The Accidental Babysitter

So how weird is this? I was waiting in line this morning at Cafe Kai, a cafe in my neighborhood, when the woman in front of me didn't have enough cash to pay. She had two kids with her (maybe two and three years old - one was in a stroller) and she got two smoothies for them, so she handed over her debit card to the cashier. The cashier was a new employee and explained that she didn't know how to use the credit card machine so we all just stared into space for a bit like, "Hmmm... what now?" because the kids were already chugging them down. Realizing I had enough cash with me, I offered to pay for the woman's smoothies and told her she could just go to the ATM after we left and get money to pay me back. She looked nice, her kids were dressed well - I could tell she was good for the money - so no biggie.

The woman was grateful that I offered to do this, but then said, "Actually, could you watch my kids for me while I go to the ATM right now?"

Watch her kids? Was she serious?

I didn't know what else to say, so I was like, "Uh... sure," so the woman left. Let me repeat that. The woman LEFT. HER KIDS. ALONE. WITH ME. A STRANGER.

I realize I didn't look very threatening - I was carrying a Yorkie in a bag and was wearing a Brown University t-shirt (stolen from an old boyfriend - I'm not that smart.) But still, this woman doesn't know me from Adam. Or Eve. Or whoever. What if I took her kids and ran away? Or on the other hand, what if she never came back? I mean, I hadn't even thought about that. What if she was a mom on the verge of a nervous breakdown and saw me as an opportunity to get away from diapers and Desitin.


Thankfully, the woman returned after a few minutes. And, thankfully, her kids were still there when she did.