Monday, July 2, 2012

Missing Grace

I went to bed yesterday after the Gracie left. It was just too sad to look at all the baby stuff. Plus the house was too quiet to do anything other than snooze.  Sweetie worried about my emotions. Gotta love a guy who gives you a a man-sized hug to take the place of the baby-sized ones.  Gracie's mom and GMom hinted more than once that I might have spoiled her. In my book,  cottage cheese spoils, not babies. When she cried, I picked her up. What felt good to her, felt good to me. It was a win-win situation.  The first couple of days trying to get used to each other were a little tiring, but once I got in Gracie's groove, things worked out pretty good. Well, most things. She never did "love" her bath like  we were told.  She only went to sleep when she was ready, no matter what the schedule said. And I learned pretty fast that changing her diaper was to be done in the standing position.

On the road again ...
I think I adjusted pretty well. I noticed that my heart is like my favorite, sort of tight, jeans. The more you fill them out, the more they stretch, the more comfortable they become. Eventually, though, I have to take them off, throw them in the washer and shrink them back down to size. As we strapped Gracie in her seat and said goodbye, I could feel my heart deflating a little.  I caught myself tiptoeing past the bedroom where the baby slept even though she wasn't in there. I inhaled a big whiff of Johnson's Lotion just to remind myself of the baby smell.



Taking care of a baby hasn't changed all that much since I was a new mom. You feed them, change them, make sure they don't choke, etc. But there sure seems to be a lot more rules than I remember. No eggs, peanut butter, milk before first birthday. Car seat placed in the back only. Sleep on their back. Use sunblock. Let them cry.

Then
Now
None of those things were too hard for me to learn. But I'm still having difficulty grasping the idea that Stride Rite doesn't make old-fashioned white high-top baby shoes anymore (you know the kind you bronze) and there isn't a new mom around that even knows who Polly Flinders is. What's up with that? The tried and true of our mothers' era - cloth diapers held together with oversized pins, Ivory soap, pastel dresses fastened with tiny buttons that need to be ironed, glass bottles that have to be sterilized, softly sung lullabies, Dr. Spock, Capt. Kangaroo and Zweibeck toast to teeth on - have been pushed aside for the sake of convenience - Pampers, butt-wipes, velcro fasteners, organic cotton onesies, rice puffs, bottles with throw-away liners that look like giant condoms, lullabye playlists on an Ipod, and bouncy chairs that mimic a mother's hip action. Sometimes progress makes me long for the good old days.

Then

Now

It's good to know that somethings like ...
Dancing on the table 


admiring yourself in the mirror and ...

banana popsicles
















haven't changed. 

Gracie's mom will turn 18 in a few days. I'm reminded of that song,
"Where are you going, my little one, little one
Little dirndls and petticoats, where have you gone?
Turn around and you're tiny,
Turn around and you're grown,
Turn around and you're a young wife with babes of your own."
It's hard to believe eighteen years have passed since I rocked Ashley to sleep. I so hope the next 18 won't go so fast.

Wishing for you memory-making days,
Merry ME

1 comment:

MamaJoe said...

So nice to hear about the lovely things of the past. I still tend to wrap a baby in a blanket regardless of the season. My kids roll their eyes, and I remind them that we are covered in body fat and babies are not. They still roll their eyes.