Thursday, September 08, 2011

babies and stuff

Babies don’t travel light. It is absolutely amazing the amount of stuff required to bring a baby from home to visit Grandma and Grandpa for a few days.

They arrived yesterday evening from California here to Wisconsin with one small bag for mom and dad and one huge overstuffed and impossibly heavy bag for my nearly 6 month old grandson. That little baby has more clothes than all of the adults around him combined. Piles of diapers await their duty. Stacks of tiny little jars of mashed fruits and vegetables crowd the kitchen counter. Enough toys to stock a good sized daycare center overflow the box that holds them in random order. And that’s just the stuff they brought with them. Awaiting the little prince’s arrival here was a collection of hardware deemed necessary to cope with the care and feeding of one tiny person. We borrowed or bought an infant car seat, a stroller with all the amenities of a Lexus, a contraption called Pack and Play used to house the little guy when he sleeps and keeps him from safe from harm when he is not being held by one of the doting adults who constantly surround him (we called a playpen when our children were babies, but it is essentially just a padded jail cell), a swing to keep him content or lulled into a quiet stupor when the inevitable emotional breakdown occurs, a rocking chair/play chair with toys hanging everywhere to fascinate and stimulate, and other secondary stuff to ensure that we adults aren’t caught lacking the answers to his demands.

And yet all that stuff is put out of mind when we see that beatific smile that lights up the room and makes us turn to putty in his hands. Isn’t it amazing how one little guy can have six adults (mom and dad and two sets of grandparents) so totally under his control, talking baby jibberish to him and making doting fools of themselves? But we are willing and happy fools when we get the chance to hold him and watch him and engage him. Despite the clutter the next few days will be a little slice of heaven with our own special angel presiding. We may have to dig him out from under all that stuff to enjoy his visit, but the excavation will be more than worth the effort.

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