With my birthday just around the corner, (*cough* Saturday *cough*), I’ve been thinking about my own mortality. Specifically, what it might be like to have grandchildren.
Of course, I’m still up to my eyeballs in children of my own, but earlier today I had a sudden vision of a grown and happily married V-meister dropping her firstborn off for the P-Dawg and me to babysit. (I’m not saying that I don’t expect Jonas to get married and have kids, only that I’m placing all the pressure squarely on the V-meister.)
In my vision, the V-meister comes over with an adorable baby who looks just like me and she’s toting an enormous bag containing a year’s supply of diapers, three changes of clothing, diaper creme, cloth wipes, toys (3), bibs (2), pacifiers (2), a laminated index card with emergency phone numbers and instructions, and one measly little baby bottle with like three (3) ounces of breastmilk in it.
Like I used to.
I immediately grab my grandchild from the V-meister and take off her socks.
And the V-meister is like, “Mom, I just put those socks on her!”
And I’m like, “Nonsense! Babies don’t need socks. And when is the last time you fed her? She looks like she’s about to gnaw off her own hand.”
“I just fed her ten minutes ago, so she probably won’t even need to eat until I get back. There’s a bottle of breast milk in the bag, but don’t give it to her unless it’s absolutely necessary.”
“You don’t have to worry, I know when a baby’s hungry.”
“You can just give it to her at room temperature, you don’t even need to heat it up.”
(Me, examining the bottle.) “Where’s the rest of it? This isn’t even enough to feed a hamster.”
“Remember not to microwave it.”
“Of course not.”
“And when you change her diaper, make sure the fringy little elastic thingies are flipped outwards because last time her clothes got wet.”
“Really? I don’t remember that. But don’t worry, sweetie, I got it. Hey, P-Dawg! (yelling in direction of home office where the retired P-Dawg is in his underwear, playing poker online) HOW MANY KIDS DID WE RAISE?”
(P-Dawg, from office) “Two.”
“Your father and I raised two children. We know what we’re doing.”
“Okay, Mom. Thanks so much for watching her for me. I’ll be back as soon as I can.”
“Don’t rush sweetie. It’s my pleasure.”
“Okay. Don’t put her carrier on the kitchen table.”
“She will be safe in my arms the whole time.”
“Well. I guess that’s it. Did I forget anything?”
“I doubt it. Just go! (pushing V-meister out the door) Enjoy yourself!”
“Ok, Mama. Bye. And don’t forget – only use the breast milk in case of emergency!”
“No worries, sweetie! Bye-bye!”
As soon as the V-meister takes off in her solar powered SUV, I’ll go ahead and warm up that breast milk in the microwave. I’ll probably add a little goat’s milk into the mix, too. The poor baby’s starving, for cryin’ out loud.
Next, I’ll remove about three extra layers of clothing (from the baby), and then the P-Dawg and I will go outside and sit with her on a blanket under a tree. We will let her go diaperless and eat some dirt. And I’m going to be really honest with you: we’ll probably let her stay outside for 20 minutes with no sunblock on.
It’s going to be great.
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Vija with my beautiful mother, who always put up with and followed my childcare instructions, even when I typed them up.
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