I am sitting here shaking my head at the strange experience of being a grandmother. All the things I have forgotten. All I have to learn a second time.
Babysitting a two year old for a few days in Atlanta while her parents escape for their anniversary should be a walk in the park. How hard can this be, right?
Pretty hard, actually, if you are fool enough to take said two year old into Pottery Barn on the pretext of shopping. Only a grandmother with amnesia could be that crazy. And this two year old has missed her nap.
Cold stares of skeptical clerks tell me that I am not the first grandmother visiting Atlanta who thinks she can combine babysitting and shopping.
“How’s your day going?” the lady in Talbot’s asks as I turn over a small rack trying to take a picture.
“Not terribly well.” I shove the stroller out the front door with all that gusto I gained lifting weights to keep my bones intact.
Can someone tell me exactly how one keeps a two year old from climbing out of these new hip strollers?
As I think of it, where did I miss the memo on…yogurt in a tube, which (trust me) can be sprayed in five directions? Or “sacks” for toddlers to sleep in? Or vegetables that can be squeezed from a pouch?
I keep body and soul together (mine and Sydney’s) with the help of a small bear that has come to the rescue of mother’s and grandmother’s for a long time. I lost count how many I fed this child.
What a mercy of God that when your grandchildren appear, all your memories of motherhood are suffused in a golden haze, the meltdowns in the grocery store long forgotten. Your children live on in a sweet afterglow. Grandchildren come along to remind you of challenges you once rose to moment by moment, every single day, with scarcely a thought. It’s just the stuff mothers do.
But I see it differently now, as I sit recovering from a grandmother’s bout of insanity, my feet propped on my son’s coffee table. With my ice tea in hand, I raise a glass to mothers of toddlers everywhere.
Heroes, every one.