Last Saturday I babysat for my best friend. Her son is in first grade and her daughter is in kindergarten. I have no children of my own and no siblings. My relationship with my cat is more servant/master. And to be clear, I’m the servant.
In other words, my maternal instincts are underdeveloped.
The night started out well enough. Kindergartener colored and cut construction paper, first grader played on his iPad. We ate tacos and buttered noodles. (Well, first grader and I ate. Kindergartener ignored her plate and continued crafting.)
We went outside to play. The kids ran straight for a bin in the garage and emerged with roller skates. We strapped the skates on and they rolled around the driveway.
I recorded them on my phone as they crashed and burned. They got back up and tried again. They raced, I chased.
We were all laughing and shouting and having ourselves a grand old time when the kindergartener said, “This is great! Mommy and Daddy never allow us to roller skate!”
I started to sweat. Why did they have roller skates if they weren’t allowed to skate? Grandmas, of course.
“So, we don’t need to mention this skating to Mommy and Daddy, okay kids?”
“Why not?” kindergartener asked. “This is FUN!”
I was not given instructions on this! I knew no drinking Pepsi late at night, or falling asleep without their pajamas on, or riding in the car without car seats (learned that one the hard way). But no one said anything about roller skates! I felt like I’d been given a pop quiz for a class I wasn’t even taking.
I had to cover my tracks. Mommy and Daddy could not find out about the roller skates.
“So, you kids know what secrets are, right?”
“You shouldn’t keep secrets,” the first grader said.
Surely I could get two kids to come around to my way of thinking. But I couldn’t act desperate. Kids smell desperation. I’d wait for my opportunity.
I didn’t have to wait long. We went inside and the kids reminded me Mommy had greenlighted a post-dinner ice cream sandwich. Kindergartener had not finished her dinner (had indeed not eaten one bite of it) and was therefore ineligible for said ice cream. First grader wanted an ice cream sandwich and an Italian ice, also a rule violation.
“Wouldn’t it be fun to eat an ice cream sandwich even if you haven’t eaten your dinner? And wouldn’t it be fun to have two desserts instead of one?”
“Yes!” they cried in unison.
“There is something that could make it possible.”
“Secrets!” I said.
No dummies, these two perked right up and we struck a deal. As they feasted on their treats, they promised no mention of the roller skates.
It worked like a dream. Mommy and Daddy came home and asked for a report. Everything went just fine, we told them, the three of us winking at each other behind their backs. (Well, first grader and I winked. Kindergartener closed both eyes, but we knew what she meant.)
And that, ladies and gentleman, is how you execute the perfect crime.
Except Mommy is a faithful reader of this blog.