Wednesday, November 9, 2011

WWW: Whimsy

I couldn't resist a new WWW after babysitting on Monday.

Just for the record, I'm still ingesting new and scary sociological vocabulary each day which means this WWW is not going to be very serious.  Or relevant.  Or literary.

Whimsy {n} /ˈ(h)wimzē/
Playfully quaint or fanciful behavior or humour

I've always liked the word 'whimsy' because it sounds like its meaning.  I think there is a technical grammar term for that which I learnt pre-university and then promptly forgot.  (I promptly forgot a lot of pre-university education...especially anything mathematical or logical.  I'm not too worried about that, however, since I have seemed to retain my ability to read and write which is the main thing.  And I also remember how to make chrysanthemums turn blue and red overnight using food dye.)

There are some things which you get to learn before you even hit the educational institutions.  But only if you have a babysitter.

This Monday was the Day of Questions.  I didn't realise it was the Day of Questions until about one hour into babysitting.
To set the scene, I will tell you that I was being a very good babysitter and doing crafts with the boys.  I love crafts.  I lived off crafts as a child.  I used to dabble in everything from a very tender age: chalk rubbings, watercolours, sketching, origami, miniatures, beading, cross stitching, mosaics.... I'm getting distracted.

Crafts with boys means me pulling out sheets of paper and cooing over the lovely jewel shades, and then watching the boys destroy cut it up with their child-proof scissors.  Crafts 2011 is all about cutting, you see. We don't draw on the paper, we shred it into a million little pieces and then watch the babysitter put it all in the bin.  What is the world coming to? 

In the middle of Crafts 2011 a mosquito flew past and I tried to squash it 27 times and failed 27 times.

First Question (from my eldest charge - because he can talk properly, being five years old):
"Why did God make mosquitoes that bite us?"

Good question, mate.  I've often wondered that myself when I'm lying awake at 2:30am trying to plug pillows in my ears to drown out that whining mosquito call.
{I didn't actually say that because I'm a good babysitter.}

Instead, I launched into a long explanation about sin and the Fall and badness entering the world, thinking my brief theology Uni subject is coming in handy here.

I think in the end he decided that the punishment for sin was death and mosquitoes.

That will do.

Second Question: 
"You know Jack and the Beanstalk? {'yes'}  Are there any beanstalks in Australia?"

I did not laugh after this bombshell because a) I am a good babysitter, and b) it was a dead serious question.
Obviously this one had been on his mind for a while, because it was asked out of the blue in the middle of watching Barney's Christmas Star.

This was also a Day of Questions, because my second charge also wanted to know something... and he is two years old, so his questions are usually limited to: "Why?"
He must be growing up because instead of asking "why?" he initiated his own query!  Initiating it people!  Surely this is a developmental stage in the life of a toddler...

Third Question(s):
"Are you two?" {no}  "Are you three?"  {no I'm older than that!}... long silence as he thinks... "Are you six?"  {no, cuteness}

I'm afraid I didn't have a proper answer for this one.

I've rambled so much that these three questions will have to be it for today's whimsy fill.  (There were more, and I wrote them down, for later doses of whimsy).

And, you may have noticed that I think I am a good babysitter?  I'm not being presumptuous.  After all the questions, there was a statement made by my elder charge:

Important Statement:
"Hey... when I grow up I want to be a babysitter."

  { He also wants to be a builder and a train driver, so the babysitting will definitely have to be part time}

Image: posterize /
Image: vudhikrai /


  1. ahah i feel your joy. i babysit three little girls on a monday as well. (quinkidink) last week was the crying week. the 3 yr old stubbed her toe, the 1 yr old had a tantrum, and the 4 yr old went to the shops with mum. 4 yr old sitting on my lap "Sarah, you're legs are spiky." oh my word. :p they are a joy to look after though

  2. Wow. Well, I haven't had a crying week yet so fingers crossed - and I've been doing it for over a year...! (Secretly, I'm convinced every Monday that this is going to be the day someone throws a tantrum or falls off a chair and breaks their arm...but I guess I'm privileged to be able to look after a pair of such sunny faced children!)
    They are also too busy thinking up strange questions to have time for tears.

  3. Lucky. You must be amazing with kids then. The 3yr old is going through a no touch phase and she was really clingy.
    Same, and it usually happens (but no-one has broken their arm...yet.)
    Same. It's rather hard not to laugh at some of the questions, though.

  4. After reading this sentence, "I think there is a technical grammar term for that which I learnt pre-university and then promptly forgot", I realized that I was priviledged enough to learn about this particular term as well! Surprisingly, it was just a couple of months ago that I studied about this and many other useless, random things (think Gaelic architecture, Frank Sinatra movies, famous ballerinas, and Greek poems).

    Question is, do I actually remember what the word is? Well, to my astonishment, I do! It is "onomatopoeia". (yes, I confess, I did have to look up how to spell it, but surely I still get some brownie points...)


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