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Every time one of my friends has a baby, I tell them that if they ever need a babysitter, I’d be happy to do it.  Thrilled, really.  Anytime.  Really.  And until this weekend, not a single one of them had ever taken me up on it.  Not once.  It created a sad little place in my heart, a sad place that is now filled with Happy because on Saturday I got to babysit MiniSpark, the first son of Pookah and Sparkboy.  I may have never finished knitting his baby blanket (curse you, miles of garter stitch in fingering weight acrylic!), but by God, I have now changed his diaper, fed him saltines, and followed him around the house for hours while he played with various tune-playing interactive toys.  And hopefully it won’t be the last time.

How it happened was this: I was over at Pixie and Hot Josh’s house, delivering Little Miss Stinker’s Christmas stocking and having dinner with them.  I was at the point of being cozy on their super-comfy couch while Little Miss Stinker played in the living room, their dog snuggled against my feet, and Pixie was starting to think about getting up to make enchiladas.  Then Pookah called.  She had promised to take some of her kids from the group she volunteers with to see the latest Harry Potter movie, and at the last minute discovered that she and Sparkboy didn’t have a babysitter.  She was asking if Pixie knew of anyone who could do it.  That was the point where I just about started jumping up and down, waving my hand in the air and crying, “I’ll do it!  I’ll do it!” Well, it was more like an eager sitting up and an excited but not too loud, “I could do it!” Either way, Pixie put me on the phone, and before I knew it I was scheduled to come babysit the next afternoon.

It was kinda awesome.  MiniSpark was napping when I arrived, and Pookah and Sparkboy were eager to get out the door.  The total of my prep was Pookah saying, “Have a good time!” as she ran out the door, me calling “Diapers in his bedroom?” after her, and her tossing a “Yeah, sure!” over her shoulder as she got into the car.  Still, everything went fine.  There was a very sorrowful moment when MiniSpark woke up from his nap, was traumatized at finding a total stranger in the house instead of his parents, and walked around the house crying and looking for them for a few minutes until I could distract him with his toys.  But we got through that, and had a good time with each other.  Hopefully it will only be the first of many.

Anyone else need a babysitter?