Having all four grandparents around makes us very aware of just how much parenting experience we don’t have. Good grandparents, and let’s face it – this group is in the upper echelon – don’t rub it in your face. But you know they have an answer to every problem, and they’re just too polite to say so. Eventually though, they crack.
Tonight we decided Tess is teething for sure. She has those bright red cheeks and the inconsolable misery that doesn’t make her want to sleep. It’s so hard to watch! We gave her binkies, toys, teething rings, books, fingers and everything else we could think of, to no avail. Eventually, Dave copied my brother Adam and stuck the mouth of a beer bottle in her mouth. Lo and behold: peaceful baby, gnawing on and licking the top of a beer bottle. Lesson learned. Eventually, not even that would satisfy. We tried an ice teether and she wouldn’t take it. Finally Dan said, “put some beer on it.” And she wouldn’t let it go. See what I mean?
I’m prone to hero worship. Actual heroines, from novels to the cool girl at school (my version: the straight A student who plays a killer violin and does karate), have peppered my life from as far back as I can remember (Pippi Longstocking, Laura Ingalls Wilder, Harriet the Spy). Now I realize my adoration and intimidation comes from a new direction: grandparents. Our parents and everyone else’s have suddenly gained a new aura of wisdom, calm in the face of paint-blistering squalls of fury and tidy little anecdotes for solving our crises. It’s more than mildly disconcerting to realize we’d lulled ourselves once again into the sophomoric belief that we had all the answers. The gauntlet is thrown. Smug smile, leave the room, disgraced.
It an opportune moment for reflection. Today is Gotcha Day! If you refer back to my extensive list of domestic newborn adoption pointers (ahem), you will note my reference to the capstone of adoption; the day when a judge who has never laid eyes on you before declares to the legal universe that you are, officially and in every capacity, the full and (self)righteous parents of said baby for the rest of time. Oh yes. The long saga (not the blog writing – too bad for you!) is at an end. Kat and Spencer, we are mentally jumping up and down and hugging you, squealing with joy.