Adventures in Babysitting
Riddick walked up to the
residence confident. He skillfully dodged the numerous toys and yard
debris that blocked the entryway and bounded up the steps with ease. He
rapped on the door lightly and grinned at the frazzled woman who appeared
behind the glass.
"Thank god you were
CC flung the door open and
ushered him inside. She just as quickly turned her back on him and went
zipping off to one end of the house. Riddick noticed as she hobbled that
the young woman had on one shoe and the other foot was still bare.
"I'm not free, just
available for a few hours," he called to her. He glanced around at
the strewn toys that seemed to reach from the kitchen down the hallways to
a series of closed doors. Suddenly one of those toys moved and walked
CC breezed back into the
living room, now wearing both shoes and dragging a large hair brush
through her hair, stopping briefly to yank on a tangle that wouldn't
budge. She chuckled when she saw Riddick surveying the damage.
"Yes, the house is a
mess. Yes, I need to pick it all up. And no, it doesn't do me any good
'cause she's just gonna drag them all out again."
Riddick snapped his head up
at her babbling.
"What? I was looking
at that." He pointed to the moving toy and took a step back, still
uncertain on what it was exactly.
"Oh! That's Boo. My
cat. Don't kill it. Minnie is around here somewhere, but she usually hides
when strangers are in the house, so you shouldn't have any trouble.
Basically they ignore you if you ignore them."
Riddick looked at the
babbling woman and laughed. She babbled more than any of the women he'd
met in the Art of Vin Diesel chat room. She always seemed to be running
around like her hair was on fire. Much like she was doing right now.
His eyes followed her and
she rambled through cabinets and set things out on the counter.
Periodically she'd freeze in her tracks and scrunch her face up like she
was in pain, her lips moving but not really saying anything. Then, before
he could ask what was wrong, she'd take off again traveling in the
Riddick decided the best
place for him would be to sit down in the worn blue recliner. It was
located in the corner of the living room and seemed safely out of her
frantic travel route.
"Okay! Things you need
to know before I leave! No long distance. Basically, unless you can get
the neighbors to come and help you, you're cut off from the rest of the
world. No one knows you're here. No one will save you. Okay?"
Riddick chuckled and looked
at the woman. There was extreme static electricity built up in her hair
from all the pacing and running around and she looked like she's stuck her
finger in an electric socket. Her arms were loaded down with various bags
of clothing, snacks, and reading material. He realized he didn't even know
why she'd called him.
"Okay. I'm on my own.
Where the hell are you going?"
"Oh yeah! To see mom.
She's got the munchies, AGAIN! So I'm gonna drop off her laundry, deliver
some supplies and food, and then I've got to take hubby some stuff for
work. I just don't know how long I'm going to be, since I'm leaving so
late and all. Is that cool, Riddick? Letty said she'd be available after
10 tonight. Her number is by the phone if you can't wait around for
"Shouldn't be a
problem. So where is the kid?" Riddick craned his neck to look behind
him. All he saw were the toys and two cats. No little girl.
"Sleeping at the
moment. She's taking a late nap, but she should be up in about 30 minutes
or so. Don't wake her. Let her wake up on her own. Trust me!" CC
arched her eyebrows for emphasis and waited for Riddick to turn back to
look at her before continuing. At his nod, she launches into a very long
"Now, when she wakes
up, you need to change her diaper. Diapers are in the diaper bag that is
sitting on the counter in the kitchen. Wipes are on top of the
entertainment center there." She points at the green box that is
sitting on the corner.
"Okay I can handle
"Good! Next comes
dinner. Tonight since I'm leaving in such a rush and she's had a good
lunch, just fix a peanut butter sandwich. No jelly or you'll regret it.
The peanut butter is also on the counter and the bread is on top of the
microwave. Got it?"
"Her juice cup is next
to the fridge. She'll tell you what she wants to drink. Just give her
which ever juice she pulls out. But no tea! Hubby has her hooked on iced
tea and I'm trying to break her of it."
"No problem. Wait, the
kid can talk?"
CC's groan made Riddick
frown. "What? I never said I was experienced! And you said it was
"Yes, Riddick, she can
talk. She can also walk and get into a heap of trouble in less than 2
minutes. Don't take your eyes off her! Now where was I?"
"Yeah! Juice! No tea!
After she eats, she can play in her room or the living room with whatever
toys she wants. The video tape of Caillou is broken so if she asks for
that just tell her he's sleeping. Lord knows I've used that excuse 20
times today and she's still buying it."
Riddick nodded again and
then leaned to focus on the computer sitting in the corner of the kitchen.
"That thing work?"
CC followed his goggled
eyes and laughed when she realized what he was talking about. "Of
course. Double click high-speed download. Then just double click the
explorer icon. You can surf to your hearts content."
"Great! So is that it?
This kid sounds like she needs a manual."
CC rolled her eyes.
"All two year olds
need manuals. And if you find one... email it to me, okay? Now. At eight
o'clock it's bath time. Nine o'clock is bedtime. Her jammies are right
here," she placed the tiny white items on the back of a chair and
turned back to the entertainment center as she picked up several safety
pins. "And these are to pin her clothes closed. Just dress her like
you'd dress yourself. It's not hard. One pin per side and one front and
back. Then you lay her in the crib, turn off the light and shut the door.
It's as simple as that."
Riddick watched her
shoulders visibly slump as she exhaled a long breath. Hell, he'd be winded
too if he'd just spouted all that off.
"CC, scram! I can do
this! I survived the night freaks and Johns. What is Sam gonna do that I
CC cast a wary glance at
the large man before she grabbed her keys. "Just don't tear the house
down before I get back, okay? I'll see you soon!" With that said, she
pulled the door shut and got in her car.
Riddick chuckled and
settled back into the recliner, absently flipping through channels on the
television. A sound caught his attention that he couldn't place. He
pressed mute and waited patiently. There is was again. He looked around
and saw the two fluffy felines. They were both snoozing on a pile of
laundry. He stood and moved towards the series of closed doors. The first
one he opened and saw a huge fish tank. There was a gurgling noise coming
from this room, but it wasn't the sound he was looking for. Cautious, he
moved to the next door. A low rumbling emanated from behind this one and
when he opened it the warm air that rushed out carried the scent of
laundry detergent. Duh, Riddick, it's the dryer you heard. So that leaves
door number three.
With a determined walk, he
moved to the third door and flung it open wide. All of his senses were
assaulted. There, standing buck naked in the middle of her crib, was Sam.
A small dirty hand waved at
Riddick but he didn't see it. He was focused on the spots behind her.
Another sniff and he knew what it was. 'Fuck!' He groaned and walked
towards the toddler not missing that her entire body was pretty much
covered with the stuff.
"Hi yourself, kid. You
get bored while you were napping?"
"Great. Let's get you
'CC you owe me for this.
No... you'll owe me for the rest of your life for this!' He looked for a
semi clean place to put his hands so he could pick her up. Then he held
her a good distance away from his body as he swung around to deposit her
on the floor. As soon as her feet hit the carpet she was gone.
"Hey, wait! Come back
Riddick lumbered after the
toddler and nearly tripped on a strategically placed stuffed animal. He
grabbed for the wall to catch himself and managed to untangle his feet
before following her path into the living room. He found her sitting on
the previously mentioned laundry petting the cats and smiled. 'Cute kid.
Now I wonder where CC keeps the cleaning stuff?'
Riddick left Sam playing
with the cats and rambled around the kitchen cabinets. Once he mastered
the child safety locks things moved much faster. He was able to grab a
bucket and some Lysol from under the sink and the 3 drawers eventually
provided a clean rag that he could scrub with.
After filling the bucket
half full, Riddick dragged his cargo back to Sam's room and smiled at the
little girl when he passed her. 'This shouldn't take long.'
Thirty five minutes later
Riddick finally finished scrubbing the walls. Now he needed a shower. It
dawned on him that something didn't seem right when he walked by the pile
of laundry, but he couldn't remember what it was he'd forgotten. He moved
into the kitchen and dumped the dirty water down the drain. He scrubbed
his own hands and looked around, still unsure at to what was out of place.
When his eyes spied the juice cup, his senses went on full alert again.
Still no answer.
A faint scent of apple
drifted past his nose and Riddick decided to follow it. He carefully
retraced his steps back to Sam's room but didn't see the toddler there. He
checked the laundry room but the door was still shut and he didn't think
she was tall enough to open it. 'What the hell do you know, Riddick? You
thought she'd be safe playing with the cats!'
As Riddick neared the blue
recliner, the smell of apples got stronger. He got down on his knees to
crawl behind the chair and suddenly realized where Sam was. More to the
point, he realized what she was doing.
Riddick lifted a hand that
was covered in apple scented blue goo. Sam had a nearly empty bottle in
her hand that, if his eyes were right, still held a few drops of similar
goo. Quickly he grabbed the bottle away and read the label.
"Apple scented flea
and tick shampoo for cats. Great!"
The blue-eyed devil sat
covered in the nasty mess as was a good deal of CC's beige carpet.
Riddick sat there for a
moment contemplating what would be the best plan of attack. 'The kid's
covered in shampoo. She needs a bath. And she's supposed to take one
anyway in an hour.' A large grin spread across his features as he climbed
to his feet.
He made short work of
running some lukewarm bath water. He even tossed in all the little water
toys he saw lying helpless beside the tub. Rubbing his hands together
enthusiastically, he called out for the little hellion.
"Sam? You wanna play
in the tub for awhile while I do some cleaning?"
The smile left his face
"What? You don't want
to go play with your rubber ducky in the tub? He's awful lonesome in
"C'mon, Sam. Time for
a bath. Now."
Her bottom lip began to
tremble even as her blue eyes started to swim with unshed tears. At first
the cries were soft, more like a whimpering. But as he watched helpless,
CC's words came back to him. 'No one knows you're here. No one will save
you.' Riddick reached out with shaking hands and lifted the now red-faced
screaming girl and carried her quickly into the bathroom and plopped her
unceremoniously into the tub of water. The cries died instantly.
"I gonna pway in da
"I gonna pway in da
wata wif my boat?" Her tiny hands held up the purple piece of plastic
and finally Riddick understood. Nodding, he answered her.
"Yeah, baby, you play
in the water with your boat. But no more messes now. I've got to go clean
up your last mess!"
Riddick sighed aloud as he
refilled his bucket and grabbed another clean rag. He kneeled down behind
the chair and began to scrub at the blue goo. After 20 minutes he gave up.
The beige carpet was now a white foamy mess and his bucket and rag were
filled with soap suds.
"Fuck it. CC can bill
me for the carpet cleaning."
Once again he trekked into
the kitchen to dump out the bucket and discard his rag. 'Oh shit! Sam!'
He all but ran down the
hall to the bathroom and breathed a sigh of relief when he saw her sitting
patiently in the tub, quietly playing with her toys. He smiled and moved
to step on the lino.
The sound of his combat
boots squeaking on the floor made him halt his movements.
He looked down and studied
the floor for a minute and then carefully stepped closer so he could
examine the water level in the tub. There had been about and inch and half
of water in there when he put her in. The stopper was still in place so it
hadn't drained out. 'FUCK!'
"Sam, did you dump
your bath water on the floor?"
"Uh huh!," she
replied with an enthusiastic nod of her head. Her grin of satisfaction was
priceless but Riddick was beyond amused.
Her giggle made him roll
his eyes. Now what was he gonna clean this mess up with? 'Laundry!'
He walked back to the pile
of laundry and scooped it up. Then carefully laid out the dirty sheets,
obviously taken from Sam's bed by the smell, and laid them out one at a
time across the slippery surface. He slid around with them under his feet,
trying his best to mop up as much water as possible before he kicked them
aside and settled down to finish Sam's bath.
But what was he gonna wash
"Rag?" came the
She pointed at the only
cabinet in the room, and Riddick smiled when he found clean towels and
wash cloths hidden inside. He snatched up one of each and turned to face
"How does your mommy
"Stand up, stand up,
Riddick watched in
amazement as the child stood up and held still. He grabbed some soap and
lathered the cloth, rubbing the soapy material over her body in unsure
strokes. She never moved until he worked his way down to her legs, then
she sat and lifted each foot in turn.
"At least I can be
thankful you know how this goes, huh?"
Riddick looked at her long
brown hair for a moment and frowned. 'Do kids have shampoo? Course they
do, but where is it?' A quick glance and he saw the pump bottle sitting
where the toys had been. He flipped it over in his hand and read the
directions, then squirted some in his hand and tackled her hair.
Sam continued to sit still
under his novice hands. When there was a significant amount of white suds
in her hair, Riddick dipped his hands in the water and searched for a way
to get rid of the soap. 'How does somebody rinse off a kid? Hose? Nah...
too cold. Shower? Maybe...
A small clear plastic cup
drifted by as if on a cue and Riddick plucked it from the water.
"Gonna rinse me
"Yup! Gonna rinse you
off, Sam. Hold still now and close your eyes."
He made quick work of
scooping up water and dumping it on her head. After several long minutes
it appeared that all the soap was gone and Riddick was thrilled. His back
was starting to hurt from being hunched over and all he wanted was to get
her dressed and to her real toys so maybe Sam would stop making messes for
him to clean up.
He yanked the plug out and
decided to just let the toys drain in the tub. Then he got a good grip on
Sam's slippery body and lifted her out. The big blue bath towel seemed to
swallow her whole, but Sam pulled it tight against her body and took off
before Riddick could even question what to do next.
"Hey come back
Riddick stood up and the
muscles in his back screamed at the movement. "Ahhhhh!" He
reached around to rub them even as he stumbled out the door after Sam.
As he rounded the corner
into the living room, he found her lying on her back on the towel, as
still as a mouse. Riddick smiled in gratitude to the babysitting gods.
The diaper wasn't hard to
find. Getting it on her was a bit tricky. His fingers were just too big
for those tiny tapes. Or maybe he was too strong. It took three before he
stopped ripping them off the diaper entirely. Another two before he
figured out how to put them on Sam's wiggly bottom. The clothes were the
easiest, since even he still remembered that you get dressed one leg at a
He scooped up the now clean
Sam and carried her into the kitchen. Sam waited while he deposited her in
her booster seat and made her dinner. 'So the order is a bit off, no big
deal, right?' The sandwich took no time to prepare and as he placed it in
front of Sam he didn't try to hide his satisfied smile. It left just as
fast as it arrived. 'Shit! I have to change her bed!'
Sam sat and ate her
sandwich with no fuss. She lifted it and took small bites so he felt safe
leaving her to go in search of a clean crib sheet.
"Eat your dinner, I'll
be right back."
Riddick trudged back to
Sam's room and began to look for her sheets. His search of the dresser
proved fruitless. The closet had only one and it was still in the package
it came in.
"Screw it, the kid's
gotta have clean sheets."
He pulled the crib away
from the wall and wrestled with the gangly mattress for a long time before
he finally figured out how to get the dirty sheet off and the clean sheet
on. But the smell was still in the room. A peek at the floor behind the
crib told him all he needed to know and he ambled back to the closet and
pulled out CC's vacuum cleaner. Thirty minutes later he had vacuumed the
floor and the room smelled somewhat better.
"Better go check on
Too tired to bother with
putting the vacuum up, Riddick shoved the closet door closed and walked
back into the kitchen. He stopped dead in his tracks when he saw her.
"Hi Sam. Why did you
put your sandwich on your head?"
"I don't want
"But why did you put
it on your head?"
"I don't want
"Fine! Don't eat it! I
Riddick grabbed another rag
out of the drawer and briefly dampened it with water before he attacked
Sam's peanut butter covered hair. He was so tired he didn't even care if
he got it all or not.
When the job was finally
done, he pulled out her chair and she climbed down. Like a shot she was
gone, and he sank down into the computer chair, exhausted.
All seemed to go well for a
while. Riddick managed to get online and check his email. He even caught
Ardath in chat and they had a lovely time chatting. It was during this
lovely chat that Riddick realized Sam was being very quiet. Too quiet.
Spooky quiet. The kind of quiet that usually signaled a no good merc. He
jumped up to investigate.
The sound of something
being sprinkled on Sam's play table was the first thing he noticed as he
moved down the hall towards the baby's room. But he still wasn't prepared
for the sight.
Riddick groaned and ran
both his hands over his shaved head in frustration. There sat Sam, in the
middle of her room, surrounded by what looked like an entire bag of kitty
litter. She had dumped it on the carpet.
"Sam. Go in the living
room. Do not pass go. Do not collect two hundred dollars. You are going to
baby jail as soon as I can find a merc to take you there." His voice
was deadly serious. His growl sent Sam's bottom lip into that dreaded
tremble that had crippled him earlier. "Move!"
She scurried past him and
into the living room. Her tears slid down her plump cheeks unchecked and
Riddick didn't even flinch.
"Get in that chair and
don't move. You move and you're mine! Don't mess with me, kid. You do not
know who you are... ," he swallowed the curse and rephrased,
He stomped angrily down the
hallway and clicked on the vacuum once again. He muttered every four
letter word her could think of under his breath, his anger a tangible
thing. "Never again. CC can drag the brat with her. Hell, I'd rather
piss glass than babysit this kid again!"
Finally the clean up was
done and a quick glance at the clock told him it was nine o'clock and
Sam's bedtime. She marched like a good little soldier straight to her room
when he simply said "Bedtime." She hadn't whimpered a bit when
he lifted her and dropped her over the crib railing. Her kiss on his cheek
had warmed his heart a bit. The soft "Nite Riddy. Love you!" had
nearly done him in and he closed the door to her room relieved that the
hard part of the job was over.
At a quarter of ten he was
arguing with Ardath over the torture she was giving him in an rp when he
heard Sam's voice softly singing. He typed the normal BRB and went to
check on her.
He paused in the hallway
and listened to the familiar if somewhat twisted refrain.
"Tinkle tinkle wittle
star. How I onder whut you are."
'Tinkle tinkle wittle
star... yeah, tinkling stars are all I need to make this night
absolutely perfect!' the ex-con thought as he longed for the peace and
quiet of Slam City.
When he opened the door and
flipped on the light, Sam instantly dropped down and pretended to be
"Sleep, kid. Don't
take the chance I'll get shiv happy on your diapered butt!"
He shut the door with a
resounding click and marched back to the computer. He said his goodbyes
and disconnected from the net. His hand snatched up the phone and placed a
call to the only person he could think of.
At ten thirty pm a loud
knock echoed in the house and Riddick ran to the door, his car keys in
"She's in the bed
still singing, Letty. Tell CC I'm sorry about the carpet, the kitty
litter, and the walls but I did the best I could. I hope the laundry in
the hall was dirty cause if not it is now. Oh, and tell her that Riddick's
dead. He died somewhere in this house."
Letty watched in disbelief
as the escaped convict and murderer ran out of the house and up the drive
"No problem, Riddick.
Jeez. How much trouble could one kid be?"