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This week, I baby-sat for a co-worker’s two kids while he took photos at an assignment.

I’m not going to lie. It didn’t go well.

There was nervousness. There were no fewer than 23 phone calls to their dad. There were tears.

All of these things came from me.

Now, readers of this column know that as an unmarried chick in her 20s, I generally like four things: jewelry, fitness, a good night of partying and babies.

I’m not interested in my own babies, mind you.

I couldn’t keep a goldfish alive for more than a year, and all it needed was a pinch of flakes once a day. My Chia Pet died in three weeks. Kids are not in my future until I can learn to be an “adult.” At this rate, I’m looking at having one in 2028.

But borrowing other people’s children seems like a logical solution, so when my co-worker asked me to watch his two youngest ones, I jumped at the chance.

“You’ll take ’em to the playground, and I’ll be back in an hour,” he said, curiously speeding away.

His 2-year-old girl is blond-haired, with a shy smile and the prettiest blue eyes I’ve ever seen. A stunning baby, she looks like a Precious Moments doll.

She is — quite obviously — the devil.

Little Catherine (alias: Spider-Baby) is 2, so she’s generally interested in four things: candy, dolls, risking death by climbing on anything and giving her baby sitter heart failure.

When we got to the playground, Catherine made a beeline for the “rock climbing” area and proceeded to climb up from foothold to foothold on the little plastic rock wall.

I watched in horror, sort of spotting her from behind, while I sunk into the ground in my patent leather heels. I figured life at work would be tough if I let my co-worker’s kid break some ribs.

I glanced over my shoulder at Catherine’s 4-year-old brother across the playground to make sure he still had all his teeth, and in the 1.2 seconds I had my eyes off of her, Spider-Baby saw her opportunity.


She hit the ground. On her butt. Of course.

Hell. I’m going to jail.

Just as I’m envisioning my life in an orange jumpsuit, Catherine jumps up, entirely unharmed.

After this week’s experience, I generally like five things: jewelry, fitness, a good night of partying, other people’s babies and birth control.

— Erin Shultz

[friday] editor / will be the most overprotective mother

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