Thursday, July 31, 2014

Back Up

That's my role.  I'm not in charge of anything.  I'm not responsible for anything.  My job is to pickup the slack.

Their Iowa friend had already called the bagel shop by the time I arrived.  No, they don't deliver, as he'd requested, but I was happy to take the lox and bagels we both knew Little Cuter had craved for nine, cured-fish-free, months. The cashier wrote a love note on the brown sack containing our breakfast; it's impossible to avoid the joy a newborn brings.

I watched the pediatrician examine and the photographer photograph and then I left the kids alone. Bonding is easier when you're not worrying if Mom is comfortable in the upright chair.  I spent a lovely late morning on the porch, reading Jane Eyre.

The beauty of visiting the home of an English major is that there is always something wonderful to read.  I'm starting at the top right corner of the guest room bookshelf; by the time Flapjilly graduates from high school I should be finished with the tomes on the second floor.

I offered to bring them lunch and received an order for Chipotle by text.  Google Maps brought me to the general vicinity; my eyeballs managed to find the restaurant on the left despite the voice from my phone insisting that I turn right.  I was the only patron, so fumbling with an unfamiliar order didn't disturb anyone.  The burrito maker was delightful; she laughed at my feeble attempts to be coherent.  I explained that I was a brand new grandmother, that the food was for the brand new parents, and suddenly there was a lot more cheese on the food.  With congratulations ringing in my ears, I delivered the foodstuffs, ate my burrito, and left them alone.

I went to the grocery store, but my intention was to give them space.  Being a long term houseguest requires attention to such things, I think.

After the lactation counseling and the post-natal testing and the mom check up they loaded the car with their clothes and laptops and cameras and blankets ... and the baby.  SIR installed the car seat perfectly; the firefighter who checked it last week was quite impressed.  Flapjilly must have liked it too; she slept all the way home.

And now, four hours later, she's still asleep.  Thomas the Wonder Dog is quite curious about her, but even his almost-but-not-quite intrusive sniffing doesn't disturb her.  She's supposed to eat at least every four hours, but I'm sticking to the "never wake a sleeping baby" mantra G'ma recited to me when I was a new mother.

 Of course, as soon as I typed that sentence she began to cry.

I made my own daughter a grilled cheese sandwich and green beans on the side.  I loaded her dishwasher and tried not to annoy her by answering questions not directed my way.  The dog is protective and SIR is attentive and this first evening at home will be over soon.

It's your first everything, little one, and our's too.  We're doing the very best we can.


  1. Ahhh - the wonder of it all! Congratulations on a big, bold, exciting, and terrifying new venture!

  2. Oh, the first baby! What an experience. You are a good egg for being there during these days. It will be rough. I've had two friends who recently stayed with their daughters after the first baby was born. Glad to have helped, but glad to be home.

  3. I'm so smiling as I read of your days. They mirror my own when my grandson (our 1st grandchild) was born exactly 3 years ago. We were staying at a place close to my daughter's apartment, but held similar "jobs" -- washing dishes as they piled up in the sink, bringing in food for meals throughout the day, taking a long shopping list to an unfamiliar store and making hurried phone calls back to find out exactly what they meant by something on the list, and yes, trying not to answer questions not directed to us! Observing, cuddling, but leaving them enough space to begin to be their own little family. A hard balance for someone like me, hard not to overwhelm. Those were the happiest of days. And they keep getting better. Isn't this grandparent thing fabulous?

  4. YES YES YES - wonder ... rough ... balance ... and so much love!

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