Yesterday we went to visit my daughter with the triplets and six year old daughter and husband’s home for a Mother’s Day dinner. There is a lot of planning in taking three small children to a different place for a few hours. Diapers, bottles, baby food, change of clothes as the oldest is working on toilet training. Loading them into the vehicle with three car seats. Stopping half way for the older one who is toilet training to visit the restroom.
After arriving, the boys, Mr. M and Mr. A, were shy and very clinging. I am thinking they were afraid they were going to be left there. Also, seeing three little babies in high chairs being fed their meal, and another child about their age running around, was a shock. The boys acted like typical toddlers going into a strange place. Ms. L, who is eleven months old, was excited to have babies to socialize with. She enjoyed babbling to and spending time on the floor with the triplets who are three months younger.
The adult conversation revolved around children. Diaper sizes – who is wearing what size of diaper. The different thermometers and which works best, diaper rash ointments, lotions, shampoo, and soaps. How the children – Mr. A, Mr. M and Ms. L are adapting. The different methods of discipline, or dealing with anger among small children. Teaching to talk, share and take turns. Age milestones and methods to help the small ones achieve their milestones or catch up. Fun time in the yard climbing up slides or swinging on swings, trying to the older children from accidently hurting the other.
When dinner time arrived, after feeding the four infants, it was what do they eat, how much and food allergies. Mr. M is lactose intolerant. The discussion was not about recipes or how our looking for a place to purchase closer to where my daughter and family live.
The conversations between my daughters and myself have changed since I started caring for and raising my three grandchildren. The conversations are me asking questions on what products are available today for the care of children. Safe sleeping for children based on age. Their opinions on toys for early learning.
Finally today, on driving back from the grocery store, I realized I am once again a “Mom”. Not just their Granny, but the one who feeds them, bathes them, makes a home safe for them to live in, and meets their daily needs emotionally, mentally and physically and well as spiritually. I am being a full-time “Mom” to three of my grandchildren.
When will my daughter-in-law be mentally well to care for her children? Years down the road. How many years? Considering she has panic attacks cleaning the house, overwhelmed by what needs to be done. Or is so depressed she is unable to do anything. Unable to go to a store by herself. A lot of years will pass before if ever she is able to handle caring for her children.
Meanwhile, I will do the work, give the love and support to my grandchildren as if they were my children.