But rather than going through all the hassle of insemination and pregnancy, we did the next best thing.
We borrowed someone else’s baby boy.
His name is Price. He is a redheaded, 1-year-old dynamo who waddles around the house grunting like Captain Caveman with a Napoleonic complex. He’s totally precious.
We’re only keeping him for a few days, while his parents party like Poison, circa 1986, somewhere in the wilds of Jamaica.
By Day 2, Jellybean had rearranged her wish list, replacing a baby brother with a dwarf hamster.
She didn’t appreciate being replaced — even temporarily — on the cuteness totem pole by a tyke who looks like he belongs in an Irish Spring commercial.
Take our recent conversation before Price’s first night in the Buckner abode.
Me: “So are you going to be a good part-time big sister and share your toys?”
Jellybean: “Well, I don’t really think so, because he puts everything in his mouth.”
True. I’d forgotten the simple joy of sticking my fingers into the mouth of a child and the fear of pulling back only a nub. Dude may have only eight teeth, but he ain’t afraid to use them when he’s eating a potato chip — even if it’s plastic and belongs in the Barbie kitchen.
I wasn’t exactly crazy about the idea of having a toddler around. I had survived those maddening days with my own child and had put them far enough in the past so as to romanticize the hours spent rocking a screaming Jellybean during her “colicky phase,” and cleaning poop out of the bathtub.
The Diva was supposed to babysit Price during the afternoons — sort of a Scared Straight deal, like one of those high school projects where they make kids take care of an egg in an effort to understand the stresses of caring for a baby … or a chicken, I’m not sure which.
We figured after a few days with Price, The Diva would never … well … you know … until she had graduated from med school or law school or became the first female pope. But, per usual, she’s smarter than all of us and has managed to stay gone most of the time.
This is fine by me, because (don’t tell My Lovely Wife because I’m planning on getting lots of mileage out of my kindness and understanding through all this) I’ve kind of enjoyed having a little man around the house.
We wee-wees have been in short supply of late. Even the dogs are neutered. It’s nice to know Price has got my back. Granted, he requires a highchair to get there, but still.
Borrowing a baby is awesome. It’s like being a grandparent without getting old. We get to spoil the kid and teach him goofy stuff like saying “Dio” and throwing up the heavy-metal horns (a trick that took Jellybean three years to master) without ever worrying that he’ll grow up to be a serial killer or act like one of those preening monsters on “Toddlers and Tiaras.”
But at the end of the week, we’ll return Price, and Jellybean will start asking for that hamster.
Contact Brett Buckner at email@example.com