Tuesday, July 01, 2014

The Agony and the Ecstasy

The best-kept secret in this house was Lucy's pregnancy. This photo was taken several weeks ago, so you can imagine why it can no longer be a secret. She and Peter wanted to choose the right moment to tell Peter's daughter before the new baby became public knowledge.

That's done now. Her two sisters want to give her a baby shower, so on Sunday the four of us went to put together a registry. I wasn't much help. I suspect my older four told us what they would like as a "grandparent" present and I didn't bother with the rest of the things they were accumulating. I haven't had a baby since 1976 (the one and only time I was the recipient of a shower. More about that at a later time.) We went to a large nationwide store which I won't name because I can't get the punctuation right. Aisles and aisles of products for babies and toddlers. These products were neatly organized: sleeping, eating, playing, bathing—you get the idea. They were divided into "must haves" and "would likes", or words to that effect. And the choice! Just in the stroller category we have jogging strollers, full sized strollers, luxury strollers, double and triple strollers—lord have mercy—stroller accessories, stroller bunting and footmuff. To name but a few.

That set me thinking. What do I remember about buying equipment for my children? Very little. I do remember going to what was then J.L. Hudsons, our local large department store. They certainly didn't have stores specializing in babies back then. We bought a crib and the following year when it became clear we needed a second crib, I think I sent my husband off to buy one. Crib number two didn't seem so special! I suppose I bought some baby clothes and I know got signed up with Dydee Service which took my used cloth diapers away every week and replaced them with soft, fluffy clean ones. Until the nurses handed over newborn baby number one, I had never held a baby. We had no family in Detroit who could have given us advice about feeding and clothing and bathing. We figured it out.

So when my new grandchild arrives, I will be ecstatic. But marching around the baby emporium, especially with my still hurting knee, was agony.

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