It’s never too late to learn: babies rule

Published 11:29 am Friday, May 15, 2015

For 57 years, I had lived life to the fullest.

At least that’s what I thought. I still had hair. Very little was gray. I hadn’t even changed a baby’s diaper.

Never having kids of my own, the chore was never there. Sure, there were nieces and a nephew that I adored caring for, but a parent was always nearby for that one smelly chore.

Then along came Kenzie.

The daughter of my stepson Seth Gales and his lovely wife Tara, I rushed to the hospital on the Tuesday night that she was born. There in the waiting room, I wasn’t sure what to expect.

Then they called us into her room. Tara was going downstairs for a C-section, and the grandparents and close friends were there in the room. Within seconds, the father and a nurse entered with this little baby, only minutes into the world.

A quick wash and Kenzie was passed around.

It came my turn. I was nervous almost to the point of being scared.

But when that little bundle was put into my hands, my heart melted. I was hooked.

It’s still melting. She never fails to smile when she sees me. I return the grin – a smile that comes from way deeper than what is seen.

I even volunteered to help babysit.

What? By myself? How hard could it be?

By now, I had been watching closely as others changed her diaper. A quick grab of the feet, take the diaper off, a quick swipe with a baby wipe, a little lotion and a new diaper goes on.

Oh, if it was only that easy.

My first solo diaper change was an experience for us both. The feet wouldn’t stay still long enough to be grabbed. Holding onto the feet while unleashing the tape from the diaper requires three hands. I only had two, and they were trembling.

That quick swipe with a baby wipe turned into slow swipes with nine baby wipes. Yep, it took me nine wipes to clean that perfect bottom. By then, I had decided that whoever did it next could apply the lotion. I’m putting the new diaper on before something else happens.

I still had to look for my third hand to get the clean diaper in place.