"Miss __________!" a little voice yells to me as another one climbs on top of you.
You're laughing, trying to take the little spider monkey off your back.
"Miss __________!" the children are chanting, save for Matthew. He is sitting next to his white bear, holding it close to his body.
"Can we have McDonald's for dinner?" one of the blonde children asks. His name is Alfred, and he has wide, blue eyes.
"No! Don't listen to him!" another of the blondes, this one with emerald eyes, yells. This is Arthur. "Miss __________, don't make me eat that!"
"You're weird!" Alfred screams and suddenly tackles him.
I have to pry the two boys apart, which is hard work, actually. Alfred has the strength of ten fully-grown bodybuilders, maybe more.
"Miss __________?" another of the blondes comes up to me, holding out a tissue-paper rose he has just made. This kid has the softest, prettiest hair in the world. "I just want to tell you how much I appreciate what you do for us. Please, take this rose. I made it so that you can always remember that my love for you is like that of a rose, delicate and beautiful. I know it's not much, but"
Arthur throws water at his face, at this boy named Francis. This distracts Francis from flirting with me, and the two get into an argument.
Isn't Francis like
seven? Why does he insist on flirting with you as if he was a lovesick poet of twenty or so?
There is sudden laughter coming from the child with white-blonde hair, his red eyes shining brightly. "I am awesome! Everyone bow down to me! RIGHT NOW!" He's standing on the armrest of the sofa.
I grab him by the waist and pull him down to the ground. "All right, Awesome Gilbert, think you can be awesome on the ground level instead?"
"You will never be as awesome as me!" he declares before he runs off.
Antonio, the dark-haired Spanish boy, is sitting on the ground eating a tomato. "¿Señorita __________? ¿Tienes mas tomates?"
You don't speak Spanish, but you're used to the question, so you find another tomato in your fridge and wash it before handing it to the ravenous little boy.
The look on his face when he receives it
well, it's like Christmas to him, only better.
"Miss ________!" someone screams, and suddenly, you're on the ground, one of these little kids on top. Alfred hugs you, resting his head on your chest. "I love you, Miss __________!"
You're trying not to die from how adorable and painfully strong this kid is.
Arthur pushes Alfred off and attempts to help you up. "Are you okay, Miss _________?" he asks, clutching your hand. "He didn't hurt you, did he?"
"I didn't hurt her!" Alfred yells defensively.
"All right, all right! No fighting!" you say. "Don't worry, Arthur. I'm fine."
"Even if she was hurt, I'd be here to kiss away all the bruises!" Francis declares as he hugs you.
"You're gross!" Arthur and Alfred scream at the same time as they jump on him.
"HOW about we just have dinner, and then we can watch movies until your parents come?" you say as you stand, trying to get the attention of all of them. They all get excited and head into the bathroom to wash their hands and then back into the kitchen to eat food.
Just two more hours.
You're putting down the plates for the six children and one for yourself when you realize there is an extra plate leftover. You count the heads; there are five here
but there should be six.
"Okay, roll call!" you suddenly announce. "Alfred, the Hero?"
"Here!" Alfred screams, waving his arm in the air.
"Right here," he says besides you.
"Aqui, señorita," the Spanish boy says from his spot, his face covered in tomato seeds. He grins adorably.
You move to clean his face before you say, "Francis?"
"Here, ma petite amie," he purrs, sending you a wink. You shudder a bit.
You give him a weird look. "And the Awesome Gilbert?"
"Right here," Gilbert says, exasperated.
"Then who's missing?"
he's blonde, verdad?" Antonio suggests. "The quiet one."
"The quiet one
" they all murmur, but they can't quite place their finger on who exactly it is.
Silence falls throughout the house as you all try to remember who it is and where in the world he could be. That's when you hear the faint sobbing
the sixth child! You can't remember the name, which makes you feel like a failure as a babysitter, but you follow the sound to the bathroom. It's locked and the lights off.
You knock lightly. "Hello?"
Matthew! That's his name!
"Mattie?" you whisper.
The door is unlocked, and it slowly creaks open to reveal a weeping Matthew Williams. You pick him up in your arms, and he hugs you close to himself. You pick up his bear.
"What happened?" you ask him gently.
forgot about me. I fell back into the tub we were washing our hands, and they forgot about me. They just turned off the light and left."
"Why was the door locked?"
"Gilbert and Antonio thought it'd be funny when you couldn't open the door to the bathroom."
You kiss his blonde head. "I'm sorry."
You take him to the table, sitting him in the spot next to you. You hand him his bear before you take out the food and disperse it as evenly as possible. The boys dig in happily.
After eating, you put on a movie for them to watcha superhero movie because Alfred insists so much (well, he actually wants a scary movie, but there's no way you're putting that on). They all get together on the sofa, with the exception of Matthew, who sits on the ground with his bear clutched tightly.
And they all fall asleep before their parents come to pick them up.
Their parents have to carry them home.
When Gilbert's father comes to take him home, Gilbert awakens as his father is taking him through the threshold. He's the last child. He insists he can't leave you alone because you'll be lonely, and his father and you share a smile before you tell him it'll be all right because he'll be back tomorrow. He finally agrees to go.
You turn off all the lights and head to your bed, exhausted. You need to awake bright and early tomorrow for another day with the six of them.