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Saga - OT The Art of Babysitting/ (Humor--Rebels, Sabine) Fic Gift for Ewok Poet

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction- Before, Saga, and Beyond' started by Raissa Baiard, May 15, 2018.

  1. Raissa Baiard

    Raissa Baiard Chosen One star 4

    Nov 22, 1999
    Title: The Art of Babysitting
    Author: Raissa Baiard
    Timeframe: Saga, 3 ABY
    Characters: Sabine Wren, Jacen Syndulla, Chopper, Zeb, Hera
    Genre: humor
    Synopsis: Sabine finds out that babysitting is not as easy as she thinks when she has to watch young Jacen Syndulla.

    Notes: I did a set of drabbles about Zeb babysitting Jacen, and I thought it was only fair that Sabine get to take a turn, as well. I put this little story together as a gift for my very good friend @Ewok Poet. I hope this will give you a smile or two, dear goat. [face_love] @};- :sabine:


    “...there’s beebleberries, crackers and blue milk for his snack and he goes to bed at 19:00…”

    “Hera, I’ve got this.” Sabine sighed. Honestly, this was the fourth time they’d been over these instructions. And she thought Hera was thorough when she drilled Phoenix Squadron on battle plans, but General Syndulla had nothing on Hera in mother avian mode “I’ve fought Imperials, flown fighters, built superweapons, and learned to use the Darksaber...I think I’m capable of looking after one little boy.”

    Zeb snorted. “Heh, you say that now, but by the time we get back, you’ll be singing a different tune,” he muttered, earning a So Not Amused, Don’t Talk About My Youngling That Way look from Hera. He could be such a drama gualama when it came to babysitting. To hear him tell it, a single two-year-old was more trouble than an entire squad of stormtroopers. And it probably was for Zeb, since his usual method of dealing with troopers was just to bash their heads together until they were all on the floor.

    Sabine, on the other hand, was going into this armed with a plan. Tactics were important in any battle, and hers were all about keeping Jacen so occupied that he couldn’t get into trouble. She had just just the thing, too, because younglings loved art. They were so expressive and creative, unencumbered by preconceived notions of what art should be. She’d gotten crayons, markers, fingerpaints—every medium a youngling could want! Jacen was going to have the opportunity to express himself however he wanted to; she couldn’t wait to see what he came up with. It was going to be brilliant! She ruffled the boy’s emerald green hair. “We’re going to have lots of fun, aren’t we, Jacen?”

    He grinned up at her. “Uh-huh, Aunt ’Bine!”

    It was so cute when he called her that. Anyone else would get, as Zeb liked to say, thumped for using that particular nickname. “See? We’ll be fine, just go!” Sabine ushered Hera and Zeb down the ramp. She had this, absolutely. She had a plan, she had Chopper for backup and she’d even brushed up on her field medicine, just in case. She was so in control. She picked up her art caddy and a stack of flimsi as she headed back to the common area. “Hey, kiddo, come over here and let’s make some pictures for Mama to hang on the conservator!”

    Jacen hardly glanced at her as he crawled up on the acceleration couch. “No.”

    Sabine set her art supplies on the console with a thud. “What?”

    “Wanna play with the monssers!”

    “Monssers?” Sabine puzzled over this for a minute. “You mean monsters?

    “Yeah, table monssers!” Jacen agreed enthusiastically. He shaped his pudgy hands into miniature claws and made a face that was about as scary as a puffed-up Loth-kitten.”Rawr, rawr!”

    “Chopper, what is he talking about?”

    “Bwah.” The droid waved a grasper. “Bwah bwa’bwahbwop bwahbwaah!”

    “Oh, the dejarik table… “ Table monsters...Sabine supposed that kind of made sense. This wasn’t part of her plan, but she didn’t want to stifle Jacen’s imagination by putting too many rules, too many have-tos and and can’ts, in place. Flexibility and spontaneity were virtues for every artist. “Well, okay, I guess we can play for a little while.”

    Jacen had already turned on the game’s holoprojector and was crawling between the game pieces, growling “ferociously.” He moved them around without any regard to the rules, and the monsters vocally protested this misuse, springing instantly back to their squares. Jacen seemed to find this hilarious, giggling between rawrs and chomps. “I the biggest monsser!” he announced, standing up on the table. “RAWR!"

    “Jacen, I don’t think you should—” Sabine began, but it was too late. The little boy stomped once, missed the edge of the table, toppled over backwards onto the acceleration couch with a thunk and began to wail.

    “Okay...” Sabine picked him up—carefully so as not to get hit by his flailing feet—and set him upright on the couch. She felt a bit out of her depth as Jacen continued to sob. Her mother would have given her a cursory once over and told her to go play—Mandalorians didn’t whine over a little bump. What he needed was something to take his mind off things. She grabbed her art supplies from the communication console. “I’ve got an idea—why don’t you draw some of your...uh, table monsters?”

    “I can’t!” he sniffled. “You draw!”

    “Let’s do it together.” She selected a couple markers from her caddy and set them in front of him, along with a sheet of flimsi for him and one for her. She picked up the blue marker and started sketching the Mantellian savrip. “See, it’s fun!

    Jacen considered her drawing for a moment, then chose a purple marker and started working on his own flimsi, rawr-ing softly as he drew. After a minute of mad scribbling, he held up his drawing. “Ta-dah!”

    Sabine took the flimsi—How exciting! Jacen was taking his first steps on the path to being an artist!—and blinked. The tangle of lines scrawled on the page didn’t resemble anything she could name, especially not any of the dejarik pieces. A tree with knotted branches? A five-speeder crash? A pile of bantha hair? It could have been any of them, or none of them. She smiled and took a wild guess. “That's a great...k’lorr slug!”

    He stared back at her. “It you, Aunt Bine! See?”

    “Oh...yeah.” It was supposed to be her? Well, maybe if she squinted really hard and looked at it sideways… That big purple spot might be her head. Maybe. “There’s… Wow.” For once, Sabine felt herself at a loss to offer a proper critique on a piece of art. She supposed the best thing she could do was encourage him; it was important not crush his fledgling artistic spirit. What would her Dad have said to her at this age? “It’s very...unique. You have a great vision, Jacen. Nice use of abstract form, good rhythm to your lines.”

    Now properly inspired, Jacen grabbed another sheet of flimsi and began jabbing at it with the red marker, obviously a primitive experiment in pointillism. Sabine winced as she watched him make the red blotches. “Ooh, hey, don’t push so hard, you’ll break the...tip.” Once again, too late. The marker’s felt tip cracked and separated into a flattened mass of strands. Jacen giggled as red ink dribbled onto the flimsi. It was an interesting effect, Sabine thought, and yet… leaking markers and toddlers seemed like an accident waiting to happen. Even though she hated to impose conditions on his creativity, she gently disengaged the marker from his hand. “It’s okay, we’ve got plenty of other markers. I’ll just put this one up so you don’t make a mess.” She managed to fit the cap back on the mangled tip, turned to set the marker on the console…

    And heard a gagging sound behind her.

    When Sabine turned back, Jacen was holding half a green crayon and spitting bits of wax onto the dejarik table. “Jacen! You don’t eat the crayons!” She smothered a sigh of frustration and rummaged in the drawers beneath the couch until she found a box of flimsi-tissues. Jacen wriggled as she wiped the mess off his mouth. “I guess this means it’s time for your snack, huh? You keep drawing, I’ll be right back.”

    As Hera had mentioned—repeatedly—there was a carton of beebleberries and a jug of bantha milk in the conservator and a box of organic, cheese-flavored giju crackers on the counter. Sabine pulled out a plasti-form toddler plate decorated with smiling banthas and put some of the berries and crackers on it. The deep purple of the beebleberies contrasted nicely with the pale orange of the crackers, she noted, and she decided to arrange them in concentric circles on the plate. Food should be visually stimulating as well as nutritious.

    “BWAAAAAAAH!” Chopper’s indignant cry interrupted Sabine as she fanned out the crackers.

    “What’s going on?”

    “I painting Chopper now!” Jacen called back gleefully.

    Sabine smiled—listen to how happy he was! Her plan was working! He must be really taking to art if he was painting pictures independently. “That’s great, kiddo! I’m sure your mom will love that!” She finished her careful snack arrangement and poured the blue milk in his sippy-cup, ignoring Chopper’s protests that she needed to get out there right now. The droid was as over-dramatic as Zeb sometimes. Art could get a little messy, but that was okay, it was art, after all!

    She returned to the common area, plate and cup in hand “Let’s see your painting…” The lovingly arranged snack plate clattered out of her hand; berries rolled all over the floor. “Jacen Jarrus Syndulla! What did you do?!”

    The toddler grinned triumphantly. “I paint Chopper!”

    He had indeed painted Chopper. The droid was streaked with red, blue and yellow fingerpaints from his dome to his leg struts, and Jacen had managed to completely cover his optical receptor with a particularly large blob of blue paint. Chopper unleashed a stream of invective that really was not fit for a child’s ears at Sabine, gesticulating forcefully in Jacen’s direction.

    In the process of painting Chopper, Jacen had also painted himself, the dejarik table and the floor. The bottle of red paint had tipped over and was dripping onto the acceleration couch. The yellow had rolled under the communication console, leaving a trail of paint behind it, and the blue....had Jacen emptied it over his own head?!? Sabine stared at the scene in front of her. She’d been out of the room for five minutes— how in the name of the Mandalore had one small child wreaked so much havoc in such a short time?

    She sighed, leaning against the console. The dull thud of a headache was beginning to pulse behind her temples. She was going to have to clean this all up before Zeb and Hera got back. “All right,” she told herself, taking a deep breath and swallowing several colorful Mandalorian curses. “First things first. I’m going to pick up all these berries, and then you, young man, are getting a bath.”

    “Baff?” Jacen looked up from where he was happily making handprints across the floor. “NOOOOOOO!”


    The Ghost was eerily quiet when Zeb and Hera returned. Zeb raised a brow ridge to himself as Hera went to Jacen’s cabin to check on him. Maybe Sabine had done a better job with the kid than he’d expected. Maybe her great, artistic plan had worked after all...or maybe not.

    Zeb found her slumped on the acceleration couch. Her hair was hanging in limp, wet tendrils and there were smudges of fingerpaint on her face, her pants, her beskar’kandar—pretty much everywhere. She looked like she’d been trample by a herd of wild bantha—twice. A hydro-mop and a pile of towels were next to the couch, and they, too, were covered in paint. He couldn’t help grinning. “So whaddaya say about babysitting one little boy now?”

    Sabine raised her head. “I am so never having younglings.”

    “Told ya,” Zeb chuckled. “Come on, I’ll make you some Hoth chocolate.”

    “Corellian style?”

    “Oh yeah, you deserve it.” He punched her lightly on the shoulder and smiled. “But, hey, look at it this way—looks like the kid had a great time. I bet Hera will want you to babysit more often!”
  2. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Chosen One star 7

    Aug 31, 2004
  3. CaraJinn

    CaraJinn Jedi Knight star 3

    Jan 8, 2018
    [face_rofl] This reminds me soooo of why I never became a mother.
  4. Ridley Solo

    Ridley Solo Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Aug 27, 2010

    Oh, wow...I'm getting flashbacks to those 18 months of babysitting three kids, two of which were toddlers.... [face_hypnotized] Watching both my niece and nephew also contributed to my, uh...experience. :oops:

    This. Was. PERFECT!!!!! =D= To those who have never babysat a toddler before, they are certifiably insane! They move so fast it's like they're beaming from one place to another, and the messes they make in five minutes sometimes take five hours to clean up. Jacen actually sounds rather least he's not a screamer that throws a fit when one thing is out of place. [face_relieved]And Sabine, be glad you didn't have to handle a sick kiddo. That makes this little episode look like a picnic on Naboo...[face_sick]

    Where to start...first of all Sabine, you should have stuck with crayons. Markers and paint in the hands of a toddler...and then taking your eyes off them for one even minute...:oops:Clearly she's never done this before. The voice of the uninitiated into the world of child minding is always the funniest, though.

    I could not stop laughing through this whole thing. Jacen is adorable, Sabine is clueless, and only Zeb has any idea what's going on. A+! [face_rofl]
    Last edited: May 16, 2018
  5. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Chosen One star 7

    Aug 31, 2004
    @Ridley Solo -- [face_mischief] 8-} I was thinking: this couldn't be based on RL experiences -- like shades of realism [face_laugh] TOOOOOOOOOO FUNNY! :eek: =D=
    Last edited: May 16, 2018
  6. Findswoman

    Findswoman Force Ghost star 5

    Feb 27, 2014
    [face_laugh] [face_rofl] Oh, what delightful fun from start to finish! Not only is it adorable to see Sabine as “Aunt ’Bine,” thrown completely out of her warrior-artist depth by an evening babysitting One Little Boy, it always adds so much to a fic to see the author’s own experiences come through, because I know this tale draws on your own experience with art, with raising a kid, and with trying to do both at the same time. Sabine enters into the thing with such idealism about Kids’ Natural Creativity and Expressiveness, knowing Just Exactly What She’s Going To Do, notwithstanding any drama-gualama naysaying on Zeb’s part (though he’s rightly snickering to himself, for sure—and not just to himself). Of course her best-laid plans do indeed “gang agley” (in Burns’s words) from moment one, as Jacen first makes for the “table monssers” (love how even they react to him), then draws his own rendition of a k’lorr-slug-like Aunt ’Bine (love her reaction—so like her dad!), then dings up the marker, eats the crayon—and whoo boy, when I got to that first “I painting Chopper now!,” combined with Sabine’s artistic arrangement of the giju crackers and beebleberries, her inner smile about Jacen’s independent creativity, and the heated expostulations of the Bwopper Himself, I knew just where things were going to go! Absolutely priceless moment there! [face_laugh] [face_laugh] [face_laugh] She so completely deserves a Corellian-style Hoth chocolate (made with B’ai-Leez? :D ) after all this; Zeb may be grinning a little, but he’s not without sympathy, the dear lug. :D

    And of course the story is jam-packed with so many fun little details: Hera’s endless repetition of the instructions (so new mom!), the smiling bantha plate, the giju crackers, all the places the paint ended up (going from “the colors inside” to “the colors outside,” I see!)... just a delightful read all the way through, and yet another example of your superb Rebels characterization. :sabine: :chopper: :zeb: :little green-haired boy: :D

    This was a day brightener for me too—thanks so much for sharing, and keep the Rebels fun coming! =D=
  7. Lady_Misty

    Lady_Misty Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Mar 21, 2007
    [face_rofl][face_rofl] I don't care that Sabine is miserable this is freaking hilarious!

    It sounds like Sabine needs a lesson on what is appropriate for two years olds. [face_rofl]

    At least she had a better time then the Clones that watched Lady Vader did but that might be debated.

    Rex: I don't know, at least she didn't lose the kid and panic over it.

    Fives: But she allowed the kid to cover the droid in paint and didn't keep an eye on him.

    Jesse: Are we any better? Lady Vader was returned to us with grease stains on her face, hands and clothes.

    *Clones descend into arguing if they bungled their first babysitting foray by losing their charge or not since they didn't realize she was missing and when they realized she was missing she was returned before they could sound the alarm.

    Lord Vader: You lost her and didn't realize that she was missing until a trooper came for the report. I vote that Sabine Wren did a better job since she didn't lose her charge!

    Sabine did better
  8. Ewok Poet

    Ewok Poet Force Ghost star 6

    Jul 31, 2014
    *letting the same uncontrollable sound like she does after having been in presence of the certain platonic crush*

    EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE! You are the bestestest! I was devastated by my birdie's sudden death and this so, so, so brightened my day! Bine-Bine! :sabine: You know how much I love her!

    Another thing that I absolutely adore is how much of this story is based on your experience as an artist AND as a mother of a child who constantly wants you to draw stuff for her, but is somewhat reluctant to give it a go herself. You've truly poured your kind, kind heart into this for me and I'm humbled. @};-

    Now for some of my favourite bits'n'pieces.

    Yeah, Zebby-Zeb...

    a) Not a good idea.
    b) The kiddo is more persistent AND smarter than 'em bucketheads! Haaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa!

    Fantastic transfer of a RL custom to the GFFA!


    If this is a nod to "Chancellor and I"'s a great one, kinda stealth. But even if it's not, it sure brings a chuckle or two.

    Aww, and you know that I like Bine's daddy, too!

    First the curses, then the bath... AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAHAHA! YOU, LADY, ARE KILLING ME.

    Nice comeback, Zebby.

    Perhaps the next time they could babysit Jacen...together? [face_devil]
  9. AzureAngel2

    AzureAngel2 Force Ghost star 6

    Jun 14, 2005
    You did not hang up cameras in my working place or read my notes on toddlers in my group, did you?


    Enjoyed myself very much reading this. Even though I am having my well-deserved weekend.
  10. Jedi Knight Fett

    Jedi Knight Fett PT Interview Host/Teh Mole Host star 10 VIP - Game Host

    Feb 18, 2014
    This was a great read! Can’t wait to see more of your work as always. I have been with toddlers a lot this year between my cousins son and my schools preschool. They totally act like this.