Tuesday, April 14, 2009

All In The Family

Before I got pregnant, I remember my mother telling me that she would not be waiting around at any given time to have grand kids dumped with her. She had a life. Fast-forward to May 12, 2008. Her tune changed a bit. Grammy couldn't stand to have her only granddaughter in daycare--so she gave up the retired life and volunteered to stay with Violet 4 days a week.

The situation has really been perfect in almost every way. First, who could be better to care for my precious daughter than my own mother. If I had to drop off my tiny 12 week old at a daycare center back in August, I think I would have quit my job after my first day back. Second, the time and work that Grammy has put into Violet over the last 8 months has forged a very special relationship between the two of them. That bond is evident whenever Violet sees her Grammy and I think these formative months Vi has spent in my Mom's arms will keep them linked in a special way forever. Very cool for Violet, especially in this day and age when so many families are spread out across the country and the only time kids see their grandparents is the week between Christmas and New Year's.

It is also pretty cool for my Mom to have such a close tie to her only granddaughter. Our family has had so much loss in the last 2 years with my Granny's death following my Dad's passing by only a year; I think Mom needed a new itty-bitty to remind her of the wonder surrounding the beginning of a person. After holding her husband and mother's hands as they struggled out of this life, I'm sure holding Violet's hand as she huffs and puffs through her first steps as a toddler is a welcome change.

The only problem with relying on only my Mom to watch Violet is that when she's sick, Shawn and I are scrambling to find an alternative baby watcher so we can both make it to work. Barb was down with pneumonia for two weeks this month and Shawn and I were making phone calls to family and friends each evening, trying to patch together a plan for Violet's care for the next day.

Lucky for us, my sister-in-law Aly and my brother Jeff were both in a position to pinch hit and did so frequently during Grammy's illness. Aly has two little guys of her own, Jack age 3, and Charlie, age 9 months, and I suspect she felt some sympathy for Octomom when I repeatedly showed up to add my 11 month old to her already busy household. She grinned and bore it beautifully, however, and actually had me almost believing her when she said 3 babies aren't any more work than 2.

Uncle Jeff, Violet's godfather, also stepped up to the plate to do some babysitting in our time of need. Talk about a crash course in babies, Jeff learned the ins and outs of diapering, the importance of dicing food in chunks smaller than babies' windpipe, and how to socialize with other mommies at Kindermusik all in 2 weeks. Violet learned that ham and bacon together make a delicious meal.

Jen, my BFF, also spent her day off tending Violet. Her 2 and a half year old Avery helped out quite a bit, I understand! Because of the generosity of all these people, Shawn and I were both able to keep our jobs. And it is these people, relation of blood and marriage, people I've chosen to surround myself with and those who were chosen for me, who tie me to Indianapolis and the Midwest. They are the reasons Shawn and I want to bring Violet up here and no where else.


Babs said...

I only wish I could figure out a way to spend equal amounts of time with Jack & Charlie. I'm not the most charismatic of Grammys...I'm the first to admit it, but the love I feel for these three little blessings in my life is beyond the power of words. Who knew when I was leading my carefree life as a single superwoman that I'd be so quickly tamed by such tiny people? Your dad had it right. They represent our DNA marching bravely into the future,shaped directly by you, our children; our finest and best hope for whatever lies ahead of us in time.

Aly said...

We loved our days with Violet! One laugh at her cousin Jack's antics had him working harder & harder for more. She also seems to make Charlie want to crawl & move sooner than Jack did at his age. I may need her to come back for a day to show me where the house needs to be baby-proofed.

Staying home with the boys this past year has definitely taught me to appreciate the little things. Like how cool a trash truck really is when it stops & honks at you every Wednesday. :)

We're always here to help, the same way you guys all help the boys & I when Andy is away. I guess it really does take a village.