Now i’m a good Ga-Ge. I love my grands. I talk to them. I walk with them. I sing to them. I read to them. I feed them. And i babysit them.
Once when my daughter Lissah and i were on baby Jude duty for the night, we stood at the front door saying good-bye to mama and daddy. Mama and daddy were just finishing up their explanations of how, when, what, where and why of baby Jude sitting…i think i was picking a popcorn kernel out of my teeth. “So let me get this straight,” i spit the kernel outta my mouth, “You basically want me to keep your kid alive till you get back, right?” They looked at each other for a moment and then back at the Ga-Ge.
“Yeah, that’s basically it,” they said as they shut the door.
Now baby Jude is a good little boy, he just needs to be kept busy, so he doesn’t think about the people he loves the most and that shut door. So busy he was. And when we ran out of busy we turned to food.
“April said he loves grilled cheese,” piped up Lissah as we both stood staring into the open fridge door. “Make him a grilled cheese.” So grilled cheese it was…quick, easy and cheap.
The three of us settled on the living room floor, surrounded by toys, puzzles, books and baby bite size pieces of grilled cheese…when it happened…baby Jude began to choke on that gooey sandwich. “Oh brother,” I said as i gently tapped his back and encouraged him to “Spit it out, like Ga-Ge does with popcorn kernels.” While Lissah jumped up and down, holding her head and shouting, “Really mom! The ONE thing you told his parents is that he would be alive when they got back!”
Well, baby Jude survived his night with Ga-Ge, no worse for the wear. I actually considered it a step up from the previous time i had babysat him and i was feeling rather smug when his folks walked in. “We had a great time tonight…had a slight mishap with grilled cheese…but i didn’t forget him once…all’s well that ends well.” I announced to his folks, as we adored their sleeping baby.
“Well, now good for you, mom,” Baby Jude’s daddy, Heath, stepped in. “He is alive. You kept your deal. And not forgetting him this time…that’s a bonus.”
“I aim to please,” I responded as my mind drifted back to last summer.
Ah yes, last summer. We were at a get-together around our country block. Family and friends. My son Heath wondered if i could watch baby Jude for awhile at that party while he went to his sister’s house. “Sure,” I said.
“No problem,” I said.
“Love to,” I said.
“Take your time,” I said.
” See ya latter,” I said.
I watched for a while…I really did. Then i remembered i needed to run home and turn my crock-pot down. Baby Jude didn’t really like me that day anyway…and was settled in a friends arms so i ran around the block to turn the switch on the pot…that’s when i saw the light on the answering machine. Listening to the calls on the machine reminded me that i needed to check for the mail. While walking to the mailbox i realized i had not done my exercise for the day….so i decided to take my walk. During my walk i felt like i needed to spice it up so i added in calisthenics…and there i was in the middle of my country road doing calisthenics… when mama and daddy pulled up in their car.
“Hi mom,” Heath grinned.
“Hey, Heath, April,” I nodded, arms flailing in the air.
“Whutca doin’ ?”
“Oh just some exercise. I didn’t get my walk in this morning,” I huffed. Side step. Kick.
“Yeah, where’s the baby?”
Oh my bah-jeebers…..the baby. The baby Ga-Ge was supposed to be watching. The baby that i left at a party in someones arms while i was turning, listening, sorting and sha-shaying…that baby!
I snapped back to today…the grilled cheese and diapers day…and i watched as my boy… picked up his boy… giving him a quiet kiss on the cheek and snuggling his tiny body in his arms.
As they walked through the front door my boy turned and wrapped his free arm around me, giving me a quiet kiss on my check.
“Thanks for babysitting, mom,” He whispered.
“Anytime son, anytime.