Granny B’s excellent adventure in diaperland

For the life of me, I can’t remember the last time I changed a baby boy’s diaper and, quite frankly, I can’t even recall watching someone change a baby boy’s diaper since 1964 when my brother, Jay, came home from the hospital.
A traumatic trace of that day includes a microsecond of excitement as I dashed down the stairs at my grandma’s house upon his homecoming—only to find what looked like a small, naked bird lying in a blanket on the kitchen table.
These, and other antique recollections of boys and child-rearing, crawled through the cobwebs in my mind last week when I took my first solo adventure into the world with my four-week-old grandson.
It’s been 15 years since I had anything to do with babies and, folks, not everything comes back to you like riding a bike does. Once again, “Mrs. Know-It-All” still has some lessons to learn.
By the time I had Daughter #3 15 years ago, I, like all mothers with rug rat experience, was a pro at changing diapers. I could do it with one hand while talking on the phone, washing dishes, and folding laundry all at the same time.
And I could pull it off faster than Annie Oakley could get her gun.
However, these former skills did not come hither and report for duty last Thursday while on pee patrol in the Children’s Department at the Fort Frances Public Library.
The “Grandma and Me” class had just finished, and as other “Grannies and Grampas” joyfully slid their grandchildren back into the waiting arms of their mothers, I stayed behind to change Adam’s diaper, which was sagging conspicuously low.
I laid out the switching station and then, for a New York minute, I panicked. “You forgot how to change a diaper!” whispered my imaginary friend (who, of late, is most interested in winning the debate that ends with eating Pete’s share of the shortbread cookies I just baked).
Feigning my pro status as a grandmother, I moved on into the unknown and popped the layers of snaps and removed the small chicken legs and feet from their sleeper, and peeled off the soggy diaper.
I panicked again. Body parts were not the same as I remember finding in my neck of the woods as the mother of three girls.
For a fleeting moment, I paused on procedure and missed the all-critical time frame in which to cover it with a cloth. This “fountain of youth” resulted in a change of clothes for the little guy and a wet shirt sleeve for me.
A quick glance around the room to see if anyone was looking ensued. I grabbed a new diaper, lifted the chicken legs, and positioned the receiving end and corresponding equipment in place.
Then I remembered I had to do a clean sweep with the “wet nap.” Is it my imagination, or do they make those new-fangled disposable cloths cold on purpose?
Crying began as I scrambled to find soother while “shushing,” and stared blankly at modern-day diaper with no “peel back” strips. Today’s version is Velcro tabs, which I nearly wrecked and ripped off the diaper before I figured that out.
Soother failure followed as I poked chicken legs and feet, now scrunched up to his body like licorice twists, back into their snugly place.
What seemed like an eternity of diaper trauma for the poor little soul, and a jolt of memory loss for me, ended on a good terms as we took to the road for our next stop on our excellent adventure, me reviewing the procedure for poop patrol and Adam stuffed like an olive—albeit contently—into his baby car seat.
By the end of our day together, I’d fed, changed, coddled, cooed, cuddled, carried, and . . . loved every minute of it—evidence noted by the glitter left on Adam’s forehead from multiple kisses from a grandma who wears flashy lipstick.
And I’ll tell you what I now know for sure.
I loved visiting with and caring for the little dude, but once I dropped him off into the waiting arms of his mother and dad, another dimension of this great time in my life hit me warm like a shot of Bailey’s before supper.
It’s almost hard to describe the uplifted feeling I had on returning to my day with just me, myself, and I.
It was the first time I realized how gloriously full circle “Grandmahood” will be—to be there, do that lovin’, and then give the little sniglet back to his parents and go home.
Awesome payback!

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