Babysitting is fun. They're old enough now that they can handle themselves, and I'm there mostly to make sure they get their homework done and eat their vegetables. They're also very entertaining.
We went to the hardware store to get a new snow shovel before the storm, and the place was crowded! While we were in line, E (who likes to talk) said about M, "He's a confused cracker."
"Oh, no, honey, don't call him a cracker."
"But my teacher does that. She says, 'You're a smart cookie.'"
"You can call him a cookie, but not a cracker. It's not nice."
"What about a chipmunk? Can I call him a confused chipmunk?"
"Yes, you can call him a confused chipmunk."
"Ok, he's a confused chipmunk!"
M likes video games, the Doom-type games where you go around shooting lots of people in slightly different situations (WWII vs. the civil war). He also likes watching movies with violence. This weekend he wanted to watch The Chronicles of Riddick. Though his mom didn't seem extremely concerned (she gave me veto power), I had two problems with it:
1) It's too violent for a 12-year-old
2) It's a bad movie.
So he found I, Robot, which was a little more acceptable to me (probably because it's mostly robots that "die", and there must therefore be less blood). Also, he wanted to watch these movies alone, because he "doesn't feel comfortable watching movies with other people in the room." Ok... I don't know what that's about, but I wasn't going to push it. I just wanted to see if I could get him to watch a movie with us despite his "discomfort". So I made a deal with him.
"We're going to watch Clue. If you watch the first 10 minutes with us, and you don't like it, you can go upstairs and watch I, Robot."
He watched the first 20 minutes of Clue with the remote in his hand, then when Mr. Boddy was murdered, he put it down and said, "Ok, I'm watching this."
Last story: I made the mistake of letting them have coke with their lunches. M was fine, but as a result of the caffeine, E was bouncing off the walls within minutes. And of course, that's when the snow started, so I couldn't send her outside to see how many times she could circle the house in 20 minutes. So I employed some sneaky tactics.
E was flipping out in the den while M was playing his video game. I started with some lindy-influenced counterbalancing. She soon ended up on the floor and reached her arms up in the air for me to help her up. Instead, I said, "Hey, E, how many sit-ups can you do?"
The answer is none. But she can do crunches. So can M. In their competition, he did 50, then she did 60, and in the end, they were both exhausted, and I was victorious.