Reporting directly to you from the trenches of my son’s home where I am embedded taking care of my 14-month old granddaughter while her parents travel to doctors’ appointments in Birmingham.
I admit that I made a lot of mistakes today. I could make excuses but let’s leave it that I learned some valuable life lessons.
My first mistake today was not getting up and getting dressed when I woke up.
Instead, I stayed in bed reading. After all, it was 4 A.M. I could easily have gotten up and dressed. My clothes were ready just like a fireman on alert for a five-alarm fire. It would have been so easy to dress, make coffee and then settle down to read.
But laggard that I am, I stayed in bed until I heard Mabel waking up around 5:30.
Too late for a leisurely morning! I hurriedly dressed and went to get her. No coffee and a rambunctious 14-month old to start my day.
The second mistake of today was thinking that I could negotiate with a baby.
I explained to her that trying to climb off the back of the couch was not a good idea.
I offered her toys. The experts call it “redirecting”. Mabel calls it a joke.
She was determined to climb off the back of the couch.
I put her in timeout. She laughed as if to say, “Are you kidding me?”
The third mistake I made today was not taking a nap when Mabel took hers.
It felt so good to sit down and read and relax for awhile. Before I knew it, Mabel’s 90-minute nap was over and she was raring to go. There were dog water bowls to splash in, cupboards to unload, baby locks to unlock….My job was to keep up.
My fourth mistake was forgetting the reach of a large standard poodle. I was painfully reminded of his foraging capabilities when I reached for my dinner waiting for me on the kitchen counter. Only the plate was left! It was licked clean. I was so looking forward to my dinner. After a moment, I decided that a glass of red wine for dinner would have to do. After all there was Mabel to feed, bathe and put to bed.
Mabel ate a big dinner, frolicked in her bath and played some before we started to wind down for the evening. I rocked her with her nighttime bottle and sang to her. She patted my arm and cuddled as if sleep were next on the agenda.
Silly grandmother! Her eyes were wide open! I wondered if she had secretly consumed caffeine.
A Clock Watcher
I could not help it. The more I rocked and sang to her, the more I glanced at the clock as I waited for her parents to return home. I calculated and re-calculated the time required to drive home from the hospital in Birmingham.
Her parents were late getting home. There was no tiptoeing into her room to kiss a sleeping baby. She heard the key in the lock, jumped out of my arms and ran down the hall to meet them. She was cheerful and full of energy.
As for me, I exhaled and fell into bed so I could get up to do it all over the next day.
But, lesson learned. I will be up and dressed with coffee in hand long before she awakens.
I will be ready for that non-stop baby girl!
*Mea Culpa loosely translated as “my fault”.