Skip to main content

Breaking Up with Baby

He cried that first day for five solid hours, from the moment his Mommy left the house until he tired himself out fifteen minutes before she returned.  I never told her because she was having a difficult time separating herself from him. I didn’t want to upset her more. 

He didn’t exactly cry – he screeched and wailed.  The neighbors probably thought I was torturing the little three-month-old, but I spoke to him in a soft reassuring voice and held him the whole time.  He missed his Mommy so much and felt abandoned; I was not going to reinforce that by laying him down in his crib and letting him cry it out.

I told him then that he needed to trust me.  I would feed him.  I would change his diaper.  I would love him so much that one day he would love me back.  We would have our own private language and jokes, we would become best friends, we would miss each other on weekends.

The rest of the week went a little better.  He cried only half the time, but then we came to a weekend and the following Monday we were back to square one. He and Mommy had been together and here I was again – the mean, old Grandma. I came thisclose to quitting, but if I did, Mommy either had to postpone her dream of college or Baby J had to go to a daycare. 

I was exhausted.  My arms hurt.  My back hurt.  My nerves were frayed. I constantly needed a nap. This grandbaby was different from the others I helped raise, so placing him in a daycare would have been disastrous.  

 I made my son and daughter-in-law a promise – to give them free babysitting at their home for one whole year and I try to keep my promises. 

Trust develops in baby steps. He tested me and I persisted. He continued to wail, and I continued to hold him and love him. He was fed. His diaper was changed. I loved him when he wasn’t very lovable.

The crying finally abated and one morning he met me at the front door with a smile, anxious for our day of fun to begin.

Today he is a happy child.  He is cute and funny and well-grounded. He is curious but trusts only his family – Mommy, Daddy, brothers, and Grandma.  He is independent but also understands the word “no.”  

Our year is coming to an end.  Mommy is already planning next year and so am I. He likes to learn and needs to be around other kids his age. The life I placed on hold is waiting for me and I need to get back to it.

Babies grow exponentially in their first year, so I have seen him go from a helpless little one to a confident toddler. We have been in each other’s business for the past nine months, so we became best friends. We have our own private language and jokes. We have shared thousands of hugs and kisses, laughs and games, secrets and special moments. 

His memory of our year together will fade with time, but both our lives changed for the better because of it.  


  1. You have made some very special and precious memories. One day Mr. J. will read this. I am sure he will remember some of this. I know he will always remember and love you.


Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Happy Breastday to Me!

I gave myself a very special birthday present this year – I had surgery. Before you think it was to increase, decrease, or “lift” something, let me tell you it was not cosmetic (though I could probably use a few nips and tucks at my age; the infinite number of creams I buy OTC are not working their promised magic). About four or five months ago, I discovered a hard lump about the size of a large marble in my left armpit.  I had been feeling small pangs of pain in my left chest for several months, but I figured it was just my turn to dance with heart disease.  Everyone in my immediate family is diabetic and suffers from strokes or heart attacks, so I thought – here we go; my turn. I was going to tell my internist about the pangs during my next visit, so imagine my surprise when I discovered the lump. The Drama Queen in me immediately manifested herself – cancer, I thought.  I have cancer. I searched some more and found that the texture on the left side of my left breast felt diffe

Dating Challenged

I stink at dating – always have.   I sputter.   I hyperventilate.   I fail miserably every time. I blame a pathetically underdeveloped gene that got little use before I married in my early twenties, then atrophied, gathering dust and rust, until I became single again in my fifties.   I decided to use this defect to my advantage when I needed to do some investigative reporting a few years back.   While on a newspaper writing assignment on Boomer-aged dating, I sacrificed my dignity and my vanity for the sake of the story (and I got several). Thank goodness, HoneyBunch saved me from all this when we married.  (He comes up with the best dates.) I’ve decided I will “show you mine if you show me yours.”   I will swap dating horror stories with you, but you have to promise to play along. The trick here is to tell about your worst date in 25 words or less.   You must keep it clean and you cannot name names. Our little contest will run only this week and before my next blogger posting.   Me

Grandma’s Dining Table

Twenty five years ago my first husband and I bought a new home with four bedrooms and three baths, but my favorite part of the house was the enormous room you walked into from the front door. It had no dividing wall but the design was to use half of it as a formal living and the other half as a formal dining. From the beginning I decided to make it into one huge dining room that would catch the eye when everyone walked in through the front door of my home.   My three children were very young, but I envisioned them grown and married. We counted five at the time, but one day we would grow to eight, maybe more if we factored in grandchildren, so I bought a table that sat a family of twelve.  My husband thought it silly to look that far ahead and convinced me to buy only ten chairs. The room looked magnificent – the long, majestic table, the ten chairs, the buffet, a couple of real ficus, and a few other nice pieces of furniture – I was pleased. The table lasted longer than t