Tuesday, January 13, 2015

'An Inopportune Defect' by Suzanne Comer

“Ahh...hush now...Mama’s here...I know your hungry and wet.”  I coo. “No need to get so upset...my little man.” I whisper, as I carefully scoop him up and move him to his changing table.

I feel a bit uneasy because tending to a newborn at two o'clock in the morning is a brand- new experience and it's our first night home together.  In awe, I watch as his lower lip turns blue and quivers just before he lets out another tearless squall. But I feel tears well up, I'm about to cry too!  Initially, I'm a bit concerned by my lack of control over my emotions.  Then I realize I'm experiencing what that undeniable emotional bond between mother and child feels like. A phenomenon I’ve heard other mothers try to explain.

I unsnap his tiny blue terry-cloth sleeper, and arrange a fresh pamper under him before removing the wet one: just like the nurse at the hospital taught me.  Oh no, I notice something is amiss.  I yell at my husband for help.

“Larry...Larry...come here...hurry...I don’t know what to do!  He is asleep on a blow-up mattress in our otherwise empty bedroom.  I hear the covers move and then footsteps.

“Wha...huh...is the baby alright?  Is he sick?” Larry asks.

“No…no...he's fine...it’s the diaper.  It's missing the adhesive tabs!” I exclaim.  

Larry is an Army intelligence officer and is scheduled to be deployed to some undisclosed destination within a week.  While I was in the hospital giving birth to our first child, the movers packed all our belongings and placed them in storage. except for a few necessities I insisted I needed during our move…including the box of pampers I just opened.   

I take a closer look at the defective diaper when suddenly a tiny golden fountain of pee squirts me square in my face. 

“Whoa...good aim...that’s my boy!” Larry crows.

I swat his arm in fake exasperation and say, “This is no time for your mister macho attitude...seriously...what are we going to do? No stores are open now…without drivin' to Timbuktu and back." I advise.

“Well Babe, the movers probably took everything...but let me check for some tape. Give me a minute.” He says, and leaves to look.

He comes back empty-handed. “I have an idea.We can use a leather shoe or boot...what ever ya want to call it...string from one of my combat boots.”

“What good is that?” I ask. 

“Let me show you…I'll get one…it’ll work okay.”  He takes the leather string and wraps it around the baby’s diapered hips—two complete wraps and ties it off in a knot.  The diaper is secure.

“Ya, Daddy to the rescue.” I cheer, and kiss him on the cheek.

As I rock my nursing son, I fondly recall our first kiss.  We were parked along side the road in Louisville’s Cherokee Park not far from my home. It was snowing.  Perfect haloes formed around the nearby street lamps, caused by a reflection off the white feathery flakes that fluttered towards the ground, a quaint setting for our romantic rendezvous.  Soon I'll be near there again.  While Larry is off spying, little Brian and I will be safe living with Mom and Dad in the winsome plantation style home where I grew up.

Suddenly, my fanciful reverie gets interrupted by a snorting sound.  I am alarmed at first then realize it is coming from the bedroom. Larry is fast-asleep, snoring…I smile. Ah, the life of a military wife…I have much to ponder.