Thursday, March 21, 2013

Take a Nap. Please?

So... since I haven't spent any real time with my little great-nephew in the past couple of weeks, I went over there the other day. I told his folks I'd watch him while they went to a bar to watch the fight on TV.

He is so dang cute. Got his second "big boy" haircut and he is so handsome that I wanted to cry. The barber "edged it up" for him! Yeah, he is a darling little  boy.

Pretty brown eyes... breaking my heart...
Before I went over to babysit him for a few hours, I packed up some treats: animal crackers and apple sauce. He has his favorites, you know. He already has a ton of toys, so we were set in the entertainment department.

My sister warned me that Baby Boy has gotten a lot more active since I last saw him. I saw him two weeks ago, I told her. Yeah, she said - but he was harnessed in a car seat. Tonight he's loose.

Hmmph. She was talking about my little Stinka like he was Hannibal Lecter or someone...

While Baby's parents were still around the house, I used their elliptical machine. Might as well get my exercise the indoor way, is what I was thinking. Well, I could've saved myself the trouble.

Baby's parents were so happy to leave the house, you would've thought it was on fire. I figured they were just glad to be getting a night out. Bless their hearts.

Yeah.

About ten minutes into my "quality time" with Baby, I was getting a better idea of why his parents left so fast.

This kid just learned to walk without falling and, all of a sudden, he's sprinting around the house like Jesse Owens. I'd catch up with him in the back room and he'd giggle and take off like a shot. I'd catch up with him in the dining room - same thing. That maniacal giggle that I used to think was so cute was starting to grate on me...

I couldn't figure out why he wouldn't just chill and play with one of his nine thousand toys...  The next time I chased behind him, I skidded around a corner and dang near slid through the glass patio door. When my sister finished laughing and caught her breath, she explained, "He's playing his version of hide and seek."

"But he isn't hiding, he's just running like a madman."

"That's his version of it. If you leave him alone, he'll sit and play by himself," she said. "For about five minutes."

"Then what?"

"Then you better go see if he's cooking food or performing surgery on his puppy."

Oh man.

Sure enough, I sat where I could keep an eye on him without him seeing me. It was nice to catch my breath and wipe the sweat off my forehead. He played really nicely with some little plastic golf clubs. I think I went into a restorative coma for a couple of minutes. I came to when I heard that crazy giggle of his...

I got to the dining room just in time to see Baby feeding his puppy (Shadow aka "Saddow") some Puppy Chow. Okay. Not too bad, I thought.

"He's being so sweet, feeding his dog," I reported.

My sister almost popped a wheelie in her wheelchair. "You better get hi-"

I heard the puppy growl.

When I got to the scene of the near crime, Shadow was dang near scaling the cabinets to get away from Baby. That little terror was waving his golf club like Tiger's wife.

"Shit, Saddow, shit!" (This translates to him telling his puppy to sit.)

Shadow had latched onto a cabinet like he was corkscrewed in.

I got the golf club away from Baby just before he almost cold-cocked me. For some reason, I had a quick vision of Jesus sending demons into a herd of pigs. I found myself praying over Baby the way the old sisters back in church used to do for the drunks they fed on Saturdays.

"Loose here, Satan!"

My sister was having so much fun watching Baby run me all over the place that I wanted to hate her. I looked her way once and she was munching popcorn and sipping on a soda. I guess I was the night's entertainment.

It's been years since I've had to deal with toddlers, but I remember that the best thing to do is tire them out so that they will take a long nap.

I played more Hide and Seek with Baby (his version), we played with his police cars, dump trucks and fire trucks; we rolled his bouncy balls down the hall; we had a tea-party with fake tea and real cookies. I fixed green beans and tuna for Baby's dinner. I changed three diapers - one just wet and the other two needed hazmat clearance. I decided that Baby would only be getting graham crackers for the rest of the night...

After two hours, twelve minutes and eighteen seconds, Baby's eyes began to droop. Thirteen seconds later, his eyes were closed and he was breathing deeply. My sister had warned me not to use the word "sleep" to describe this blissful circumstance. Apparently even thinking the word "sleep" will awaken Baby.

Let me tell you what. I have never been so very glad to see a child with their eyes closed and their body not in motion. My own body was buzzing with fatigue.

When Baby's parents got home that night, I was so happy to see them, if I hadn't been so whooped, I'd have thrown them a party.

I was packing up my stuff to go home while Baby's mother started dressing him for bed. He half-woke when she pulled his shirt over his head.

"Say goodnight to Ya Ya Auntie," his mother prodded.

When I looked over at him, the little imp had turned back into the angel I love.

"Yayabye," he mumbled.

Awwww.... My heart is still tender.

Peace
--Free
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