Part Three: New baby, new life
Like many of the Y generation the choice these days seems to be to start a family in the 30ish age bracket…….unlike the old days when many were married in their early 20’s and the Missus was up the duff before you could say “oops, think I forgot to take the pill
My grandson was a product of this trend, his parents being almost 30 when my son-in-laws swimmers, emulating Ian Thorpes efforts for Olympic gold, swam the race from cervix to uterus and hit a bulls eye! I used my highly tuned skills worthy of Sherlock Holmes acclaim to have actually deduced the evening of conception….just about a week after they’d recited their marriage nuptials and enjoying Bintangs in Bali. Sounds creepy I know coming from the father of the bride, but at that time I was under the influence of pain killing opiate drugs following major surgery and had too much time on my hands……..so I disclaim all responsibility. Oh those drugs, they made me an emotional mess and constipated wreck…….but that’s another story!
That reminds me of a clanger I made on the day of his birth. Grandparents, siblings and friends were overflowing in the ward full of love, joy and happiness comparable to a group of Greenies having a Sunday afternoon barbie and knees up on the paddock that used to be Roe 8. In my usual joyful and effervescent manner I wanted to express my appreciation to the efficient and attentive nurse and so I said something to the effect of “Nursey you are wonderful” Of course I now acknowledge that the term “Nursey” was taken as offensive to the fraternity…..but bugger, Ben Elton uses it all the time in his Blackadder series so I suppose that you need to be a literary wit of renown to get away with that kind of stuff. Anyway my misconstrued term of endearment didn’t go down too well and I was impaled to the wall by half a dozen pairs of accusing eyes. In the silence that followed you could have heard a stethoscope drop. Shit…..anyone would think I’d just shot Florence Nightingale! Being the sensitive souI I am, I back pedalled like a mass of lemmings nose diving from their chosen cliff or a caring whale beaching itself for the benefit of the pod. I think I got away with it but it was a stark reminder that you have to tread carefully and not be a smart arse with these terms of endearment!
Brings to mind a similar instance of misguided terms of affection. In another life I remember a work colleague who was married to a delightful Japanese lady with limited English vocabulary. He would whisper passionately in her ear “I love you my little hemorrhoid”. When she developed a better command of the English language he got a well deserved knee in the nuts.
On A serious note……”Boo hiss” you say! Due to circumstances which I’ll describe in the future I was fortunate in not having to work almost since my grandsons birth and so have spent much time with him……its been like revisiting parenthood and childhood again. As grandparents we have the luxury of allowing ourselves to become tired/weary/exhausted helping out with grandchildren knowing full well that in the main we can look forward to an uninterrupted nights sleep following whatever the level of involvement may have been. Not to be misunderstood, I’m not of the “it’s ok for you, you can hand them back” mentality, but it’s a reminder that looking after small children is an exhausting as well as enjoyable task. I believe it a privilege to be welcomed into my grandsons life where I’m aware that my input is valued and not taken for granted.
So things have changed…..new baby, retirement and consequently a new life. Mine certainly doesn’t revolve around the new little member of our family but he’s sure added a marvellous new dimension which I’m sure other grandparents out there can relate to.
Back to a less serious bit….”Thank Gawd for that” I hear you say. Think I’ll conclude with another of my soapbox philosophies. Now I don’t claim that they are all gems or pearls of wisdom but I’ve never been reticent in offering advice and what I consider “direction” to my children. “Advice” in my daughters view is usually construed as dad just being plain “outspoken”………however I recently went up a notch and have been upgraded to “obnoxious”. I’m vain enough to pretend that she doesn’t really understand what obnoxious means!
Some advice I have offered has been taken, some tolerated, pretending to listen to humour me while in truth they had simply zoned out! Some quite simply fell on stony ground without the least effort to humour me…….this is one such stony ground example.
I would tell them to “always have clean shoes since they are a mirror of your character”. Interpreted this means that if you take pride in your appearance then it’s some indication that you may also take pride in yourself generally, ie; values, work ethic, general wellbeing……..get my drift? Anyway this one definitely fell on deaf ears as proven recently when my daughter was to return to work after maternity leave and asked if I could clean her shoes. “No problem” says I………Twenty seven pairs of shoes and two tins of polish later came the realisation that my words of wisdom had been deleted or filed in Trash.
While on a roll, I also gave my son-in-laws meagre three pair a work over…….I’m pretty sure that when the polish was applied I heard the leather uppers heave an astonished sigh and have whatever equates to a shoe orgasm!