When I was about 17 or 18, I babysit this little girl who really, really liked the Power Rangers — specifically, the White Ranger. She wouldn’t shut up about this one. I think his name was Tommy or Timmy or something? She kept going on and on about how he was so dreamy and cute and she wished he was her boyfriend. After she’d been talking about him for pretty much the entire day, I was ever so vaguely bored of the topic. So finally, I asked her, “Which one is Tommy, again?”
“OH,” I say. “That’s a girl ranger!”
“No,” says the little girl, “Tommy’s a boy!”
“How d’ya know?” I ask.
“Because! He’s named Tommy!”
“Tommy can be a girl’s name. There are boys and girls named Pat and Shannon and Carey. I know a girl named Tommy. And the white ranger has long hair.”
“Boys can have long hair!”
“Yeah, but all the other boys on that show have short hair. Tommy has long hair, and she wears it in a ponytail sometimes.”
“Well, he kicks and stuff!”
“The other girl rangers like to kick as much as Tommy does. She’s not doing anything out of the ordinary.”
“He has a girlfriend!”
“Girls can like girls. Nothing wrong with that.”
“He wears a white ranger outfit, not a pink or yellow one!”
“So? Girls wear white all the time. I’m wearing a white shirt right now. What color is that skirt you’re wearing?”
“He wears pants!”
“So do the other girl rangers!”
At this point, she’s almost crying with frustration. I was just about to relent and apologize, and then her mom came home. She called me later that night and said I wouldn’t work out.
The job had been kind of a letdown anyway. — I’d had it for 3 days, and the parents had been late by an hour or more every day. The three days I’d worked, I would arrive at the specified time in the morning. The parents were always in such a rush, they never had time to change the toddler’s night diaper. So it’s be all full and gross, with poop spilling out the sides. As they rushed out the door, the parents would say, “Oh, by the way — I’m so sorry — there’s a list of chores on the fridge that we’d really appreciate if you could do, just this one time?”
The kids were pretty disrespectful and disobedient, too. If I tried to punish them through time-outs or confiscating their toys, they would say, “I’ll tell my mom you hit me and she’ll call the police!” Oh, and on top of that, the parents said they’d had trouble with babysitters being lazy and stealing food in the past, so the t.v. was unplugged and I was restricted to a small plate of allotted snacks for myself, and any other missing food had to be accounted for.
All told, being fired for trying to convince their daughter the white power ranger was a girl was better than being fired because I strayed from my allotted snack plate.
Btw: Image credit goes to “Morphin’ Legacy,” which is a real place. Actual Power Ranger fans should probably go there, because I am not versed in the Power Rangers fandom by any means.