We are continuing with the laundry. And the order, however, right now I am drinking a spiked coke float, I am watching the last fifteen minutes of Sunrise: A Tale of Two Humans (OH WOW), and I am letting the fan blow directly in my face. Right now, is about all I can handle.
If I need to unspool for a moment, it’s only because I spent, despite assuring myself that I would never allow it to happen, part of my afternoon at camp looking after 3 8 year-old girls. All of whom were entirely obsessed with farting and pooping and all things scatological. The very nice woman, a clever lady I like very much, whom we hired to finish out this last week of camp had to leave early and there was no one else to be there and be assured that the dear little chickens didn’t choke on something or crack their heads on something or stick their hand in a blender. Having met these particular girls, I am not being sarcastic when I say that the aforementioned dire fates were entirely possible. My presence was required if entirely unnecessary to the girls themselves.
If I had said no – no, I don’t want to take an expensive Lyft down and back to take care of kids – I hate kids (I don’t, but I have extreme discomfort with kids as they are so often wont to be) – it would have left us precisely nowhere. So. I went.
They were nice girls. But they couldn’t focus for more than five minutes at a time when you asked them to. When they were in charge, though, they could spend most of an hour throwing paper airplanes at the wall with an evolving set of rules they shouted at one another to follow. Planes named things like S.S. Pecock (sic) and S.S. Puppy Palace were rushed into the glittering firmament and for one brief second of hope, they floated before crashing mostly at the girls’ feet. They were friendly to one another, but also slightly antagonistic. The sort of friendships that to an outsider didn’t seem the type to last through puberty. They were creative and smart and funny, inventing stories, but also jumping on furniture. Climbing on shit, hiding behind desks, scribbling where they ought not scribble.
So, one might say, typical girls of that age. I wouldn’t know. I find kids to be…frankly, rude. Joyfulness can mask a lot, and you don’t please those girls for half a second and suddenly, they start beating their chests and bellowing to all the world their displeasure. Or outright dismissing you with zero authority to correct their snide little faces. No. No, we don’t allow for behavior like that in my teacup measured universe.
I wasn’t required to play with them, but just for the sake of keeping them from running down the hallway and getting lost in the massive Lutheran church complex where we are housed, I tried. I tried, folks. I got them playing hangman. I still found myself googling how to make a paper airplane as I was never properly taught myself and showing it to them. They were momentarily appreciative before running back to waste more paper on unworkable designs and dashing them on the floor.
They didn’t, in the end, HATE me. And I don’t, I hope and pray, ever need to look after them again so. Yes. Alls well that ends well and tomorrow, we play with dresses and pretend to be grownups ourselves.