Babysitting Blunder
    Footnotes

    “Babysitting Blunder,” Friend, February 2019

    Babysitting Blunder

    The author lives in Colorado, USA.

    Watching Reynna would be easy. What could possibly go wrong?

    “Let us cheerfully do all things that lie in our power” (Doctrine and Covenants 123:17).

    a girl trying to clean up a flooded bathroom

    Illustration by Jimmy Holder

    “Are you sure you’ll be OK taking care of Reynna?” Ashley asked. She gave Emma a worried look.

    Emma nodded. “I’m 12. I can handle it!”

    Emma’s grownup sister, Ashley, was going with Mom to visit Grandma in the hospital. That meant Emma got to babysit! Emma loved playing with her little niece. It was the best part of being an aunt!

    “Thanks for looking after Reynna,” Ashley said.

    “We’ll have lots of fun,” Emma said. “Everything will be fine.”

    Reynna clapped her hands and giggled.

    Ashley smiled. “Sounds good! We’ll be back soon.” She kissed Reynna on the forehead, and then she and Mom left for the hospital.

    Emma started playing hide-and-seek with Reynna. Actually, Reynna wasn’t very good at hiding. But Emma pretended to look for her anyway and acted surprised when she “found” her. Reynna squealed with laughter every time.

    After playing for a while, Emma got thirsty. She left Reynna in the hallway for just a minute to grab a juice box from the kitchen. When she came back, Reynna wasn’t there!

    Then she heard splashing and laughing coming from the bathroom. She peeked her head around the doorway and saw Reynna. “There you are!”

    “Dere are!” Reynna said back.

    Emma noticed Reynna’s clothes were wet and her little feet were dancing in puddles of water on the bathroom tile.

    Then Emma saw where the water was coming from.

    Oh no. Reynna had tried to flush a whole roll of toilet paper down the toilet!

    Reynna looked up at Emma with a sweet smile. Emma tried to smile back, but she flinched as more water gushed from the toilet. “Reynna, you and I are in so much trouble.”

    Reynna just giggled.

    Emma took her out of the bathroom and dried her off. Then she did her best to clean up the water. But it kept pouring out of the toilet like a waterfall. Some of it even spilled out into the hallway. Emma used towels to soak up the puddles as much as she could. Finally the water stopped running. But the bathroom was a mess.

    “Mommy and Grandma are not going to be very happy about this,” Emma told Reynna.

    Reynna frowned. “Uh-oh.”

    Emma sighed. Babysitting was a little tougher than she thought!

    When Mom and Ashley got home, Emma burst into tears. She explained what had happened and showed them the bathroom.

    “It’s only water,” Mom said with a smile. “We’ll clean it up in a jiffy.”

    “You’re not mad?” Emma asked.

    “No,” Mom said. “Reynna was curious about what would happen if she stuffed a roll of toilet paper down the toilet. Now she knows.”

    Ashley smiled. “And now we know how fast she can make a giant mess!”

    “And I know I can’t leave Reynna by herself,” Emma said. “Ever!”

    They all laughed.

    Ashley put her arm around Emma’s shoulders. “You’re a good aunt, Emma. Thanks for helping with Reynna.”

    Mom nodded. “You did your best. That’s what Heavenly Father asks of us. Just that we do our best.”

    Just then Reynna tugged on Emma’s leg. “Hide see?” she asked.

    Emma grinned and took Reynna’s hand. “Let’s go play one more round of hide-and-seek!” ●