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“And then he’ll be up and I’ll have to feed him to get him back down. And his whole schedule will be blown for the night.”
I see the wisdom of what she’s saying. Doesn’t mean I have to frigging like it.
“I haven’t seen him all day!” I had to run out the door earlier than usual this morning, to make a meeting with a client uptown. “It’s not healthy for a baby to go days without laying eyes on the man who fathered him.”
I don’t know if this is a fact—but it sounds good, so I stick with it.
Again, Kate’s not having it. “He’s four weeks old. He needs a schedule more than he needs to see his daddy.”
I frown. I think my feelings are hurt. “That’s a f**ked-up thing to say.”
She shrugs. “Doesn’t make it any less true.”
I sigh. And decide on a more subversive course of action. “Then I’ll just go make that bowl of cereal.”
Kate watches me as I get up. Then softly calls to my retreating back, “Stay away from the nursery, Drew—don’t even look at the door.”
I neither agree nor disagree. Even though Kate and I have been together for years, loopholes still apply. I enter the kitchen, grab the milk out of the fridge, and pour myself a bowl Lucky Charms. I take two bites and—
Did you hear that? It sounded like a baby’s cry, didn’t it?
Then I recommend you get your hearing checked, ’cause I definitely heard it.
I slip through the kitchen door and stealthily make my way down the hall to the nursery. The door is cracked a few inches—just wide enough to stick my head in. The night-light casts a warm glow on the dark wood furniture, rocking chair, and stuffed animals stacked in the corner. I listen. And all I hear is the sound of James’s deep, rhythmic baby breathing.
Guess it wasn’t a cry I heard, after all. But . . . since I’m here and all, it won’t hurt to have a peek, right? Right.
Like a kid sneaking downstairs before sunrise on Christmas morning, I step softly into the room. I stand next to the crib and gaze down at my sleeping boy. An instant smile appears on my face. Because he’s so goddamn adorable.
He’s on his back, head turned to the right, one fisted little hand bent at the elbow above his dark-haired head. He’s dressed in a cotton, feet-covering, dark-green romper. I can’t resist running my finger across his plump, baby-soft cheek.
He doesn’t flinch or stir. So I continue to look at him—and it’s kind of crazy how entertaining it is just watching him breathe.
After I’ve had my fill, I take one step toward the door.
Then something f**king dreadful happens.
You had to have seen this coming.
Yep, James’s head turns to the left, and his feet kick out and his sweet features scrunch up. Then—like a baby bird fresh out of the egg—he lets out a cry.
My eyes snap to the door, then back to him, as the second squawk leaves his lips.
“Shit. Shhh,” I whisper. “James . . .” I rub his belly. “Shhh, go back to sleep.”
Of course, that does a whole lot of nothing.
Screw it. I pick him up and bounce him against my shoulder. “You gotta be quiet, buddy. If your mom finds me in here, she’s gonna lock up her pu**y like a steel safe. It’ll take me hours to crack that bad boy back open.”
Technically, the safe is closed for maintenance anyway. We still have two weeks to go before the doctor will give us the green light. Until then, there’s a strict “Thou shalt not pass” policy. I’m not even allowed to make her cum with my mouth, or the ever-so-popular-with-teenagers dry-humping method. Roberta said her uterus needed to recoup, which means no orgasmic spasming permitted.
That being said, you get my analogy. My son, on the other hand, does not. Or he just doesn’t f**king care.
“Whaaa, whaaa, whaaaaaaaa.”
Then Kate’s standing in the doorway, looking righteously pissed off. “Kiss the pubic hairs good-bye, Drew.”
I chuckle. “What? I heard him crying—I just got here before you.”
It doesn’t count as a lie if the person you’re lying to knows it’s a lie.
She lets out an exasperated sigh and reaches for the baby. “Give him to me.”
I tuck him against me and turn my body, like a football player trying to keep the ball from getting snatched in the pileup. “No, I got him. Go back to whatever you were doing.”
“He won’t settle down for you.”
“And he’ll never settle down for me if you’re the only one holding him all the time.” I kiss the top of his screaming head. “I got this, Kate. Go take a bath or something.”
Isn’t that what all new mothers want?
“Is that your way of telling me I smell?”
Guess not.
“No . . . I’m saying I stirred the shit, I’ll deal with the stench.”
Still looking unsure, she runs her hand down James’s back. “All right. Just . . . holler if you need me.”
I give her lips a peck. “We’re good.”
Finally she smiles, then she leaves.
Most men are inept when it comes to babies. Either from lack of experience or because they’re afraid they’re going to irreversibly screw something up. Give us an appliance that needs fixing, we’ll take it apart, figure it out, and put it back together again, even if we’re unfamiliar with it.