Tito burst out with a knife in her left hand.

“What was that?” she had been slicing some plantains in the kitchen when she heard the sound come from the TV room. What had those kids destroyed again?  She thought. Something always went wrong. As she entered the room to find the unfortunate item, Jope, the younger of the two, cried out “Tito! Tito! See, Morayo has spoilt your thing. See, see.”

“Spoilt what?” Tito was furious, “Morayo, lemme see. What did you break?” she was seriously hoping it wasn’t what she was thought. When Morayo eventually shifted to show the babysitter the expensive Samsung Tablet, Tito tightened her grip on the knife. Within seconds, Tito grabbed Morayo and shaken her hard, just before the double taps on the child’s buttocks. She had lost all sense of reasoning when she saw the screen of her expensive tablet. She forgot herself as a baby sitter. She forgot herself as the employee of a screaming mother. She forgot the number one rule of babysitting- never spank the baby you sit.

Reasoning found Tito when Morayo began to scream. It was then she realized she had done the unforgivable, especially in front of loud-mouth Jope. Even if Morayo stopped crying before their parent got back, little loud-mouth Jope would announce “m-o-o-mmy, Tito made Morayo cry”.

After packing the gadget into her bag she returned to the kitchen where she completed their midday meal.

Tito was a sophomore on break who looked for money anywhere she could find. Her boyfriend, Farid, who knew that about her suggested she work for his pent-house neighbor. “Mrs. Rumi Ballo has two kids”, he had said, one afternoon in his car. “They are really sweet, Morayo and Jope; Morayo’s the girl while Jope’s the boy. When they’re leaving for school, they are always like, Mr Farid! Mr Farid! Bye!!”  Farid was obviously doted by them. “You can babysit them when their mom is out you know?”

Farid was right, Tito thought; Morayo and Oluwajopelo Ballo were truly the sweetest kids, until they started writing on walls, messing the floors with sticky everything-candy, noodles, drink spills, and breaking the screens of expensive gadgets.

After that day of the undoable, and Mrs. Ballo had found out, Tito had lost her holiday job and faced the threat of getting arrested. “Thank God for Mr Ballo, so I’d have been in jail like this,” she’d say to anyone who gave her audience after regaling her holiday-job experience.

“I was just leaving my room when I met Mrs. Ballo. She reported me to you for the third time, I’m just tired of all these richer than rich women”. Farid was with Tito getting Cold-stone™ ice-cream.

Tito was never trying out baby sitting again.





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