There is probably not much new that I can add to the literature on the joys of grandparenting. Many other grandparents have told us.....it is way more fun being a grandparent than a parent...so true. These past six months have been wonderful, exciting and exhausting. How soon we forget what a demanding job this is! However, the smiles that you receive, the indescribable warmth of that little person cuddled up under your chin or against your face....that more than makes up for rinsing out poopy clothes and endless walking and rocking.
As with every other aspect of life, technology has changed the baby job. We've had to relearn all the rules, to readjust to the new expectations of parents and grandparents. No more do babies sleep on their tummies or sides..back is best is the current mantra. When you do manage to deposit your sleeping infant in their crib, he or she will be wearing a sleep sack...sort of a mini sleeping bag with armholes. Blankets....well they are the new enemy..banished from cribs forever...as are bumper pads...both implicated in sudden death syndrome. No juice..only water...and of course breast feeding is not only encouraged, as it was back in the stone ages when I had babies...Our daughter told us that in her prenatal class, formula feeding was equated with feeding your baby Kraft dinner.
|Yours truly in my 1953 crib...note the bumper pads|
Perhaps the greatest change in parenting has been wreaked by the internet. In the 80's we went to the public library, once in a blue moon, to take out a parenting book..or maybe a friend gave us one...or we talked to a friend, family member or neighbour for advice. Parents today have the web, which is both a boon and a curse. Young parents are bombarded with info and advice, much of it conflicting. Someone told me that he thinks all this advice has taken the intuition out of parenting. Perhaps...or maybe today's parents are just in a whole different league than we were.
Of course the products now available to clothe, educate and care for your infant are endless. While much of it is unnecessary there are a myriad of fantastic offerings. One of my favourites is the new sound machine that our daughter recently purchased. It offers a variety of sounds, all designed to soothe baby to sleep. My favourite is the cricket option. For the past 4 nights we have all fallen asleep to the cricket sounds coming from the baby's room. There may be snow in our back yard and the windows are still tightly closed against this winter that does not want to quit but.....it sounds like late summer at our house...like we are in a tent at a campsite. Many would not agree but I find that cricket sounds are very relaxing. Who knows...when they go back home I may just have to buy one of these sound machines for myself.
For a funny story on a very quiet cricket, listen to the late Peter Gzowski and Stuart McLean describing a cricket on a CBC Morningside episode here
For a great intro into modern parenting issues, the Fiat motherhood ad is a blast. Watch it here.