“I just want you to know I raised 7 kids.. and I don’t plan on raising anymore.” Well I prettied it up some.. what she really said was “don’t be expecting me to babysit, I’ve raised my family, I’m done!” So ok, I only really needed my mom for a couple weeks and she did eventually cave.. whew.
I carefully wrote out 17 pages for her, insights on how to care for my precious child. (bahahaha that is another story for another day)
Fast forward to this last week-end. Well ok, let’s back track to two and half years ago when I was blessed with my third grandchild, my sons first child after 12 years married. My other two from my daughter are already out in the work world, but this precious bundle is still in baby clothes!
Do you even know what a joy it is to shop for little cute clothes? Shopping for older grandchildren is painful and expensive! That is how gift cards came into being.. just sayin…
Unfortunately this precious grandchild is off-limits for me to take her anywhere, spending the night with me is totally out of the question. This is such a contrast from my other two. Driving to another province to visit with my sister and her kids was a regular occurrence for me and my other granddaughter, back in the day.
We had such fun road trips, singing along to my loud music, eating junk food and getting lost! “Nana.. we’re lost again aren’t we?” .. “Oh no sweetie, we’re fine,” as I plugged her movie in for the third time. (I know the whole dialog to Little Mermaid) We should have taken that other fork in the road back there. Ah well, we eventually end up on the right highway and only add another 45 minutes and an ice cream stop to our three hour journey.
I surreptitiously roll down the window and blow out a puff of smoke from my secret cigarette, I have hidden. Thank goodness she is safely ensconced in her car seat in the back. “Nana .. I smell smoke?” “Oh sweetie someone probably has a campfire burning around here somewhere.” I swear I don’t know how our own kids made it through road trips, some with another couple yet, and all of us puffing away (windows rolled up, in winter).
Fast forward to a whole new generation of children being brought up by a whole new set of rules. My nose was really out of joint with this grandchild, I started having doubts about my childrearing abilities. Damn.. I gave up smoking for them, (as requested for a wedding present) for their wedding 14 yrs ago.. geez.. shouldn’t that count for something?
I was somewhat mollified when I visited with a gf I hadn’t seen in awhile. She had a grandchild the same age as mine and she also wasn’t allowed to have him overnight.. much less take him anywhere! As we swapped stories we came to the realization that we were totally incompetent.. how the hell did our kids even make it to procreate we wondered?
Some may think I am exaggerating, let me say here, I have a pool in my condo! Precious grandchild number three has been in it maybe four times, always with her parents here as well. I would have had her swimming already, but I digress.. I also want to see her again… loll.
This is not just about me.. this is a new wave of childrearing, trust me. The new moms have strict timetables they follow religiously. Two naps, one in the morning, one in the early afternoon, strict mealtimes and ‘self soothing’.. ya I know, I’m actually a fan of that.. ooops. In this scenario, it is about not picking them up when they cry at bedtime, but rather let them understand they need to come to grips with their own feelings about bedtime.. hard to explain I know.
So I am on my way to my sons cabin this past week-end. It is the first time I have turned down a request to babysit my youngest grandchild. Yes, I am allowed to watch her at their place. I stopped in there along the way to drop something off.
I greet my precious granddaughter with my usual “want to come with nana to the lake and catch a BIG FISH?” or sometimes its “want to come home with Nana and swim in her swimming pool?” (it never happens, but I like to tantalize her with what could be)
My son pipes in with “wanna go to the lake and go swimming with Nana?” My jaw drops open and my eyes go wide with disbelief, surely I heard him wrong? .. right? She is even unsure about this sudden turn in events. She looks at my son and says really quietly .. ya.. and then my son says “we’ll pack your swim suit in your suitcase!”
Well she let’s out a big YAAAAAA.. and actually runs to her bedroom to get her swimsuit packed. Now I am still in dis-belief, and say “REALLY?” My son and daughter-in-law exchange glances and say “yes, we were just going to text you, when we seen you drive up.”
So this my friends, is how I became a ‘Born Again Nana’ on July 27th 2019..
And yes she fell out of the bed that night.. but it is our little secret.. right? (she was fine)
Adding to her growing vocabulary.. “baby fall off bed” .. hmmmm