I've been dreading the few hours that lay ahead; My mission was to watch the kid. This kid was by no means ordinary. He's a giant ball of energy bundled up and ready to burst. Red lights simultaneously go off in his head's switchboard and he tries to process them all through his mouth. One thought after another shuffles out at maximum speed.
They have arrived. He stands there at the door with his backpack in hand. He's already bouncing up and down ready to give me hell. His parents are leaving - I close the door slowly hesitating to call them back, he waves at them frantically, the cage is sealed - their lights vanish from the driveway. Mission is a go.
In an instant he dashes to the T.V. "Hey, how do you put it to cartoons? Put it on cartoons. I didn't watch T.V. today because I've been in the car.
How many cartoons do you have?" Terrance questioned, as he curiously mumbled away.
I flipped through the channels - Disney, Nickelodeon, Cartoon Network - until he finally exclaimed for me to stop. "I don't know how many cartoons there are but go ahead and change it when you want." He got up and ran to some folded blankets in the corner. He studied them for a minute, probably pondering if he should tumble all over them. He yanked the one from the middle and the blankets collapsed and unfolded. I didn't say anything figuring I should just study the specimen. He took the blanket and headed back to the couch, wrapping it around his body and over his head like a woman from the Middle East. It was about feeding time so I headed to kitchen to find him something to eat. He paraded along behind me jumping left to right like a Neanderthal's monkey.
"Hey can you piggy back me," he asked without hesitation, jumping on my back and clenching on to my shoulders.
"Ahhh!" I yelled in surprise, unable to catch my balance and falling backward. Luckily, he broke my fall. "Geez, what are you doing? Are you okay? Don't be jumping on me like that," I said, trying to scold him.
"Hahahaha. Hahahaha. I'm ok. Sorry. Oh man, haha, I made you fall." I finally made it to the kitchen. "What do you want to eat?" I asked, shuffling through the pantry - cereal, pickles, chow mein, macaroni & cheese, peanut butter - realizing we need to do some shopping.
"Oh oh, can we have PB&J my mom makes me PB&J for school so do you have jelly I like it with strawberry jelly oh its good and my mom she never uses grape jelly because its yucky are you gonna have some too?" he asked in one breath.
"Yea, I have strawberry jelly and I'll have one too," I said in exasperation.
We sat at the table ready to eat. "My dad says that I can get a game when we get home. Oh man I want to get this game it's so cool and there's lotsa cars you can have. I can't bring my games to school or my teacher'll get mad and take it but I want to show my friends but then my dad won't get me anymore games because I can't bring them to school," he said with a mouthful, snapping away with his pasty motor. I sit and study the garrulous kid - he gulps his drink exchanging stray food particles for the liquid, he runs his entire arm over his mouth and nose removing all things in contact, he is now disturbingly dirty - I want to dunk him in peroxide.
"Really, that's cool," I simply replied, finally getting a word in before he continued on. "Hey, go get your bag, let's see what toys you brought." "Oh ok!" he said excitedly, eager to show me.
He returns with a car themed bag. He unzips the top and there's a bunch of clothes. I wonder if he'll pull out a baggie of crack.
"Oh man, here's my Gameboy it's the coolest and here's my car game. I can't wait to get another game. Do you like to play games? Do you have any? My mom says girls don't like to play games," he said, revealing all his worldly possessions.
"Yea, I like to play games sometimes. My friendsÃ¢ÂÂ¦" I said, before being interrupted.
"Oh man, well we can play. Are you good? I bet I can beat you at racing." "Maybe another time. You need to clean up before your parents get back." "Oh okay," he said with a sigh, shoving his Gameboy back into his bag.
I cleaned the house and washed his face. There was a knock at the door.
"Last one to the door is a rotten egg," he barked, getting a head start. "Haha. You're a rotten egg!" I opened the cage and released the beast.
"Hey Tinn, thanks for babysitting. We'll see you later," his mom said, giving me a hug.
"Ok, goodnight and drive safely, bye Terrance!" I said, with a great big smile.
"Night, night, see you later. Bye!" he shouted back fidgeting in his seat.
They drove off and I shut the door. Mission accomplished.