Falling for the Babysitter

By: Penny Wylder

Bailey is as cute as she can be, about a year old, curly blonde hair, and rosy cheeks from the heat. There’s a pacifier in her mouth and a blanket clutched in her little hands.

“She’s adorable,” I say.

When I look up at Deacon, he’s staring at me again. It’s a different look than he’d given me before, as if he’s actually just noticing me for the first time. Almost like he’s studying me, trying to figure me out like I’m some complicated puzzle needing to be pieced together. He’s looking at me the way I’d always wished he would when I was younger.

Was it seeing my breasts that gave him this change of heart? Or maybe it has something to do with what Sam had said. Maybe Deacon’s trying to make comparisons between me and his ex-wife. But I don’t think so. If that were the case, I don’t think his eyes would be as open and curious as they are right now. He’d probably look at me with resentment.

No, it’s something else. It could be that he’s checking to see if I really am infatuated with him like Sam had said. If that’s the case, I’m making it kind of obvious. When our eyes lock, I can’t seem to look away. He’s everything. Gorgeous, sweet, polite, and a great dad to his kid. I mean, what’s not to swoon over?

Finally, he breaks eye contact. He spreads his fingers apart, then balls them into fists, over and over again, a nervous tic. When he speaks, there’s a slight tremor in his voice. “Um, when Bailey wakes up, she’ll probably need to be changed, and she’ll be hungry. I have her food labeled in the fridge.”

“Okay,” I say. “We’ll be fine. I’ve spent every summer since I was fourteen babysitting for my mom’s friends. I’m great with kids. No need to worry.”

His eyes widen. “I’m not worried.”

“Oh, I thought you might be. You look really nervous right now.”

He shakes his head. “No, it’s just this new job has my stomach twisted. Not sure what to expect.”

I nod even though I’m pretty sure he’s not being entirely truthful. I think he’s nervous and it has something to do with me. He’s been looking at me strangely ever since his argument with Sam.

Babysitting is pretty boring. Bailey is asleep so I read most of the time. I don’t want to watch TV downstairs for fear she’ll wake up and I won't hear her.

I contemplate going into Deacon’s room. Just to see what it looks like. My guess is it’s the one closest to the office so he can be near Bailey. It’s the same room he had when this was his house.

Bailey stirs. I glance over at her and she’s watching me with a sleepy look on her face. She’s the cutest baby I’ve ever seen and looks so much like Deacon. From what I remember of Deacon’s ex, she had dark, nearly black hair and equally dark eyes. Bailey’s hair is blonde like her dad’s and she even has those same light green eyes too.

“Hi,” I say to her, smiling.

Her chin wrinkles and starts to bob. I’m a stranger. She’s used to having her dad with her. She must be so scared.

“Oh, sweetie, come here,” I say, and pick her up when she starts to cry.

She continues to whimper as I change her. When I’m done, we go downstairs and I make her something to eat. The crying stops and she watches me like a nervous dog would. No yet sure if I’m friend or foe.

We play with toys and when she gets bored of those, I read to her. It doesn’t seem to matter what the words are. She’s more interested in the sound of my voice. So when we’ve read through all the books in her small library of children’s books, I read to her from the one I brought. It’s a cozy mystery. Nothing with potential of scaring her. Just a good who-done-it. She tugs at a set of plastic keys on a ring, playing contently as I read to her.

After a few hours she starts to doze off. By far the easiest baby I’ve ever taken care of out of all the children I’ve ever babysat. I carry her to her room. Afraid of waking her, I sit on the floor and hold her on my lap instead of putting her back in the playpen.

I’m still reading to her, wanting her to feel comforted by my voice even if she’s asleep. She’s in a new home, surrounded by new things, so I don’t want her to feel alone or scared. Especially with her dad gone.

Top Books