Joan Dorsey
Contributing columnist
If anything is to be said for 2017, it is good bye and so long. It looks as though 2018 might be heading in the right direction.
There is a new baby girl in our extended family. Miss Amelia Noel Mann made her arrival on Dec 26. She has her own birthday – not Christmas, – and I am sure her parents will allow her to celebrate it as such.
I had a grandmother back in the day, and she was nothing like the ones we have now. Miss Amelia will have a Grandmother who can sail a sailboat, snow ski, swim, and scuba dive. She will be a very lucky little girl.
This also made my in-laws great grandparents. They waited a long time for this to happen.
Great grandma even picked up her crochet hook and finished off a sweater and bonnet for the new little gal. Not bad for an 80 something lady. Great grandpa takes all these things in stride, but I am sure he is proud as punch.
Once things calm down and a few naps are taken, I am sure the new parents will be looking for that instruction book that surely comes with a new baby. Back 37 years ago when my son was born, I looked and looked, but never found it. Dr Spock, yes Dr. Spock not Mr. Spock, was revolutionizing child rearing back then. I never got a copy of his book either. My son was early and small, but caught up quickly. He survived with much trial and error.
Then five years later my daughter arrived. She was pink and soft and pretty. She was also very, very loud. From 9 p.m. to 1 a.m. every night she cried.
This brings me to something every parent needs from time to time. A babysitter. If the grandparents live close, they can be used on occasion, but not too often.
There is a myth type status for babysitters. As on TV, you assume, one day when you are quite frazzled, a young woman will appear. She will be wearing a plaid skirt, penny loafers and wearing glasses.
She will have impeccable references and not be over priced. Said young woman will have no life other than to come when you call, dropping any and all life obligations. A modern Mary Poppins if you will.
Well it doesn’t happen.
Out of sheer frustration I asked a wonderful neighbor to watch my daughter one night. I can’t remember why or what the reason was. This wonderful lady had raised five children and had the patience of Job. When I picked the baby up I asked if she had cried. My neighbor said she might have cried a little.
I am still grateful for that night off, thank you Jo.
I don’t remember getting to go to movies or dinner much till the kids were older. We had several not so good sitters, and one who was a star. She loved the kids and apparently had very little of a social life. She was so appreciated but finally married and moved away.
So to the new parents I say this. Do your best. They are only little for a short while. Enjoy every holiday and don’t worry about lavishing them with stuff, lavish them with happy memories and love. Make your child a good citizen, and someone people want to be around.
It is ok to say no.
It is also ok to say I love you.
If they locate that instruction manual, I hope they set it aside. Use it only for emergencies. They have two Moms’ and a Great Grandma who can fill them in on all the little tips and secrets.
That beats a book any day.