Posted by: ksuechester | January 9, 2011

“I’ll Have The Fly, Please!”

If you have read my “About” page, then you know that I had to take an early retirement due to some health issues. That happened in September, 2009. Before that, I owned and operated “Kathy’s Kids”, a licensed Family Home Child Care center, which I opened January 1, 2000, and it was quite literally, the best job I ever had! Because I was licensed, I was allowed to keep up to eight youngsters in my home at a time; five of them, from the ages of 6 weeks-5 years, and the other three, 6-12 years. It kept me busy, and there were days I could have pulled out my hair! But on the flip side, I received hugs and slobbery kisses every day for nearly nine years! Actually ten, because I worked at a large church day care a year, before I decided I could do the job at home. And it WAS a job, no doubt about it. Child care hours were from 6:00 am to 6:00 pm, Monday through Friday, every week of the year. The only exceptions being holidays, vacation days, and snow or ice. And that, only, if the parents couldn’t make it to my house. For twelve hours a day, I alone, acted the role of caregiver, cook, disciplinarian, counselor, referee, teacher, nurse, companion and playmate, not to mention janitor, maid, director, bookkeeper, and anything else the occupation required. Once in a while, I received help, when hubby didn’t have to work, and felt like pitching in, but that wasn’t often. We both loved “our” kids, but “Kathy’s Kids” was my career, not his.

As you may imagine, dealing with children day after day, lent to some interesting happenings and many “stories.” Some funny, and some, not so much so. I am going to share one of my favorites with you now, and you be the judge of it’s humor.

Two very precious children I was blessed to keep for four years or more, were two I called my “twins.” They were a little boy and a little girl, from different homes, whose birthdays were only one month and a few days apart. Their names were Kelsey and Kody. Both, were well behaved, and just as cute as they could be, and they were BEST friends! Whatever one was into, the other was into it too, and even on days when they wouldn’t play with anyone else, they would play with each other. At the time of this story, they were about fifteen and fourteen months old, and both had been walking for some time. In fact, they had been RUNNING for some time. Another thing they had in common was the fact that they were usually the last two children to be picked up in the evenings, sometimes, by as much as two hours after all the other kids had gone home.

That was the case on this particular day. All the other children had been picked up by their parents, and these two were playing sweetly together, as they always did, so I picked up a book laying nearby, and was soon lost in the happenings of another place, another time. At some point, somewhere in my distracted consciousness, I became vaguely aware of the sounds of giggles and tiny shoe-clad feet flying across the carpeted floor. After a period of time, more running, followed by more giggles. I was so deep into my book that it took a while before these sounds could penetrate the world of fiction I had escaped to, and bring my attention back to the “here and now.” Finally, though, they had my full attention, and I became acutely aware that the quiet little game I had entrusted my angelic munchkins to, had changed drastically! As the fog of literary magic cleared from my brain, I began to realize that perhaps this new game would bear some observation, so I set aside my book and watched to see what they were up to. It was clear that whatever it was, they were deep into it, and were having the time of their lives! I watched as they raced to a window, laughing with all of their might. Then they got quiet, as they appeared to be searching for something. After a while, one or the other of them would give a little squeal and point to something apparently out of their reach, and the laughter began again as they stood on tiptoe to stretch, and reach, and do whatever else they could, to touch whatever it was, they were after. Then suddenly, without any warning or apparent reason, they would tear away from that window, and giggling and squealing, would fly across the room to the other window, where again, they grew quiet, as they searched for something. Then, once observed, would resume the laughing, and squealing, stretching, and reaching. This went on for some time before I finally realized that they were chasing a fly! With amusement I watched the two of them play their game, then decided it was harmless enough, and went back to reading. I was once again deeply involved in the world of an author’s imagination, when I felt Kody slam his tiny body hard against my knees, his head landing in my lap; Kelsey, right behind him. For a fleeting moment I felt a rush of annoyance, as I juggled my book to keep it in my hands and off the floor! Then I got a glimpse of Kody’s upturned face and the wide adorable grin caught at the corners by two deep dimples, just beneath two huge blue eyes glowing with the light of victory. “Tat-ty! Tat-ty! I ate da bug!” This he said with obvious pride, and delight! Perhaps it was because of the speed with which I had reentered the world of reality. I don’t know, but for whatever reason, the words somehow refused to register in my brain. “What did you say!?” I asked incredulously. “I ate da bug!” he repeated with just as much pride as before. It STILL didn’t register. “Surely he was mistaken! Surely, the fly had escaped, and he just THOUGHT he had eaten it!” “Kody!” I tried again, this time slow and clear. “WHERE IS THE BUG?” Kody pulled himself to full height, as a solider standing at attention, opened his mouth as wide as he could get it, and pointed inside with such vigor I thought he might swallow his hand! It slowly began to “click” in my head as I searched his open mouth for traces of a leg or wing. Nothing! As I sat back in my chair the pieces fell into place for me. These two relentless midget hunters before me had chased that poor fly to the point of exhaustion, and apparent capture and consumption! Finally satisfied that Kody had indeed eaten a fly, all I could think to say was “Well, was it good?” With that precious grin still wide on his face and his eyes alive with victory, he silently clamped his mouth shut and without a word nodded his little blond head vigorously up and down. I just wanted to hug him! As I pulled him up onto my lap, I noticed Kelsey, who had been quietly standing on the other side of my knees the whole time. With one arm folded over in front of her and the hand of the other propping up her head, it was obvious her emotions were not running the way of Kody’s. Her face was such a mixture of envy, disappointment, and longing that I could almost hear what she was thinking. “Life is just NOT fair!” Her expression was one of such disparagement, that I had to hug her too, but for a different reason. That afternoon, When Kody’s Grandmother came to pick him up, and as I gave her a report on the events of  his day, it was with much trepidation that I told her, “…Oh, and Kody ate a fly today…!”

I wonder what the reactions of my “twins” would be, if I could recount this story to the two of them? And if I could, I would HAVE to end it with a bit of certainty that they may or may not have accepted as fact, in their young lives as yet. But it is this… “No, Kelsey darling! Life ISN’T fair! Not EVERYBODY gets to eat the fly!”

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Responses

  1. I loved the story about the fly. It was really darling. It sounded like something my kids would have done when they were small. Thank You!!! I hope your day is as blessed as you are Kathy…Love ya, Diane

  2. Thanks Diane. I am glad you liked it. It is a true story and I thought it was funny when it happened!


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