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Adventures in Babysitting ((Anabela))

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“You can’t dunk her in the hot tub!”

The words were no sooner out of her mouth than Ba’raka was already holding the girl’s little blue body at arm’s length and dipping her into the warm, bubbling water. Ana grimaced.

“Well, no one is going to want to use THAT for a while….”

Ba’raka knelt at the edge and cradled her in one arm, keeping her head above water. The baby just gurgled, a slight grin on her tiny blue face as she stared up at him. His voice was gravelly and metallic from inside his helmet as he searched around the room. “She has poop in her HAIR,” he grumbled. He pointed toward a cabinet at the far side of the room. “Find me something I can wash her with will ya?”

“Her skin is sensitive, that water is way too hot for her so hurry it up,” Ana admonished as she walked over and began rummaging through the cabinet. She came up with a cleaning cloth and a bottle of what appeared to be dish soap. Satisfied, she walked back over to Ba’raka and handed them to him, kneeling beside him.

He turned the bottle over, frowning. It had no label. “You sure this ain’t chlorine or something?” He opened the top of the bottle and sniffed. It smelled a little like lavender, probably some kind of bubble bath for the hot tub. He shrugged, deciding it smelled mild enough. Ana slipped a hand under the baby’s head so he could have his hands free to wash her.

She stared down at her niece, a half-smile curling her lips. Ba’raka put some soap on the cloth and washed her from head to toe, then carefully lifted her out of the tub. He found a towel lying on a nearby chair and wrapped her in it before handing her over to Ana with a grunt. “THAT was disgusting, I mean really, really disgusting.”

Ana gave him a wry grin, cradling the girl in her arms and rocking her softly. “Oh come on, it wasn’t THAT bad.” For the first time in a long time, her eyes sparkled as she spoke. Probably the last time he could remember her looking like that was the day she found out….

He reached up and unlatched his helmet, hooking it on his belt and pulling off his gloves. He looked a little green. “I’m gonna go clean up myself… I, may have thrown up in my helmet.”

And this was just the first hour.

By 8pm they were all three slumped together in a pile on the couch, out cold. Ana cradled Azanis in her arms, and Ba’raka cradled both girls in his, snoring like a Gundark with a head cold. There had been one more “incident” before it was over and Ba’raka had learned the hard way which side of a diaper was “up”.

It was going to be a long weekend.

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