Harder than you think?
‘Yes we’re fine thanks.’ I assured my sister over the phone.
In the background I could hear squeals coming from the lounge and hoped they either couldn’t be heard the other end of the ‘phone or sounded like two children enjoying themselves and not trying to kill each other.
This was the first time I had looked after Charlie and Janie by myself, but my sister had an important council meeting and no-one else was available.
‘Well I best get back to them then. See you later.’ I put down the ‘phone and gave a sigh of relief just as a piercing scream came from the lounge.
I ran full pelt from the kitchen and dived into the lounge trying to take everything in as quickly as I could. I was a trained police negotiator so how difficult could managing a 7 year old girl and a 5 year old boy be? As I entered the room I noticed the staple gun on the floor with what looked like blood on the end of it. I then noticed that Barbie appeared to have been stapled to Charlie’s wooden cross that he wanted to take to the Easter parade. Janie was screaming in the corner and Charlie was quietly trying to make Barbie a crown of thorns out of staples. The I noticed the blood slowly dripping from the side of Charlie’s head.
‘Oh my god. What has happened?’ I was starting to sound hysterical and then the training kicked in. Must remain calm.
‘Charlie stapled Barbie to the cross.’ Wailed Janie,’ Barbie doesn’t want to be Jesus she wants to go shopping.’
‘So what has happened to Charlie’s head?’ I slowly started looking at the wound and grabbed a nearby towel to stem the flow.
‘I told him to give me Barbie back and he said she had to stay on the cross until Easter Sunday. But the shops are closed on Sunday and she needs a new dress now.’ Janie was starting to panic.
‘Ok I understand that but why is Charlie bleeding?’
‘Oh because I hit him with the stapler.’
‘But you can’t do that. He’s smaller than you and so you are supposed to look after him.’
‘Yes but Barbie is smaller than him so I have to look after her more.’
I checked Charlie’s wound again and it was still bleeding.
‘Right I think we need to get to the hospital. Janie get your shoes and fetch Charlie’s coat and shoes as well please.’
‘But what about Barbie?’
‘Shoes, coats, NOW!’
Janie looked shocked that I had shouted and was about to start crying when the towel fell from Charlie’s head and she saw the blood. Realising the trouble she was in she quietly went to fetch the things.
‘How are you Charlie?’ I asked realising that Charlie had yet to speak and might be concussed.
‘Fine thanks. Do you think I’ll need stitches?’
The trip to the hospital was completed almost in silence and the time at the hospital was made much easier when one of the ladies at the coffee stand offered to operate on Barbie so she could get off the cross and perhaps buy something from the WVS shop.
As we drove home with both Charlie and Janie asleep on the back seat I decided that looking after children wasn’t so difficult after all. Explaining to my sister where we had been until 11pm and why her son had the left side of his head shaved was going to be a different matter all together.