All the stars in the universe must have aligned to make this possible, but I was actually able to babysit my 4-year-old nephew today to provide marginal relief to my sister, who I should mention is Super Woman on steroids.
Mom: I heard you offered to watch Wesley the whole day.
Me: Yea, should be fine.
Mom: You sure you can do it?
Me: I can handle high maintenance C-level executives. 4-year-olds don't seem that far off.
I'm sure my sister was also skeptical - not because she doubts my abilities to manage upwards (yes, watching Wes counts as managing upwards), but because Wes is very particular about who he lets into the cool crowd. I just don't know his requirements. I think the list might include the ability to give him ice cream for lunch, which I'm only inclined to do if I get desperate.
Me: Okay, Wes, where would you like to go today?
Wes: How about the aquarium?
Me: I immediately regret opening this up for discussion.
Wes: To see the fishes and sharks.
Me: Uhm... only Mommy's and Daddy's can go to the aquarium.
Wes: Oh, okay. Let's wait for Mommy and Daddy.
Me: How about the post office? Want to go there?
[look of extreme disinterest]
My sister gave me specific instructions to leave the house while the cleaning lady came by so I rushed through some work to buy me some time to run some errands.
Wes: Hey, who are you? Why are you in my house?
Me: Wes, that's the maid. She's here to help your mom.
Wes: This is my house.
Me: Okay, then she's here to help you.
Me: Wes, we're going to run some errands. Put on your shoes.
Wes: We need Mommy's car.
Me: We're going to take Eemo's car today.
Wes: [stares at my car] I don't like this spaceship.
Sales clerk: How can I help you?
Wes: We're picking a bed for Grandma.
Sales clerk: Okay, what were you thinking?
Wes: I like this one.
Me: No, we're not getting a TempurPedic.
Wes: I'm going to fall asleep here.
Me: Let's try out those other ones over there.
Wes: Don't wake me up.
Then I figured I had to feed the kid, and given his original idea was to eat spaghetti with a chocolate milkshake, I thought McDonald's was fine. It also came attached with the world's most elaborate hamster cage made for children.
Me: Do you want to play in the playground some more?
Wes: No, it's too loud here.
Me: Eemo has to work some more, so whenever you're done with your food...
[shoves a fistful of fries into his mouth]
Wes: Let's go home then.
Me: Here, let's wash your hands.
Wes: Hey, you hurt my arm. I'm going to tell the teacher.
Me: Whoa, I did not.
Wes: Yea, you did.
Me: Wait, I'm not going to get into this argument with you. We're not even at your school.
Wes: Hey, Eemo, want to come to a picnic at the beach with me?
Wes: Here, eat this pineapple I cut for you. It's spicy.
Me: I don't think pineapples are spicy.
Wes: This one is. And here's some canned corn.
Me: Oh, yea, Koreans love canned corn.
Me: Wes, want to take a nap? You look tired.
Wes: No. I'm okay.
Me: Well, in an hour, we're going to go back out to run more errands so you better have the energy.
[10 minutes later]
Wes is knocked out on the couch with all his stuffed animals.
The fact that he's still alive with food in his stomach and a nap underway, I'm doing way better than I anticipated. Yes, even I was skeptical.