Posts tagged ‘babysitting’


Hey, that’s smurftastic

And so it came to pass that a granny, an intrepid blogger and a Force of Nature did travel to Liffey Valley.

And there the intrepid blogger did purchase three tickets for the Smurfs, and it was good.

But we should start at the beginning.  You see the whole excursion began with the Force of Nature asking me if I would ask her granny if we could all go to see The Smurfs.  Now to be honest, being myself a true child of the 80’s, I kind of wanted to see the new, modern interpretation of one of my favourite childhood cartoon shows.  I mean in all fairness who could have guessed that Hollywood would take Alvin and the Chipmunks, add some CGI and give us comic gold, complete with two squeakuels to date.  So I figured a few quid spent on The Smurfs might not be wasted money, and better yet it would distract the Force from another battery of what I like to think of as the “Awkward Questions Game”.

Still, Granny of course said, yes.  So this afternoon (yesterday afternoon by the time you’re reading this) we all bundled in to Baby, my partners pretty Ford Puma, and took a drive to the nearest cinema, which happens to be in Liffey Valley Shopping Centre.

Now this blog is technically supposed to be a review so I perhaps a little reviewy (yes it’s a real word, I just used it therefore it’s real, don’t make me kick the smurf outta ya) stuff should now creep in.  The cinema in Liffey Valley is run by Vue. The cinema itself is pretty nice.  The seats are comfy, the popcorn is both hot and nicely salty and most importantly you don’t worry about being glued in place by sticky floors, because they’re not. Sticky, that is.  However Vue have a website where you’re supposed to be able to buy your tickets, with nice deals, and so save yourself the hassle of queueing with the Luddites in the entrance.  Nice theory, except for the fact that they charge €2.50 to allow you the privilege of paying them with your credit card. This would be a “so what?” situation, if it didn’t mean that it would have been at least that much cheaper to buy my ticket in the cinema itself…guess which I did? I don’t like nastiness like that.

So yeah, lovely cinema, no sticky floors, but avoid the website unless you don’t mind paying extra for the chance or it’s to get that must have ticket for the first ever screening…yadda yadda.

And, back to The Smurfs.  We arrived about an hour early so a little shopping was in order.  For myself copies of Mass Effect, Assassins Creed and Dead Space were purchased from Game, so there goes my free time for the next three months.  Meanwhile Granny and the Force were busy mooching around New Look.  Mooching is apparently best defined as ” in depth window shopping with intent to actually shop later”.  So I arrive delighted with myself for getting a great deal on three games, while they’re mid-mooch. The Force however is not impressed.  She wants her goddess damned Smurfs and she wants them NOW! She communicates this wish my informing me in a loud voice, that we’re not to look in anymore shops.  Each word is of course accompanied by its own individual foot stomp.  How cute. We, that is Granny and I, of course spend an extra 15 minutes in New Look for absolutely no reason what-so-ever.

Fast forward to the movie.  Usually watching a movie with the Force is an exercise in the application of supreme patience, as she asks “What’s happening now?  Who’s he?  Why are they doing that?  What’s happening now?” and of course the classic “Can I go pee?” over and over and over, until your brains have reached the consistency of overcooked semolina, and drain out through your nostrils.

Today though the Force was amazingly good.  She didn’t ask anything. She just sat there and watched The Smurfs with a big happy grin on her face.  No, it was all the other kids that had  me wishing for a bastard-sword, some space to swing it, and the rapid passage through Parliament of new legislation. Legislation legalizing the use of extreme late-term abortion…you know, between the 12th and 25th trimesters when the potential abortee is annoying me in the cinema.

That should tell you something about the movie.  I was actually enjoying it.  Sure, it has Doogie Houser in the lead human role.  And yes it has that annoying redhead from the equally annoying Epic Movie as his wife.  But the Smurfs, oh gods the Smurfs.  They’re everything I remembered from my childhood.  Cute, funny, quick-witted, brilliantly rendered by CGI and blue.  The story is surprisingly fun, and putting the little blue ones in New York, actually works.

The producers also achieved something disturbingly amazing.  Somehow, they managed to make Smurfette, the only female Smurf, a creature who is – and I quote, “Three apples tall”, sort of sexy. It does help that she’s voiced by Katy Perry, who singing talent or lack there-of aside, does have a sexy speaking voice. But…well let’s put it this way, Avatar made me want a tail, or at least a girlfriend who has one.  The Smurfs and Smurfette in particular, will almost definitely lead to a new large outbreak of size related, well let’s called them adult cartoon drawings, on the internet.

So now the last review bit. The Smurfs, it’s a good movie. It’s not going to win Oscars, but it’s fun, sweet, funny and well worth viewing.  Oh and it has the approval of the Force of Nature.  She said she enjoyed it.

And then went looking for some ice cream, one scoop of bubblegum, one scoop of mint.  Well ain’t that just smurfelicious.


My daily newspaper and the four year old girl.

As regular readers of my blog will know, I am deeply involved with an older woman, who in addition to owning a sexy little car and an even sexier body is the proud grandmother to a four-year old, who will henceforth be known as the Force of Nature.  A Force of Nature for whom we of course occasionally babysit.  Now don’t get me wrong I adore the little rug rat.  She’s cheeky, funny, sweet, actually plays Minecraft (well beats up the sheep and cows anyway) and she also does a great thick Dublin accent.  Hearing her say “Winter” as “Weeeiinthaaar”, is without a doubt one of the funniest moments in any day.  But as great as she is to babysit, there is one period when minding her is torture.  I speak of course about the morning after.

I am not by any means a morning person. For example I consider 9am in exactly the same way that I think of 5am.  It’s the middle of the frikkin night, now shut up and let me sleep.  As someone who deals with a lot of physical pain on a daily basis and so suffers from insomnia,  I have come to absolutely treasure my sleep.  But our semi-resident four-year old is of the considered opinion that, when she is awake we should all be awake.  Yes that’s correct dearest reader, night ends when her eyes open and the whole world has to wake up, ready to service her every whim.

Even on a morning when I manage to sleep late, I have certain habits which help me to wake up and ease into the day.  Usually I wake up, take some medications and while I wait for them to work I get what housekeeping needs doing, done.  Then I sit down at my PC with a couple of slices of toast and a very lesbian (fruit) tea, then the digital editions of various morning newspapers are devoured.  I love reading my morning newspapers.  I love taking small sips of scalding hot lesbian tea and diving into the analysis segments.  Even more I truly enjoy reading the loony bin and crack pot thinking shared with the world in any daily papers “Letters to the Editor” segment.  It brings me joy.

But not on the mornings when the Force of Nature has been to stay.  Those mornings are usually typified by variations on the following conversation.

Force of Nature,  still dressed in the pajamas she point-blank refuses to get out of, walks up just as I finish opening up all of the articles I want to read on their individual browser tabs.   “Amanda.”

I smile lovingly, having forgotten for the moment the last ten times this has happened.  “Yes Force of Nature?”

“Can I play my game?”  Referring of course to Minecraft.

“When I’m finished with what I’m doing.”


I start to read the first article and about half way through a voice comes from behind me.


“Yes Force of Nature?”

“When will that be?”

I swallow, my mouth is unaccountably dry.  Oh Goddesses, I think to myself,  it’s started again.

“I’ll be finished when I’m finished.  You need to learn some patience madam.”


I finish my first article and swallowing another delicious mouthful of good lesbian tea I hear from behind me, “Amanda..?”

Oh dear Goddess, “What Force of Nature?”

“Are you done now?  Can we play my game now?”

“No I am not done, I will tell you when I’m finished.  Now if you don’t leave me in peace to read, we won’t play your game at all today.”

“Bu..bu..but. NANNY Amanda won’t play my game with me!”

In walks my beautiful partner. “Now Force of Nature, she already told you that you can play when she’s finished.”

“Bu…but Naaaaanny!”

This of course goes on in much the same vein for quite some time and by the end my brains have half melted and poured out of one of my ears.  I Amanda Harper, a dominatrix of an obscure school of BDSM am a broken woman, who wants nothing more than to curl up with a teddy bear and sob for hours.  Only two thoughts now echo in my mind.

1: Thank you Goddesses for my being sterile.


2: My partner in addition to being hotness personified is a living saint.  She raised three of those and didn’t find herself in prison for manslaughter.


A review of future events – the royal wedding.

This being my review day, I of course had to write a review.  So I thought why not do something unique, a review of future history, my experience of the royal wedding.

Now let’s face  it people, no other nation on Earth does unnecessarily over the top, pomp and circumstance like the British. That being the case I of course will be having a very special royal wedding day.

It will begin with the arrival at approximately 8am of a young child.

After saying a far too early “hello” to the child, I will most likely roll over and grab another 40 winks.  These 40 winks will probably include a snoring dog on the bed, said child kicking me in the back with feet like blocks of ice and my partner complaining loudly about the power point on the electric blanket digging into her back.

About 11am I will roll out of bed, turn on the telly and find a channel which is not going on about the royal wedding.  Most likely this will have to be Discovery or Dave, but documentaries about Nazi’s or reruns of Top Gear are always welcome.

After finishing the housework, my breakfast and playing with the invading child, a little gaming might be in order.  So the digital crack that is Minecraft will be loaded and an hour of punching cows, chickens and pigs will ensue, to the delighted squeals of a worryingly digitally sadistic little girl.

After a light lunch, once more avoiding anything that mentions the royal wedding, perhaps a run out to her cousin will happen.  Her cousin has built the most delicious house in a nearby townland, so while the child can play with another child, the adults will nose around all the fixtures and fittings again.  This leading to much jealousy and an overwhelming need for large quantities of vodka.

At about 6pm the child will be taken home, followed down the road by relieved sighs.

By the time the child has left the royal wedding will be past history, however carelessly switching the television on for the remainder of the day might still result in being blinded by pomp and mentally scarred by circumstance.  So viewing of Clash of the Titans, The Omen, the entire Resident Evil collection and perhaps even Bubbahotep will most like being the order of the day.

So there you have in a nutshell my royal wedding experience.  Filled with fun, frolics, vodka and zombies.  Not to mention a young girl asking over and over “where’s my mommy?”


Tortures in babysitting.

We’ve all been there.  Well any of us old enough to have friends or family with children have been anyway.  Someone asks you to babysit the apple of their eye.  How can you say no? After all the little rugrat is cute as hell.  They no longer ooze at both ends and now that they can sometimes string a semi-comprehensible sentence together, they’re even fun.

So we say “Yes, of course I will look after the fruit of your overactive loins.” or words to that effect.

Once upon a time I agreed with the proverb that says the road to hell is paved with good intentions.  Now days though, I believe that in addition to good intentions, the road to hell has a footpath running along one side.  A footpath, made exclusively from the ground up bones of well-meaning babysitters.

Have you ever seen footage of an amphibious assault by a marine expeditionary force?  It’s pretty much the perfect visual representation of the term “Shock and Awe!”  Hundreds of tonnes of equipment, manpower and destructive toys hitting a shoreline like a technological tsunami.  If you haven’t you really should watch a few clips of it on YouTube.  It makes for both fascinating and somewhat intimidating viewing.

Now have you ever seen the arrival of a four to six-year-old at the babysitters?  Compare and let me know if you can tell the difference.  Okay to be fair most marine equipment is coloured in some variety of olive drab.  Where as most toys belonging to young children are covered in the sort of colours most associated with acid trips.  Bad acid trips. But aside from that there are a lot of parallels.  One moment the target zone is calm and peaceful.  The local inhabitants going about their daily business, blissfully unaware of the chaos about to be unleashed upon them.  Then with frightening suddenness vast amounts of stuff appears as if from nowhere accompanied by either the marines or a young child.  Trust me the marines would be better, they’d be quieter and at least you could swear around them.

So the little one has appeared and their parents have disappeared, leaving behind them only two things in addition to their precious darling.  A truly immense pile of stuff comprised toys, spare clothes, dvds, food, more toys, wash stuff and still more toys.  Oh and the distant echo of their joyous laughter, laughter which somehow seems to be at the expense of the designated sucker.  No sorry, I meant delighted babysitter, to whom they now feel an intense sense of gratitude and sadistic humour.

Well anyway, you try to put the sound of that cackling laughter to the back of your mind.  After all you have an evening of arts and crafts planned for the child.  Followed by stories and an early night in the spare bed which you have lovingly prepared for them.  Yeah right, fat chance.

Unfortunately you can forget any of the plans you’ve made previously, the child will have other ideas.  Remember all those toys?  They’ll play with most of them.  Well, play is probably not the right word.  Distribute, yes that’s the right word.  They’re going to distribute those toys evenly around your entire home.  Make sure that you watch out for the spiky ones, those are the nasty buggers that will end up alongside your bed, precisely positioned for you to step on as you get in and out for glasses of water and trips to the bathroom.

Once they’ve made absolutely sure that every inch of your once tidy home now, has a nice even coating of brightly colored plastic and faux-fur, it’s dvd time.  Let me tell you something.  The content of modern kid’s dvds have been carefully crafted to make children happy as Larry.  Unfortunately these dvds quickly turn the average adult human mind into something comparable to a bowl tapioca pudding. Tapioca pudding which is also somehow perfectly and permanently balanced on the edge of a psychotic breakdown.  I really don’t know how the makers of those dvds manage it.  But after a mere hour of a certain purple dinosaur, or worse ten minutes of  specific bipedal piglet and her family, any adult in viewing range has been reduce to being within just one short step of joining the inmates in a nuthouse movie.

But guess what?  That’s the only thing the darling child you’re minding wants to do.  Oh and don’t think you can escape by sitting there and listening to your MP3 player.  Oh no, you can’t get away.  You have to watch with the little dear and answer all of their questions.  And oh boy will there be questions.  It’s always tempting to compare the child’s mind to a sponge, always waiting to soak up new information.  But that’s so much crap.  A child’s mind and mouth are the primary parts of a vocal machine-gun which uses questions as bullets.  More often than not the same question over and over, again and again, until you can actually hear your own brain putting a gun to itself and pulling the trigger.

But the good news is that eventually they will get tired and want to go to bed.  You’re bed.  Forget the spare bed you made up for them.  Forget that it has a duvet covered with pictures of princesses.  No they want to sleep with you.  That means you can’t just put them to bed and settle down to watch some adult television.  What this means is that you’re having an early night as well.  Now isn’t that lovely?  I mean that’s what every adult wants on a Saturday evening.  To be asleep in bed at 8pm or maybe 9pm if you’re lucky.

Not that you’ll actually get to sleep much.  Because while they will probably sink almost effortlessly into the deep coma like sleep of the very young and the very old, you won’t be afforded that luxury. You see just as you start to drift off into sleep, that’s the moment that your mind starts to play the theme music of the kids dvd you just watched over and over  and over and over…

But don’t worry in the morning, or at worst in the early afternoon the happily hungover parents will arrive and take the marine corp or their little one home with them.

And a few weeks later, just long enough for you to have forgotten the true horror of it all you’ll get a phone call.  You’ll answer and the conversation will end with…

“Yes of course I’ll babysit.  It we had so much fun the last time…”

(This is mostly tongue in cheek and does not in anyway, represent the writers real feelings about babysitting for certain great little 4 year olds.)

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