I couldn’t have imagined a better family! The Silvermans were totally great! The mom was really nice, two awesome kids (25 months and 7 years old, both boys, that should’ve been a warning though), the household was spotless (the floor was so clean it was actually slippery) and all around the place there were pictures of a happy family. I was really surprised at how well everything looked.

But the moment the doors closed behind the mom and I was left alone with the kids, the whole world turned upside down. These two sweet munchkins turned into vicious little devils, and there was no way to keep them calm or make them do some of the chores their mom had written down for me. Begging, persuading, trying to redirect their attention to something different… Nothing worked. At least they didn’t argue but I was dead scared that they would soon be climbing on the rooftop or getting up to the kitchen counter where the knives were kept.

I knew that yelling, threatening them or panicking isn’t the right way to handle kids – I’ve already learned that while taking care of my little cousins – so the only way to save the household from further demolition was to become the victim of their evil games. So I turned their attention to myself. I pretended to be a thief who stole their stuffed Nemo fish and who had to be captured. And boy how did they love pretending to be cops! They arrested me, handcuffed me (with invisible handcuffs that were totally unbreakable) and then started negotiations about their Nemo.

„Come on, fishes cannot live without water, Barb!“ They even pretended to make me food (little plastic toy bananas on a paper plate, „but don’t eat it, just pretend – those are not real bananas, you know“). The little one liked to take care of me as a prisoner, the older one was more of a talker and negotiator and also made me work on a site as a punishment for stealing Nemo (on his unfinished Lego house, no worries). That’s how we spent almost the whole morning, and when their mother came back around lunch time, she did not mention anything about the mess. She was just happy the house didn’t burn down and that the kids had fun. I’m pretty curious what I will come up with the next time I babysit over there.

Barbara, 17 – Oregon

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