Grandparenting and Other Aberrations of Nature

Posted on July 18, 2011


Labor can be eerily similar to being a Christian during Roman times and being thrown to the lions.  Except you don’t even start out with any kind of weapon to defend yourself with.  And, unless you deliver your baby on the floor at Club Med on Greek Party Night, there aren’t people in togas, cheering.  The good news is that, in most cases, there is no actual starving lion in the delivery room, and women tend to forget about labor pains right after the baby is born.

A similar, if often under-discussed form of amnesia occurs when  we make the shift from motherhood to grandmotherhood.  Luckily for most of us, grandparenthood coincides very nicely with a general loss of brain cells.  We forget the names of ordinary objects, people, and  places.  We forget past offenses and past indiscretions.  We forget where we placed the ability to have instant orgasms. A major change is how we experience grandmotherhood differently than we experienced motherhood.

Our Labor and Delivery: Refer to Paragraph 1.  You may also Google “popular torture techniques during the Spanish Inquisition,”
Our Children’s Labor and Delivery: We have no idea what happens because we are either on vacation somewhere or home sleeping or in the hospital waiting room, considering the choices from the vending machine.  Even if we are in the labor and delivery room as the drama unfolds, we are usually distracted by thoughts like considering our vending machine choices.

At Home:

Our newborns being fussy:  Oh shit.  Considerations of whether there might be a time limit on returns.
Our grandchildren being fussy:  Fussy babies are indicative of a strong personality and a real future in politics.

Our babies waking up: Oh shit.  Didn’t I just put them to sleep?
Our grandchildren waking up: Indicative of superior intelligence and a desire to experience fully what life has to offer.

Our newborns staring aimlessly into space: Concern that Husband’s gene pool might be sub-standard.
Our grandchildren staring aimlessly into space: Fascinating and indicative  of powers of contemplation usually seen only in Enlightened Beings such as the Dalai Lama and La Leche League coaches.

Our newborns having endless poopie diapers: Oh. Shit. Again. Fears  of this baby having a serious design flaw.
Our grandchildren having endless poopie diapers: We only wish our intestinal systems worked as well.

Our newborns screaming when their diapers are being changed:  An assault on both our ears and our noses.
Our grandchildren screaming when their diapers are being changed: An intelligent response to an indignity.  Creepy thoughts of ourselves in 20-30 years, minus the cute factor.

Our newborns falling asleep: Thank. You. God.
Our grandchildren falling asleep: Too soon.  We were only on Step 6 of “The Ants Go Marching One by one.”

More later, when we explore the dramatic differences between our toddlers and our toddler grandchildren.