Thursday, January 19, 2006

Babysitting the Babysitter (aka Grandpa)

Today my dad is watching Lyric as Ryan completes the rest of our moving. We successfully managed to get ourselves into his mom’s house last night, but because we traded in the truck for the minivan, we have no way to haul furniture to our storage unit. So we have to depend on the people we know with trucks to do that. At any rate, the move is nearly complete and that makes me happy. And I barely had to lift a finger. I love my husband.

Anyway, my dad is watching my daughter. For the first time without my mother there. This makes me nervous for various reasons. Sure, my dad has fathered 5 children successfully. Each of us have grown up to be big, strong, healthy adults. But we’re going on 25 years since my dad has taken care of a baby. He’s pretty set in his ways. For instance, before Lyric was born I went to the State Police to have them install my car seat in my van. My dad thought that this was ridiculous. I asked him why and he told me that he thought car seats were dangerous. The actual words out of his mouth were, “I’d feel safer holding a baby in the car.” Uncomfortable pause. “Not while I was driving, of course!” Oh, of course! But if it’s just you and the baby in the car, then WHO IS HOLDING THE BABY? Not to mention the LAW!

Shudder.

My dad IS 70 years old though. So it’s to be expected. The other day I had to give him a lesson on how to change a modern diaper. He was trying to peel open the velcro tabs because he thought they should be sticky. All of my siblings and I wore cloth diapers, so I’m sure it was confusing.

He also tends to make Lyric cry by rubbing his moustache on her head and laying her on her stomach across his lap. He claims she likes it, and then of course I have to ask the obvious, “then why is she crying?” Every single time I pick her up from my mom’s house her head smells like my dad’s aftershave. It’s unnerving when your baby girl smells like an old man.

This morning I called my dad to tell him to go ahead and take a container of breastmilk out of the freezer that I had put there the other day. “Ok. Should I put it in the microwave?” I almost fainted at the prospect of my dad killing my protective antibodies by nuking them. Or possibly burning Lyric’s esophagus with red hot boob juice.

Oh well. I lived, right? My mom went back to work and my dad was laid off, much like me and Ryan right now. And my dad took care of me. He used to curl my hair every day before school.

He’s the reason I’m so vain! I just figured it out.

Ok, time to call him to see if my daughter is still alive. Later I’ll be smelling her head and knowing my dad was there. And THAT is comforting.

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