On March 27, 2014, I became a grandmother for the first time. My grandchild’s name means “light” in Spanish, and that is what she brings with every twitch and smile and sigh. Her mathematically minded parents are thrilled that she was born on 3/27 because 3 cubed = 27. I don’t know if my granddaughter will be a statistician, too. It is my experience that we are gifted in life with the people or things we need. So she may be a butterfly chaser and smile bringer who likes punching calculator keys just for the fun of it. That is just fine.
Right now, her parents are in survival mode. Just making it to the next nap or feeding. I remember those days. Although as I watch her parents working out new household systems, I realize that my husband and I flew by the seat of our pants most of the time with our young ones. Everything was a guess, except for what we read in a worn copy of Dr. Spock.
Today my daughter has an app on her tablet, on which she records feedings (left breast and right; time spent on each) and diaper changes with icons for wet (rain drops), poopy (a brown splat), and mixed (drops and splat).
In addition to nursing technology, there are many new rules for parenting now. When I showed a hospital nurse a photo of my daughter as a baby, the nurse gasped in horror, “Is that how they identified them back then?” My infant daughter was wearing a bracelet with her name spelled out in beads. Beads, while pretty, are easily swallowable and are a big no-no now. Now, hospitals fit the baby with a clunky monitor on her ankle. Yes, my granddaughter was lojacked at the hospital. In fact, she tried to make a break for it, according to the hospital’s monitoring system, when we rolled her bassinet too close to an exit door.
In another photo my infant daughter was sleeping on her stomach covered by a blanket. This too is verboten now. Apparently, by subjecting my baby to this, I was practically throwing her into a pack of lions with a steak tied around her neck. Today’s babies are wrapped like burritos and always positioned on their backs. No blankets are necessary.
I suppose I will learn more do’s and don’ts as the baby grows and her parents discover new parenting tips. But this time, my role is different. Someone else gets to do the heavy lifting. I don’t have the burden of learning it all, as today’s parents do. As a grandparent, I get to sit back and stay above the fray.
I get to just watch the miracle. And the view from these seats is lovely.
Shhhhh! I am writing the sequel to my first mystery, Down Dog Diary, while the baby is napping.