Posted by: Hannah | 02/24/2012

so long, farewell

It was Marie’s last day.

Oddly enough, right up until she had an entirely-inappropriate-for-her-age toilet accident (extra infuriating because I had just suggested five minutes before that she might want to go to the bathroom), she was not a problem today.

Anyway, being as it is 1) her last day and 2) Friday, I decided to get out the fingerpaint. It’s only three kids. Two of them are almost four! Surely fingerpainting won’t be a primary-coloured trip through the Hellmouth!

Uh, yeah. It so was.

Marie made four paintings, one in each available colour. Each is a page covered in precise, fingertip-sized dots. In rows. She spent the entire half-hour with a completely expressionless face, dipping her one fingertip in the paint, scraping off the excess paint on the rim of the tub so help me god, and not talking or showing any desire to be there. As soon as the fourth page was done, she announced that she was finished painting and wandered off.

My own Ron hit on the idea of making blobs on the paper, then smearing them with the palm of his hand. This was fine. Then he decided that smearing couldn’t hold a candle to slamming his hands into the paint as hard as he could while telling knock-knock jokes. Except he can’t tell knock-knock jokes. So they went like this:

Ron: Knock-knock! Knock-knock!

Other children: silence

Ron: Knock-knock! Who’s there! Piggy! Say piggy! Piggy piggy PIGGY!!!! hysterical screaming laughter

Other children: silence

And then there was VQB.

I think the impending arrival of younger sibling is finally starting to cause VQB some problems. His mom is pushing herself way too hard, substitute teaching and waiting tables (!!) – as a result when she *is* home, which isn’t often, she spends more time resting he’s used to. So that’s a change. Her parents are coming to live with them for a couple of months when the baby is born, which is necessitating a shift of all the bedrooms in the house, which is another change. And in the evenings his dad doesn’t do the routine “right”, which is the final change that is making him squirrely and out of sorts. (Also too much grown-up TV. although hearing a three year old say “Bazinga!” is pretty adorable).

Anyway, he did not fingerpaint so much as he made an ungodly horrible blobby disgusting mess with fingerpaint. He literally scooped it out in handfuls, making puddles of paint that will probably take a week to dry.

So I stopped him, and suggested that he not take any more paint right away since he had lots on his paper to use. And he completely wigged out. He sobbed. He howled. He wailed. It took forever to calm him down and then after that he didn’t really seem to care much about the fingerpaint.

Fine. I cleaned it up and silently vowed to never again fingerpaint, ever.


Marie’s last words to me were rude. I smiled and wished her luck in her new place, and she glared at me and said “I wiw not be seeing you evah AGAIN” before stomping out the door.



  1. Good riddance is right! Jeez Louise. Well, the apple did not fall far from the tree.

    Sorry for your fingerpaint pain. I’m sorry to say I died laughing reading about it though – totally joyless Marie with her joyless, mechanical fingerpainting, then the enormous blobs of paint for poor VQB. Also – hilarious about your client records! It’s like a woman I knew: everyone she ever worked with was an asshole, and even when she switched jobs everyone was an asshole. Um, if everyone is an asshole, maybe YOU are the asshole? Right? I mean, not YOU, but Marie’s mom. Or the woman I knew. You know what I mean. It’s Friday and I’m drinking, what?

  2. Geez man. Christmas at their place must be a hoot.

  3. You are a saint. And I… am laughing. Because you tell stories in such a funny way.

    • I’m glad I could make you guys laugh. It’s usually what I’m aiming for and I love to know when I’ve succeeded.

  4. What a little bint. Also, Ron’s knock knock joke? Terrible. His own reaction to it? Priceless.

  5. Worst knock knock jokes. Ever. Ha ha.

  6. Allison’s comment made me laugh out loud.

    Funny about your intake notes. Now you’re caregiver #3 who ‘failed’ on these points. Sounds like these folks aren’t the type to ever see what the real pattern is here… Reminds me of the highly inappropriate glee I felt when I discovered that a child I had let go (whole heap of reasons) spent his lunch hours at junior kindergarten at a table by himself because he wouldn’t stop harrassing his table mates and trying to steal their food (one of the reasons I let him go!). It was sort of validating: okay, it wasn’t just me.

    And you know what? Two of the other reasons I let him go were his awful, rude, demanding, ungrateful parents…

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