|I'll be spending five of the next seven days in Happy Valley, where I'll be expected to be a sunbeam 24/7.|
Jared's mother asked me to babysit this afternoon. I asked if Jared would be around at all. She said he might be in and out. I told her that she was more than welcome to bring her children to my house, but that I didn't feel comfortable encountering Jared. (He stays with mutual friends of ours but comes by during the day when his father isn't home.) She asked why. Even though I probably should not be tattling to Jared's mother about his latest social faux pas, she asked, so I told her. She told me I wouldn't have to worry about Jared coming to the house while I was there because she would let him know that he was not to come to the house while I was there.
That left me babysitting Jared's youngest four siblings while his mother took kid #2 to the dentist, out to lunch, and to have her hair cut. Kids in families with six children don't get tons of one-on-one time with either parent, so I suppose outings such as this are occasionally necessary. The older two girls, now seven and nine, are relatively self-sufficient and can be trusted not to do anything totally stupid even if a person doesn't have his or her eyes on them constantly, though they like attention and want me to do their hair or put makeup on them. I'm absolutely not putting makeup on them without a parent's permission, as I don't wish to be accused of turning the house into a Toddlers & Tiaras set. I didn't mind doing their hair, but their mother is so much better at it that I could not understand why they would want me to undo the perfect french braids their mother had already done so that I could make a half-hearted attempt at making them not look like neglected foster children.
The two littlest children are two and almost four. The older of the two - a boy- was a very wild almost-two-year-old when I met him. Now he reads, colors, plays with Legos, and does things a normal four-year-old would do. I did have to go out into the backyard and pitch baseballs to him for half an hour, but after than, he was content to play with his toys again. The two-year-old girl is as close to the perfect child as I've ever seen. She colors and can be trusted not to color on any surface except her blank paper or coloring books, and will sit for an hour to listen to books if someone will read to her. The girls usually take turns, but I read to her for about twenty minutes. On the simplest books, she tracks the words with her finger as she is read to. She prefers more complex stories like Sylvester and the Magic Pebble, though. Her brother listens in and tells what is going to happen next in the story, which angers her. "I know, Bryson," she barks at him.
I got paid eight dollars an hour to watch the children. I knew it was way too much and tried to give it back, but the mother said that it was worth eight dollars an hour to know that her children were being cared for properly. I was there for five hours, so I'm forty dollars richer in cash. I really like being paid in cash for things like babysitting. My mother did not like the idea that I accepted eight dollars an hour to babysit, but I tried to ask for less, and furthermore, if my mother doesn't like my style of babysitting and being paid, next time I am asked to babysit anyone, I'll just hand the phone or forward the text to my mom. She can be the one to babysit.
Grades were posted for all my classes. I'm still 4.0, even after the MoFo final of the century for Physics and Mechanics of Fractures. If I don't do anything really stupid, I'll graduate next spring with a 4.0. My pseudoaunt's brother, Timmy, hasn't had the Physics of Fractures course yet because of a glitch in his schedule, and next year, as a third-year med school student, he won't be in the classroom for the most part except for a few auditorium lectures. He had to take the course this summer, and got permission to take it from my university to avoid having to spend the summer in Los Angeles, so he'll be taking it from the same instructor who taught me. The pressure is on him to outscore me, or at least not to be outscored by me, but he has nothing about which to worry. He's brilliant. He'll ace the course with one-third or less the effort I put into it.
On Sunday night I'm flying to the beautiful [irony font on the word beautiful] State of the Deseret to finish the recordings that I stated earlier. I'll be picked up at the airport by the music producer and his family and will have to spend the first night with them, but the next three nights I'll stay at my pseudorelatives' condo, which is only about twenty miles from the music producer's home studio. Pseudouncle's parents left an extra car in the garage that I can drive.
I won't do tons of sight-seeing, as I've seen most of what there is to see in northern-central Utah, though I 'll probably drive up the canyons a bit. I've heard Sundance is lovely this time of year as well, so I may make the short drive there, too, just to look at the wildflowers and the beautiful mountainous scenery. I will fly home on Thursday evening.
One thing I will not see, intentionally anyway, is my relatives, although I may attempt to take my grandmother to lunch if I can manage to call her without her husband answering the phone. He'll just hang up on me as soon as he realizes who it is if he's the one who answers. (Perhaps I'll have the music producer's wife make the call for me until my grandmother gets onto the phone.) He's an evil man, and he's a high-ranking LDS official. I'm glad I do not have the same last name he does. He changed his family's surname when he had a feud with his own father. My father changed his name back to the original once he had the means to do so. That was before he was even married, so my mom, my brother, and I never had the new surname.
Why would a person change his or her surname over a petty argument? I can see why someone wouldn't want his or her father's name if the father had beaten or molested him, but from what I understand, such was not even close to being the case. My grandfather is just hard-headed. I'd love to know how he gets along with Boyd K. Packer, who, although aged, is, if my understanding is correct, about as hard-headed and hard-hearted as my grandfather.
Until Sunday, I'll kick back, practice my violin, and do absolutely nothing to weaken my already less-than-powerful voice.
|My Grandfather's Alter-Ego|