A couple of years ago I started minding my one-year-old granddaughter for two days a week when my daughter returned to work after her maternity leave ended. If you didn’t know, you can catch up with one of the weekly blog posts I wrote here.
Helpful “don’t worry, it’ll be just like riding a bike” comments from friends soon fell flat as I struggled with the brand new purple-buggy-with-a-mind-of-its-own, and the other bits and pieces of equipment that didn’t resemble anything I recalled from my own daughter’s childhood
The terrible fist-chewing, heart-churning realization that this was my daughter’s precious babe and I, elderly butterfingered grandma, had been entrusted with caring for her. This was my watch. If it went wrong, it would totally be my fault.
The signs read: kerbs, roads, steps, ladders, things on window ledges, cars, dogs, people staring into the buggy. The potential for mishap or mayhem was all around and dogged my every footstep.
Add to that the astounding ability of a crawling baby to locate and consume little bits of crud on a newly vacuumed carpet, or to make it to the bottom of the stairs the second you avert your gaze, and it was no wonder that shares in prosecco probably rocketed.
I’d forgotten how to see the world through the eyes of a small child: delight in finding a lovely autumn leaf, the excitement of twinkly Christmas lights, marveling at a blue flower growing in a crack in the pavement, the satisfaction in finally making it to the top of the “big slide.” The way that my initial fear was quickly replaced by a tidal wave of love.
My baby grandson is being passed into my care, to join his three-year-old sister. The toys are sorted. The stair gate is in place. Supplies of prosecco have been laid in. “Team Grandma” is getting ready to begin a new journey. Wish us luck.
Do you look after your grandchildren? How did you feel when you started out? What changes from raising your own children did you find? Please share your thoughts and experiences!