Monday, May 28, 2018

We Are Grandparents!



We are on our way home today, after spending three weeks with our new grand baby and his parents.  We cooked them dinner and kept their house in order while they bonded as a family.  And we were thrilled to have the chance to do our own bonding with baby.  We spent hours holding him as he slept and hours talking to him when he was awake.

Ever since our two older children got married 3 1/2 years ago, we have been waiting for one of them to give us our first grandchild.   The stories we heard from friends and family who are grandparents already, made grand parenting sound like the best thing that ever happened to them.  Even having their own children, they would say, could not compare to the pure joy of having grandchildren.  We also heard about the perks and the role we would play as grandparents.  Now that we have our grandson and we've spent some time with him, we know exactly what they are talking about.

The perks of being a grandparent:

(1) Grandparents can spend endless hours with baby.   Parents have things they have to take care of (other children, if any, the house, work emails, etc.) and can't devote as much time to baby as grandparents can.

(2) Grandparents can totally enjoy baby without feeling the anxiety and responsibility that comes with being a parent.  Examples:  Am I feeding the baby enough, too much, with the right bottle?  Why is he not burping, burping too much, spitting up, throwing up?  It is nice not being the ones who have to do all the worrying.

(3) Grandparents can give baby to a parent if the baby is totally not happy.  Actually, parents will run over to take baby when they see that the grandparent is trying their best but cannot console the little guy!

(4) Grandparents can use the lines, "I'm supposed to spoil your child.  It's something that is expected from every grandparent!", to get away with spoiling baby.

Being a grandparent is not all a piece of cake though:

(1) The hardest thing, I find, about being a grandparent is having to bite my tongue when I want to add my two cents.  My friend, Heidi, told me how she gives advice without sounding like she is giving advice.  "Before you say anything", she tells me, "say this."  "I'll tell you what I did (in whatever the situation is).  It might work for you."  Perfect!

(2) Trying to understand how to use some of the new products for baby.  Examples: The swaddle.  It is a piece of 3' X 3' cloth that you place the baby on, then origami the cloth and you have baby all wrapped up and ready for bed.  Well, when baby is Houdini, Jr. and your origami skills are nil, it can be a real challenge.  The Dr. Brown Bottle.  One afternoon I was helping out by feeding our little guy.  He started out very happy to be getting his bottle but, soon, baby boy started to get very frustrated.    I was trying to figure out what the problem was and noticed that the milk was not going into the straw part of this bottle that has many parts.  How was I supposed to get the milk into the straw?!  Help!!  Mom to the rescue.  It seems this complicated bottle has a small disc that you put under the nipple to prevent leakage when carrying it in the diaper bag and it was on.  The straw, even though it looks like straw, does not act like a straw.  It's in there to minimize air bubbles somehow.  Nice to know that after struggling to get the milk up that straw for the past 5 minutes!!

(3) Trying to be supportive when the decisions they are making for baby are hard for an old school person like myself to imagine.  OK.  I am talking about one choice they will be making when baby is ready to eat solid foods.  It's called baby led weaning.  Baby will not eat cereal or jarred baby food.  He will eat whatever mom and dad are eating and his will not be pureed.  It will be cut in such a way that he will be able to pick it up and feed himself.  Having no teeth to really grind the food down before he swallows it, the baby will inevitably choke on the food, but this is all part of the baby led weaning process.  As my son is telling me all this, the horror is showing all over my face even though I am hoping I have my best poker face on.  "What??!!" he yells.  "Oh nothing.  But why??!!"  It's supposed to expose baby to all kinds of foods and flavors early so that he will eat and love everything you put on his plate in the future.  Hmm...  I really have to practice and perfect my poker face look!

I do have to say that we are so lucky to have such a patient son and an equally patient daughter-in-law.  They not only have to figure out how to be new parents but they also have to break in new grandparents!  They are doing a great job at both so far!

And the baby...  He is the sweetest, most beautiful baby ever!  His expressive, adorable face and huge, gorgeous brown eyes make it hard not to smile each and every time we lay eyes on him.  We love him with all our hearts and feel so blessed and thankful that we get to call him Grandson.  We promise to be the best grandparents for him, always, and will figure out how to be just that while living miles away.



Are you a grandparent and snowbirds like we are?  Any advice on keeping a strong bond with grandchildren who live miles from you would be very much appreciated!



16 comments:

  1. we are grandparents as well, oh the excitement and it is so much fun
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    1. Now I know what you grandparents are talking about! They are such a joy!

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  2. Congrats! Now you have more to blog about. :) I love babies!

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  3. So exciting! Congrats to you both. Thanks for sharing on To Grandma's House We Go!

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  4. Congratulations on your lovely new Grandson! I am sure you will do really well at being long distance grandparents. My parents lived in Canada and we were in the UK, so they were always long distance Grandparents, but our son was always very close to them. When baby gets older, the newer technology will help too. FaceTime is amazing! I'm so glad that you got to spend some great quality time together when your grandbaby was just born. Thank you so much for sharing this lovely post (and such sweet photos!) with us at the Hearth and Soul Link Party!

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    1. Thank you April for letting me know about your son's close relationship with your parents. It was so nice of you to share that and it shows me that it can work!

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  5. Such a sweet lil' thing! Congratulations!!! Faith, Hope, Love, & Luck - Colleen

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  6. Congratulations, he is just gorgeous. Sounds like the whole family is doing a great job adjusting to their new roles.

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  7. Congratulations- so beautiful! Love the tip about giving advice too!

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  8. Replies
    1. Thank you for your input! I really do appreciate it!

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