Look Who’s Here!

Look who arrived the other day!  Our granddaughter, Mikayla and our son and daughter-in-law.  Isn’t that just grand?  They flew in late Monday evening and we were waiting at the airport to pick them up.  Mika was a great little traveler.  In fact, she slept most of the way from the West Coast to the East Coast.  Unfortunately, that was during the daytime which meant that she was ready to be up and at ‘em during the wee hours.

I tried to be of help that first night.  I really did.  But Mika wasn’t having any of it.  Our son tried to show me her favorite positions to be comforted but despite my best jiggling and juggling and shussing and hugging, she’d take one look at me and contort that pretty little face and we’d be off to the races.  I flashed back to those early weeks with our first baby.  She was a really fussy one and the Commander would say to me, “Just relax.  She can sense that you are tense.”  Oh, boy!  “Just relax.”  Those have got to be two of the most useless words in the English language.  They’ve only had the reverse effect on me.

So when I finally crawled off to bed around 3:15 a.m., I wasn’t feeling too confident in my grandmothering skills.  I had really hoped that I’d be able to give Jason and Laura some relief by entertaining the baby so that they could relax and restore their energy banks.  Instead, here was my son telling ME to head off to bed because I looked exhausted and I needed some sleep.  Oy!

Well, he was beat, too so he finally did what all good dads do…..turned Mika over to her mother to be nursed and finally put down for a bit of sleep.  Thank goodness that they all got a little bit of rest.

Our first full day together dawned and up I popped, determined to be a much better helper on my second attempt.  Strike Two!  I tried the “over the shoulder,” the “walk and sway,” the “football hold,” nursery songs, and was even contemplating breaking out into some Broadway tunes but nothing doing.  About the only thing I was successful in was identifying when she had a dirty diaper.  At least there was some consolation.  We were all pretty much striking out at calming her down except for her feeding times (and she wouldn’t be related to me if she didn’t like to eat).

So last evening, we decided to watch a DVD that I had purchased before the kids arrived, on the recommendation of a fellow new grandmother.  It’s called “The Happiest Baby on the Block” by Harvey Karp, M.D.  It contains soothing techniques that are supposed to be almost magical yet simple.  We watched the whole thing in astonishment.  The DVD featured actual new mothers with their babies and by golly, these techniques were working right in front of our eyes.  When I went to bed last night, Jason and Laura were going to give the techniques a try, including the white noise from the accompanying CD I had purchased.  You’ll have to catch my blog tomorrow to read what happened.


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