Friday, October 14, 2011

Babysitting the Shaner

"Birds, bubbles and Shane"

ROOFTOP – I think we may be rushing this autumn thing a bit. It’s still too hot to be up here. We’re looking at 84 degrees with a hot breeze. And, if that’s not a line in a Country Western song, it oughtta be.

I’m just surprised you followed me up here. Figured you for more sense. Loyal, that’s what you are. Loyal with a touch of odd.

At least you didn’t bring coffee with you. Can you believe this? This is my second cup of the morning. Sweating like a Lebanese sumo wrestler, and drinking coffee. Jill has been trying to get me interested in iced coffee. It makes no sense to me. If coffee were meant to be consumed cold, they would have called it Java-ade.

I thought we’d face the front yard this morning. Hope you don’t mind. It was a little shadier on this portion of the roof. The big oak will likely obscure us from any passing motorists. Let’s hope.

Speaking of all the birds, someone told me the other day that hummingbirds will eventually settle down and share the feeder. I can’t see hummingbirds sharing anything. One will sit down and just dare another to sit on one of the three vacant stoops. Chases off anything that attempts to hover. I just wanna slap ‘em.

When the oriole wants to visit, the hummingbirds don’t pester it. I’m fairly sure it’s from Maryland. I thought it odd the first time I saw the bird balance on the tiny hummingbird feeder. I seldom see any orioles around here. I had no idea they liked sugar water. We’ve got the birdbath down there, but they occasionally like to hit the sweet stuff. Reminds me of me.

Oh, and speaking of Kay reminds me that we had to baby sit Virginia and Freeman’s great grandson last week. Shane is, what… almost a year old? He can’t walk, he’s not crazy about crawling, but he likes to bounce. When you stand him up, he bounces like Tigger on speed.

If you lay him on his back, he kicks and punches the air like he wants to bounce in space. It’s best not to try to tummy-gum an air-bouncer. Look at my nose. I think he broke it. Strange lad. Grins and giggles like a Ukrainian drunk. (I don’t know where that came from.)

Other than the facial breakage threat, the other aggravating thing about the kid is that he doesn’t like to nap even when he’s half asleep. And, he always likes to be with someone. He even enjoys MY company. What an idiot. But, he much prefers his Aunt Kay. She threw a blanket in the backyard, put Shane down on it and started playing with one of her many bubble making mixtures. Kay’s pretty much a bubble freak. I had no idea when I married her.

So, she blew bubbles at Shane and the kid would giggle and try to focus on one while dozens of ‘em were popping on his noggin. Kids are just nuts.

I don’t care to spread this around, but I halfway enjoyed Shane’s stay. The first couple of hours anyway. And, I do think it was a little too hot for me to be outside with him. Fortunately, Kay put some water in a spray bottle and sprayed us with it. I think I giggled as much as the kid did. I even started bouncing.

I wish I had thought to bring the spray bottle to the roof. I’m melting. Just look at me. Tell you what, let’s get off this metal furnace, get in the house, lose the coffee and hit the Dr Pepper. The ol’ sugar water. I think I’ve got some oriole in me.

Oh, and watch your step, people. When it gets cooler we’re gonna want to do this again. So, if you fall and break something, I’m sure not hauling your rear up here next time. Loyalty counts for just so much.


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  1. Your face is a bit red in the last pic. Did you stay outside a little too long?

  2. This was moments before the stroke. I tossed Shane toward the ceiling fan, where he hung before Kay could get to him. Babysitting is brutal.

  3. Ha! He's adorable!