Yes, I’m a writer. But I’m also practical and have bills to pay. Therefore, I have a day job as a “Kids Club attendant” at Gainesville Health & Fitness Center (until, I hope with fingers crossed, my writing career takes off). That is, I look after/play with/occasionally wipe the rear end of/entertain/feed/burp/sing to/and yes, even socialize infants, toddlers, and children, between the ages of 6 weeks and 12 years, while their parents work out.
Writing is my passion, yes. But kids may be a close second. What’s not to love about a small person who speaks his or her mind, minus the malarkey? I love the spur-of-the-moment, candid—sometimes inappropriate—things kids say. Take for instance a five-year-old boy who, after noting another mother drop off and pick up her son from the Kids Club within a 20ish-minute time span, decides to comment on said mother’s measly workout effort: “Man, that was fast! You just dropped him off here.” Which, of course, prompts a fierce, you-better-not-say-another-word death stare from me, which looks something like this (but not as scary). Mr. Big Mouth gets the point, turns around, and reabsorbs himself in his Xbox gamming.
But by then the damage is done and the poor, embarrassed, and now red-faced mother spends the next three awkward minutes justifying her short workout—early morning, long workday, even longer yesternight, blah, blah, blah—before scurrying away with her son. Awkward, yes. But deep down, I love and even agree with Mr. Big Mouth’s commentary. So I give him a little nudge and smile, and let him know that his brutal honesty is (albeit funny) inappropriate.
But sometimes the brutal honesty I love is directed at me, in which case I don’t love it so much. Like the time a 4-year-old girl (we’ll just call her “Rebecca”) lifted my pant leg, rubbed my leg, then shouted so the entire room, parents and coworkers included, could hear: “Miss Cindy, you gotta shave!” And she had the audacity to giggle. But. She’s still one of my favorites.
I should mention, since then, Rebecca has taken it upon herself to randomly inspect the stubble status of my legs, which has inspired me to shave more frequently, but when she catches me on my off days, she doesn’t hesitate to call me out. That little brat. But I love her.
I suppose I love those cute little demons, I mean, angels, for the same reason I love writing: I appreciate their unfiltered thoughts the same way I applaud and strive to write honest, blunt, and sometimes uncomfortably raw stories (for my blog, anyway).