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February 19, 2024

Dinner With Henry 27: And Baby Makes Four

By Bruce Memblatt

Winifred was wrapped in her soft blanket in her crib situated in the corner of Henry and Diego's room on the fourth floor of the warehouse. After a full night of crying, burping, gurgling, and all sorts of unsanitary baby stuff, rest, it seemed, would come at last.

"Cootchie- cootchie- coo," Andre pinched Winifred on the cheek.

"Cootchie-cootchie coo! Good morning little Winifred! I will sing you a morning song.

"It's the morning
Little baby stop yawning
The thunderstorms are
Right around the corner.

Aw cootchie- cootchie- coo!"

Winfred rubbed her little hands on her little cheeks and yawned.

In the other end of the room, in Henry and Diego's bed, Diego rolled over, tapped Henry on the shoulder and whispered, "I don't think the big one is ever going away, Henry."

Henry pulled the blanket over his head. "It's the first day, don't worry. In a few days he'll grow tired of her."

"What are you saying, Henry? Will we grow tired of her in a few days too?"

"No, but she's our daughter, Diego, you know it's different."

Diego breathed, "I don't think he will ever leave, Henry."

Andre pinched Winifred's cheek again. "Cootchie- cootchie- coo!"

Diego sighed. "Cootchie- cootchie- coo -- he's driving me crazy, Henry."

"I'll talk to him in a second, Diego," Henry said before he rolled over, wrapping the blanket around his shoulder.

"Cootchie- cootchie- cootchie- cootchie- coo! Look at the little adorable baby. Look at little Winifred on her first day home. Cootchie- cootchie- cootchie- cootchie coo!"

"Waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa," Winfred said, letting out a really big cry.

"Henry, go over there, or I will," Diego said nudging Henry with her shoulder blade.

"All right, all right!" Henry cried, yawning as he pulled himself out of bed. His wing hung low. His hair was straggly and his eyes were baggy and buggy.

Henry picked up Winifred and cradled her in his arm. "Andre, maybe she needs a little rest, don't you think?"

Andre knobbed his nose close to Winifred's and said, "Ah, rest! Rest is for grownups! What do little babies have to rest from? They don't slave over hot stoves all day like Andre! Ha hah! Babies like to play all the time! Isn't that right, little, Winnie?" He tapped Winifred's nose. "Even when they are crying they are playing. Aw cootchie- coo, Winifred!"

"But Andre, It looks like she's getting a little annoyed."

"Oh I see, a ton of bricks doesn't have to fall on me, you are saying Andre is annoying Winifred? That Andre doesn't know how to take care of babies? Babies love Andre! All over the world babies adore Andre! I guess I have worn out my welcome. I guess you don't want me around."

Across the room, Diego shrugged and sighed, "Well ..."

"No, no, Andre, stay as long as you like," Henry said, placing Winifred back in her cradle.

"It is okay -- I will go now. Andre knows when he is not wanted!" Andre left in a hurry, making it known with each movement and each glance that he was highly offended and wounded at the same time.

"Don't worry, he will get over it, Henry," Diego breathed, picking up Winifred, saying, "Cootchie- cootchie- coo!"

Once in the kitchen, Andre began to hurriedly stir a sauce, clanging his spoon against the sides of the pot. "Fine fine, fine, Andre is annoying. He is an annoying baby bother-er."

"Bother-er? What else is new?" Shakespeare snapped.

"Thanks, Shakespeare, I knew I could count on you to cheer me up because you are so understanding and consoling. I cherish these moments."

"Go tell it to Hallmark," Shakespeare said as he rolled out a piece of dough, "In the meanwhile, who is going to do all the dishes, not to mention, whatever it is that Diego does here until Henry and Diego get back to work?"

"Oh please, for a week or so, you can do the dishes, Shakespeare."

"Really Shakespeare," Simpson said, "and as a matter of fact, I will help you."

Andre jumped. "My god, you have done it again Mr. Simpson. You have appeared out of nowhere."

"Well, actually that would be quite impossible, Andre," Simpson said straightening his tie, "I have appeared from somewhere. I could not appear from nowhere. No one can appear from nowhere."

Shakespeare slapped his head, "I give up. I can't take it anymore. I'll do the dishes!"

"See, Simpson," Andre turned around to see Simpson had vanished. "Where did he go! I would bet he has returned to nowhere."

Shakespeare slapped his head again, "But that would be impossible."

"Nothing is impossible, Shakespeare,"Andre said slowly, his lips and nose quivering.

Shakespeare turned around trying to locate Andre. "Andre? Oh, Andre? Hmmm, how did he do that?"

"Cootchie- cootchie- cootchie- coo!"

"Henry, he is back," Digeo said, rolling over in bed.

Henry said, rolling over in bed, too, "I'm sorry, Diego."

"Do you have an extra pillow? Maybe we could strangle him."

"Look at it this way: we have a built in baby sitter." Henry sighed.

"Cootchie- cootchie -cootchie- coo. Oh, she is such a beautiful baby! I think her second name should be 'Beautiful.' Winifred Beautiful. Uncle Andre is going to take you to so many fine places and cook you so many fine meals. It will be fine. Ha ha! Andre made a little joke," Andre said as he placed his finger inside Winifred's mouth.

Little Winifred pulled her teeth down hard on Andre's finger and her little wing flipped around her bottom.

"OUCH. My god! I have never felt such strong teeth on a baby!"

Diego and Henry rolled around in bed laughing.

"I think her middle name should be 'Fingers',"Diego cried.

"How about 'Winifred Jaws?'" Henry giggled.

"How about someone gets Andre a bandage?"

In the meanwhile, in the loft, She bobbed her black eyes chaotically back and forth, her head jittering towards the skylight. Her tentacles swept frantically across the floor. Then she buzzed in a crazy sing-song rhythm, "Soon, soon, soon, Grandma is going to visit the baby deedle- deedle- dee."

Article © Bruce Memblatt. All rights reserved.
Published on 2011-01-31
Image(s) © Sand Pilarski. All rights reserved.
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