I spent the last week in New Jersey visiting my girls who between them have six of my eight grandchildren. My middle daughter has two boys and two girls, ranging in age from almost nine to sixteen months and my younger daughter has two girls, almost three and the youngest grandchild, who is eight months. Needless to say there were lots of diapers to change and boo-boos to kiss (fortunately I was not the cause of too many of the boo-boos!) and stories to tell and books to read and cars to play with, etc. I didn’t know I could spend so much time on a floor and have so much fun. I also don’t have to worry about having done any upper-body exercises since lifting and carrying two 30 pound babies off and on took care of that. I enjoyed every minute of being there…and I went to bed shortly after the kids pretty much every night.
One of the highlights of the trip was a visit at my younger daughter’s from my cousin, Linda and her daughter-in-law, Melissa, who is also the mother of two little girls. They are all very special to me.
Linda and I were watching our grand daughters playing together (they are pretty close in age) and we started chatting about our days when we were the young Moms and dinosaurs roamed the earth. We both have three children, all around the same age, but she has three boys, where I had just one (because God knew one was enough for me) and my two girls.
I was pretty lucky in that the ex was a very capable father who did not fear changing dirty diapers, giving a bath, etc. I remember the kids really liked on the rare occasion I’d be away and he would be in charge of making lunch. Anything and everything would be in their brown paper sacks. Plus, no mushy notes from Mom. Linda and her friends apparently were not as blessed with the men in their families. She told me a story that had me rolling on the floor.
It was about her Dad, who was one of the best men I have ever known. He was fun, loved children and to this day my kids call Hawaiian-print swim trunks “Uncle Funzie Bathing Suits” because that and a t-shirt were what he always wore at his shore house.
One summer day thirty-something years ago, he offered to baby-sit Linda’s napping one-year-old, Brian, while she and her Mom went off with the three-year-old to do something. They left him with Pop with a little trepidation since they weren’t quite sure what would transpire while they were gone and the baby woke up.
They came home a short time later, baby Brian was up, freshly changed in clean clothes and happily doing whatever one-year-olds do. Both Grandmom and Mom were puzzled and questioned Pop as to who had changed the little guy. He said he had. Grandmom whispered to her daughter “There’s no way; he’s never changed a diaper in his life.” He took a little offense at their disbelief so the subject was dropped.
A little later in the day, while taking the two little boys out for a stroll, they ran into one of Linda’s friends, also out for a bit of fresh air with her kids. She started to laugh as soon as she saw Linda and told this story.
She was walking by Pop’s house and heard all kinds of “exclamations” and “expletives” through the screen door. Uncle Funzie spotted Linda’s friend and called out to her to please come in. When “Cookie” (Linda’s friend) arrived on the scene, there was the one-year-old standing in the kitchen sink, stripped down, and there was Uncle Funzie, trying to hose him off with the sprayer. Neither the baby nor the grandparent were happy with the situation. Cookie, being the mother of three herself, quickly sprang to the rescue, cleaning off baby and getting him dressed again.
I’m not sure what Uncle Funzie’s reaction was once he got caught in this little fib, but knowing him he probably just shrugged and chuckled. Needless to say, he was not left as the sole caretaker with any non-potty-trained grandchildren ever again. I miss him and his wife, still. They were great people and raised a great family.
So, share your Men and Babies “horror stories” from the past!