Our youngest son and his wife Julie just had their first little baby with a spectacular birth December 30th chronicled here. We had to laugh at them because, knowing the total commitment that parenthood is, in the months previous to the birth they kept taking their last trip, going to their last movie and having their last fling before they entered what they lovingly called “Baby Jail”. They were right to know that life as you know it changes drastically once a newborn enters your world. I might add that they are surviving very nicely!
Another son and his wife who entered “Baby Jail” thirteen months ago with an adorable little girl gave us the opportunity (we asked for it) to enter “Baby Jail” for nine days while they went to Hawaii to visit our son Jonah and his wife Aja who are living a creative lifestyle in Hawaii (details here) and to be with two other brothers and their wives. All three brothers had won trips to Hawaii through the company they all work for called Imagine Learning.
What fun we had in “Baby Jail” with our little treasure! Having said that, I have to say that I promised myself after having every baby that I would never forget how hard it is to be sure a little one is fed, changed and most importantly out of danger! But once again, I did!
After flying from NYC for the delivery, her mom and I carefully went through every drawer and shelf that she could reach to make sure that everything dangerous was out of sight before they left her with us. A “great start” came when I left a gallon spray bottle of weed killer at the top of the stairs to be taken to the garage before she got there and I promptly forgot about it. Of course she found it almost immediately and began sucking on the nozzle! Grandfather called poison control and the nice person the phone assured us that that even if she had drunk some it was so diluted that it would only cause a tummy ache. The memories of all those days calling poison control flooded back! What great grandparents we are!!!
Coming from a three room apartment in NYC, our house with four flights of stairs and big rooms with lots of “interesting” things in them kept her busy for quite a while. She learned to navigate the stairs almost immediately and went up and down them at least ten times a day! Every morning after an enormous breakfast, she went to work pulling everything out of every drawer and every wastebasket. She was delighted by the new things to manipulate and “fix”.
She had hardly ever ridden in a car but she survived several long car rides like a champ. We managed to get through two three-hour church meetings at nap time, a delightful family baptism in Ogden with a fun crowd of forty afterward for dinner at the Loosli’s home, a couple of speeches and a TV show with that adorable child either in tow or with the help of the wonderful Loosli kids.
The fun part was that she was just learning to walk! Her parents had seen her first few steps before they left and though she still preferred crawling she did took lots of cute little steps while they were gone. What fun to see her try to get both legs in position.
By the time the nine days were over we had definitely bonded with that little cherub! Here are some scenes from our week in Baby Jail….with some help from the Looslis!
Above: Ashton and Isaac taking turns with her a the baptism. And below, Eliza having fun iwith her on Sunday.
On Friday night we had a speech to give at the Northern Utah Marriage celebration in Ogden so we took her to the Looslis where they put her to bed and we stayed overnight. Because snow was predicted through the night and morning and Rick had committed to give a speech in Logan on Saturday morning. Rather than fight the snow, he drove to Logan after the Ogden speech and we followed that afternoon so we could see Grandma Ruthie and get some pictures of her with the baby.
As it turned out she was horrified when she saw Grandma in her aqua “hat” and was not about to sit on her lap. Eliza managed to get her close enough to get a shot or two! Grandma has totally lost her short term memory so I’m sure she’ll not remember that her great grandbaby was not about to sit on her lap!
On the other hand, Silas had a chance to show Grandma the cute baptism suit that she made for his grandfather 60 years ago and which he was baptized in last week!
Isaac and Eliza each spent part of Sunday with us to help entertain! Ashton tended her while we went to Isaac’s basketball game on Saturday. Those kids are so amazing with babies! This was Isaac’s hair creation:
And this is part of the fun she had going through the drawers!
As much fun as we had, the reunion of parents and baby was priceless! Have you ever seen happier faces? (Grandfather back there, ready to take the back seat!)
There is nothing like the bonding that goes on with a grandchild when the parents aren’t around! We loved it! We’ll miss hearing her little voice around the house but we “sprung out” of baby jail and back into our world with a trip to the airport a few hours after they left. Minneapolis, here we come!