Godfrey’s friend Ben and his wife Jess had had a baby four months ago. Her name was Addison, she was adorable, and she chewed on everything that came close to her mouth. Jess had gone away for the weekend with her sister, who was getting married. It was her bachelorette party and they were going to a spa. Jess was very excited because it was the first time she was getting to leave Addison and, essentially, their home for an extended period of time. According to Ben, maternity leave was making her stir crazy. Ben, meanwhile, was working a night shift at the museum where he worked for the entire weekend. He was a security guard. Thus, he needed someone to watch Addison while he was away. Normally he and Jess would ask her parents, but they were on vacation in the Poconos. It was the perfect storm of inconvenience. In his time of desperation, Ben turned to Godfrey for help.
Godfrey knew Ben through university. He’d met Dylan and Luke a handful of times through parties and gatherings over the years, but he didn’t know them terribly well, which was presumably why he felt safe leaving his four month old daughter in their home for a weekend. Godfrey had checked with Ben if they could help look after Addison because Godfrey had some plans to keep and Ben had asked him to watch her quite close to the date. Ben, again presumably because he didn’t know Dylan or Luke very well, said it was fine. Ben dropped Addison off early on Saturday morning and then went home to sleep so that he would be ready for work later that night. Godfrey left shortly after her arrival to go to the gym. He had promised Griffin he would go with him so that he would have a reliable spotter. Apparently Ward abandoned him too frequently to hit on strangers. Ward was the only person Godfrey knew who could successfully pick up people at the gym. It was icky, but apparently his likability transcended ickyness.
When Godfrey returned home from the gym, Dylan was lying on the living room floor with Addison and Gus, listening to the Tom Jones record his mother had given to him on the record player. Dylan kept poking Addison in the nose. Every time he did this, Gus would lick her nose and Addison would giggle madly. Luke was at work. He’d had to open the restaurant where he worked that morning. He had to be there for the brunch rush so that hungover students and senior citizens alike could get their eggs and hash browns.
“I’m not sure she should be getting licked in the face by a dog repeatedly,” Godfrey said, standing above the three of them in his gym clothes. Dylan looked up at him.
“You think she’s too good for Gus?” He returned. Then he looked back at Addison. “Do you think you’re too good for Gus? No? No? Of course not. Gus is the best.”
He grabbed Addison’s hands and began making her disco dance along with the music. Gus rolled over so that he was nestled in Dylan’s side and rested his head on Dylan’s back. He really was in love with Dylan. That would piss Luke right off. Godfrey took a picture so that he could show him later.
As it turned out, Addison was a very light sleeper. She started off the night in a portable crib inside of Godfrey’s room. Later, when it was a reasonable time for adult humans to be going to bed, Godfrey joined her in the room, slipping into his bed in the darkness with incredibly difficulty. He smacked his head on the bedframe and spent the following fifteen minutes in silent agony, eyes streaming and head throbbing. When he finally managed to fall asleep, he was woken up shortly after by Addison’s crying. His snoring had woken her. So he soothed her back to sleep, which took a lot of coaxing, pleading, murmuring, some bribery, and finally forty minutes of rocking. Then he slept on the couch.
Addison woke up at six in the morning, which was very early for a Sunday morning. Godfrey fed her and changed her and spent the time until Dylan woke up staring dead-eyed at one of their slowly dying houseplants while Addison gurgled happily on her play matt on the floor. Dylan went to the library to do some school work and Godfrey waited for Luke to wake up so that he could go to his parents’ house and help his mother transfer photos from her camera to her computer. It would take hours and he wasn’t looking forward to it, but he’d been putting it off for weeks and he was her only child. She had done so much for him during his lifetime; he at least owed her this much technical support.
When he came back from his parents’, Luke was sitting on the couch in the living room, reading a book overtop of Addison’s head. She was chewing on the cuff of his plaid shirt. Gus was sleeping on the floor in front of them, snoring softly. They were listening to “Hustlin’” by Rick Ross.
“What are you listening to?” Godfrey asked Luke in a way that made it clear he actually knew exactly what they were listening to, but couldn’t believe that they were listening to it. Luke looked up at him over the back of the couch.
“Oh, should I not be listening to Rick Ross with your friend’s infant daughter?” He returned. “Because Dylan was listening to Tom Jones with her yesterday and that feels worse.”
“You think Tom Jones is worse than ‘Hustlin’?” Godfrey asked skeptically, just as Rick Ross rapped the words “Ain’t bout no funny shit still bitches and business”.
“Have you ever listened to the words of ‘Sexbomb’?” Luke countered. It was a fairly good point.
Sunday night was equally unrestful as Saturday night had been. Godfrey didn’t even attempt to sleep in his own room. Instead, he started on the couch with Gus lying on the floor beside him. He woke up partway through the night to find Gus trying to climb up onto the couch to sleep with him. He ended up getting smacked in the face with Gus’ tail a few times. He tried to fight him off for a bit, but then just resigned himself to his fate and let it happen. Gus wedged himself in the crack between Godfrey and the back of the couch. When they woke up in the morning, Gus had taken over more room and Godfrey was practically falling off the couch. He rolled onto the living room floor before hoisting himself up to go check on Addison.
When Ben came to pick Addison up a little later that morning, all three of the guys as well as Gus were at the door to say good-bye to her. She really was incredibly charming. She had such a cute face that Godfrey nearly forgot how shrill she sounded when she cried. Almost.
“Let’s raise a baby together,” Dylan said to Luke and Godfrey after Ben and Addison were gone. “It’ll be like Full House”.
“Only about a thousand times less endearing,” Luke added, rolling his eyes. Godfrey was inclined to agree.