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Mama said, "Johnny will be hungry when he wakes up. His bottles are in the refrigerator. Dinner for you is there too. Just heat it up. And here are the diapers. Are you sure you will be all right, Dad?"
"Now, Honey, don't worry about a thing," Grandad said. "I know how to take care of kids. Remember, I raised three of them."
Mama kissed Grandad, hugged me and left.
Almost as soon as Mama had left, Johnny woke up. He made grumbly, cooing noises.
"Listen to that, Katey Kat." Grandad said, "the Little Guy is singing."
"Grandad sometimes calls me Kate or Katey Kat or Katherine, my real name. Everyone else calls me Kay."
Grandad picked up Johnny from the cradle and began to walk back and forth with him. "You sure are put- ting on the weight, Kiddo," he said and sat down in the big armchair.
Johnny started to cry so Grandad got up and walked around with him for a while. As soon as he sat down, Johnny began to cry again.
Grandad got up, "I dare not sit down," he said.
I said, "I think Johnny is hungry, Grandad."
"You may be right, Kay. What do we have for him to eat?"
Mama left bottles for him in the refrigerator." I said.
Johnny was really crying now. His face was all red. So was Grandad's. I got the bottle. "I think you are supposed to warm it up first, Grandad," I said.
"Right you are again," said Grandad. "You sit in the chair and hold your brother while I heat the bottle."
"Mama heats it in the microwave, Grandad," I said.
"I never fool around with those new-age machines," Grandad said, "That's your grandmother's department. I'm an old fashioned pots and pans man, myself.
I sat back in the big armchair. Grandad put Johnny in my arms.
"I'll be back in a flash" he said.
Then he ran to the kitchen.
We heard pots and pans crash and Grandad yell. Johnny stopped crying and his eyes popped open. Gran- dad ran back from the kitchen with the bottle.
Grandad took Johnny and sat in the rocking chair to feed him the bottle.
Johnny looked at Grandad while he drank. I watched him too. He had a big smile.
When he finished, I said,
"Don't forget to burp him, Grandad."
"Of course," said Grandad,
"I was just about to do that."
Grandad put Johnny on his shoulder and rubbed his back. He gave a huge burp and spit up on Grandad's red sweater. Grandad didn't seem to mind. He said, "Congratulations, That was a first rate burp."
Then Grandad burped and Johnny burped; so I burped. We took turns trying to make the biggest burp. We were laughing and burping when Johnny started to cry again.
"Can he still be hungry?" Grandad asked.
"I think he needs his diaper changed," I said sniffing. Grandad looked as if he might cry too.
"Don't worry, Grandad," I said. "I know what to do'"
I showed Grandad the changing table. I showed him where to throw the dirty diaper. I handed him the box of wipes. I got him a diaper.
"The pins," Grandad shouted. "Where are the pins?"
"There are no pins," I said. "Just sticky tape on the diaper."
"Right you are, Kay." Grandad said as he fastened the diaper on Johnny.
Grandad picked up Johnny again and walked back and forth with him, singing, "Jingle Bells" even though it wasn't close to Christmas. I walked along and sang with him.
Excerpted from WHEN GRANDAD BABYSAT by Charles M. Wetterer Copyright © 2012 by Charles M. Wetterer, J.D., EdD.. Excerpted by permission of Trafford Publishing. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
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