The Return of the Babysitter

(Prequel to Dog Gone It)

Kyle Norris dragged himself home from another double session football practice. It was his final (senior) year at the Tech School and he hoped the team went out with a winning season but the Coach was a tough disciplinarian and that made for some torturous practices preparing for the season. He pulled his beat up thirty year old pickup truck to the curb and noticed a unfamiliar car packed full of boxes and assorted other junk with Ohio license plates parked in front of the house. He saw that both his parents cars were in the driveway so he figured something had to be up on this sunny August afternoon.

Kyle heard the laughing and talking as soon as he came through the front door of the house. He was freshly showered but he just wanted to go collapse in his bedroom and not have to entertain guests. He stepped into the living room and saw his entire family gathered around a woman who was familiarly attractive but he couldn't quite place her.

"Kyle!" His fourteen year old sister Lisa grinned. "Look who's here!"

Kyle looked blankly at the visitor and the others laughed.

"You don't recognize Krissy?" His mother asked.

"Krissy Phillips?" Kyle asked dumbly.

"Our old babysitter!" Lisa grinned.

"Hi, Kyle," Krissy said cheerfully. "Long time no see."

"About six years," Lisa volunteered.

"What's going on?" Kyle asked with confusion. "I thought you moved away."

"I did!" Krissy acknowledged. "Now I'm back."

"Graduate School at Green College," Kyle's mother clarified.

"She's going to live with us!" Lisa gleefully announced.

"Huh?" Kyle asked, blushing slightly.

"It's the least we can do," his mother explained. "Help her out. Save some rent money."

"She's going to bunk with me!" Lisa said proudly.

"Now that Kyle's here, we can unpack your car, Krissy." Kyle's Dad spoke up for the first time.

"Isn't it great?" Lisa said happily. "It's almost like having a big sister!"

Kyle was dazed. He never thought he'd see Krissy Phillips again when she moved away with her family. He felt slightly guilty at the time because he had been convincing his mother that he was aging out of the need of a babysitter and, at twelve, he could take over the responsibility of watching after his younger siblings, eight and six at the time. When Krissy moved away rather unexpectedly, Kyle's mom had no choice but to give Kyle the "job".

Krissy was sixteen when she disappeared from Kyle's life. It was probably a good thing because, at twelve, Kyle was becoming sexually aware of himself and, by then, he had already fallen in love (or at least in lust) with the babysitter who had been looking after him and his siblings for the previous four years. Kyle could see that Krissy was all grown up now. If his calculations were correct, she was a twenty-two year old woman now but at least he wasn't a stupid goofy kid anymore either!

Kyle joined the rest of the family helping Krissy lug all her belongings into Lisa's room. Lisa had the biggest of the three sibling bedrooms – as the only girl she tended to get special preferential treatment including the best room with an extra bed for friend sleepovers.

Krissy's stuff quickly filled the space but Lisa didn't care – she was ecstatic to have a roommate for the next eight months. Ironically, Bob was now the same age Kyle had been when Krissy left and Kyle noticed his kid brother giving Krissy the appreciative eye as they unloaded her car.

"Do you even remember her?" Kyle tested his brother who was under Krissy's babysitting care from two to six.

"Sort of," Bob shrugged. "I mean, how could we forget her!?"

True enough. Krissy was pretty back then and she was definitely attractive now with the same long blonde hair. Her body had filled out and she was wearing short denim shorts and a white blouse today. She had always seemed tall to Kyle but now that he was fully grown he realized they were pretty much the same height, although Krissy's legs still looked long and thin to him.

From what Kyle could gather from the conversations taking place as they dragged in Krissy's stuff and re-arranged Lisa's room, Krissy was working on her Master's in Education and she had a job lined up for the next fall back in Ohio. This year, she was a part time student teacher at Hillsboro High (where Lisa attended) while working on her graduate studies. Lisa was giddy with excitement, thrilled to have Krissy as a roommate as well as seeing her around school.

"What are you going to do if she yells at you as a teacher?" Kyle joked.

"As if I ever do anything to get yelled at!" Lisa laughed.

There was a lot of activity, action and semi-chaos during the few hours it took to get Krissy settled. Kyle's Dad went and got pizza for a late dinner and the family sat around the table enjoying the meal.

"I can't believe Morton is gone," Krissy sighed. "He was a great dog."

"He's missing," Kyle volunteered. "He could still come back."

It had been three years since Skylar Cowley, their neighbor across the street, lost the family dog during a walk and Kyle had yet to forgive the girl. He hadn't spoken to her in years.

"Whatever you do, don't invite poor Skylar Cowley over here if Kyle is around," Lisa warned Krissy in a mumble.

"Tell us about some of your favorite babysitting memories," their mother enthusiastically requested, obviously trying to change the subject.

"Hide-go-seek!" Lisa said with a laugh.

"Monster Mash," Bob spoke up.

"Monster Mash?" their mother asked with surprise. "What in the world was that?"

Krissy and Kyle laughed at the same time.

"That was my invention," Kyle admitted.

"Someone hides in the cellar with all the lights off and the other three come down the stairs like they're going into a night club or something," Krissy recalled.

"And the monster strikes!" Bob laughed.

"Scared me every time!" Lisa grinned.

"I remember the raspberry tickles," Bob said with surprise.

"On the tummy," Krissy acknowledged, causing Bob to blush.

"I remember staying up late watching Toy Story," Kyle said. He glanced at Krissy. "You let me stay up past my bed time plenty of times."

"Shhh!" She said, putting her finger to her lip. "Your parents might find out!"

"We were terrible children," Kyle joked.

They all laughed.

"I remember making cookies," Lisa said. "That was always fun."

"Chocolate chip!" Krissy grinned. "My favorite!"

"You were always so cool," Lisa told Krissy with appreciation. "You actually played with us."

"Barbies!" Krissy laughed.

"You even played with my GI Joe guys," Kyle recalled, impressed.

"Well, I'm glad you all have nothing but good and positive memories," their mom said.

"Remember how we built the tallest Lego tower in the world?" Kyle asked Krissy.

"Oh, yeah!" She laughed. "That was great."

"Remember the karaoke machine?" Lisa smirked. "You were a good singer!"

"Thanks," Krissy said warmly. "That was fun!"

"You were never a jerk," Bob decided.

"Well, you guys were good kids so you made it easy," Krissy explained and Kyle saw his parents exchange appreciative looks. "How could I complain? Your parents overpaid me. I got all the free snacks and soda I wanted, and you had expanded cable!"

"See, it all worked out," their mother smiled.

"And now you're back!" Lisa beamed.

"Yeah, but you guys are much too old to need a babysitter," Krissy remarked.

"We're happy to have you as a friend," Lisa said.

"Me too," Krissy agreed. "I remember this house with nothing but fondness. I can't believe it's been six years since I was last here."

"Welcome back," Kyle's dad said with sincerity. "Make yourself at home. Feel free to come and go."

"I already went over the rules," their mom spoke up. "Everything's going to be fine."

"Let's go into our room!" Lisa said when they were done eating.

"Why didn't you tell me about this?" Kyle asked with annoyance once Krissy and Lisa were gone from the room.

"We wanted to surprise you!" His mother said. "We know it's been difficult for you after Morton and…well, it's over with Carley right?"

Kyle sighed. "Yes, Mom. It's over with Carley. What?" He added sarcastically. "You trying to fix me up with my former babysitter?"

"Of course not!" His mother said, shocked. "She's an adult woman for heaven sakes."

"We're just helping her out, bud," his father remarked. "We can trust you having her here, can't we?"

"Jesus, Dad," Kyle replied with embarrassment. "Are you serious?"

"He's just clarifying the rules," his mother explained.

"This will be good for your sister," his father remarked.

"Of course," Kyle agreed, standing. "Don't worry about me. Everything's fine. My dog's gone. My girlfriend dumped me. And my long lost babysitter is back on the scene. Everything's great," he said mockingly as he left the room.