from high school in May and he even took me to the parking lot to show me the brand new Mercedes convertible his parents bought him for his 18th birthday.

He said he is applying to colleges, but he isn't sure what he wants to major in yet.

"Maybe you should major in math," I said, snorting with laughter.

Scottie smiled politely, but I could tell he didn't understand the joke.


JUST ME said...

I completely skipped over that word problem. I didn't even read it.

My brain wouldn't let me.

Bienvenue chez French Girl in Seattle... said...

Ha! ha! ha! Great story, Jenny. I am so grateful I never babysat. An English major who froze whenever I opened a math textbook, there's no way I could have helped that poor kid the way you did. Good for you, girl. Veronique

Gayatri said...

Sorry but the Indian in me just had to solve this. She had $3.75 when she got home that night. Don't hate me.


fashion and frank said...

hysterical xx

SassyUptownChic said...

That is frickin HILARIOUS Jennifer!!! HAHAHAHA I hated those fuckin questions! Notice how I'm cursing, just thinking about them. LOL At least you stuck with it and helped him out. I don't think I could have. HAHAHA What a great Monday post. Thanks.

David L Macaulay said...

we do like you blog (we have taken a straw poll at work in a bored moment, of which there are plenty) and we do like it. My folks once hired a crap baby sitter who invited her boyfriend around and then her other boyfiend and they both had a fight - lovely.

Anonymous said...

haha that is hilarious! I hate math problems like that. HATE.

can't wait to read the rest of your stories!

Bonnie said...

Baaahahahahahhaahah. I can't believe that you called the butcher shop to actually act out the math problem. Wait ... Yes, I can. I never offered to help anyone with their math homework because I can't do math. I'm a words person. Numbers freak me the eff out.

I can't wait for more of your stories.
Twitter: @GlamKitten88

Shannon said...

as a math nerd, i was going to solve this problem. but then i decided against it. anybody who drops money is not worth my time. ;)

Courtney Erin said...

I love that you called a butcher with it. Too funny!

xoxo ~ Courtney

The Cat Hag said...

Thanks for dropping by my blog. <3

It's awesome that you contributed so much to a kid's life that he remembers you so many years on. :)

The Cat Hag

Shybiker said...

Your blog is full of amazing stories, lucidly told. I'm hooked!

StyleIDnet said...

Hahaha, I have avoid math all my life, I hate it with passion... I wish I had a baby sitter like you and lucky none of the kids I have baby sit needed help with math.
Your story is hilarious!

Sam said...

Really enjoyed reading this post. You write well, have you thought of novel writing?

Sarah said...

So funny. I am terrible at maths!

Kristin said...

That my dear is priceless!

Kristin said...

That my dear is priceless!

Misfits Vintage said...

HA! I love that your dad called it retarded! And I want to know about this magical world where 18 year old children are purchased Mercedez by their parents! Is this Narnia???

Sarah xxx

Josie said...

That story. Is. Phenomenal. I know, though, the kids I baby-sat for in middle school are so old now!
xo Josie

Liezyl Gomez said...

funny story? i wouldnt know what to do if i was me. damn that math problem!

Tanvi said...

LOL ... Your stories are entertaining and so funny. Incidentally I have never babysat 'professionally', I did baby sit my cousins and nieces/nephews!

♡ from ©

Bravoe Runway said...

Holy cow Jen...that is some major word problem. I always hated word problems in math and for a 4th grader that was nuts! Super nice of him to still remember you and a new mercedes convertible??? NICE!

Sarah Stright said...

Thanks for the comment on my blog. I just checked yours out and love it, and am now a new follower :) I hope you'll come back to mine and follow as well if you're interested. Can't wait to continue reading your posts.

-E- said...

what a cheap mom. give her 2/3 and she only pays you for 1/2!

Anna said...

What a fun story! I'm sure not so fun at the time but certainly fun to read all these years later. I LOVED Gayatri's comment of having worked the puzzle out haha I read it and had your sentiment of "what the eff this kid was in year FOUR for goodness sake". Its lovely that your 'kids' recognise you all these years later and only have fond memories, speaks wonders of you.

Anna xo

Meri said...

haha- oh no, I fear the day the little ones I used to babysit come back to haunt me! I've had a few strange experiences seeing parents of kids I used to babysit for, but as an adult. Odd.

azu said...

You have the best stories!

But oh my gosh, I don't like math at all. My mind used to blank out so bad whenever I'd hear or see a math problem.

I think it's wonderful when people remember you for babysitting them so long ago. I used to babysit this little girl and her brother. They were crazy (I always got the crazy kids) and sometimes I'd think that they didn't like me. But years later they remember me and their dad told me that they miss me after all this time. It makes me happy to know that they looked up to me and enjoyed my time :)



Sherin said...

Oh GOD! I can't believe the poblem was so hard! Poor kid. Love the story though...and died laughing when you referred to Jane as a Clumsy Little Bitch and loved how you actually called a butchers.
Cant wait for the next part.

Jo said...

I think I'm so gonna follow up on all your babysitting adventures. The Math problem is crazy. And here I am thinking that only Singapore produces such crazy Math problem for our Primary school kids.

I know how to solve that problem! lol... I used to teach Math though I'm really bad at it and always knew that I was meant to teach English.

I can't believe you actually called up the butcher shop to find the answer. Haha... such math problem seem very illogical in our real world. I bet there were lots of question marks above the butcher's head.

Claire Vázquez said...

That blog so ideal! now you're going to see a lot around here ...
I invite you to walk through the mine and to follow me if you like mine!

a kiss, Claire.

Couture Carrie said...

You are hysterical, darling!
Love this story!


Cafe Fashionista said...

Haha! You always tell the best stories, Jennifer. During one of my adventures in babysitting, the girl (my younger sister) decided to make the kitchen a beach - she literally flooded the entire kitchen with water. It was priceless - and nearly gave me a nervous breakdown! :P

Rose said...

Brilliant story!! xx

amy b.s. said...

this is hilarious!

The Blonde Duck said...

That made my head hurt! I would have shredded the homework!

Reading (and chickens) said...

My favorite part: "When Scottie's dad got home around midnight, we were still trying to figure out how much Jane had left in her pocket after the clumsy little bitch dropped five quarters outside a flower shop." Damn Jane.

Vix said...

You are brilliant! Just reading that maths question scared me. x

S said...

That's crazy!O_o

Natassja said...

Oh my goodness, this is too funny! I remember my babysitting adventures, luckily I never had to help with math :) I did have a similar experience with a kid I used to babysit though! I was at my cousin's graduation this Spring and saw the name of a kid I babysat in High School. It was way too weird!
I remember those crazy word problems, an adult, I wish I could go back in time and visit my 9 year old self just to say: "no, you will NEVER need this in real life!" :)

Stephanie said...

Honestly? That's a stupid math question. It's so utterly and completely pointless. I'm all for challenging math - hey, I used to be a fourth grade teacher - but stupid stuff like that?

Miksu said...

my little brother sometimes asks me to help with his math homeworks, it's so fun :D


Fashion.MakeUp.LifeStyle said...

LMAO...seriously I absolutely always enjoy your posts and this is has to be one of my fav's!!!

Seriously still laughing.

<3 Marina

The Woven Moments said...

I still (STILL!) have nightmares about standing at a cash register, trying to make change and having someone hand me an additional 17 cents.


Ocean Dreams said...

Oh wow I would be in the same boat you were in. Actually, I'm currently going back to when I was a nanny and I couldn't do their math homework and I called my mom or ex, lol.

He he that's awesome that you ran into him years later and that he didn't get the joke...if only he knew!!