This month, I welcomed my fifth grandchild! In some ways, I feel like an old hat at this grand-parenting job. I know the ropes, I know what’s expected of me, and yet, different, especially since this is my daughter’s first child! He or she will deserve a grandma that can Think Big and Start Small.
As an experienced grandma, here’s my 21-step plan (started out as a 20-step plan but the last one is also very important) that will be evaluated and modified as needed.
1. Read all kinds of books that both baby and I will enjoy (I’m especially looking forward to reading my collection of Gyo Fujikawa books to this little one!)
2. Sing songs that are silly, fun, and have surprises, even though my voice is far less than perfect)!
3. Talk about everything; what I see in his/her room, what I see outside, what the weather is outside, the colors of vegetables, what the dogs are doing that help protect and love him/her.
4. Encourage and support the lack of technology! In this information age (the I want-it-at-my fingertips and I want it now age), that can all wait. Yes, I’ll expect this baby to be unplugged until a much later age!
5. Hold often – when he/she is sleeping, crying, snuggling, discovering, etc.
6. Comfort when needed (see above…hold often).
7. Don’t judge, trust that he/she will make mistakes and grow from those blips.
8. Love with all my heart.
9. Attend the recitals/concerts/games (when they come).
10. Give time, just being there (see lack of technology as a means of being fully engaged).
11. Bake special treats (in moderation).
12. Change a diaper or two, when needed.
13. Rock as often as possible.
14. Support mama in her breastfeeding effort.
15. Take care of myself, so I’m ready to be a great grandma.
16. Share my faith.
17. Tell stories about his/her mama’s childhood.
18. Laugh often, especially when I hear that baby belly laugh!
19. Enjoy the quiet moments and those that are not so quiet.
20. Advocate for a safe and trusting child care environment that supports both mama and baby.
21. And, of course, as all good job descriptions include: other duties as assigned!
Looking at my list, I imagine lots more big and little steps will be needed over the next 18 or so years! It’s good that I’ve started to plan already! But what is most important to remember: this baby needs (beyond the basic needs of course) love, comfort, joy, playfulness, and friends and family that cherish and adore him! I wish that for every child!
By the way, I’m out of the office right now…caring for the new grandbaby. Wish me Luck!