This morning my friend Nina called and asked, with that sort of tense tone in her voice, what I was doing. Why? I said. Do you need a rescue? Turns out, she was in the car with the twins, who had a pediatrician’s appointment, and her husband (who is writing for TV trying to support them all) had a sudden deadline at eleven. She needed an extra set of arms.
Well count me in. There’s no cure for a case of low-level January depression like a two month old baby that needs a snuggle.
I did have to check my schedule though. While I have no evidence that part of the reason that I lost the Totally Cushy Real Job and got booted over into the Real Job I Don’t Know How To Do is because I spent a lot of time last summer driving Nina to Billings for doctor’s appointments when she was pregnant, it was probably a tiny little factor. So this morning, Nina was all: “if you have to work …” but the glory of the Real Job is that it’s in California, which is an hour behind Montana, so it looked like I could go.
And when I got there, there was Lola, wearing the completely extravagent sweater I bought for her in France (deep rose, hoodie, with these fabulous buttons that look like roses and are made from ribbon). I am superstitious, and won’t ordinarily buy baby presents for babies who aren’t here yet, but when I went to France for the anniversary of Patrick’s death, I decided it was time to believe in these babies. And the shopkeeper in the gorgeous French baby clothes store saw me coming — I spent a fortune, and it was worth every penny. Each baby got a gorgeous outfit, and with any luck they may grow enough this winter to wear them!
The pediatrician was interesting — I’m not a mom, so while the doctor was very nice, and has a young baby of her own, I was somewhat shocked by her tone, which seemed to imply that the doctors had loaned Nina these two babies, and gee, wasn’t she doing a good job with them? Now Nina’s one of the most confident moms I know, and these are babies three and four, so she’s got a bag of tricks under her belt, and I must say, if this is the way doctors talk to moms, then no wonder they wind up feeling insecure.
But, as the auntie, I had a lovely morning with Violet, and Lola, holding whichever baby wasn’t being stripped naked, weighed, and having her head measured. And then there were the terrible injections — each one of the bunnies got an RSV injection — their little legs are so tiny, and the needle was so big, and they were deeply betrayed. It was terrible. But by the time we left, Lola, who hadn’t slept at all last night, had passed out against my collarbone from the excitement, and despite the immediate horror of being stuck with that big needle, they were fine.
As was I, after a quick morning hit of infant, and a reminder that it’s good to be a member of the village.