Babysitting for Camp – The Only Child Takes on Children

In case you weren’t aware, I’m an only child. My only experience with having siblings…well, I don’t have any experience. I have a cousin who acts like my brother, I have three imaginary brothers, and I have two pretend ones. That doesn’t lend a lot of knowledge.

So when camp calls and asks if I’d be willing to help babysit a few kids at an upcoming training, I’m like, “Sure, why not. How many are there?”

“Oh, well, last year we had about three signed up, but we had ten show up.”

“Um, okay, I guess I could…”

“Lunch is included.”


I don’t remember how many we were supposed to have. But we ended up with nine. We had all sorts of age ranges, from the kindergartners who don’t like to share, to pre-schoolers who don’t like to talk, to toddlers who like to put everything in their mouth.

It was quite the adventure we undertook, myself and four 4.12 friends. We had to feed them, change a few diapers, make sure they didn’t destroy anything, all while ensuring they were comfortable and having fun. Perhaps the greatest challenge we faced that day was a little girl who liked to pull one over on people. Divide and conquer. If you said no, there had to be someone who’d say yes.

The Battle of the No-Unicorn-Toys-At-Lunch was a particularly difficult one, ending in triumph as we carried her to the dining hall, leaving behind a plastic horse toy that belonged to a camp worker.

After trying to get the kids to eat tacos without there being meat, cheese, and sour cream all over them or the floor, I went home. Happy I had survived. Thrilled that I didn’t have siblings. Thankful that I hadn’t been on diaper duty.

Probably a week later, I get another phone call.

“Hey, could you come up again to babysit? It’s our last training session.”

You have got to be kidding me.

“Yeah, sure.”

This time, with a batch of new and old kids, I somehow became solely responsible for a little guy named Coleson.

I’m not sure how old Coleson was. He was at that beautiful stage where everything goes in his mouth. He was almost able to talk, and could babble almost-sorta-words. His shirt read, “Pick me up, honey. I like older chicks.”

Now, the important thing to note in all of this is that I’m an only child. I don’t do kids, especially not toddlers. I’ve never helped take care of one. And now, this guy was my responsibility.

He didn’t have shoes, so on the outside trip, I had to carry him everywhere with my weak little arms. We did a lot of sitting. Then, when we were inside, he couldn’t toddle anywhere without sticking a toy in his mouth. There wasn’t really anything for him to play with. So we did more sitting.

The best thing was, he was really content to sit. He just sat on my lap, sat next to me, sat on a tire outside.

The worst thing was probably the snack he brought. You know those cracker sandwiches with cheese inside? The processed, ooey-gooey kind? Yup, he had a whole cup of those, and he managed to get fake cheese all over himself, me, and his mouth.

My nausea wasn’t a fan.

All in all, I enjoyed babysitting. It was nice to take care of someone else for a day.

And at the same time, I was more than happy to come home to my sibling-less house.

The imaginary brothers are still in Narnia. I don’t know when they’ll come back to visit.

As far as I’m concerned right now, they can stay there.


The Tale of the Guinea Pigs

I have guinea pigs living inside my stomach.

Not for real. But it is the best explanation I have to date. Allow me to elaborate.

I have some guinea pigs who like to hang out in my stomach: an army, if you will. They’re equipped with knives, swords, and their little claws. The stomach guinea pigs are a generally peaceful people, but for some inexplicable reasons: random foods, random smells, random nothingness; they wage war on my stomach.

They’ve come to some terms of peace in recent months. They used to have small battles with my stomach nearly every day, but now they seem to need more provoking.

Allow me to describe what an average guinea pig battle is like.

The guinea pigs, naturally, begin to violently attack my stomach with their claws and knives, probably fully intending to destroy it. Mrs. Grouch (the esteemed name for my tummy, bestowed by my friend, Pineapples) begins to retaliate because, well, my stomach doesn’t want to die. Mrs. Grouch then proceeds to try and kill the guinea pigs in a variety of ways. She may compress them like a waffle iron, or compact them into a cube like trash, or wring them out like a dish cloth.

Now, as you can imagine, this could be a bit distracting for a teenager trying to live out her day. I mean, when you have murderous guinea pigs living inside you, its sometimes hard to carry on your life. Unless I have a visible look of pain, no one knows that there’s a civil war going on in my tummy. A room of people, and I look like everyone else. I just don’t feel like everyone else.

There’s other fun contingencies that go along with these in-house guinea pigs, but I haven’t gotten a fun way to describe them yet. I promise I’ll write you all when I do.

So go forth, my readers, and thank God that you don’t have guinea pigs. Or, thank God even if you do. Because He still works, even through pain, sickness, and trouble.

James 5:14-16

Permitted to Drive

Today, I had the privilege of sitting in the DMV for over an hour, just so I could take a test for five minutes.

So, I passed my permit test. I have a permit to drive!

Ah, permits and licenses. The posts to Facebook that cause everyone to joke about staying out of your town, staying off the roads, evacuating to Canada…

It’s a super fun time.

Until you get home and your mom is crying about you growing up. That’s not as fun. And the driving itself; that, that’s not fun either.

But I got to sit in a chair for almost an hour and a half to get a piece of paper.

Yeah! Yahoo!

PS: This totally reminds me of my “Blink” post. You should read that, it’s less sarcastic.

A General Update on Life as a Teenage Author (Yahoo)

So, that was a fancy title. I’m afraid the following post won’t be anywhere near as fancy, considering it will most likely cover school, Robotics, books, even camp.

First off, I started 11th grade. Yahoo! Actually, not really “yahoo”. This is apparently the last normal year before college and graduating and all that sappy stuff. My classes are exciting, to an extent, I guess. I mean, who doesn’t love math and learning to drive? I don’t. It probably depends on the person.

I ran for President of the Robotics Club I’m in! You guys remember that weird thing I have, with guinea pigs living inside my stomach who like to try and make my life miserable? (If I haven’t covered this before, it’d make a great blog post.) Basically, I practiced my speech and what I wanted to say for three weeks, then got super nervous, sprinkle in my guinea-pigs-of-horror, and yeah. I didn’t get elected. Yahoo.

As I’ve probably been screaming for about a month, I published my newest book, Soar! That was really exciting, and I’m thrilled that it’s finally published. In fact, I’ve been so thrilled that I’ve bombarded my blogs with posts about it; created new Facebook pages (and been that super annoying person who asks their friends to like a random page); and perhaps most dangerous of all, started making little quote pictures, as is the theme image for this post. If you want to see more, you can go to my Alexis Dingeldein Facebook Page and look at the album I have. They’re super cute. And also really time-consuming.

Also, camp? Camp is amazing, camp is fun. I should write a whole blog post about my babysitting experiences at camp, lately. You know what? I think I’ll do that. But not right now. It’s midnight, and I want to sleep.

I’m a teenager, it’s what we do. We sleep from about 2 or 3 AM until after noon, and then we mope about being tired.

So, this was my general update on life as a teenage author. Basically, I’m like all of the other teens. I just happen to have books on Amazon that I look up wayyyy too many times per day. Heh.

Sleep well, everyone!