I’ve always tried to avoid new grandparents. They are so obnoxious, flipping picture after picture in your face, whether you pretend to be interested or not. Here’s my grandbaby in the hospital the day she was born. Here she is in my lap. Here she is going out for a walk in the stroller for the first time. Here she is getting her bath. Here she is passing gas. It just goes on and on. Every topic of conversation comes around to something related to their grandchild. There is simply nothing in the entire universe that could be more interesting to them. Washington, D.C. could be under attack and they would show you a picture of their grandson’s first tooth. Seriously. It makes me want to shout “Snap out of it!” like Cher as I smack them across the face.
It wouldn’t do any good. There’s no way to knock any sense into a new grandparent. These previously normal adults seem to have been overtaken by aliens, like in The Invasion of the Body Snatchers. And the thing is… they are actually happy about it. Happier than I’ve ever seen them before.
Although I’ve longed for a grandchild for a long time, I always figured that if and when my time ever came, I would be able to rise above all this foolishness and keep my wits about me. Now I’m fearing I was as wrong about that as I’ve been wrong about anything. (And I’ve been wrong about a lot of things in my life.)
My daughter Gretchen just entered into the final trimester of her pregnancy and I don’t know if I’m going to make it the full nine months. I find myself crying at least once a day just thinking about the little man who is preparing to make his grand entrance. I want him to be born NOW. And I want him in my arms. It’s pert near making me crazy.
A couple months ago I slid off the edge of sanity and into the deep end. It all started when I learned the gender. I really had my heart set on a girl and when I heard it was a boy it took me a while to get over it. For years I had wandered through the baby departments in stores, looking at all the cute little girl outfits, imagining what it would be like to have a granddaughter. Well, I was getting used to the idea that it was a boy and happened to be near Buy Buy Baby (which I discovered by consulting my phone and driving about 10 miles). So since I was there anyway, I thought I’d just stop in to see what they have for baby boys these days. Oh, my gosh! They had cute stuff for boys! I wasn’t sure if they’d have anything cute in any other stores, so I bought every cute baby-boy thing they had.
Then, I found myself in other stores, just walking through to see what they had. And I have discovered two things. First, every store has cute things for boys! And second, I know now, beyond a doubt, that it’s simply impossible for me to put my big toe in the infant department of a clothing store without buying something. I keep testing that theory out, and despite my best efforts to disprove it, it holds true every time. I have never been a compulsive spender in my life and have always known how to exercise restraint. What has happened to me?
Last week I was at Macy’s picking up some new pants for myself. I was determined to stay out of the baby department. But when there was a line at the dressing rooms and the saleswoman told me there were more dressing rooms in the children’s department, I didn’t even stop to think about it. I don’t need to tell you what happened.
So, I’ve decided I can’t go into stores for a while. But then today I started poking around on the internet. I researched the 10 best toys for babies and started a list. And that took me to a Carters discount site, which took me to Oshkosh overalls. They were on sale, dammit. How could I resist? I bought some with the stripes. And I thought, wouldn’t it be cute to get him a railroad cap to go with the overalls. So, then I started looking at baby’s hats. And I found a newborn baby’s cap that I can have “Nicholas” embroidered on. All the while I’m typing in my credit card number I’m thinking, I have to stop this. But I honestly don’t think I can.
The real problem is that the baby isn’t even here yet and I’m already out of control. I’m seriously wondering if there is a twelve-step group for people like me.
For those of you who will be interacting with me over the next few months, please forgive me. And be forewarned; I haven’t even entered the obnoxious new grandparent stage yet. Lord, have mercy! If you ever wanna smack me in the face, you have my permission.