If I may be something of a mystery, wrapped in an enigma, wrapped in bubble wrap, I’d like to speak about children of a different kind today.
I made a cinnamon orange coffee cake yesterday morning before I managed to acquire a wiggly baby. It was delicious.
The baby, I mean. The coffee cake was just coffee cake.
Of course, I’m kidding. I love babies! (I just can’t finish a whole one…) Or rather, I love this baby. I hung out with my friend Tina and her adorable daughter on Saturday and we wandered around thrift stores looking for chairs and a new furniture refinishing project for me. Instead, we ended up with a bunch of crap and a tasty lunch. It was a good day. Incidentally, I pulled 3 pretty nice, sturdy dining chairs out of a snowbank today near one of my properties while a school crossing guard judged me. It’s like a fucked up game of Tetris in the back of my compact, 2 door coupe.
Ooh…baby tacos… I can always make room for tacos.
I woke up on Sunday and felt like someone beat the right side of my body with a wiffle bat. I figured that I slept wrong and went about the business of making coffee cake until I lifted a mixing bowl full of batter and realized that I pulled every muscle on the right side of my rib cage from carrying the baby around. It’s amazing how heavy 18 pounds is when it wiggles and squiggles and giggles a lot. Somewhere around 9:30, my phone rang and Tina asked me if I could take the baby for a few hours. Apparently, she and her hubby are allergic to Pizza Hut and spent most of the previous 12 hours heaving their souls out. I was just planning on doing some crafting and video games, so I grabbed the kiddo and brought her back to our house for a a few hours of happy fun time so Mom and Dad could recuperate in peace for a few hours.
The tiny human laid quietly in the middle of my living room floor and sucked happily at her bottle for a few minutes while I unpacked her toys. Then she saw the kitten. And unlike the last time I babysat for her, the kid is more adept at belly crawling than the whole of the US Army infantry. For two hours, we played the greatest game ever wherein she’d chase the kitty (as the kitty stalked the pompoms on her beanie) before she got distracted by electrical cables and had to be relocated to the middle of the living room. Then she discovered cat food. And the kitty. And the cable modem. And the kitty. And the litter box. And oh, look – a kitty! Then she learned how to grab the cat’s ears and pull. Then she learned how to grab the cat’s scruff and pull. And when I pulled her away from my kitten the saint, she learned how to grab my hair, pull, and cry at the indignity of taking her handfuls of fur away. And just like that, it was feeding time!
Belly full and kitten safely tucked away on the back of the couch, the kiddo played happily (albeit noisily) with all the buttons and bells and shakers and clunky things that were her toys while I cleaned rice cereal and slobber off my arms, face, pants, and socks. But not the carpet. Amazingly, the rug was unscathed. I sat down for a few minutes to enjoy a slice of the coffee cake I’d made two hours before and all was well.
Then something started smelling funky – her diaper, duh. Only it wasn’t. She was wet, but otherwise clean. I packed her into a new butt cloth and she went back to playing. But the smell started again. Did someone bust ass? Husband is at work – it’s not him. Cat is sleeping across the room. Kid is clean. Do I need a shower? Nope – fresh as a daisy. The smell kept wafting about the living room for at least another ten minutes. Then the floor started vibrating and I thought we might be having an unseasonable earthquake until the kid started giggling like a maniac and wiggling.
Aw, shit. No, really.
So I stripped her down yet again and checked the diaper. You know the color of new grass? And mint chocolate ice cream? And bile? Mix those colors together, then give it the consistency of rice cereal and make it smell like a Coachella porta-potty. Any parent who deals with regular diaper blowout should be getting coupons for free cleaning supplies or air fresheners or something.
Replace dog with startled cat. Pencil in stink lines.
“Ugh… nothing about this is right or okay, kid.”
It’s cute as hell until you get crane kicked in the baby maker… by a baby.
And then I strapped her into her car seat where she napped for about an hour while I tried to clean up and then sat on my ass while the sitting was good. It was a sound plan of action, because when she woke herself up sneezing, she was adamant about being held and made me feel like a world class bitch by bawling every time I tried to sit her down with her toys. Thankfully, the hubby was home by this time and she clung to him for the next 45 minutes until her Mommy was feeling better (or apprehensive about the well being of her child), and picked her up.
Through this 4 hours or so of practice parenting, I’ve learned several valuable lessons:
- There is so much shit that will never get accomplished when small children are in the picture. Oh em gee…. so unproductive.
- Technicolor poo: hell no. I have too many nice things, too many hobbies and too little patience for there to be poo on me on more than babysitting occasions.
- Kids make your brain devolve into a mode I like to call “Nick Jr.” That is to say, you will remember every detail of all children’s programming you were subjected to by your younger siblings. And your friends will assume that you’re working through a minor brain hemorrhage.
When she’s at our house, I love Tina’s kid as though she’s my kid. But there’s nothing like sending her home to make you appreciate the freedom that is childlessness.
Until she starts talking. Then we’re going to have all kinds of fun.