April 26th, 2019
Weston was crying. Babies do that sort of thing. Fortunately, Karin was there.
Hans and Gabi went out for the evening. God knows they needed it. They hadn’t had an evening for themselves since Weston was born back in December. They just wanted to go out to eat at a nice restaurant, and then have some uninterrupted adult conversation for at least a little while. It seemed very reasonable.
Weston is four months old. His needs are simple: food, sleep, and a fresh diaper on occasion. His needs are also immediate. When he is hungry, tired, or nasty, he wants attention now.
Karin and I agreed to watch the little guy while Hans and Gabi got their reprieve. Babysitting is part of the grandparent gig. It’s in the job description. There really is no getting around it.
Weston was sleeping in his sling when Hans and Gabi left. Gabi had fed Weston just prior to their departure. Exactly two hours later, Weston got hungry. Then he got loud.
It’s been a long time since Karin and I cared for a baby. We may have forgotten a few things, but then it all came back to us in a rush. It’s like riding a bicycle: you never really loose your touch. For me it was a little awkward, but that might be because I’m a man. Karin dealt with the situation with the quiet confidence of a grandmother ( FYI, she goes by “Oma”. It’s a German thing).
Gabi had frozen numerous plastic bags of mother’s milk. We thawed a couple of those, and Karin attempted to fill a baby bottle. For some reason that didn’t go well. It took Karin a few minutes to load up a bottle and ensure that it would not leak.
In the meantime, I held on to an increasingly restless Weston. He looked at me with a certain amount of anxiety. Honestly, I do look a bit scary. I have that dark Sith energy that some people find unnerving. So, Weston was a tiny Kylo Ren, and I was Darth Frank. Weston held on to my beard with a death grip. He has remarkably strong hands. He got more and more agitated, and his soft crying turned into a full-throated howl.
At this point, Karin had the bottle ready, and she took over. I gave her Weston. He kept several hairs from my beard. It took a while for him to settle down. Weston had wound himself pretty tight. He slowly calmed down enough to nurse, but then he sucked in a lot of air along with the contents of his bottle. Then he cried again because he was bloated. Karin burped him repeatedly. At long last, Weston exhausted himself, and he slept the sleep of the just.
Hans called. He and Gabi wanted to know how we were doing. We told him that Weston was asleep. Hans said that was good, and that they were going to a dance hall. Nice.
The cycle repeated itself. After exactly two hours, Weston wanted to eat. This time we were better prepared. Karin fed him, burped him, and Weston cuddled with her. Once again he slept in a way that I can only envy.
His parents came home happy and remarkably relaxed. They were savoring this time, as they should. Karin and I were savoring it too.