You don’t want to read this.
The internet is full of people enraptured with cute things, especially kittens, but also puppies and babies. And here’s another blog entry about babies, and they’re not even mine. But I can’t help it. They’re almost mine... well, kind of... not really... Anyway, I’m related to them, and I adore them, and they’re a big part of my life. So they’re going on my blog, and I’m not even apologizing. You can deal with it.
She’s banging her spoon on her tray, kicking her foot happily against her high chair, smiling at me. “Hi!!!”
Apparently my plan worked. Whenever I come in with an enthusiastic, “Jenna!!! Can I have a kiss??” the response is a dramatically pained, “No! No! No!” and a view of her diapered butt waddling away from me as fast as two short legs can carry her. But today, I walk in and greet the other babies first. I already have her cousin, Bobo, in my arms. And now Jenna’s turning on the charm. Twenty-one months and already predictably female.
my “nephew,” (actually my brother-in-law’s nephew, but that counts,
right?) stares at me with enormous blue eyes and offers a toothy grin. I
put him on the floor and he grips the coffee table for balance,
bouncing and triumphant at this new victory: standing.
Jenna’s sister Katherine is in the bouncy chair and beginning to fuss. My sister is in the kitchen. “Can you get her out?” she calls, “I’ll be right over.” I happily unbuckle my infant niece and cuddle her small body in my arms. This is my therapy. Nothing gets my mind of myself and my troubles like coming to visit my sister and the baby girls. Bobo is a surprise bonus today.
looks at me and her little face crumples. It’s fascinatingly cute, this
descent into misery, but I feel a pang of guilt at the delight I take
in watching her as she begins to cry.In a second she’s screaming
inconsolably. I’m trying all the tricks, bouncing and cooing, and
Katherine’s shrieks don’t abate. Judging by the sound coming from her,
you’d think I was torturing her. Some therapy.
“Oh, sorry,” Robin says, drying her hands and coming to take her hungry baby. Katherine’s crying stops instantly. Moms. Sheesh. She offers me a weak smile through her tear-stained face, then buries herself in her mom’s shoulder.
We only have ten minutes before meeting with friends across the street. Whenever I’m remotely close to their house I try to stop in, and today we had the great excuse of dropping off the photos Greg had shot of the family a few days before.
Katherine and Bobo are now nursing with their respective mothers; Jenna is down from her high chair and a whirlwind of activity and half-intelligible words. I sit for a brief chat with the two women. Greg, who’s great with kids but not exactly possessed of the same intoxication as me, had instantly started talking cameras with my brother-in-law. Now they’re surfing the internet for the latest Canon rumors. The man corner.
Our few minutes are up quickly. I steal a goodbye kiss from Jenna and she gives one to Uncle Greg, too. We call goodbye to the nursing mothers and head out into the cool evening. It’s alright. I’m in the neighborhood again tomorrow night, and I’ll steal another few minutes with my nieces.