Last Thursday I shared a little piece of flash fiction (you can read it here). I got a couple of suggestions that it could be a series… and since I enjoyed writing the story so much, I decided to write a second installment!
If you’d like to hear more about poor Ryan and his trials and tribulations, let me know, and maybe you will.:)
“Guys, this is Ryan. He’s gonna babysit you while Mommy is gone. Ryan, this is Holly, Cameron, and Jake.”
I try not to show my terror as I sweep a brief glance across the three little faces. “Hey, guys.”
“Hi, Ryan! Wanna wrestle?” Cameron screams. Holly stares at me blankly. Jake takes one look at me and bursts into tears. Oh, to be young enough to show my true feelings.
“I’ll be gone for about two and a half hours… that’ll work with your schedule?” The mother of the little brutes speaks in the tone of voice I imagine a prison guard uses when pleading for time off. I decide against asking if two and a half hours will work with my mental health, and instead say, “Uh… yeah.”
“Perfect.” Her sigh of relief is enormous. “Thanks so much for doing this. Bye, guys! You be good for Ryan. Oh,” she says, turning back with her hand on the front door knob, “Supper’s on the table. Have fun!”
Because that’s what you say to a kamikaze pilot.
The door slams behind her with a dismal finality. I turn slowly, muttering prayers for deliverance under my breath, and force myself to make eye contact with my charges. “So… you guys hungry?”
“I don’t like the crusts,” Cameron yells, racing Holly to the table. Jake stares up at me from where he sits on a blanket on the floor, eyes teary and lower lip trembling. Seeing that he isn’t seeking food with the vicious enthusiasm his siblings express, I guess he’s not old enough to walk yet. Honestly, I wouldn’t be able to walk if my legs were that chubby, either.
So how does one go about picking up a baby? I stare quizzically at the mini monster. I consider calling my sister, but laugh at myself after a few minutes of consideration. What am I thinking? I can do this! You probably just… grab him. Under the armpits, maybe?
Holding him at arm’s length, I begin to question the wisdom of this method. He’s starting to cry again. Food will help. I rush him to the table and plunk him in the small chair that sits up higher than the others. I assume it’s some sort of baby container – it has restraining straps and everything. Oh, thank goodness. I don’t have to hold the thing on my lap and have him dribble applesauce and drool all over my arms.
However, the kid lets out a primal yell when his chubby leg gets pinched in one of the buckles.
“Quiet, Jake! QUIET!” his siblings scream in unison, banging their spoons on the table. I try to take deep breaths. It’s gonna be a long night.