No alarm clock necessary. G is automatic for the 6 a.m. wake up. She squawks and beckons from the crib, sometimes tapping a binkie repeatedly against the rails or just plain letting her pipes loose. I got the early shift this morning. Time to get up.
I shuffle in my undies over to the bowl and pee. Flush. Hand wash. G hears the noise and you can tell she’s waiting. She’s trying to stand in the crib even though her sleeper sack easily trips her during the hurried attempts to rise up. As I creep along the hallway, she sounds as if she just stumbled. I peek my head into her room.
“Hwaaaaaaaaahhhhh,” she screeches pterodactyl-like. G is standing in a semi-squat position resting her arms on the top rail to balance as she bounces up in down with glee. I greet my little one like a female gymnast after, well, basically any event that a gymnast just completed – and she’s kicking and squirming in delight.
Sleeper sack off. Remove the diaper and wonder at its weight as I fold it up. Replace with a dry one while swatting away the kicking hamhocks. (All in the dark, thank you.) We move to the kitchen as she yanks at my chest hair with one hand and clutches in the other hand whatever object I could find to distract her during the diaper change: a stray shoe, Timmy the Turtle, a squeeze bottle of Bacitracin.
I place G into this “Phil & Ted’s me too” baby seat, which suspends off the side of our kitchen counter top with screw-in attachments. The binkie’s still in her mouth. I go over to the sink and challenge myself, as I do every time, to fill the bottle as close to exactly 6 ounces as possible. 6.5. I’m a little off.
Three scoops of formula next. Attach the remaining bottle components. Cover. Shake. Turn back to G- sizzle who’s been waiting impatiently for her breakfast. I smile until I see it for the first time.
After a few seconds, I flash back to my pledging days at college. I think of vomiting beer into a T-shirt breast pocket and slamming it with my hand to indicate I was done. I think of spewing assorted parts of multiple goldfish out of my mouth onto the head of a pledge brother. I think of Montezuma tequila blasting its way through my nostrils and the burn that dripped post-nasally. Please tell me G can projectile vomit, too.
The night before, a backing to the wife’s earring fell out. She innocently removed the backless one and then the other, placing them on the kitchen counter top. We went to sleep. A few minutes ago, I turned my back to make the bottle and saw for the first time that only one earring was laid on the counter easily within G’s grasp.
At this moment, an EKG would definitely show an uptick in my cardiac activity. I grab the abandoned earring and immediately look on the floor under Greta. Nothing. Adrenal glands now kicking in. Inner monologue tidbit: “Michelle’s gonna kill me… Guess I’ll have to call out from work today… Looks like we’re taking our first trip to the emergency room… Maybe the bottle will help induce her to puke it up if I overfeed her a little bit…”
No matching earring in sight. Okay, here goes. (Hurried walk back to the bedroom.)
Me: “Hi honey, how’d you sleep?”
Wife: “What’s wrong?”
Wife: “Why are you waking me up?”
Me: “No reason. Um, so, did you happen to take one of your earrings into the bedroom last night?”
Wife: “No, why?”
Me: “Um, nothing. Just ruling out whether Greta may have swallowed the earring that YOU put on the counter directly next to where she eats without telling me. Be right back.”
Now I’m running back towards Greta. She’s pissed that I haven’t brought her a bottle. I yank her out of her seat and feel around desperately. “Could she pass the earring in her poo?,” I ask myself because I clearly do not wish to ask the wife this question when -
YES! JACKPOT! Holy shit. Thank God. Phew. Back to the bedroom.
Me: “Go back to sleep, hon. I got the earring.”
Wife: “Are you freaking kidding me right now? You just gave me a heart attack.”
Me: “Nothing to see here. Just go back to sleep. False alarm. Sorry. Ha! That was funny, huh?”
Wife: “I’m getting up, I can’t sleep.”
Crisis averted! Wow, that adrenaline was better than coffee. Returning to G, I see that she is chewing on the laptop’s electrical cord. Good times. 6:13 a.m.