Technology Hits Diaper Changing

snappiFlashback to a few months ago…“Hey mom, we decided to use a cloth diaper service like you did but what’s really cool is that you don’t need to use pins anymore. The new way is much easier and safer.”

“Yeah, okay, whatever.”

Flash forward to the first day home for the new family…“I think she needs a diaper change,” said Baby Mama.

“I’ll do it.”

“Okay Mom, but you haven’t used the snappi yet have you?”

“Pfft, oh how hard can it be?” I said as I took G-baby, confident in my Grand-Deberly skills. As soon as I saw that snappi thing-a-ma-jig on the diaper though, I knew I was in trouble. Diapering this kid was going to be like a craft project and I suck at craft projects. The snappi snopped when it should have snapped I think. I got nervous and started to sweat. Finally I just bunched everything together best I could and brought her back out so she could eat.

Predictably she fussed. Baby Daddy knew something was wrong, opened her cute onesie, and saw the bunched up mess on his kid’s butt. He expertly fixed it and G-baby immediately stopped fussing.

Oh my God, I failed at my first diaper change. How could a Grand-Deb fail at diaper changing?

Baby Daddy said I just had to practice and handed me a stuffed cow.

“Seriously? You want me to use a stuffed cow?”

“If you ever want to hold my baby again, you do.”

“Fine!” I grabbed that stupid cow out of his hands and practiced the diaper origami craft project. It was hard work. I started to think I must be snappi- disabled. I cussed the snappi. I snapped the snappi which only snapped me back.

Finally I had something to show Baby Daddy and he said, “Um, I don’t think the cow’s leg should be sticking up next to its horn like that.”

Grr, what does he know. When they had their first ultrasound and he saw an object poking out from his baby, he was excited to have a boy – until the technician said, “That’s a leg.”

I tried again. Still not right.

“Ug! You two are lucky. You had lessons from The Diaper Fairy herself! She must have sprinkled you with some diaper changing magic fairy dust or something. Right? I just need some of those fairy sprinkles!”

They just stared at me and said “Try it again.”

I practiced a few more times and Baby Daddy said I was ready for my final exam, doing it on the real, live baby. So I took a deep breath and carried G-baby to the diaper changing table, memories of my past failure still as fresh in my mind as G-baby’s pee was in the diaper.

I knew I was going to have to talk myself through this so I picked up the snappi and said menacingly, “You’re not going to beat me, little snappi.”

I know G-baby thought I was crazy, but what the heck, she might as well learn the truth early in life.

After some kicking, fussing and spitting up – by me not the baby – I finally did it. A successfully snug snappi and a damn dandy diaper change.

“Great!” said Baby Daddy, “You’re now officially certified to change my baby!”

I was so relieved and proud. Now anytime G-baby has a dirty diaper and I’m around, they can just call on me to…Hey wait a minute, what did I just do here?

Posted in The Grand Deb | 1 Comment

The Perils of Perfectionism

Geez, I barely get started and already I’ve failed.

See, part of the reason I started this blog was to just have fun writing and sharing my thoughts. I thought this blog might help me overcome my problem with perfectionism, at least when it comes to writing. I wanted to not concern myself so much with crafting the perfect post like I did when writing the newspaper column. I put a lot of pressure on myself when writing the column. I edited and edited and edited. I spent way too much time agonizing over it and trying to be perfect until I eventually burned myself out.

So I decided to just go back to having fun and writing about fun topics. I wanted to not concern myself so much with each and every word and just have fun getting the thoughts out.

And yet, here I am once again being held prisoner to perfectionism.

I could blame it on that new grandbaby (who, by the way IS the definition of perfect) but that’s not really the reason. As a matter of fact, she is creating even more fun topics to write about. Yet it’s been way too long, in blog years anyway, since I wrote a post.

Every day since the last post, I’ve told myself, “It’s just a blog, just write your thoughts, it doesn’t have to be perfect, just get it out there and have some fun. No, you don’t have to have the perfect photo to go with your topic, just get it out there and have some fun.” And yet another day went by with no post.

I finally realized I was in that rut again when Papa John asked me if I had anything new up on the blog yet. We both had figured he would have trouble keeping up with my posts and yet here he was asking me when I was going to post something new. That’s when I knew I needed to give myself a kick in the ass and fight the perfectionism.

I imagined my fun spontaneous self, the me who doesn’t care and rather likes the imperfections of life, pointing a pencil at perfectionist me threateningly and saying, “Put down the perfectionism Deb and no one will get hurt.”

So fine. Okay. I’ll put it down. But first I need to find the perfect photo to go with this post!
Okay just kidding.

No, not really. Honestly, I actually did go to google and start a search for a perfect picture but I stopped myself and just pushed “publish.”

So it’s Deb – 1. Perfectionism – 0. I win. Today anyway.

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A Screw on the Ground

screwIt was just a screw – a threaded bolt lying on the tiled floor in the elevator lobby on the second floor of a medical office building. It was just a tiny twisted piece of metal. I didn’t notice it at all but it reflected a spark of sunlight that somehow caught my daughter’s eye and she immediately stopped.

“Oh my,” she said, as she bent over and picked it up. “Look at that! Some baby could get a hold of that!” Her voice had an unusual pitch to it when she spoke. Her voice sounded odd to me, almost like it wasn’t my daughter speaking. Her voice was different. She was different.

Not different in that she would not have noticed a screw on the ground before, no, the difference was one of awareness, or perspective.

When she was younger she certainly may have noticed the screw and even picked it up but she would have done so in order to pluck it into a pocket because it would be the perfect item she needed to finish a multi-media craft project.

But not today – today she was thinking about the babies of the world.

There was also a time in the past that she may have noticed the screw and automatically tapped the screw with a side kick, one perfected by hours of playing soccer, giving the screw just enough momentum to send it swirling across the shiny floor until it rested against the wall. Out of the way perhaps, but not out of reach of the babies of the world.

And most recently, there could have been a time when she would have noticed the screw with annoyance while saying, “What the heck? Who left this here!? If I would have stepped on that, it might have ruined my brand new high heel boots?”

Not today though. Today was different. Today she was concerned about the babies of the world.

And within the next 30 hours, the same hand that was holding that screw is now softly caressing the head of her newborn baby girl.

What was that strange sound in her voice two days ago?It was the voice of my daughter becoming a mother, someone who will do her best to keep the loose screws in the world away from her child. Well except for her Grand-Deb of course.

Posted in The Grand Deb | 2 Comments

Skin in the Game

Okay so it occurred to me that perhaps I should explain the context of the photo that highlights this blog. The photo was taken in Myrtle Beach in 1970 and yes that’s me on the right in that awesomely cool suit. I’d wear that today!

I’m obviously enjoying myself in this photo but the family car trip to the beach is what’s really etched in my mind. Whoever coined the phrase “it’s the journey, not the destination” did not travel from Indiana to the South Carolina coast in the back seat of a Pontiac with four brothers.

It’s a scientific fact that the skin of a sibling’s leg or arm touching your own creates an extreme burning sensation that runs deep into the epidermis and causes great conflict in confined spaces.

skin“Stop touching me with your skin!”

“YOU’RE the one doing it. You stop touching ME with YOUR skin!”

Appeals to the front seat authorities were of no help. They just switched on the radio.

Eventually someone, and it was most likely me since it was a really smart observation, noticed that the seat cushion was sewn in sections.

“Hey look, we can use these marks for boundaries!”

Brother 1, the smart-ass mathematician said, “This won’t work, it doesn’t divide evenly.”

“Well,” said a brother in the middle, “you two on the ends should have less space because you can lean against the door.”

“That’s not fair,” said left-window boy. “You know how the broken ashtrays pinch!”

armrest-ashtrayHe was right, those spring loaded armrest ashtrays could be killer.

“Yeah!” said right-window boy. “Besides we’re in danger because it’s easier to fall asleep leaning against the door.”

Okay that was a good point too. Falling asleep with your nose, mouth and ear openings so close to siblings was a big risk.

However, those of us in the middle pointed out that they could more easily twist their bodies to face the window as a form of escape. The middles had nowhere to turn. Sibling skin to the left and sibling skin to the right.

We finally came to agreement about our respective property claims and all was well – for about 3 minutes. Back seat boundaries don’t hold for long with 5 fidgety kids excited about going to the ocean. Border disputes were rampant and led to verbal, and sometimes physical, alterations with an occasional plea to the front seat authorities who responded by turning the radio volume up.

The only breaks we had were when we stopped at the rest stops and enjoyed my dad’s favorite travel meal: the bologna sandwich. Circular processed meat products nestled between melt-in-your-mouth bleached wheat flour high-carb goodness is something I still crave today.

Although the back seat boundary idea wasn’t perfect, it did lessen the dreaded sibling skin-burn. However my older and wiser self, the self that has developed excellent problem solving skills, realizes that there was a simpler more effective way I could have earned my very own space. This method would also very likely create a nice buffer zone, assuring absolutely that I would be in no danger of sibling skin contact.

All I had to do was pee on the seat.

Posted in Deb Memories | 1 Comment

The G-Word

I do not like the G-word. You know the word I’m talking about – that word they call women whose children have the nerve to have children too. With absolutely no thought at all as to how it will affect their mothers who are then forced to deal with the prospect of having a new name. The G-word name.

I know everyone is thinking that I don’t like it because it makes me feel old but that’s not it. The reason I don’t like it is because I’m selfish. I don’t like to share. If you don’t believe me, just ask my husband’s mistress.

I don’t want to be known by the G-word. I want a name of my own, not some geriatric, oops I mean generic, version that does not reflect the real me. I want a brand name.

I don’t mean brand name like the one my husband plans on using: Papa John. That’s pretty delicious but it’s still a half-baked idea to share your name with pizza.

No, I want something more personal, a name of my very own, and I think I’ve made my decision: Grand-Deb. This was actually a suggestion of my daughter’s and good thing too, considering she’s the one who put me in this predicament in the first place.

Yeah, yeah, I know this still could be considered a G-word, but it’s MY G-word.

The second part of the name, Deb, makes sense of course. However I am surprised that she came up with this because in my entire life there has never been a woman who has shortened my name to Deb.

The only people who have ever called me Deb were men. I’ve always wondered about that. Why is it only the guys who have ever called me Deb?

Are they just too lazy to say two syllables? Maybe it’s just too time consuming in the same way it’s too difficult to lower the lid. If they know they can get my attention with one syllable, then why waste two, right?

Or are they planning ahead, thinking that if ever the need arises for them to write me, then Deb is short and easy to spell?

Or maybe they like it because it rolls off the tongue like good one-syllable cuss words do.

If anyone out there, male or female, would like to speculate the answer to this question then leave a comment.

Meanwhile, it’s time for me to get cracking on creating discreet schemes to ensure that my grandchild refers to me by my brand name. I’m sure I’ll be able to help her learn quickly that the generic G-word is not nearly as good as the Grand-Deb version of me.

Posted in The Grand Deb | 4 Comments