“The children are hiding.” I am greeted as a trusted family friend would be, and that is when I start my hunt. Usually the hunt is over in one glance toward the kitchen counter where two pairs of eyes are veiled by two sets of teeny hands. Tonight is one of those nights.
I play along like any respectable babysitter would and search under the cabinets and in the fridge, but really I can hardly wait for hide-and-seek to end to start the clock. We have twenty minutes until 7-2-0 otherwise known as the children’s bedtime.
I announce my presence with tickling, implore Piper and Ryder to kiss their parents goodbye. Then the script I have been rehearsing in my head on my walk from the subway to their apartment can be spoken aloud. We resume from last week’s performance.
The door closes behind their parents and the home alarm is set. I am ushered to the couch and the scene commences:
How can we help you today?
I have ________ (insert PG-rated disease or condition I have been brainstorming to avoid repeats, i.e.. butterflies in my stomach, an eyelash in my eye, the flu, arms that won’t stop stretching).
Oh, we can help you with that. Ryder, let’s get the _______ (insert ridiculous cure, i.e. butterfly pump, water wash, flu shot, arm X-ray).
They run away to their supply (coat) closet and back.
We got the cure! You’re all taken care of. You should stay overnight. Now, here’s some chehwee sywwup to sleep.
Again to the closet and back to me on the couch.
Here’s wehmon sywwup to wake you up. Feel better?
Yes, I’m much better!
Good. How can we help you today?
We only have time for five or six diseases and cures until I send them to their bedrooms to pick out books and brush teeth. On the way up the staircase, relief sets in.
Little do they know that a few days ago I had surgery to retrieve 22 eggs from my ovaries. After unexpected complications that left me bedridden with fluid covering my lungs, this is my first time out of my apartment. These are the only doctors I feel safe around right now. Truly I have been healed by make-believe syrup and an imaginary water wash. Renewed like a baptized sinner.