Miss Scarlet, Miss Scarlet...I Don't Know NOTHING' 'Bout Birthin' No Babies!

My all time favorite movie is, "Gone With the Wind". I absolutely LOVE Scarlet O'Hara...I think I'm actually her in a different era. Robby thinks I have her attitude...and I suppose that is true. There are many lines that I enjoy quoting from the movie. However, one of my favorite parts is when Prissy comes sauntering home, humming after Scarlet has sent her to fetch a doctor for Miss Melanie who is giving birth. Prissy tells Miss Scarlet, "Miss Scarlet, Miss Scarlet, I don't know nothin' 'bout birthin' no babies." This got me to thinking about Justin, Sarah and my new grand daughter, Parker. What exactly DID they know about babies?



It was Monday evening and I had just returned from a class at the gym. Arriving home, I found that Robby had prepared some home made sushi (we empty-nesters tend to try new things like this). We had a quiet, leisurely meal together and were just settling in for the evening. As I snuggled down into my big overstuffed chair with my 2 doxies, the phone rang. Robby answered it and I could hear him attempting to offer some sort of instructions concerning a baby (Parker). After hanging the phone up, he glanced in my direction and said, "I'm not really qualified to be giving advice about babies." Hmmm...did he REALLY just admit that he wasn't good at something? I took a brief moment to savor this admission and finally said, "What seems to be the problem?" Apparently, Justin and Sarah could not get the baby to stay in her bed after putting her to sleep. The minute they would put her down, she would wake up crying. Whenever they picked her up, she stopped crying. Ah ha...who would've guessed that a baby would rather be held than put down?! "Get Justin on the phone," I instructed Robby. When he got on the the phone, I asked, "Did you give her a pacifier?" He answered, "No." "Why?", I inquired. Well, it seemed that the nurses at the hospital had told them not to give her one for 3 weeks (I had this visual image of them with a calendar...marking off the days...as the baby cried endlessly). I thought, just as you were ready to leap off of a cliff from insanity, you could give them a pacifier; makes sense to me...NOT! I asked if he would like for me to come over to help get her settled. "Yes!", he emphatically said. "Do you HAVE a paci?", I asked. He said he did and I told him to boil it...I was on my way. It was about 9:15 p.m. I was now wishing that I had not had that extra glass of wine.

Upon arriving, I found that Justin indeed had a paci...14 of them to be exact! We boiled an entire pot of them. I then moved up the stairs toward the sound of crying. Entering the bedroom, I found Sarah looking totally haggard from trying to manage this new little person. That's when I realized that, although my son and his wife were both 27 years old, they had NO IDEA what to do with a baby. I guess I took it for granted that they would. By their age, I had 4 children. Since the age of 12 or 13, I had been a baby-sitter, so motherhood had just come naturally and easy for me. I decided to start from scratch. I told Sarah that she needed to relax; that baby wasn't going anywhere or rushing her to do anything. After all, she was only 3 days old...it takes a little while for mother and child to get adjusted. The next thing I explained was perhaps not the advice that a health care professional would offer, but the advice of a mom with previous real life experiences; no book or class can prepare you for some things. Although the nurses were well-meaning, I had to tell her to allow common sense and instinct to prevail. Perhaps the nurses were simply advising her on things that they had been trained to do; they may not even have a child of their own...she hadn't thought of that!

Our next goal was to get that baby settled into THEIR room for the night. Now, the nursery was set up beautifully, but Parker was having none of that "sleeping in her own room" business. Oh, I even tried playing the music on the mobile that hung over her crib (after explaining WHAT a mobile was and then having Justin search for some batteries for it). When the music began to play, I had to wonder...who in the WORLD would put such music on a baby's mobile for them to go to sleep by? Don't get my wrong, I love classical music, but this was not a calming music; it was played quickly and with trills...I wondered what had happened to "Brahms' Lullaby" and "Old MacDonald Had a Farm". This music would NEVER do...I turned it off. I inquired if there was anywhere Parker had slept during the day that made her happy; Justin indicated the swing. Well, I know that some of you are thinking that this wasn't a good idea, but...you've gotta do whatever works. So, up the stairs Justin went with the swing. It had a musical button on it as well...it played the sound of outdoors with crickets chirping; the baby loved it! I told them to just let her sleep in it for the night and the next day, they could go to my mother's house and pick up a porta-crib that she had in storage.

Finally around 12:30, with everyone settled, Robby and I headed home. We were exhausted, but strangely content at having been able to help with the new little member of our family. The next day, Justin did go pick up the porta-crib from my mother's house. I had to sneak up the stairs to take a peek at it. The little bed where my new grand daughter laid her head to sleep at night was 48 years old. It had been my baby bed and each of my 4 children had also slept in it when I brought them home from the hospital. The thought of that brought a smile to my face as I ran my hand along the wooden rail. Parker would be the 3rd generation of babies to sleep in this little crib; that made me happy.

1 comment

  1. I never used pacies, but they went for their thumbs. Oh well, they were great sleepers so I just never used them. Someone needs to be staying with them, did her Mom not stay?

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