Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Sleeping on the Job

The girl is 10 years old. She will point out that she will be 11 in mere months. That is true, if "eight" classifies as "mere." She will assure the woman that she knows how to change a diaper. That she knows how to reach the military police on base. That one of her best friends lives right across the street from the woman. That she has babysat for the woman's next-door neighbors several times already.

All of that information is enough to assure the woman that the girl will do a fine job babysitting her daughter. Her sweet daughter is 18 months old. She goes to bed by 7 p.m. She sleeps through the night. The woman and her husband will be home by 11 p.m. She knows the girl's mother, the wife of a colonel. The woman's husband has only just made captain. The woman has been an Air Force wife long enough to know how to gingerly step amongst the wives of men of various ranks.

They go off on a Saturday night, after the girl arrives at 6 p.m. They are going to a big shingdig, a luau, off base, on the other side of the island. The captain is not worried. The woman acts unconcerned as well. The girl holds her sweet daughter in her arms and both wave as the woman and the captain drive off.

Everything goes off without a hitch, although the sweet daughter stays up until 8:15. The girl reads and listens intently for the sounds of stirring in the sweet daughter's room or for the noises of nefarious beings outdoors. By 9:30, she is conked out on the couch. She is a sound sleeper. Far too sound of a sleeper, really.

She doesn't hear the phone ringing. Three separate times.

She doesn't hear her friend's mother knocking on the door, first softly, then increasingly more loudly.

She doesn't hear the MPs drive up or knock on the door or remove the screen from the window or open the window.

She only wakes up to the sight of the MP climbing through the living room window. She screams.

[Thus went my first nighttime babysitting job. Related to you for Mrs. Flinger's fifth {W}rite of Passage: The Job.]


CrAzY Working Mom said...

They must've forgotten their keys?

D... said...

Oops! I can just imagine that scene!

Janet said...

Oh dear. I've never slept that soundly. Of course, these days i don't sleep much at all, as you can tell by the fact that I'm reading blogs at 1 am.


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