"Would you like to drop over for a visit?" I asked Chuck on the phone last night. "Yeah, I'll come over after work." He sounded exhausted.
Elliot had been dropped off by his mom. Chuck said that she had called him to come pick him up from time to time, or to come over and help. Chuck said that she was exhausted and hormonal. Chuck said.
She came to the door last night, another thin young man carrying Elliot's things. Elliot was asleep in his car carrier seat. She sat him down and told me that the pack of diapers was for me to keep. We talked briefly, hugged and she left.
Picking the baby out of his car seat, I carried him to the bedroom, laying him on the king sized bed and returned to the kitchen to brew the coffee. It had been a long night at work and a short day of sleep. I finished the coffee and returned to the bedroom. He was just waking, was squirming and flailing his little fists in the air and revving up for a wail. With a deftness from years of practice I put down the coffee and scooped him up pre-cry, cradling him in the crook of my arm and talking softly to him. He stopped and looked up at me, only four weeks old and so much more alert.
Dylan was in his room across the hall so I softly knocked on his door and asked him to hold Elliot. "Okay" he said, leaning back in his chair, resigned. Still, he took him with tenderness and looked into the little man's eyes while I scooted down the hall to prepare a bottle, returning just in time to hear a short wail. Dylan handed him back quickly and I began the feed while we talked about his plans for the evening, what to have for dinner and general mother-son catching up after which he returned to his computer work while I returned to the kitchen to sit in a chair, feed the baby and watch the latest installment of Project Runway on my laptop. He ate twelve ounces. Twelve. Dang.
Then Chuck called. "I'm finished with work and will be over in about ten minutes." And he was. And he held his son and changed his diaper and we talked. He was exhausted, he looked exhausted. Dylan came into the living room and we all sat around visiting until Dylan said goodbye and went out for the evening. Chuck leaned back against the couch while I retrieved the laptop and we finished watching Project Runway together while Elliot slept against his father's chest.