Sunday, March 9, 2014

Earmuffs NOT included...

Den of the Beastly Bear

Morning Folks!

As a young man (many, MANY years ago) I was decidedly anti-kids!

It wasn't entirely my fault...prone to migraine headaches and over exposure to less than well behaved children had skewed my perception to the negative!

Then I started dating the girl that would become Mama Bear. Not that she had children, but she was very often babysitting her niece Tricia, while Tricia's single mom went to business school.

At first I attempted to be busy on those days....
Until gradually I wanted to see her more than I wanted to avoid the toddler.

Our first outing together, I took Kathy, one of her friends and Tricia to the Cider Mill in Rochester for cider and donuts.

Wonder of wonders, she was a delight!!! Such a happy, well behaved little girl just before her 2nd. birthday.

And I was hooked!

From then on if Kathy was watching Tricia, we just took her with us...everywhere. Oh not to movies, but shopping, dinner, visiting friends and family you name it Tricia was with us!

We even pranked my Dad, who was  living in Oxford with his wife and family, by introducing him to Tricia as Kathy's daughter(she looked SO much like Kathy she was often mistaken as hers). At that time he'd only met Kathy a couple of times, and while he tried to play it cool I could tell he was less than enthused...his relief was palpable when we let him in on the joke.
She was 3 when Kathy and I got married...she was our flower girl.

By this time I was definitely Pro kids...

But on the horizon though was a test that would seriously challenge that stance!

My step sister Kelly had a baby girl of her own...

Kelly is one of the sweetest, most loving souls it has ever been my pleasure to know. While step sister in name, she's my baby sister in my heart!!!

She named her little girl Tiara (Ti-AR-a).

As a new mom, living on her own Kelly and Tiara formed a super strong bond. To make things easier, Kelly wore a baby Bjorn with Tiara in it while she went about her chores all day...Tiara LOVED her mommy!!!

The problem came when anyone tried to babysit Tiara. As soon as Tiara noticed that Kelly was not there, she'd start to scream. Now when I say scream, 
you may assume I mean cry...oh, no no no! I mean fists clenched, face beet red full blown hissy fit SCREAM!!!

To the point my Step Mother actually sent Kelly's older sister Colleen up to drag Kelly out of the movies to come home (pre cell phones) as something HAD to be wrong with the kid. As soon as Kelly walked in, all was right with the world again, smiles and coo's all around.

As a consequence, finding sitters became a real challenge for her. So when she she wanted to go to Cedar Point, overnight....she had a problem!

Enter big brother Joe...Kathy and I volunteered, how bad could it be? Right?

Kelly brought Tiara over, along with all the accouterments that went with a baby. 

While Kelly was there, all was well...

As soon as she left, all HELL broke loose!

I foresaw a career in Opera for Tiara, as this kid had a set of lungs on her!!! How anything THAT tiny, could make so much noise is beyond my comprehension!

I thought eventually she would cry herself out, and exhausted, she would fall asleep...nyet! Didn't happen.

Couldn't feed her, couldn't calm her, she was inconsolable...and PISSED! 

The rage and hatred emanating from this infant only led me to believe the Antichrist MAY in fact be female!!!

After a couple hours of this we decided to try a car ride, so we drove over to Kathy's Mom's house....


She continued to rage and scream...screams that promised a horrible death and bodily dismemberment for us if only she were bigger and stronger!!!

At Kathy's Mom's, her mother couldn't take it either...
"Give me that baby!!!" She said "I'll get her calmed down!!"

20 minutes of rocking and cuddling later it was:
"Get this thing away from me!!!"

Aha, not so easy eh Mom?!? Lol.

"What is wrong with that child?!?" She asked.

"Misses her Mommy!!!" I replied.

I gotta give it to the kid, she had endurance!!!

We drove back home when it became apparent that 5 more minutes of listening to this, and Kathy's mom would start cutting herself...

Back home, four hours into this tirade...
I observed that I was beginning to understand why people put babies in microwaves....not really....but you gotta feel me!

I mean, even Tasha the wonder dog had run for cover and surcease!

By this time it was dark out, and I'd had enough!!!

"Give'r here!" I told Kathy, who turned away protectively...looking for all the world like she thought I was about to dash the child's brains out against the nearest door frame.

"Why?!?" She asked guardedly 

"I've got an idea..." I said

Reluctantly she handed me Tiara, and I headed back to the bedroom.

Right on my heels Kathy said:

 "What're you going to do???" A little fear in her voice.
Like I was taking her back to drown her in the toilet.

"Look," I said "the problem is that she can SEE that we're not mom! What if I take her back into the dark bedroom where she CAN'T see who's got her?!?"

"Worth a shot..." She said visibly relieved.

So I went into our bedroom, laid her on the waterbed and closed the door. I knelt beside the bed, cradled her little head in my hand and rubbed her forehead with my thumb while speaking in a low soothing voice.

Results were almost instant. I felt her little body relax,
the tension flowing out of her...screams became cries, which became whimpers...before finally silence.

Under the guise of being helpful....but in reality checking I hadn't smothered her with a pillow, Kathy opened the door and asked:

"You want a bottle?"

As she did, light from the hallway played across my face...revealing me to be, "NOT THE MOMMA!"


Close enough to reach, I kicked the door closed...

"Shut the fucking door!!!"
I yelled to be heard over the wail! 

"If she can see me, she's going to start all over again!!! Yes, bring me a bottle, but shut the hall light off before you bring it in!"

Once the door was closed she wound down again, a bottle was procured...and once it was gone, exhausted, she fell asleep. Success!!!!

At least while it was dark...the morning brought a return of the unhappy baby, though somewhat mollified from the night before...

We certainly were happy to see Kelly that night...
and it was with some trepidation she asked:

"So you survived the demon child, eh?!?"

"Yeah, once we discovered that as long as she couldn't see us she wouldn't scream, she was fine..."

"So you'll watch her again???" She asked hopefully.

"Sure, but you better give us a couple weeks to recover!"

A couple months later, we were called upon again. Knowing the secret, things went much smoother this time.

A call from my Dad and step Mom prompted an impromptu visit as they couldn't BELIEVE we actually had her fed and asleep. They BEGGED us for the secret!!! Lol!

I'm reminded of all this because my beautiful niece Tiara, all grown up now...a graduate of the University of Michigan AND the Australian University of Fitness.
Is living in Brisbane, Queensland, Australia with her Policeman boyfriend Nic (a GREAT guy who's visited the States with her a couple of times). Has started her own fitness company "Because I can Fitness", and is happy, healthy and well. 
Today she wrote an IM home to the family, just a touchstone home telling us she's happy, yet misses the family. Right back at ya T!!! Miss you more!

Be well Folks!

Beastly Bear


  1. And that is why I thought it best I never have children. I used to tell my friends who were babysitting to call me back, when I heard their charges start crying through the phone. A screaming baby or loud child sends my BP through the roof. I admit, I dread being a stepgrandparent.....

    1. Once they are toddlers things are pretty easy until the preteen years and beyond LOL!!!!

  2. I guess it makes sense that my endurance tranlated into my fitness business right Uncle Joey :) I know I wasnt the easiest of babies to put up with but im glad you did... and hey I must have gotten it out of my system because I dont think I turned out too bad! Love you xoxo

    1. You certainly did Tiara! You were over it by your first birthday, and have been a sweetheart ever since!!! Love you!!!

  3. It may be difficult to console them when they cry because we don't know for what reason they are crying. But there are many interesting things with the kids. When we concentrate on that this crying matters nothing...

    1. Oh, we knew the reason...she wanted her mommy!
      Thanks for stopping by Weekend-Windup!!!

  4. A couple of my kids had colic which sounded a lot like your niece from early evening until the wee hours of the morning. My kids were born so close together and colicky that I didn't even have time for postpartum depression. Now that my kids are grown with kids of their own they now have this fancy vibrating seat for babies with colic, if only I'd thought of that.

    1. Luckily Kaitlin never had the colic!!! How stressful that must have been for you!!!

  5. Wow, that was a total genius move on your part and so awesome she's all grown up, healthy, happy and successful. Yay her! And kudos to you for being such a great uncle!

    1. She's a sweety!!! Uncle Joe sent her a link to the blog but didn't tell her what it was about...Sneaky Uncle!!! Lol
      She commented above!

  6. I am in awe of you and your genius! ♥