Some kids absolutely dread bath time, but one teenage babysitter from Florida made sure that the little girl she was looking after could not wait to get in the tub. Not only did the teenager well and truly get into the swim of things by getting into the bath with her tiny charge, but she transformed into a beautiful creature from folklore to do so.
Alidy Clark is a three-year-old girl from Tampa, Florida. But she already has a such a sorrowful story for a child so young — sadly little Alidy’s father died in November 2016.
Her mom, Jenna Haslam, explained to The Huffington Post that her little girl has developed a specific coping strategy for dealing with the grief of losing her beloved dad. Every day she dresses herself in a unique way.
Each morning little Aliday puts on a fancy-dress outfit. “Her therapist calls it coping with costumes,” her mom said. But the special reason why she dresses up in this fashion is heartbreaking.
Just before her dad died, he told his little Aliday something precious that has stuck with her. He said that she was his little princess. And she has taken the role very seriously ever since, dressing as a princess every day.
Haslam told The Huffington Post that when her little girl puts on the outfits she whispers, “Look, Daddy, I’m your princess.” More often than not, she’ll be dressed as Ariel, the underwater princess from Walt Disney’s 1989 movie The Little Mermaid — Aliday’s personal favorite.
A photo of little girl and her babysitter recently went totally viral online. Why? Because Aliday’s babysitter, 15-year-old Keegan Carnahan, decided to do something truly awesome. It all started in late March 2017.
That day, Aliday was dropped off at Carnahan’s house to be looked after. The little girl arrived at the door wearing her favorite outfit, of course. Aliday had always thought her teenage babysitter was pretty cool, not least because of her bright-pink hairdo — which reminded the infant of a couple of her mermaid toys with similar colored hair.
Seeing Aliday at the door in her Aerial outfit jogged something in Carnahan’s memory. There had been a time in the recent past when the teenager had also been a bit obsessed with mermaids. So, she decided to dig around in her closet.
“I had gone through a phase a couple years ago in which I bought a mermaid tail that I could swim around in my pool,” Carnahan told British tabloid Metro. And now seemed like the perfect time to bring it out again.
Later that evening, without telling Aliday anything, Carnahan called her in for bath time. But nothing could have prepared the little girl for the surprise of her life — there was her babysitter in a full mermaid’s outfit.
Not only did the teenager wear the mermaid tail but she properly got into character too. She actually climbed into the tub with little Aliday — because, hey, mermaids need baths too!
The little girl loved it. She was “smiling ear to ear,” according to Carnahan, commenting “on how ‘beautiful’ my tail was.” The babysitter was delighted to give Aliday a special bath time to remember, having watched her struggling with the loss of her dad.
Carnahan took some photographs of the mermaid fun in the bath, which she later uploaded to Twitter. She posted the photos along with a screenshot showing a text exchange with her friend, who had innocently asked how she was spending her evening.
The friend probably hadn’t expected to receive a photograph of Carnahan resplendent in a mermaid outfit in return. Before long, the whole story went viral and was liked and retweeted thousands of times over.
More than 33,000 likes and almost 20,000 retweets later, Carnahan still can’t fathom how it has captured so many people’s attention — and hearts. She has had people getting in touch just to congratulate her on her kind act.
Although she has received waves of attention for her fishy frolics, Carnahan just hopes that the story warms people’s cockles. She told Metro, “I really hope that the tweet made someone happy, laugh, or smile if they were having a bad day.”
And what about Aliday? Carnahan said she is a huge fan of the little girl. “She really is a hilarious and kind-spirited kid!” she told The Huffington Post, “I’m elated that I’m able to be a part of her life,” she continued.
A lot of babysitters take on the job for the opportunity to raid other people’s fridges and binge watch movies. But with her sea-based entertainment, Carnahan has proved that she is not so shallow.
She went out of her way to truly brighten up little Aliday’s day. A thoughtful and heartwarming act, she has clearly struck a chord with people worldwide who admire what she did. Losing a parent is difficult at any age, but it is kind people like Carnahan that can make each day a little better.