Cobb didn't get to do anything like this in a long time. He was excited, anxious, and constantly telling his children about it. The last time he's ever done this was with James, and he was an easy baby.
Phillipa asked, "Can she sleep in my room?"
"You wouldn't like it if she woke you up, would you?" her father smirked. "Besides, your room is too small."
"Why is she staying with us?" James wondered.
"Well her parents are going to be away for tonight." Cobb explained. "They can't leave her in the house alone." He walked over to the coffee pot after it beeped and poured himself a cup. The doorbell went off and Phillipa answered it.
"The baby!" James exclaimed. Ariadne quietly silenced him.
"Now that I got her to sleep, please don't wake her." She requested kindly, stepping through the door wobbling in her high heels. Normally, she wouldn't wear them, but she was going to dinner with Arthur and a client to La Petite and heading to a ballet afterwards. She was carrying the baby's diaper and toy bag.
"What's her name?" Phillipa asked. Arthur followed bringing the baby in her carrier. He put the carrier down on the kitchen counter.
"This is Alice." He said petting his snoozing daughter on the head. "Alice Jean."
The baby represented both her parents in a way. She obtained her fathers features and her mother's brains and personality. Ariadne could already tell because she was a fussy baby just like she was.
"Can I hold her?"
"Phillipa." Cobb stopped her. "Try to take it easy now."
"I held a lot of babies but they were all dolls."
Ariadne chuckled. "I'll let you hold her if you sit down on the couch and handle her properly."
"If you don't support her head, it'll fall back and she'll start crying." Said Arthur. As a new father, he felt extremely possessive of his child. She was his little girl. Arthur was as dedicated to his duties as a dad as much as he was committed to his job as a point man. Alice was a new change in his life that he never imagined he'd have.
"Why?" James asked, taking a seat at the kitchen table.
"Her head's too heavy for her to lift it by herself." Said Cobb. "It was like that with you two as well."
Ariadne started unpacking the diaper bag, placing all the contents on the counter. "I brought diapers, obviously, and her formula…" she set three baby bottles down. Cobb took a sip of his coffee as Ariadne brought out a few more bodysuits.
You think you can do this?"
"I did it with two kids." Said Cobb with confidence. "I know what happens."
"If she wakes up, and nothing seems to stop her from crying, try a few of these." Ariadne pulled out from the toy bag with all of Alice's toys, which were plushies from Alice in Wonderland. Cobb noticed that everything was Alice in Wonderland themed, even her carrier. "Usually she smiles and plays with her toys."
"Got it." Said Cobb. He looked at the formula bottles inquizitivly. When Arthur and Ariadne were talking to Phillipa about the baby, Cobb snuck some milk into his coffee and took a sip.
"Cobb, that's breast milk." Said Arthur without even seeing what he did. Cobb immediately spit out his coffee in the sink and dumped it. Ariadne was trapped in a storm of giggles.
"And it made the coffee taste better too." Said Cobb awkwardly. He felt like a pervert, as if he actually sucked milk from Ariadne's breast.
"Sweetheart, we need to get going." Said Arthur checking his watch. "Mr. Granger will not be happy if we show up late."
"Of course." His wife agreed. "Take care Cobb."
"If you shake her or hit her, I'll kill you." Arthur threatened, leading Ariadne out the door. Cobb simply waved.
"Can I hold her now?" Phillipa shook around impatiently. "Pleeeeeeeeeeeeeeease?"
"I'll get the camera." Said Cobb, walking down the hall. "Do not try to take her out."
James and Phillipa starred at the new creature in front of them. Being young, they've never met an infant before. It felt like they were looking at a unicorn. Alice astonished them without having to do anything.
"What happens if I poke it?" James reached up to pinch Alice's foot but Phillipa swatted his hand away.
"She'll wake up if you do that." His sister snapped. "Try to be quiet."
"Ok kids…" Cobb walked back in with a new camera. He set it on the counter. "Sit down on the couch. Both of you."
Phillipa skipped over to the leather sofa and jumped on, bouncing on the cushion with anticipation. Cobb gently scooped Alice out of her carrier and brought her over to his kids. He kneeled down and placed Alice's body on Phillipa's lap, his other hand still holding her head.
"Now put your hand under her head and keep it up." Said Cobb. Phillipa slipped her hand through his and got a good hold of Alice's head. She was surprised that it weighted so much. Actually, having Alive on her lap was like having a brick on it instead. Cobb took a few pictures before taking Alice back to her bed.
"Try to be quiet." Cobb whispered. "That mean's no video games James."
"That's not fair." James sneered.
"That's just how this goes." Said Cobb. James snorted and walked into his room. Phillipa proceeded to her bedroom to play with her dolls.
For a half hour, everything was quiet. Then a bloody murder scream echoed through the house causing Cobb to nearly fall off the couch. The source was in James's room. His father rushed over right as Alice woke up. Her cries were louder than James's screams.
"What are you screaming about?" Cobb growled to James as the kid was fleeing his room.
"There's a spider in my room!" James yelled, pointing at the door. "There's a spider in my room!"
"Alright calm down." Cobb rolled his eyes in annoyance. "It's time you learn how to kill spiders."
"I am not touching that thing!" James cried. James had a severe case of arachnophobia. Anything spider related would make him jump and hide. "You kill it daddy!"
Phillipa came running down the hall. She barged into James's room to see the spider crawling on his window. She was not too amused, especially since this spider was tiny.
"Oh James…" She balled her hand into a fist and smashed the spider into guts. Walking out of the room, she said, "There. It's dead." Phillipa was actually holding the spider in between her fingers. She flicked it at her brother who screamed and blasted off.
"What did you do that for?" Cobb snapped. "That was very unnecessary!"
"It was funny." Said Phillipa. "Now make Alice stop crying."
Cobb rushed over to Alice, but slipped and hit the floor like a klutz. He got back up and went to the baby's side.
"Shh… Shh... It's ok. Uncle Dom is here." He rocked her bed back and forth in an attempt to soothe her. "Go back to sleep." Cobb put a Mad Hatter plushie in her tiny arms and Alice calmed down almost immediately. "Thank you."
Alice looked up at him. Her almond eyes sucked him in like a tide. He put his finger in front of her and she curled her tiny fingers around it.
"Look at you." He gushed. "With parents that look like God's, you are going to blossom into a Swan Queen. With your mother's intelligence and your father's determination, you're going to change the world for good." Cobb chuckled. "I know once you start looking like a woman, your father's going to make you wear the ugliest clothes to keep the boys away. Of course, he's already doing that now but that's because he love's you."
Alice wiggled in her bed like a kitten, indicating that she was listening even if she didn't understand.
"You are so lucky to have a mother." He whispered. "Love her no matter what, you promise? I know you will."
Alice smiled and drifted back to sleep. But in a few minutes, she woke up again crying. A foul odor hit the hair.
"Someone needs to change." Said Cobb. He picked up Alice and placed her on the kitchen counter. Opening her diaper, he slung back as if the stench was attacking him like a pack of projections. "I almost forgot what that smelled like."
Alice cried more as Cobb took some baby powder from the diaper bag and an extra diaper.
"Ok, let's change a diaper." Usually Mal would do that when she was around but he had to. He almost forgot how to put a diaper on. He took Alice's used diaper, and threw it away. Cobb looked around for a towel but couldn't find one. Phillipas blanket was sitting on the couch, so he decided it was better than nothing.
As he was cleaning up, a fountain of urine shot up and hit him in the nose. He backed away and drastically wiped the pee off his face with water, as if he just watched Two Girls and A Cup.
"That was not nice Alice." He said as he cleaned her up. "There, your all clean." Alice was put back in her bed. She looked at her formula bottle and Cobb gave it to her. Alice drank a lot, about half the bottle, before letting out an enormous burp. "I hope you got that from your mother."
He had to wash the blanket before Phillipa came in and he threw it in the sink, scrubbing it thoroughly and laying it out to dry.
What Cobb observed right away was that Alice was either crying or sleeping. She slept peacefully but when she awoke, all she did was scream. He was exhausted. Sitting on the couch, he took a breather.
A few minutes later, she went off again. Cobb tried to feed her but she refused to drink. She was recently changed so that couldn't be the reason. He tried to rock her bed again but she kept sobbing. Cobb sighed and picked her up. Alice cried still no matter what he did.
Then an idea came up. He never tried it before, but it could possibly work.
He started crying. His eyes squeezed shut and he whaled as loudly as possible. A few times he even said, "Wa!" Alice looked at him with an annoyed expression. He stopped crying, signaling her to cry again. "Oh come on!" he exclaimed.
Cobb pretended to cry again, this time, louder. He stopped and said, "Ok, your turn."
Alice blinked but didn't do anything else. Her waterworks ended and he sent her to bed.
It will get better, he thought. She'll be very mature soon, having Arthur as her father.
Yusuf would prove him wrong in a couple of years.