Fresh Baked

Tuesday, August 03, 2004

Babysitter Syndrome

My parents are out of town. This can only lead to one thing for Oliver and me: babysitter syndrome. Ladies and Gentlemen-- Authority has left the building!

Remember when you were a kid and your parents left for a night out and you could just run around doing whatever it was that you wanted to do? Perhaps it was because I am the youngest and my 'babysitters' happened to also be siblings and they, too, were able to get away with spending all that time on the phone or smoking in the backyard, but I don't remember being too closely watched. Want to eat crayons? Go ahead! Homework? Don't do it! Your sister is bothering you? Punch her! Harder!! It was like you were allotted 5 hours to try to get away with everything you're not allowed to do otherwise. I have never grown out of that mentality. So now that they're gone for the next 3 weeks, its like we're living in Neverland... without the illegal touching.

Our response to their leaving was immediate-- Oliver dropped them off at the airport and then took off in their car for hours and hours. I sat my ass down on the couch and ate ice cream. And while we have trays upon trays of enchiladas that have to be eaten and that were cooked with love (and even a few tears), we just want to go out and eat fast-food and everything else we never get. I stopped at 7-11 on my way home from practice yesterday because I could walk into the house with the bag and not get hassled. We have a pile of Whatchamacallits and Rolos on the kitchen counter and two pints of B&Js Oatmeal Cookie Crunch in the freezer. Because we're 8.

I have yet to vacuum since the party. I took yesterday off to do some post-part cleaning (not that I needed an entire day to get this task done) and vacuuming fell by the wayside when I got the idea for a nap. Oliver and I did have a grown-up moment yesterday, though-- we emptied the dishwasher together while watching The Bourne Identity. This is impressive only because about ten years ago it would have ended in my wet-towel-snapping death for not drying things fast enough. And about 5 years ago it wouldn't have been emptied at all.

Of course, this also leads to moments of Where's Mom Now? Like when I see Oliver drinking Non-Fat milk instead of his usual 2% because neither of us has gone to the grocery. Or when I couldn't get a stain out of (oops) borrowed clothing. But mostly, I'm enjoying the babysitter feeling.