I have to say that so far I am loving this Grandmommy thing…even if today is one of those days that I am getting nothing done because it has been spent not only shuttling kids here and there for summer activities but I am also baby-sitting this afternoon.
I am babysitting my grandbaby which means I can rock her and hold her and dress her up and spoil her rotten. Actually she is sleeping so this is an easy gig it’s just I am housebound because it is too stinkin’ hot outside and she is too young to be errand running with grandmommy.
Watching Holly figure out this new mommy gig and all the juggling that it involves has been fun. She is doing a pretty good job…in spite of my hovering. I imagine that my constant presence is a help but I also know first hand that it can be a bit of a hindrance. My way of doing things certainly is the best way (for me) but it might not necessarily be the way Holly wants to do things. Baby products and AAP recommendations have changed and evolved which means, much to my surprise, the way I cared for my babies whether 21 years ago or even six years ago is not necessarily the way things are done by Holly and her peers. I remember when Holly was an infant and we went back home to the Pittsburgh area to visit. My own darling Mommy~Dearest had the hardest time with my crazy-assed parenting beliefs like exclusively breastfeeding a 4 month old, using cloth diapers, baby-wearing, co-sleeping and using a car seat. Apparently it wasn’t the law to restrain infants or small children in her neck of the woods back then but I was insistent that we traveled no where unless Holly was safely secured in her car seat. Mom offered that she would be perfectly safe sitting on my lap as she used to travel with me like that or swaddled tightly and resting on a pillow on the car’s floorboard. I believe that it was that conversation where I actually raised my voice against dear old mom for the first time. “It’s a wonder I wasn’t maimed or killed!”, I exclaimed. That actually became the running comment for the duration of our visit. In my I’m-a-better-mom-than-you-are confidence I guess I hurt mom’s feelings when I pooh-poohed things like giving my baby juice or putting her in a cage play-pen. I actually cringe a teensy bit about my behavior nowadays.
Hazel is currently dozing in her infant swing which runs on electricity! Sheesh! Back in the day when Holly was a baby I had to wind that damn thing up every 5 minutes and when Daniel was a baby I kept D-cell batteries on hand ready to feed the beast that was his swing. But these new-fangled infant swings just plug into an outlet and they are good to go on and on and on and on until the little, sweet darling is ready to eat or be changed….or until Grandmommy needs her Baby Hazel fix.
There are a lot of other things that Holly does differently with her daughter than I did with her, her sisters or her brother just as Bill and I did things a lot differently than our parents did when they first had us. The care and feeding of babies is an evolving science, I believe. While it was perfectly acceptable for me to place newborn Holly on her belly when putting her down for a nap, it was a HUGE no-no when Zoë was born and by the time Daniel came on the scene a parent had to remember that tummy time when baby was awake was just as important as back-to-sleep. The glass baby bottles I used to hit my baby brother over the head with when I was a toddler soon transformed to plastic bottles which are slowly changing back to glass bottles because of chemical exposure fears and environmental consciousness. What goes around comes I guess.
I do have a point here and it is this. Holly as a mother is not me as a mother nor is she her friend Mary as a mother or any other mother I may or may not know. Her way is the right way and the best way for her and her daughter just as my way is the absolute best way when it has come to raising my five circus clowns. I understand that, accept it and will do my level best to reflect that even if I am mildly amused about her using gripe water for Hazel’s hiccups because I used to just do practically nothing for Holly’s baby hiccups…it’s a wonder she even survived!