Saturday, March 14, 2015

Another excerpt from "Baby, Think it Over"

Excerpt from "Baby, Think it Over"

     Eventually, Kedon got the baby calmed again. And again and again. He talked with Rock and Mason for a brief whispered moment, somewhere between a half-finished shower and a bite, literally a bite, to eat.
     He found out their baby didn’t cry nearly as much. They were having a great time playing “house.” Of course they really did have an adult present most of the time, so the version of “house” they wanted to play had to be difficult at best, but Kedon knew “parental supervision” had never mattered to them in the past, so why would it now? They didn’t dare ask Kedon how his play family time was going; didn’t dare even joke about their lack of that adult presence. Besides, who needed adult supervision when there was a colicky baby around? All he had time for was trying to please the baby.
     But Kedon was learning. He figured out she liked to be rocked fast but bounced slowly. She liked it when you cooed while she was over your shoulder, and she didn’t much like to be burped at all. At least not today. Today, and all day, it was the angle of the bottle while being fed or how tightly the blanket was wrapped, or even the tone of Kedon’s voice. All of it seemed to matter, and he knew it was going to take the entire three weeks to figure it out. He knew by the end of three weeks he would even be doing contortions and back flips if it helped.
     Finally around six P.M. Kedon put down the sleeping baby. For a fleeting rare moment, the baby was once again quiet and in her bed. For a short-lived break, Kedon would be able to sit down and enjoy that peace. He thought about going back to bed, back to sleep, but those moments flew by way too fast. Right now he would grab a bowl of cereal and just sit and listen to the blessed silence.
So when Tarell arrived home and the front door slammed, he could have committed murder, and there would not have been a court in the land that would have sent him to prison because of it.
     The baby wailed.
     He hadn’t even gotten the first spoonful of cereal to his mouth.
     He sighed, put the bowl down, and went to the cradle. After a few minutes of humming and rocking, the baby quieted. Kedon tiptoed back to the couch and his bowl.
     Mushy cereal. His mom told him she used to eat mushy cereal. He knew why now. She never had the chance to eat it like you were supposed to. He would have to remember to apologize later.
     “So I suppose dinner is…what? In the oven?” Tarell had moved to the couch after kicking off his shoes, and had remained silent until Kedon sat back down.
     “You are a funny man.”

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