It was an honest mistake.
After all, there's only so much one can learn about a person from an interview or two, and Mrs. Doubtfire herself would fall short of the ideal standards my parents had for our baby-sitters. Besides, she looked normal.
As Mom dropped me and baby Brian off that sticky June morning, I paid no attention to her forced smile and when she hugged me extra-tight, I wriggled free, anxious to explore my new surroundings.
Just as my confidence was beginning to falter, a beaming chubby lady crossed the room, "Well aren't you cuuuuuuute!" she said smiling. "Why don't you join Ashley in the living room? She's been just dying to meet you."
To my mother she whispered, "Don't you worry 'bout a thing. Ashley is just her age and in no time they'll be two peas in a pod!"
I looked up at Mom as she gave me a wink and nudged me forward.
"Have fun sweetie. See you this afternoon!" she said brightly.
I shuffled timidly into the living room and peered in the doorway to see the shaggy carpet covered in all things Barbie.
"Hiya!" Ashley chirped. "My name is Cricket. Wanna play?"
Puzzled, I let out a small, "Hi," as her mother entered the room, still smiling.
"Ashley, this is Sara. You guys are going to be friends this summer. Be sure to share and..."
"I'm not Ashley. I'm Cricket!" Ashley/Cricket yelled.
"Oh, well I'm so sorry!" she laughed, not misisng a beat. "You'll have to excuse our silly little--Cricket, is it?" She glanced at her daughter before continuing.
"She's quite the creative one. You just call her whatever she decides. And what should we call you?" she asked with a grin. "You can go by whatever you want."
"I'm still Sara," I mumbled and sank slowly to the floor.