Here I am. In Austin. I would’ve written sooner but I’ve been busy repeatedly chasing a rapidly crawling baby, my 9 month old grandson, Levi. I’m beat. Like a stick. I suppose this form of exhaustion is penance for being the out of town grandma. Sheesh. I’ve said it now. Oy the guilt! But I’m more creative than letting a mere baby wear me down to simply saying “Woe is poor lil ole me!” Besides I’m tougher than I look.. I arrived here last Wednesday, having been greeted at the airport by a smiling, adorable and drooling Levi and his moderately frazzled mother, my daughter Julia. Okay she was not at wits end, but the familiar signs of new motherhood – those telltale spots and stains on her shoulders and shirt fronts, the house with laundry strewn appropriately here and there, dirty dishes in the sink, etc. reminded me of myself 35 years ago. Oh the memories. Anyway, I got right to work, doing a few chores and playing peekaboo with the energizer baby while mom Julia took a much needed relaxing shower.
Those who know me well might suppose I have, after spending several days here, already set up a basket of recyclables to create a baby art project, and it’s not that I haven’t thought of it, because I just mentioned it, (duh!) but no, at least not yet. My internal creative wheels have been spinning, I proudly admit, and still I am not yet at the stage to manifest my usual form of creative visual expression.
So what else might I do? A standup routine? I’ve done that in the past. Maybe. There is so much to mention to a captive, probably AARP audience…should I ever hang out with peeps my own age…Like the fact I have avoided moving closer than a thousand miles from babysitting regularly, that I have not stepped once inside a toys r us in over 25 years (thank god), or ventured near Disneyland, universal studios or Knotts Berry farm because my gag reflex cannot take too much artificial cute in one place or for longer than 5 minutes and even that is too long.
But oops I believe I spoke too soon….Julia suggested I accompany her and the wee lad to Buy Buy Baby, the big box store for people who can’t purchase enough crap for their kids. I just saw infant automatic rockers that would make most parents down Dramamine just watching their tyke be lulled to sleep. I’ve took a video of one…but I’m not sure it will post.
Julia did have a good excuse to go shopping as it appears Levi has outgrown the high tech infant car seat already. This one maxes out at 30″ and the sweet nine month old boy wonder is tipping the tape measure at 29 1/2 as I write. Rather than putting him on a diet for a couple months, as I initially joked, I offered to pop for a bigger model…that was until I saw the prices of these suckers! Can you imagine a protective car seat for only 900 bucks? And the darn thing wasn’t even made of Italian leather! “Well, there are cheaper models, look over here!” I stated loudly as I steered shopping cart loaded with baby Levi toward them. The saleswoman said that the $439 models were just as safe. “Shit what a relief.” I muttered under my breath, thinking to myself, “There’s gotta be one on craigslist for at least half that.” We left the store without a new seat, but with models and prices noted. Online shopping here we come. You might think I’m cheap and don’t care about the safety of my grandson, which would be partially right…I am definitely cheap.
But back to the important stuff. I might get a ribbon for my feat in having wrestled a soiled diaper off, cleaned and re-diapered the moving behind, in less than sixty seconds, of my quite adorable, friendly and feisty grandson. Imagine a sort of relay race with a greased pig, or hog-tying a steer situation, which is also immensely entertaining to the constantly moving babe. He giggles and squeals as I grab him, dragging him into position to Velcro his diaper in place. Thank goodness we don’t have those pins anymore that I used with Julia and Billy. Back then I must’ve impaled myself more than I actually hit the diaper. Thank goodness I poked myself rather than my kids. It’s amazing the inventions that make parenthood so much easier now, some thirty plus years later. Take those disposable diapers. When my kids were wearing them it was only for traveling, and even then I had to bring a roll of tape in case the attached tape fastener came off and there appeared a hole in the diaper. I remember one time nearly covering the entire diaper with tape because too many holes had been created in the process of adjusting the damn diaper and I had neglected to pack replacements. I had to cut the thing off when it got filled…not pretty even in hindsight (pun intended). Nowadays if the diaper doesn’t go on right you just pull the Velcro tab and reposition the thing. Had the Velcro doohickey been invented I could’ve saved a bundle in tape costs!
But enough about that…I may fill you in later after the kid gets potty trained, which couldn’t happen soon enough, at least for parents Julia and Christian.
Speaking of time flying and child development. The kid, in addition to being Mr. Interactive Personality, is crawling and standing (not walking unaided yet, thank you Jesus) has like ten teeth, is eating food and still nursing and joyously plays away with musical instruments! Is this normal? Levi’s vocabulary is limited to dededededadadada, mumumumimimim, plus vowel mixed squeals and a hilarious imitation of a creaky screen door in need of a large can of wd40. No, he is not reading yet, then again he is a work in progress.
Today, he grabbed my cold, cynical heart and melted it for good as I fed him a watermelon Popsicle … For ever lick he took he pushed the thing back to me to have a lick and smiled. Again, Is that normal? Naw. He’s my grandson, of course he’s going to be advanced, adorable and precocious!
I’m heading home on Tuesday, with a plan on relaxing, kvelling about the cute kid to all my friends and planning an art piece to commemorate my visit. I’ll take a picture and post it. In the meantime I’m working on my standup routine.