Friday, April 17, 2015

Out of the Hands of Babes

Yesterday I had to miss work for some lab tests before my doctor’s appointment next week. That’s what 95 sick days are for. I get 10 more next year, but the catch is, I can’t accumulate more than 100. So it’s use ‘em or lose ‘em, and they’re part of my contract, so…I no longer try to go all day without eating or drinking so I can provide my blood sample after a full day of work.

The bloodletting was fairly uneventful, except that the phlebotomist must have had a fight with her husband before work, because she was not the most congenial of phlebotomists. Oh, she was technically proficient, but though her mouth said, “Have a nice day,” her eyes did not.

From there I headed to do the weekly shopping, because I will be without my helper Pony on Saturday due to a scholar bowl tournament and prom, and he will be one tired little Pony on Sunday. After shopping it was back home to spend 20 minutes carrying stuff in and putting it away. Then I had to do the dishes, grab some lunch, and head back to town to meet my sister the ex-mayor’s wife at two financial establishments to hash out our inheritance. Sometimes, a day at work is more relaxing than a day off.

Sis had her grandbaby along for the meetings. Babes is 15 months old now, a blonde cherub with a jolly good nature who is into everything. She was quite well-behaved for someone so sorely lacking in social skills. It was at Edward D. Jones that the incident occurred.

It was nearing naptime, and our little energizer bunny was slowing down. She sat on Sis’s knee, content to pound the table and important papers with a free ink pen that she had not yet thought to click open. After 10 minutes, Babes reached her arms plaintively toward me. I was flattered, not being around her much, and her at the age where the appearance of the Edward D Jones man around the corner had sent her scurrying behind Sis, with a look of apprehension clouding her blue-eyed countenance. Flattered, until Sis told Ed, “She does that all the time. Walmart…Schnucks…you name it. She walks away from me and reaches up for complete strangers to hold her.” Ahem.

So I put Babes on my knee. She was very good. She surveyed my area of the long conference table to see what items might be molested. I pushed my pen out of reach, and pulled my keys out of my purse. I have one with a red plastic guard around it that lights up when you push a black button. Babes was entranced. She played with it a good long time, trying to figure out where the light was coming from, and sorting through the various lengths and colors of keys, and turning the clicker over to inspect it. I had to sign some papers, so I passed her back to Sis.

“Oh, you don’t want to let her play with your keys! I did that a couple weeks ago at the credit union. Babes was laughing and pushing them back and for under the glass partition with the lady who was friends with Mom. We heard a beeper going off outside. I said, ‘Oh, sounds like an alarm is going off.’ When we went out, I found out it was my car alarm!”

“That clicker doesn’t even work for me. The battery is low. I keep meaning to switch it out with the one on Hick’s key. He only uses it when he takes my car to get perfectly good tires fixed. I have to push it a bunch of times to lock or unlock the car.”

We got our instructions on what to expect as the assets were divided. Ed told us he could only put our names on the accounts until after Mom’s assets were assigned to us. He said we could, however, put someone else on the account to transfer on death, in case anything happened in the meantime. I started giving Ed Hick’s information.

“Wait a minute! You mean you’re not putting ME on there?” asked Sis. She was joking. I think.

“No. Because what’s to stop you from backing over me as we leave this office?”

“Oh, come on. I’m not THAT bad a driver.”

“I never said it would be an accident. Maybe you’re a really GOOD driver.”

Sis signed her papers. Let the record show that she did not put me on her account to transfer on death.

We wrapped up our paperwork and headed out. As I started to open the glass-paneled door, I saw it.


Right there on Main Street. Where cars had been passing within inches for the last hour.

“Oh no!” Sis, with Babes on her hip, started emitting great belly-laughs. “I TOLD you not to let her play with your keys!”

“I can’t believe it. I can never get the back hatch to open with that thing. Every now and then The Pony can make it work. What is Babes, some kind of evil genius? Her powers are extraordinary!”

“Was there anything in it?”

“Just my coat. Three umbrellas. A long ice scraper. A box with some books.”

“It looks like it’s all here. Close it.”

“I can’t get this clicker to work.”

“Isn’t there a button inside? Ours has a button.”

“Right there. On the hatch.”

“It’s not working.”

“WHAT? Now I can’t get my hatch closed?” I, too, tried the button on the hatch. Nope.

“Here. Just close it manually.” Sis slammed down the hatch. A puff of dust swirled up around her head as it latched. “NO! Your car is SO dirty!”

“Heh, heh. It IS kind of dirty. I live on a gravel road, you know. At least you got it closed. I was afraid Babes had really broken my car.”

“Look at you! You probably hit something before you went in, and opened your hatch, and now you want to blame this sweet baby! Ha ha ha ha ha!”

“Yeah, right.”

Sometimes Sis can be slightly amusing.

The scene, and the crime:


  1. Why do I picture Babes with a pacifier climbing from I-beam to I-beam in the air at a construction site.

  2. You need to get a vacuum cleaner with a full canister, have one of your brilliant sons rig it so it's reversed, and blow it all over that blowhard of a sister.

    Good grief.

  3. I thought sure there was going to be a twist: you had to spend your inheritance on T hoe's repair. Call that little cutie Magic Fingers.

  4. At least the hatch closed and wasn't broken.

  5. joeh,
    Because that's what she does when Sis nods off after lunch.

    I loved that puff of my dirt road wafting into her face! It was almost as good as watching the students when the cafeteria used to serve chocolate cake with powdered sugar on top. "Here, smell my cake!" WHOOSH!

    NO! Not my T-Hoe! I would have rummaged under The Pony's seat for a twist tie, forgotten gummi bears, a lost ring sizer, and some fallen salt packets. Then I would have put Babes MacGyver to work repairing that hatch.

    Don't worry! I'm on it! Already have a solution in case it happens again.

  6. At least you are speaking to your sister ... mine is still mad at my Dad and his new family after nearly 10 years. She is mad at me because they like me and I like them. I don't even want to think of the scene she will create when my Dad does die.

  7. Kathy,
    Yes, every now and then we bandy words (as they say in True Grit).

  8. Ha - this is proof to me that the younger they are, the better technology works for them. She IS an evil genius.

  9. Tammy,
    You ain't a-woofin'! Who knew that signal could slice through brick walls like a scalpel though butter? Not Val! I, with my raw-boned woman-hands toned from fist-clenching all the live-long day, cannot make that clicker work at a distance of five feet. Yet this cherub, with her cartilaginous pudgy digits, can probably open a garage door in Ketchikan.