Wednesday, August 09, 2006

I'm Not READY!!!

I just got word from my daughter that my grandbaby is coming a week early, around August 23 or 24! I am really excited, but I'm not ready to be a grandmother! I have no idea what to do to get to that stage. Am I supposed to babyproof my house? Do I need a crib, high chair, baby bath, stroller, carseat? This baby will be living in Chattanooga, and I will probably only see her once every two months, and then only if I go down there, so do I still need those things?

I've had eight and a half months (well, almost that long) to get ready for this baby, and I'm not there. Maybe it's because so many other things have been going on in my life, maybe it's because I just don't know what I need to do. I have been shopping almost since the day I found out she was on the way, but she won't need much of what I've bought. Her closet already looks like the baby department at Kohl's. She has plenty of folks to spoil her down in her own neighborhood.

What do I do to bond with this baby who will be living so far away? This is one of those times when I wish my mom were here. I could ask her about the bonding--how to be a grandmother. She did such a super job with my kids. They expect me to be the same sort of person. I have news for them. I never have been before now, and the actual arrival of this baby will NOT turn me into Granny. There was only one, and they were lucky to have had her.

I don't even know how to be a mother to my daughter who is about to become a mother. What do I need to do for her? Keep her house clean, cook for her, wash her clothes, sure, but what emotional support do I need to provide? How do I reassure her that she is going to be a fantastic mommy? What sort of gifts do I need to give her? Folks, any and all thoughts on this matter will be appreciated. Love to you all, and God bless.


Jenn Hacker said...

My mom gave me "Pooh's Little Instruction Book". It has little kernels of wisdom in it, plus, I really LOVE Winnie the Pooh. She was also there for me to talk to and tell all my silly fears, helped calm me down and keep me sane.

You'll be a fantastic Grandma! You've had Jamie to practice on! He didn't get to see you all the time, and you've bonded with him just great! He loves you to pieces! Just take it as it comes, and you'll be just fine!

Love you bunches!!!

Lydia said...

I don't think I could have said it better than Jenn, Mom. I'll need someone to talk to about my fears, help me calm down, and keep me sane--exactly. Who better than a girl's mom who knows her and has seen how she has dealt with things throughout her life? Who better than her mom who raised HER and I think I've turned out good enough to say that you did a good job--I mean that in the least bragging sense.

As for what you need at your house, you allready have a bassinet and we have a pack and play for when she grows out of the bassinet. We also have a stroller that you can bet when we travel that far we're going to bring it with us. She won't be needing a high chair for quite awhile and when she does, you're the best yard sale shopper I know--I'm sure an easy bargain could be found! So, please don't worry about all that stuff.

Yes, she has a lot of things allready, but it doesn't mean your gifts are unappreciated or less special. Granny gifts are some of the best kinds!!!

She's gonna love you and Grandpa, even though you're far away. Geron grew up far away from both sets of grandparents, but he loved them all VERY much and has wonderful memories with all of them.

As for being like MY Granny, you're a legacy. I don't think you have a choice not to be like her. What makes you think you would Granny your granddaughter any differently than your mom grannied your daughters? The most important thing I remember about my Granny that I know you can do just as good as her is just tell your grandbabies OFTEN that you love them. I will remember that more than anything. Granny would reach over and pat me on the leg and say "I love you." You do that, and you will be a wonderful Granny!!!Just hug her and play with her and read her stories. Think of your little kids at school who you loved so much. Do whatever you do with them with your grandbabies.

As for me,I just need my Mom. Being here and listening and helping. I'm not expecting you to give me some fabulous gift. Just love me and Geron and baby girl. That's better than any item anyone could give us. Things pass away, but love lasts forever.

The fact that you're concerned about being a good Granny says that you ARE a good granny.

Jenn Hacker said...


Becca said...

You may have gotten all the advice you need up above, but if you'd like, I can email you Mom's phone number. She went through this when Todd and Erin were born in Tucson, and she's going through it now with CJ. Email me and let me know if that might help.

My advice? Make sure all the old rabbit poop is gone from behind the piano, or little Lima Bean WILL manage to find it.

annalu alulu said...

I agree that if you realize that you want your grandbaby to know that you love her, then you're there. Just knowing that she's not going to automatically know you love her just becuase you are genetically her granny shows that you are going to do what you need to let her know--you're going to tell her and show her.

As far as gifts go, I don't remember any gifts Grandma ever gave me as a little girl, but I knew she loved me, because she cared about me. She wanted me to do well in school, for one, which showed me that she cared. And she gave us Donald Duck orange juice--which was special because that was different than what the adults drank. It's just a tiny thing that says, "I see you, child." And she looked at me in a loving way, eye to eye. I remember her smiling when she saw me, knowing that she found me precious.

And I'm with Lydia on the "pat on the leg." Granny used to do that to me, too, and she never treated me like a burden, even when I had to come to her house to stay with her after school. She played Crazy 8's with me and let me eat a chocolate pudding cup, and she joked with us. Yes, she bought us gifts at Christmas, but I always just thought of her house as the hiding place for the best gift--and I always knew the idea came from you and Daddy, so it's not like it won her points (like she needed extra points!). She was special because of what she gave of herself, not because of what gifts she gave. I just knew that she cared for us and cared about us and that she liked us. Oh, and she was very transparent--she didn't put on a "granny face." I always felt like I could trust Granny to be consistent--she was who she was. I think that's because she had a pure heart, which came from loving Jesus and being obedient to Him. Even after she had alzheimers, her character didn't change--she was still loving, funny, silly, and kind.

Oh, I just thought of this one--she lived "far away," but she sent us cards, faithfully. And when I was on mission trips, anywhere, she'd write me letters, just "chat" type letters. Just about her day, and with some love in it (I mean love, not money--I don't think she sent money). And the store-bought cards were always underlined, to show that she meant what they said.

Just thought of another one. She served us. She got out the strawberry mats, she cooked, and she sewed things for us! Those things said, "You are worth my time and energy. I want to spend them on you." You have been knitting your fingers to the bone making things for this baby, so you've already shown her that.

As far as the house goes, I'd say three babies survived in your care, two without brain damage (ha ha). I think you've got that part down, silly. I lived in your house and it was safe for clumsy me, even when I fell down teh stairs! IF there are things you want to change, I'd say this would be a good time for Flylady, who would probably say, "just take some baby steps for baby." It'll be a while before she's able to roam about, anyway!

I mean, come on. Can you even imagine how beautiful this baby is going to be? I looked around at preschool yesterday and wondered who she might look like. Do you remember asking yourself, "How is Dakota going to know I love him?" Didn't you just love him from your heart? Didn't you take delight in wahing his ah? Didn't it bring you joy beyond measure to show him that you loved him? Imagine how much easier it's going to be to do that for your own grandbaby, who's going to inherit some very loveable genes from her mommy and daddy!

OK, here's a short list of "granny" characteristics I can see in you (things that are going to make you a good granny, not necessarily things that make you like my good granny). 1. you can sleep on the couch with her and eat popcorn, with your head on one end and hers on the other (once she's a little older). 2. you can make sure she knows what makes her special--her unique gifts that delight you. 3. you can love your husband in front of her (this is a way you are like my granny) and show commitment-love and set super high standards for her to wait for in a husband (i remember thinking Geron was good for Lydia because of how much he was like Granddaddy, but of course he's good for other reasons, too.). 4. you can show her your funny cross stitch things you make and encourage her to enjoy her own life, too (remember granny's bird pictures and marker coloring?) 5. you can share special things from your childhood with her--connect her to her ancestry by telling her the stories of the Aunts and the China table, and by showing her your own toys and telling her about the books you used to read and the silly things you and uncle Mike used to do. 6. you can visit her and smile really big. 7. you can hug her and scratch her back. 8. you can fix her pretty hair. 9. you can pat her on her knee and say, "Love you." 10. you can show her family pictures.

That's enough for now.

Oh, and one more thing! Don't compare yourself to anybody else. God has given you strong Granny-giftings that you'd never find on any Mtv show program. (right?)

Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart (liek, to be a good granny and mommy to a mommy)

Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will make your granny-paths straight.

annalu alulu said...

oh, and I strongly remember that you started shopping before the baby existed in the tummy, as soon as you knew that they were thinking of trying.

Jenn Hacker said...

Jamie told me he likes how you talk to him. You really talk "to" him and listen "to" him, instead of doing that thing a lot of adults do, where they ask a kid a question, but they don't really want to hear the answer so they don't listen. You have never done that to Jamie, and you have always listened to him, even when he was first talking and no one could hardly understand him. You still concentrated everything on him and looked him in the eye and "listened" and nodded your head. Remember that time you and David and Ann took me and Jamie to the Plum Tree after church and Jamie was so little he was still sitting in a high chair? He had on those corduroy overalls, and I used the straps of the overalls to fasten him down in the high chair. He was still in the babbling stage then, where he only got a few words right, but you looked at him and listened to every word he said. Kids get that, even if they're really little. Last night, Jamie and I were looking at the books you sent him and talking about the fact that he hasn't written you a "thank you" note yet. I asked him what all he wants to write, and he said he likes the fact that you talk "to" him and not "at" him, and he wanted you to know that. He also said you're funny and loving. So, THAT's how special of a Granny you're going to be!

Love ya bunches!

Lydia said...

Quick comment about the rabbit poop---

She'll be quick to find it AND EAT IT (Like ann and the cricket)

Lydia said...

P.S. I love all the Granny things these other people have said, too. See, Mom, You CAN DO IT!!! And to copy Ann's use of Godly wisdom, "YOU can do all GRANNY things through Christ who gives you strength!"

Tara said...

My mom gives my kids jelly on a spoon when we're at HyVee for breakfast. She says what's the difference if it is on the spoon or on toast? :) She also sends little things for the kids all the time and doesn't have any expectations on me to keep it if we don't need it or give it to Toby even though she sent it for the new little one coming! :) You'll do fine. Heck, I get the feeling you like my kids just fine and y'all have never even met my kids! You'll be great!