I had been looking forward to keeping Beenie this afternoon while his mama ran some errands, so I got up early to get my work done before he was to arrive at 1:30. Before the morning was over, I had canned fourteen quarts of green beans and made the dreaded trip to Wal-Mart, something I should know better than to do on the day before a holiday.
I set up the playpen and picked out five little board books for us to read, most notably, "Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?" I figured it was time for Beenie and me to do a lesson on animals and colors, and for these concepts there is no better teacher than "Brown Bear." Also at the ready was the basket of shaky, rattly toys just right for Beenie to grab up in his little three-month-old fist.
He arrived bright-eyed and well-fed, and I was excited to see our much-anticipated afternoon commence. After three times through "Brown Bear," I thought it might be nice to just snuggle in the recliner for fifteen or twenty minutes. So we headed down to the family room, switched on Law and Order, raised the footrest, plugged in the binky, and snuggled in.
Beenie tucked his little head into my shoulder perfectly, and the blanket was so cozy. I determined right then and there to relish every precious minute of our time together on this lazy summer afternoon. It was a hundred degrees outside, but the two of us were cool and comfy. What a great day this was going to be!
Suddenly, I became aware that something was very wrong. The entire cast of Law and Order had changed. Next thing I knew, Pa-pa was saying something about it being 3:30, which I knew simply could not be true since Beenie and I had just sat down. Next came his announcement that Beenie's mama was already back to pick him up. Already? Hadn't she just left?
Well, duh, Googie. Slowly it sinks in that Beenie and I have just slept away the entire afternoon. One minute I am lost somewhere in an unfinished episode of Law and Order, and the next I am saying "hi" again to Beenie's mama. Sheepishly, I lower the footrest, Beenie wakes up wet and famished, his mama scurries to mix up a bottle, and I find myself in dire danger of flunking Babysitting 101.
It was not the afternoon I was expecting. We never used the playpen, read any of the books besides "Brown Bear," or touched the toys in the basket. Until Beenie's mama came back, I never even opened the diaper bag. Everyone had a good laugh at my expense, and I deserved it. I had been entrusted with the care of this sweet baby boy for only a couple hours, and I had failed miserably.
Or had I? Bone-tired from spending a week away from home and a hurry-scurry morning, I have to admit I found this unexpected afternoon nap nothing short of delicious. And you know, as I was gazing down at Beenie--at that precise second just before his eyelids drooped shut--I am almost sure I saw him smack his lips.