Edmond— the child of Mother Munchkin, the woman who doesn’t want to work anymore and is angry at her husband, Tim, for not making that dream possible—is still crying.
To be honest, I was becoming a little angry at Tim myself because if he’d just get anther job, that would mean my day wouldn’t be at the mercy of his bawling 15 pound turd factory.
Thankfully, Bonnie is great with kids. I mean, she’s awesome with kids. I’ve no fears of her being a great mother if and when she finally gets the nerve to ruffie me and induce a pregnancy without my consent. I take solace in knowing one of us will be able to handle the outcome. I’ll take over in the later years, when the kid gets that rebellious streak and I get to revel in my inner super villain, devising tortuous ways to punish and embarrass him or her. Until then, I will expect Bonnie to do the lion’s share of the work. I’ll gladly work two jobs to get out of it. There will be zero complaining about how I’m not making it possible for her to stay home with the kids because if there is a kid at home I wont want to be at home with it—at least not until it knows who Batman is and it can carry its own in an online session of Call of Duty.
But what I was learning from watching Bonnie handle little Edmond is that, no matter how good you are with kids, or how much potential you have to be a mother, if you don’t have the right gear, you’re not going to win. And, for record, even though most of my references to “gear” actually mean “boobs” this one does not.
I mean, gear. Speaking of Batman, you really need to have his wonderful toys if you want to get a kid to shut up. A steady stream of items to stick in it’s hands or mouth or stick the kid into.
“Jesus, you could storm the beaches of Normandy with the amount of crap she brought and yet there are zero play supplies” I say, furiously rifling through all the stuff that Mother M brought for us to use to accommodate her cub.
“She didn’t bring a rocker, or a bumbo so…” Bonnie frowns knowlingly, “We’re going to have to hold him pretty much the entire time he’s here.”
“Okay, okay. First, I love you. You know that.”
“I love you, too.” Says Bonnie, “but continue.”
“And you know that, because were married and I love you and for all my kicking and screaming on you bringing a baby into this house, I will, though I hate it, hold this baby. I will even let you take a zillion pictures of me holding it so you can plaster the shots on Facebook where all your friends will oooh and aaaah about how I look the part. But, you know I have to work today,”—I point to my laptop—“so you can’t really expect me, or you for that matter, to hold this kid for 8 friggin hours. So, since [Mother M] is probably not at work yet, just call her and tell her to comeback. ”
“No, no. Not at all.”
“Okay, then call her and tell her to bring us a rocker or bumbo or nanny or something.”
“Sweety, I have to work too. He’ll sleep for some of it. It won’t be that bad. We’re just getting off to a bad start.”
“Okay, so how do we make it a better one?’
“He’s probably hungry. If they’re crying, they’re usually hungry, tired, or need changed. We just determine which of the three and we’re good.”
Apparently a diaper is like a ripe piece of fruit: It has a certain feel and scent to it and one must take in it’s full bouquet to know whether it’s ready for changing. Thus, Bonnie hoisted up little crying Edmond and sniffed his rump. Then she sat him down on her hand to check for dampness. Nothing. The diaper was not dirty.
“Can you warm up one of his bottles?” She asked, bouncing little Eddy-weddy-woo-woo on her knee. That was a simple task and one that did not require me to interact with the child, so I obliged.
“How long do I nuke this thing for?” I asked, taking a bottle out of the fridge door.
“About 30 – 45 seconds. It needs to be lukewarm, but not hot.”
I zap it. I pull it out of the micro. I hold it. Feels okay. I put it against my face. Feels okay.
“Dab some on your wrist,” says Bonnie.
“Why? I mean,”—I chuckled to myself—”Why do people do that? The wrist is not as sensitive as your hands or fingers or cheek. I can clearly tell from my hands that it’s warm enough from holding it.”
“You can tell that the bottle is warm enough.” corrects Bonnie.
“Well, then, I’ll just try it. If we’re going for exacts here, I mean, a wrist is not a tongue. This feels like another one of those dumb traditions parents just do because parents are like that.”
Bonnie objects, but it’s too late. I’m shaking drops of the bottle onto my tongue. I’m smaking my lips. I’m searching for the words to describe the taste, and, “You know, this stuff is… uh… I don’t understand why baby formula is so expensive. I mean, honestly, it’s not that good. Also, if it’s some kind of super food, why don’t they feed it to athletes, you know? Why don’t we just suck on baby formula after games instead of protein shakes?”
I walk the bottle over to Bonnie and hand it to her. I found my little monologue on the athleteic applications of baby formula to be hilarious. I assume, since Bonnie finds everything I do hilarious, that she also finds my monologue hilarious because she’s giggling.
“If your stories are accurate, some of your teammates do suck on baby formula after games.” She says.
“What do you mean?”
“That’s breast milk. You just tried [Mother M]’s breast milk. Should I get a lawyer?”
“Oh. Oh gawd. Uhhhhhhhhggggggggg…. Hilllllupppt… uuuuuackkkkk…” I’m at the sink now, lapping water from the running faucet and spitting it. Then I’m under the sink, to the bottle of Bicardi there. I take a swig, wash my mouth and spit. Then I just plain take a swing.
“Why, god, uhg, why didn’t you tell me that was breast milk.”
“Because, Honey, you were impressing yourself. And you know how I hate to stop you when you’re impressing yourself.”
Minutes later little Edmond is fed, but still wailing. I’m trying to type, grind out pages for a book chapter that, if I don’t get done I’ll be furious with myself for not getting any work done during the day. A man’s life is about discipline and focus, achievement and providing—not holding and entertaining sniveling brats.
Bonnie asks me to hold Edmond while she goes up stairs to put some blankets down so she can lay Edmond down.
Uhg. Sure. Why not, it will only be for a little bit and then he’ll be in another room.
Bonnie moves to hand Edmond off to me, but before she does, she tells me where and how to hold him, you know, like don’t grab him by the foot or let him dangle, or drag him around the house like a cave man would a club, or palm him like a basketball, or put him in a baseball glove, or pot, or just about anything else Anne Geddy would make millions doing. Then she tells me to support the kids head in such a away that I don’t endanger it’s under developed neck. Then she tells me not to drop him or shake him or whack him…
“Basically, I’m just going to sit here with him and not move. I got it.”
“Oh, no, move, he’s just a baby, you can still do whatever you want with him. They’re easy.”
“But there are virtually no ways that I can move him according to what you’ve just listed that won’t result in him being dead or damaged.”
“There are lots of ways, here…” She hands me Edmond. I cradle him like he’s a football and the whole world around us is a violent, sociopathic linebacker. Edmond fusses, then, slowly but surely, stops crying. He just lays there, motionless.
I stare at Bonnie. “Oh, God… I killed him.”
“No, but he obviously likes you!” She says in a intense whisper. “Hold still, I have to take pictures!!!”
“Of course you do.” I say, holding still, deathly still.
Bonnie comes back with her phone and does a full model shoot of me and a baby that is not ours. Hell, I don’t even like the parents that much.
In none of the pictures do I look natural, and yet, Bonnie keeps saying, “you two look so natural.”
Then, when the pictures stop, Bonnie rests the camera at her side and just watches us. A look starts to creep over her face. Her eyes drift from the baby, to me. She smiles. She couples her hands and ticks her head sideways. She pivots on her left foot. She looks like a school girl talking to a boy she has a crush on. She pushes her hair back and twists with the motion of the earth, the tide, and gravity.
I lift an eye brow. “You, uh, you want to have sex with me right now…. because I’m holding a baby….”
Author’s Note: Sorry, there are links and ads on this website. Your clicking on them earns me a few pennies on the side, and helps keep content coming. If you find my content entertaining, click an ad, and/or share the story. That’s all I ask. It helps me out a lot. Thanks!