Husband and I are now grandparents, as I told you in a previous post, Oh, Boy! Husband is Pop-Pop and I’m Nana. Familial endearments tend to follow familial lines, and my Mom was Nana to my kids, so that’s the route I took. On my way there, I held an informal poll of friends, co-workers, and random people in public that looked like they might talk to me. I wound up speaking to a handful of Grandmas, a couple of Saftas (Hebrew), an Abuela (Spanish), a woman named Randi who had settled on Grandi, a MeeMaw (I forget the backstory on that one), and for the Real Housewives among us, a Glammy. I guess it depends on what image appears in your mind when you picture your kids’ kids calling your name, and Nana for me is equidistant from orthopedic shoes and rhinestone flip flops. So Nana I am.
Other new grandparents might agree with us that the scenario for babysitting an infant grandchild goes as follows: the baby’s parents drop the little bundle off sound asleep in his carrier/car seat and say they doubt he’ll wake up while they’re gone because he barely slept all day. But just in case, they’ve packed a stylish diaper bag with everything you could possibly need in the remote chance that he wakes up. You kiss them goodbye, tell them to enjoy their night out, and as their car backs down the driveway, your grandchild awakens with a howl that could chase away a werewolf.
He will now be awake the entire three hours his parents are gone. But rest assured, he will fall back asleep five minutes before they return. They will then spirit him home in the same unconscious state they brought him, secure in the knowledge that in their absence you lounged around drinking decaf and watching a Law & Order marathon. Without interruption.
The reality is that the TV never gets turned on at all, and the evening becomes a blur of rocking, changing, feeding, cajoling, swaddling, putting down, picking up, turning over, burping, worrying if you’re remembering everything you always thought you’d never forget, while you kick aside a peed-in diaper and wonder how you ever did this yourself with your own kids, countless times, without stopping to think about it, and the answer is YOU WERE YOUNG THEN.
After the front door closes, you both collapse onto the sofa and look around the once tidy living room now littered with the miscellaneous debris of an eight pound human being who never got the memo that he was supposed to stay asleep. You peel a damp receiving blanket off your shoulder and realize you haven’t been to the bathroom yourself all evening. On your way down the hall you feel something dragging behind you. Turning around, you see it’s your ass.
And you can’t wait to do it all again.
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