Tuesday, April 19, 2011

The Key is in the Park

I used to babysit for this amazing family. They taught me a lot about life, love, boys, babies, and three year-olds. I started babysitting for them when the youngest [of five] was in utero, so I like to think I got to see how babies become kids.

Sometimes we would go to the neighborhood park.

The older boys liked to ride their scooters. They also liked to be the one to unlock the gate, or hold the key, or do any other normal thing that becomes awesome to early elementary aged children. Their awe of key-holding and door-unlocking caused their three year-old sister to be equally desirous of this priviledge.

As one of three sisters, I understand the concept of equal treatment. Kid #1 can carry the key on the way to the park. Kid #2 can unlock the gate. Kid #3 can hold the key at the park. Kid #4 can carry it home, etc.

Kid #3, who got to hold the key in the park, ended up being three year-old girl. No big deal, right?

Fifteen minutes or so pass, and someone has to go to the bathroom. We walk over to the bathroom. Oh, gotta unlock the door.

"Three year-old, where's the key?"

She replies non-chalantly, "It's in the park."

I look over in panic at the park that only minutes ago seemed small. I watch it's mulchy floor begin to expand for miles.

"It's in the park?"

"Yep!"
 
That's when the babysitter went postal. Just kidding. I made them all stop playing and look for the key. We wandered the park and I thought to myself, "WHY?! Why did I give a gold key to a three year-old, who's running around in a park of tan-colored mulch?" 

Then I started panicking! How much do these keys cost?! How do we ever get into the bathroom? Why did I ever agree to babysit? I'm a horrible, irresponsible adult! Why am I even alive? What is the purpose to life?

After a few minutes one of the boys found it, PTL!

Lesson learned: never give a three year-old a key. Ever. Three is still "baby" age when it comes to responsibilities. In fact, it's just better to let adults carry keys, unless you have a large, can't-possibly-lose key chain attached to said key...which would have been another good solution. 
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