TO GET A LIFE
My niece gave birth to a beautiful
baby girl the other day, and my wife and I couldnít wait to go see the
little bundle of joy.
"Have you had your shots
yet?" my niece asked.
"Your whooping cough vaccine
and your flu vaccine," she replied matter of factly. "You canít
hold the baby until you get your shots."
right?" I said. "I have to get inoculated before I can see your
"You can see her, you just
canít hold her," she answered. "Whooping cough is very
dangerous for infants, and itís going around. "
Fortunately, I hate holding
little babies. But my wife made me get the shots anyway, just in case I
got an urge. So, whooping cough and flu free, we went off to see the
newest addition to our family.
As babies go, this one was pretty
cute. Lots of hair, perfectly formed, nice color to her. All in all, a
fine specimen. The only problem was she didnít do anything except eat,
sleep and cry.
My wife made a beeline for her,
though, and after displaying the Band Aid on her upper arm which proved
sheíd been shot, grabbed the baby from my niece and started oohing and
"When does she smile or
laugh?" I asked as I watched my wife make stupid faces at the baby,
who was sound asleep.
My nieceís husband, who is an
attorney and has read every baby book known to mankind, was quick with an
answer. "Six weeks, but it might be just gas. You can pretty much
count on it at three months."
I got up to go. "Cute baby.
Call me when she does something."
My wife wasnít going anywhere.
"Oh, look," she squealed. "Sheís opening her
My niece and her husband beamed
with pride. There were a couple of other people visiting, and they all
gathered around to watch the baby open her eyes.
"She canít really see
anything," announced my nieceís husband. "She canít even see
colors yet. And she certainly canít see you."
"Time to go," I
announced. "I got a needle poked in my arm for pretty much
nothing." My wife tried to
hand the baby to me, but I resisted. Having her open her eyes was more
than enough excitement for one evening. I had seen enough.
Thatís when she started crying.
I knew it wasnít my fault, because I didnít even exist in her little
world. But she sure wasnít happy, although Iíd never know because she
canít smile yet.
She could sure cry, though. How a
little 7 pound bundle of flesh could produce such an ear-splitting sound
remains a mystery, but apparently she could do it through most of her
waking hours, according to her sleep-deprived parents.
"Iíve got a confession to
make," said my nieceís husband as he rushed to the kitchen to get a
bottle of pumped breast milk. "I called her a little asshole last
"It was a moment of
weakness!!!" he explained as the mothers in the room gasped and I
nodded in understanding. "We had been up all night and she wouldnít
I was loving it. No father could
love their baby more than this young man, but a little honesty is
refreshing. Babies can be self-obsessed little assholes at times. In some
cases, most of the time.
I had four of them, and as much
as I fight the passage of time and the effects of aging, I have no strong
desire to go through the baby years again. Been there, done that.
My nieceís little baby finished
her bottle and immediately started crying again. She couldnít be hungry.
Maybe she had gas, without the fake smile.
All I knew was that it was time
to go, and this time my wife didnít resist. We had loved the new little
addition to our extended family, and now we could leave it.
Someday, maybe soon, weíll have
grandchildren of our own. And Iím sure Iíll be a great grandfather, as
soon as the kid does something interesting.