Our youngest son and his wife Julie just had their first little baby with a spectacular birth December 30th chronicled here. We had to laugh at them because, knowing the total commitment that parenthood is, in the months previous to the birth they kept taking their last trip, going to their last movie and having their last fling before they entered what they lovingly called “Baby Jail”. They were right to know that life as you know it changes drastically once a newborn enters your world. I might add that they are surviving very nicely!
Another son and his wife who entered “Baby Jail” thirteen months ago with an adorable little girl gave us the opportunity (we asked for it) to enter “Baby Jail” for nine days while they went to Hawaii to visit our son Jonah and his wife Aja who are living a creative lifestyle in Hawaii (details here) and to be with two other brothers and their wives. All three brothers had won trips to Hawaii through the company they all work for called Imagine Learning.
What fun we had in “Baby Jail” with our little treasure! Having said that, I have to say that I promised myself after having every baby that I would never forget how hard it is to be sure a little one is fed, changed and most importantly out of danger! But once again, I did!
After flying from NYC for the delivery, her mom and I carefully went through every drawer and shelf that she could reach to make sure that everything dangerous was out of sight before they left her with us. A “great start” came when I left a gallon spray bottle of weed killer at the top of the stairs to be taken to the garage before she got there and I promptly forgot about it. Of course she found it almost immediately and began sucking on the nozzle! Grandfather called poison control and the nice person on the phone assured us that that even if she had drunk some it was so diluted that it would only cause a tummy ache. The memories of all those days calling poison control flooded back! What GRANDparents we are!!!
We will spare you the details of our wild and wonderful nine days with our adorable little charge. For many grandparents with grandchildren living nearby, that is probably a weekly adventure for you but for us, who only have one of our nine children living close enough to see our grandchildren weekly, it was so much fun! That baby was just learning to take her first little toddler steps and she explored every nook and cranny of every drawer and wastebasket in our house!
Because we travel so much we often see four or five of our children and their famiilies every month. But there is something about the bonding that goes on with grandchildren when their parents are absent for a few days that is extraordinary!! We enjoyed our nine days in “Baby Jail” immensely but watching the little family reunite after never having previously never been separated for even one day was priceless!
We must admit that even though we knew we would miss having that little miss around the house we were happy to be “sprung out” as we headed for the airport a few hours after they left. Bless all those parents who are currently in Baby Jail for what probably seems like forever. Even though it’s raucous fun, I have to admit that after all is said and done, freedom feels pretty good!