So last week my parents took me, my husband, my brother, my sister-in-law, and my 5-month old nephew to the beach. It was fun for a whole lot of reasons, especially because it was the first time I’d gotten to meet the baby in person.
It definitely made for an interesting dynamic, having a baby there. Among other things, it meant that we all spent the entire weekend casually offering things like, “Oh, would you like me to hold him while you change your clothes?”, and, “Oh, let me hold him so that you can eat dinner.” But of course that was just our pretending to be polite, when what we really meant was, “GIVE ME THE BABY NOW!”, and, “NO YOU CANNOT HAVE THE BABY, BECAUSE IT IS STILL MY TURN TO HOLD HIM!”
Another cool thing about the trip was that I discovered that I do, in fact, have some Important Aunt Skills, including NOT accidentally squishing the soft spot on the top of the baby’s head, and laughing evilly at my dad when, in the middle of his special Gramp-Grandson bonding time he turned to me and “generously” asked, “Hey, Jen, would you like to hold him?” as soon as we both began to smell that there was Something Going On down in the diaper region. Not to mention the ability to look innocently and expectantly at my mom until Grandma stepped up and took the baby off to change him. (And I thought I had no natural instincts with kids-Pfft.)
However, the skill that turned out to be the most valuable was the fact that I can sing. I’ve sung in choirs for practically my whole life, plus I almost pursued a career as a pianist, so I am pretty musical (not that that would particularly matter to the baby, but since I pretty much have no other talents when it comes to babies, I’m taking pride in myself wherever I can.)
My mom is also an excellent singer, so between the two of us we dredged up all the kids songs we could remember including the smash hit, “The Eensy-Weensy Spider”, which was by far the hit of the weekend, due to the fact that Grandma excels at the hand motions that accompany the song. And then, when our repertoire ran out, we turned to the Completely Age-Appropriate And Not At All Traumatizing ditties about the farmer with a chick who couldn’t lay an egg, so he poured hot water up and down her leg, and the story of Tom Dooley, The Poor Boy Who Was Bound To Die. (Whee! We do parties, too!)
And then what that failed, we just turned to the ever popular option of Making Things Up On The Spot. This is pretty much second nature to me since I maintain a running narration/commentary on everything that’s going on in and around me. That’s actually what helps me write this blog-I just bring a mental pail up to the never-ending stream of words, let it fill up for a while, and then come and slosh it all out here. So it was no problem whatsoever to just set that puppy to music. As a matter of fact, I composed a very catchy tune explaining the fact that I’m sorry, but you cannot fit your foot, your pacifier, and your teddy bear’s head in your mouth all at the same time, so unfortunately you’ll just have to pick one of them. And I don’t know if my mom has the same internal narration going on that I do, but I did watch as she extemporized a very compelling ballad discussing how we were packing everything up and waiting for the bellman to come and help us take our luggage down to the cars.
There were lots of other things that happened on this trip, including COPPERHEAD!! or, “Snakes at the Beach: The Universe’s Ultimate Betrayal”, along with, “Thank you so much, left hip, for going out of joint on our very first night there, leaving me with an extremely painful, gimpy gait.” But I have to get off of the computer because my husband’s on his way home, and I’m supposed to be resting (and we all know how great I am at that.)
Bye for now.