Tuesday, March 2, 2010

On your Mark, Get Set, Go...

This morning was one of those occasions when reality struck hard enough to stop me in my tracks.

Grandma

In 20-ish weeks another tiny life will enter this family and with it a new joy, responsibility and facet of life. 12 or so weeks later, he or she will be joined by a cousin... and Charlie and I will be doubly blessed.

I started to wonder if I'm truly prepared for this. Granted, my memories might be getting a little fuzzier these days but last trip to the mirror, I don't recall seeing anything grandmotherly in the reflection. Charlie at least has the Santa beard.

So I ran to Dogpile. A little web searching usually points me in the right direction for information.

Not this time. How to be a grandma yielded nothing but warm-fuzzy pages dedicated to and written by... well... by my elders. 40-something grandmothers was even worse. Every link was to some version of Hot Grandma Porn. *face palm* advice for grandparents looked a little more hopeful but ended up linking me to such no-brainers as "Don't overstay your welcome" and "Don't disrupt the routine of the family". Logical advice totally irrelevant to our situation.

I had hoped to at least find a humorous list of Grandmother Criteria. You know, the velvet jogging suit and the tissue stuffed up the sweater sleeve? ShitMyDadSays is a little crass for my taste and reveals little to nothing of grandparent-type wisdom.

One site had reader answers to the question, "Help! I'm 36 and about to be a grandmother!". While it was encouraging to read from others who have been through the gut-wrenching "Mom, Daddy, I'm pregnant" experience with their teen daughter, there was little beyond the obvious poignant encouragement to be found.

So once again, I find myself the oddball. The mother whose reaction to her 18 year old's confession of pregnancy was "You do realize this means you're never going to have your own room, right?"

I don't fit the grandma mold. Okay, beyond the knitting and fiber arts which are the ultimate in ageless cool (roll those eyes at me, I'll roll that head of yours), I've got little beyond a frizzy halo of curls and a single gray in my right eyebrow to suggest I'm about to attain this status in growing older.

So with few available resources, I'll strike out on my own in this unfamiliar territory.

Here are my 10 Commandments for Young Grandparents:

1- Thou shalt love thy grandchild with the same fierce love given to thine own child, whilst yielding parental authority to the mother and father.
2- Thou shalt be available for advice at all times whilst also knowing when to step off.
3- Thou shalt not wear shiny, artificial fibers, any design involving capri, glittered sweatshirts nor any adornment such as to inspire the remembrance of hobbits.
4- Thou shalt be appropriately awestruck by each milestone whilst never becoming too boastful.
5- Thou shalt rejoice when thy grandchild behaves as her mother also behaved.
6- Thou shalt not employ the excuse It worked with you guys to justify failure to abide the parent's wishes.
7- Thou shalt continue to pass on the timeless tales of Shel Silverstien, Dr. Suess and Robert Munsch in the traditional manner; child in lap and with liberal use of funny voices.
8- Thou shalt make frequent use of When Mommy was little... and When I was little... in thine storytelling.
9- Thou shalt embrace the adventure.
10- Thou shalt laugh.

Now to work on the subset of rules involving cartwheels, homemade slime, and not encouraging grandpa to demonstrate his vast knowledge of incendiary devices, explosives or chemicals.

Come to think of it... I may well need to come up with a whole separate list of rules for Charlie...