Disclaimer 1: Teenage Babysitter is a very bright and personable girl.
Disclaimer 2: I have an ungodly fear of cockroaches, (also known as water bugs and palmetto bugs). This is probably because I grew up Florida, where the cockroaches are gargantuan and, God help us, sometimes FLY THROUGH THE AIR. My daughter shares my phobia–most likely because I unleash a bloodcurdling scream whenever I see a cockroach. (This annoys my husband, who thinks I am being murdered.) I put EVERYTHING in containers and throw away my garbage every night. Regardless, this is New York City, and we occasionally encounter one.
Now, my story: A few weeks ago, I asked Teenage Babysitter to watch my daughter while I went to my writing group. I came home to find my kitchen in ruins. Specifically, smashed crackers, stalks of broccoli and chocolate cookie crumbs were strewn in front of my oven. It was like Hansel and Gretel collided with a toddler armed with Cheerios.
Me: “Okay…what happened?”
Daughter: “There was a COCKROACH!”
Me: “What does that have to do with all these crumbs?”
Teenage Babysitter: “The cockroach ran under the stove. Your daughter was convinced that we needed to lure it out, so we decided to scatter crumbs so we could kill it.”
Me: *blinking rapidly* “Interesting.”
Daughter: “He didn’t come out yet, but HE WILL!” (Yeah, that’s what I said about a friend of mine ten years ago. Still waiting.)
Teenage Babysitter: “She insisted. She said you were really afraid of cockroaches, so we needed to kill it before you came home. ”
Me: *still blinking* “That was very…creative.”
Babysitter and Daughter: Smile broadly.
So, cockroaches: welcome to my house. Apparently, we’ll feed you well.