Sunday, March 29, 2009


Grandpa Lyons and Roan (4 months)

Grandpas have it good. They hold the baby, and when the baby gets fussy, they hand it off to someone else. They supervise diaper changes, pretending to help. And when they get tired or bored, they let their heads fall back and snore. Since they nod off quite suddenly, sometimes you don't realize that a Grandpa is asleep, and you'll ask him a question or make some passing remark. He'll wake up 10 minutes later, answer your question or defend himself, as the case may be, and swear up and down he was never asleep.

Grandpa Mac and Roan (5 months)
Last week Grandpa Mac came to visit. He got in late, so the first time he saw Roan was when I passed him off around 3AM after a feeding.

"Just bounce him for a while," I told Grandpa Mac, "and he'll eventually go to sleep."

"He doesn't look sleepy," said Grandpa Mac.

"He is. He just doesn't know it. You have to convince him." And I went to bed.

I wake up half an hour later because Roan is making noises... is he laughing? Yes. Grandpa Mac is playing Super Baby. A game where you fly the baby around the room and exclaim in a loud voice: "Super Baby!" Except Grandpa Mac was whispering, so we wouldn't wake up and bust him.

"Dad," I say, and my voice is full of frustration and disappointment. "It's the middle of the night. What the hell?" It's funny because 15 years ago my father was asking me this same question, with this same tone. But sleep deprivation tends to rob you of your sense of humor. I am pissed.

"He didn't want to sleep. He wanted to play," Grandpa Mac says in his defense.

And this is how Grandpas get out of Night Duty.

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