On the heels of the Great Birth Control Controversy of 2007, which included seeing various people we know on any number of TV news shows, including of the national variety, espousing positions we alternately found troubling, sympathetic and hilariously stupid, it seems appropriate that tonight, for the very first time, The Princess is babysitting.
The idea of a 12-year-old having a baby may seem particularly horrifying to my particular 12-year-old because she is the youngest in the family and so close to being the youngest in the extended family that she doesn’t remember the next one as a baby compared to herself.
But we have precious new neighbors, a Methodist clergy couple living in the parsonage of one of our City By the Sea churches. While they are serving the remnant of an established congregation which sold its church buildings, they are also charged with starting a new church. Tonight they have gathered what they hope will be the core of the new church at their home for dinner.
Somewhere in that charming house, all lit up for a party, my daughter is wrangling two little girls in the 14 months old age bracket.
In the car coming home from piano, we exchanged these questions and answers.
"What if they hate me?"
"They won’t hate you," I assured her. "You’re a big girl, and little girls love big girls."
"What if they need to be picked up? I’ve never picked one up? And why am I talking about them like they’re things?"
"I would suggest you sit on the floor, so you’re closer to their height. Then when they toddle over they can just sit down, and you won’t have to lift them."
"What if they get upset?"
"You talk sweetly to them, and pet them."
"But what if they really cry?"
"Remember, their mothers will be downstairs. You can always go to the top of the stairs and call S. in a loud voice."
"But what if they need to go to the bathroom?"
"Honey, they don’t do that yet. They’ll be in diapers."
I assured her that I would be home and available throughout the gathering. She left here with my cell phone, so she could call me in case reinforcements are needed. It’s been 48 minutes, but who’s counting?
Edited to Add: She’s home with a check for $10 and a plan to open a savings account tomorrow!