I have five grand kids now with a sixth on the way in December. I have four kids and according to the national average, I'll have a few more grand kids in the next few years or so. Five isn't a bad number. It's within range of remembering all their names without saying "Uh, uh, what's it start with?"
They are fun and reasonably resilient after accidents because, after all, they bounce.
Grand parental duties include babysitting. Babysitting young grand kids reminds one of why they don't miss those days when toddlers learned to walk and walk immediately into danger. Sofa pillows become fireplace edge guards and all cabinet doors are safeguarded with those plastic things that adults can't open.
Walking offers a toddler new found freedom of movement and quite frankly, if they're noticing, entertainment in the form of watching grandparents trying to keep up--in vain.
Once the house is safeguarded, including duct taping foam pads over the dog's head so the little darlings won't lift her up by the ears, there's time to sit and watch innocence at play. Unfortunately, this lasts only a few minutes before it happens.
It begins with a short sniff in the air. Something is amiss. I must have bought a bad scented candle because "Autumn Evergreen" ain't smelling like autumn.
Then it hit me. My mind flashed back to those days many years ago and as I began to recall, in horror, that fateful day. Then it hits you again. It's like a punch in the face.
Oh My God. I have forgotten. Maybe it was the trauma that erased the incident from my memory but now, that smell is bringing it all back.
My oldest grandson was then somewhere between infant and toddler. Not sure but one of those. My wife and I were babysitting meaning she was actually doing the work of babysitting and I was looking at him like a museum exhibit. He was so small and so cute.
My wife had to make a run to the store. I said I could handle things. "Take your time" I said. I then grabbed her gently by the arm and said "within reason."
She left. My youngest son, who was about twelve or so, hung around to help.
It was fun. We played and my grandson ran and ran and ran and I got dizzy and sat down to watch him in utter amazement of how much energy he had.
As he ran past me in the padded living room, I detected that smell. "Please God, let it be gas."
He made a face that said "I'm in need of assistance here."
Being an adult, I resigned myself to the task of changing the diaper. I was prepared. I told my son we were going to have to do this. "We're going in."
To this day, I have no idea how an infant could muster so much intestinal power as to shoot poop up from the back of a diaper and onto his back. I looked in horror as this monster looked at me, smiling as if to say "Welcome to Hell Grandpa."
I panicked. I didn't know what to do. I stopped, dropped, and rolled which was stupid but I was in a panic. I yelled for my son to call the National Guard but he was no where to be found. He had either abandoned me or was dead. My grandson was now happy and happy babies like to wiggle around. "Don't do that!! For the love of God and everything that is holy please stop that!!" I screamed.
This stuff, this satanic filth that he brought to this home seemed to grow more powerful. I needed a priest.
My police training kicked in. I wrapped a towel around my face and put on some ski goggle which were, oddly enough, within hand's reach. If I could just get him wrapped up, I could get him in the car and down to the fire station where they could turn several fire hoses on him until this poltergeist could be neutralized.
"What is going on here?"
A voice. That sweet voice of my wife was behind me, walking in the door. I was going to live! She took one look and made a noise that I had not heard before. Even so, her maternal instinct kicked in and she took over.
I rolled out of the room, gasping for air. I staggered to the front room as the doorbell rang. It was my son who had deserted me. He explained that he was going to live with our neighbors until the grandchild left.
Years later, I have new grandchild and yes, we wasted no time in offering our services as babysitters. This time I have prepared a support kit with goggles, an Army Hazmat suit--and a fire hose.
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