Babysitting Scare This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.


   It was a cold day in January when I walked across the street to the little yellowhouse where I was babysitting. It seemed like no big deal, and I never thoughttoo much about my responsibility, a 15-year-old taking care of three girls underthe age of seven.

After a game of Candy Land, five-year-old Tarynsuggested hide-and-go-seek before bed. The other girls agreed, so I was thefinder first. In the third round, Taryn was found last. She reluctantly sat inthe bathroom while I helped her sisters hide.

KC, who was seven, slippedunder her parent's bed while I helped two-year-old Cammie. She was fairly easy tohide, since she was barely two feet tall, and I found a good space in the livingroom under a huge comforter next to a pile of a laundry. The comforter was so bigthat even her blonde curls were hidden.

I hid in the closet. I always hidso they'd find me first; I didn't want to be away from them for too long. Inspite of my plan, I was found last. Once they settled down, we started to read astory. Taryn had to go to the bathroom, and I knew it would be a while becauseshe likes to play in the sink.

KC and I read the first page when werealized who was missing - Cammie! Knowing that she couldn't have gone far, wefigured that after Taryn had discovered her, she had found a new toy to playwith. Ten minutes later, after KC and I had searched all the girls' bedrooms andclosets, Taryn returned from the bathroom, very wet. We informed her of themissing Cammie and split up to check the downstairs.

As I tore throughpiles of clothes in their parents' room, I began to think what would happen if wecouldn't find Cammie. Their parents would be home soon; they would be upset andnever call me again. I would have to turn down the money (if they even offeredany), and they might even have to call the cops or something.

Youwouldn't think a toddler could get far, but you never knew. Maybe she hadwandered out the back door. If she had gone outside, there could be animals orsomething. She was so little, anything could hurt her!

I met up with KCand Taryn in the living room and tried to figure out where else Cammie could be.I looked at the laundry pile and the blanket, dismayed, thinking that was lastplace Cammie was seen. I could see the cops putting tape around the area,examining every clue, and looking at me suspiciously. I went over to lift theblanket, not really caring if I messed up the crime scene. But what was under thecomforter came as a shock.

There was Cammie, curled up in her pinkoveralls and sound asleep. I lifted her out of the blankets and smoothed back hercurls, which were stuck to her forehead. Her face was pink, and she lookedconfused.

"What were you doing still under there, Cammie?" Iasked, a huge weight lifted from my shoulders. Images of police and helicoptersleft my mind. "We've been looking for you for 30 minutes!" I told herhelplessly.

Taryn looked up at me apprehensively with big, blue,five-year-old eyes, "Well," she started, "I hadn't found heryet."

This experience helped me in weird ways. I no longer think ofbabysitting as giving up a Saturday night to earn cash and watch TV, but asparents depending on me to keep their kids safe so they can enjoy an evening.

That night in January when I "lost" Cammie, it seems illogicaland almost dumb how I freaked out so much, but the thought of what might havehappened still rings in my head every time I see those kids. I now know to bemore observant when only two out of three kids are near me, and to think morelike a five-year-old when it comes to hide-and-go-seek.




This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






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