Renting a baby will put pep in your step

Greetings from the Ridge.

Just a suggestion. When spring hits but your springs are wearing out, your bounce has become a dribble, and your whoopee has boiled down to a single whoop, then go out and rent a baby.

I’m not sure how many retail outlets actually offer this rent-a-toddler service, but I’ll bet that if there’s a buck to be made then Wal-Mart and Amazon will find a way to deliver the rugrats to your door with one day shipping. Toddlers don’t do so well if they have to spend more than a day in a FedEx truck.

The reason for such an audacious scheme? Anyone who’s had a new arrival plopped down in the middle of his family casserole knows how the addition of a single infant can completely change the tone of even the most staid and somber families. Uncles who once sat in the Thanksgiving grouch corner counting the hours until their wives allowed the pair to escape suddenly become slightly deranged idiots galloping around the coffee table acting as a pony for the new arrival. Aunts who could barely tolerate the presence of other people’s children become ever-flowing fountains of gifts and infant doo-dads that cannot possibly be packed into the parents’ car for the trip home. Previously disinterested cousins who have always regarded family gatherings to be akin to yearly rectal exams now sit cross-legged on the floor with Play Dough dangling from each nostril, doing their best imitation of a deranged walrus. And the biggest change is when the caterpillar of an aging man suddenly enters the childish chrysalis stage and emerges as a colorfully energized pushover of a butterfly who can be manipulated by the giggle of a grandbaby on his lap. &nbsp;&nbsp;<ahref=""><spanstyl... 13px; color: rgb(0, 0, 0);">To view more, please log in or subscribe to the digital edition.</span></a></p>