Adventures Babysitting


“Canned tuna can cause mercury poisoning. What kind of parents are these?”

You stare at the child you are babysitting and wonder how old one should be before they start eating tuna fish. You decide that babies are less likely to get mercury poisoning and, besides, once you acquire it for the first time you are immune for the rest of your life, so little Robert might as well be exposed to it now.

After scooping out all the tuna you throw the can on the ground because the golden retriever, Harold, enjoys playing with them. Unfortunately, the odor of the tuna leads to an unforeseen dilemma; it becomes nearly impossible to tell if Robert has filled out his diaper or the preexisting aroma of the Starkist has merely lingered in the air, searching for nostrils it can lay victim to. You wonder how this predicament is usually handled, but it dawns on you that the tuna was probably only for the adults and that this particular situation is very likely an anomaly in the Rhodes’ household. 

You take a few steps back and sit down in the rocking chair that the baby is clearly too small to take advantage of while you ponder the situation. Across the room, staring at you with the cold, dead eyes of an unfulfilled housewife whose DVR has been irrevocably tampered with, is a small stuffed bear wearing a round, brown hat and a shirt bearing (in more than one way) the words, “Only YOU can prevent forrest fires.” 

You become anxious at the notion that you are the only one able to prevent one of our world’s most dangerous natural disasters and wonder why such responsibility has been thrust upon you. You already have a lot on your plate.

Looking down at your wrist, you remind yourself that it is for times like these that you bought that yellow “Live Strong” bracelet. You relax your muscles and ash your cigarette on the edge of the arm rest.

“I thought they said they’d be home by 8:00…”



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