The Nanny Diary…
I’m going to be a grandmother.
When I found out, several things happened.
I hugged my daughter-in-law and told her she was very clever, and I hugged my son.
I sat back then and listened whilst they talked of their visit to the Ob-Gyn. I looked at the ultrasound pictures of my future grandchild. And yes, he, is an amazingly formed, recognisable babe. We swapped stories of emotions at the ultrasound and shared amazement at the speed of a babe’s heartbeat in utero.
We talked about my very dear friend who is my son’s godmother. Midwife Cath is one of Australia’s foremost midwives – with a book and many, many guest appearances everywhere and over 10,000 deliveries to her credit.
Then I looked at my son, whom Midwife Cath helped birth.
He was my baby. And now he’s going to be a Dad.
For this one short nano-second, the truth of ageing hit me. I’m not a young mum anymore. I’m about to become a grandparent. What my own parents were. And suddenly there was a quantum shift in the universe as I knew it.
I look forward to having a new little family member to take to the beach so we can investigate rockpools and beach secrets, and whom I can teach to swim and dive, garden and cook. To take out boating as soon as possible in the same way I was as a child, and the way my own children were. A little someone to read to (copiously), and to tell real and make-believe stories to. A little being to whom I can sneak chocolates from my pockets, and whom I can let do the things that parents won’t let them do!
My husband will have a little farmer to help raise in just the way he was raised by his parents (he graced the cover of Australian Womens’ Weekly as he slept with a champion sow at Melbourne Show) and the way in which his farming parents raised our own kids. His father consistently called his grandkids the billy lids. (billy lids – “kids”. Australian slang.) I have no doubt at all that this will continue.
In an odd way, it will be repeating all that we did with our own daughter and son. Only this time, there’s more of the freedom to enjoy it, less of the anxiety and concern that we may not have been doing it right. I loved being pregnant with both my children. I loved being a big fat breeding cow, I loved the somnolence and contentedness of the state. I loved being a new mum because despite the odd health drama, my infants were a dream come true. Slept, fed and grew by the book. Later, they loved books, crafts and Lego, and together we would explore the Great Outdoors. I had time to be organised, to read, to rest and to enjoy their moments of growth.
I wish that for any young parent but especially members of my own family…
Parenthood is daunting; one has to have one’s feet firmly entrenched in reality. There’s always the hope one is doing the right thing and that Life will be kind to the offspring. But the reality is that Life has a habit of not playing fair and one can only wish for
the Good Fairy Godmother to be there,
or the Patronus, or whatever takes the fancy at the time.
I have just under six months to get my ‘nanny’ persona honed. To learn the new nappy thing they do these days, to be able to hold the babe without my back and shoulder hurting, to refine reassuring talk for the parents and wonderfully crazy gobbledegook for the babe. To teach the JRT that this new little ‘puppydog’ in the house is something one has to be steady and quiet around .
And to read Cath’s book and burn the detail into my brain.
I love that just as my Mum and Dad were Nanny and Pa to our kids, my husband and I are apparently going to be Nanny and Pa to our grandchild. Although it may just be that the child has other ideas altogether.