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The more things change, the older I am

Thursday, April 8, 2021
The more things change, the older I am

The more things change, the more I’m glad my childbearing years are in the rearview mirror.

The thing that makes me feel old about being a grandparent is not my age, it’s the gap in equipment and practices that happened in one generation.

When my daughter had her first son almost six years ago, she told me she was going to use cloth diapers. “I think that is awesome,” I told her, “but I will buy disposables when I have him because if I poke him with a diaper pin.....”

When she stopped laughing, she told me that diaper pins aren’t a ‘thing’ anymore. It was almost as if I’d asked her if she had any spare 5-inch floppy disks I could borrow. Which, I might add, was what I used for computer backup when she was born 35 years ago.

Some day I know we will laugh and laugh about how old-fashioned the Cloud is, but I will die still not understanding it.

The diaper pin thing, though, was my first hint things were different in the baby world, really different.

Then I found out you cannot ever, EVER lay a baby on his belly to sleep, or he could die. When my kids were babies, they told us to never, EVER let them sleep on their back or they could choke on their spit-up.

Color me confused, but compliant.

My grandson’s baby monitor also had video display. You can hear and see everything he was doing from anywhere in the house. This was like inventing fire to me. When my kids were little we lived in a rural area, and their monitor was only audio, but also picked up CBs and errant truckers, which was fun for everyone.

Then, we had these things call Johnny Jump-Ups which were basically a canvas seat on a spring hung from a door jamb with some adjustable metal hooks where a baby could bounce for hours under his own leg power while you cooked supper.

Now, they have some space-age contraption with safety features that gently rocks a baby in 15 different directions with lights and soothing sounds for whoevver needs it at the moment. It also appears to require a degree in engineering to initially operate.

Also, we 80’s parents didn’t know anything about melatonin, to help the little children sleep, only Benadryl. And Benadryl causes guilt in parents so it was only used in emergency situations, or so I hear.

I’m continually amazed at the advancements I couldn’t even conceive of three decades ago.

I bought a sleeper for my newest grandson, Jack, and that sucker had two-way zippers. It doesn’t keep him from screaming when real air hits his delicate tush, but it is much easier to change his diaper. The sleeper from 35 years ago featured a long zipper down one leg, perfect for dislocating your child’s opposite hip during difficult diaper changes.

And I hope the statute of limitations is over on this one, but Whiskey was exceptional for teething pain in the absence of Ora-Gel; as well as calming the parent. What they do now, I don’t know, I will have to ask. But the whiskey was medicinal, y’all, really. For everyone.

I do not begrudge the nicer things parents have now. I don’t require that other women suffer in motherhood because I thought I did compared to them. Other women paid dues for me, I sure don’t mind paying it forward.

I just want them to keep the keys to their kingdom, let me in occasionally and not require me to raise more babies.

I’m not old. I’m done.