One year ago, I was sitting in the family waiting room at Yale-New Haven Hospital waiting for my grandson to be born. His due date was August 13, and right on schedule, my very organized and efficient DIL went into labor. I brought my knitting and settled in to wait. Family members came and went. I had some fun conversations with my DIL’s father and sister. When you are waiting for hours, interesting things just come flowing out. I enjoyed getting to know them better because of this opportunity.
Little O decided to keep us all waiting until 2 am, so he was actually born on August 14. I did not realize how nervous I was about the whole deal until he was safely out and pronounced intact and healthy. After a little while, my son, DIL and Little O came by on their way to the regular hospital room. Such a beautiful baby!
Little O, less than 2 hours old
Poor Little O had a rough time being a non-fetus. It took him a few months to adjust. My children were colicky for the first 3 months as well, so I know how difficult it was for my DIL and my son. Eventually he settled down and became the sweet-tempered, smiling baby he still is.
I saved up all of my vacation time at work so I could be part of the baby care team. My DIL and son both work full time. Little O goes to a daycare center 2 days a week, spends one day with me and one day with his other grandmother, and my DIL is off on Thursdays. She works on Saturdays so MOS-32 is in charge that day.
Fridays are my special day with Little O. He usually arrives at my house around 12:30, and depending on MOS-32’s schedule, Little O goes home between 6 and 9 pm. It’s been so much fun to watch him develop! Every phase was amazing to me, and I thought surely he would never be more fascinating than he was at that given moment, until the next week when he acquired more talents.
When he first came to spend the day, he was only 2 months old. He didn’t do much except eat and cry, and occasionally sleep. But he was just so adorable and beautiful, I couldn’t stop looking at him in wonder. Because I have 2 sons and a stepson, some people thought having a granddaughter would be my ultimate dream. Not so. Having a healthy grandbaby was my ultimate dream, and it came true. I read and hear way too much about all the dire possibilities, and I was so relieved when Little O made it through the birth canal successfully with all of his parts intact.
Now when he comes on Fridays, we have a little routine. We have a big bucket of toys and he pulls them all out. Then he plays with his favorite things: a length of rope, which he likes to wave at the dogs like a lion tamer, a piece of foam tubing that I call his “light saber,” because I put pink duct tape on it to keep him from chewing it, and a set of wooden coasters that my husband bought at a consignment store. He has lots of regular Toys R Us-type toys, too, but the coasters are by far his favorite. He likes to beat the coffee table with them. This week he discovered the fun of rolling a 2-liter soda bottle on the floor — it rolled back to him! How exciting is that? Despite this evidence, I keep ordering more toys. Will I ever learn? They are more for my amusement than his, I have to confess. He’s pretty content with his found objects.
Little O rejected all pacifiers, which was tough for me because my kids were easily silenced by this magic plug. Eventually he found a way to soothe himself. All he needs is a little bit of thumb and a piece of cloth — ideally a blanket, but he makes even a sock or a Kleenex work for him. A few seconds of this and he is totally restored. It’s quite a gift. I wish I could calm down that easily!
He has just started to walk, which is unbelievable, because it feels like just last week when we were waiting for him to crawl! He is having a lot of fun doing his imitation of Peter Boyle from “Young Frankenstein.” The versatility of knee joints still eludes him.
He is a snuggly, happy, friendly baby. These are personality traits that many babies have, but to me Little O is the most fascinating person I have ever met. I had no idea how wonderful it would feel to be a grandmother. The more he is able to interact with me, the more smitten I become. Friday afternoons are the pinnacle of my week, and he has an amazing ability to make me forget about anything stressful when he is here. A slobbery baby hug is the ultimate gift for me. If I can make him laugh (crazy noises, funny faces, a bunch of little tickles), I feel as though I have won an Oscar! Recently, when I feed him baby food and Cheerios, he wants to feed ME some of the Cheerios. Oh my — how sweet is that? When he is here, I am totally and completely in the Little O Zone. It’s the best feeling there is.
I’m really grateful that MOS-32 and my lovely DIL include me in Little O’s life. This has been a year of intense ups and downs for me, but through it all, I have had this miracle of a grandson to keep me going, cheer me up and remind me of what is truly important. It is impossible to feel anything but joy in his presence. He makes me laugh and cry all at the same time. I hope we have many more years of having fun together, so I can continue to show him how very much I love him.
This is bliss!