How do you know when you’re old? Is it when policemen suddenly start to look far too young? Or when you catch yourself saying ‘they didn’t have those in my day’? Perhaps it’s when your 21 year old daughter looks blank when you ask her if she has checked the oil in her car recently or shakes her head and leaves the room when you and your best friend start singing the theme tunes to your favourite childhood TV programmes?
I’ve definitely passed all those milestones - and several more too - but I think I have noticed my age more since the arrival of my first grandson, Edward. It isn’t that having a grandchild makes me feel older per se, but more that my reactions to the trappings of modern parenthood have me shaking my head in the same way that I remember my grandparents did when I first had my own children.
For starters, there’s the ‘pram’ - I mean, have you seen them these days?!!! They are like something out of Star Wars! Gone are the days when it took you half an hour to simply get the pram through the front door because it was so big and bulky. These new-fangled things swivel on a sixpence (not that we have THEM anymore!), can easily be packed into the car boot, have more accessories than you could possibly use and require a mortgage just to buy one!! Mind you, I did provide some entertainment in the car park the other day when it took me twenty minutes and no end of muttering to actually get the flaming thing assembled!
Then there are the other things that the modern baby could not possibly survive without - disposable nappies (ok, definitely better than terries!), dummies that are attached to their bibs (which incidentally are now often triangular), baby swings which rock automatically, swaddle blankets, electric bottle warmers (haven’t they heard of Pyrex jugs and hot water!), baby bean bags (what’s wrong with a pillow!), sleep monitors.....and so on and so on!
But the one thing that actually had me open-mouthed in disbelief was the.....‘eating device’! This is a small plastic handle with a mesh bag on the end. Apparently, the idea is that you put a piece of apple in the mesh bag and the baby can chew on the apple without the risk of bits breaking off and choking him!! I honestly don’t know whether this is a genius idea or whether the world has gone mad!!
Old or not, I am definitely enjoying being a grandma. Seeing little Edward’s face light up when he sees me makes me realise afresh that it is the simple things in life that are often the most important, something that is all too easy to forget when I allow myself to get worked up over trivial things.
I’m looking forward to watching Edward grow and explore this wonderful world that we live in and I am sure that he will show me many more things that I have forgotten about in my busy-ness, simple pleasures that no amount of money can buy.
Wishing you all a very Happy Easter.
With love, Ginni xx