Friday, November 06, 2009

new world

A friend recently became a grandmother. Again. The world of babies is foreign to me right now, much as it was before I gave birth to my own. Definitely once mine were out of the crib, I lost touch with the baby world all over again.

But I do remember the handful of years when my infants were my universe. I immersed myself in baby literature, I considered every faddish idea. Like so many parents then (and now?) I obsessed about everything. When I heard that the famous pediatrician and kid shrink, Dr. Terry Brazelton, was fielding calls from Massachusetts General, I called. The renowned doctor picked up the phone. He had quite the bored voice. Or maybe it was my issue that was boring. But I wanted to know – am I wrong to pick up my baby every time she screams from her crib? Am I??

Somehow, I assumed baby care hadn’t changed much since those years. Oh, sure, I do recall reading somewhere that bright colors in the crib were in, and then suddenly they were out, and all mobiles became black and white, so that it looked like babies in their earliest months had cows spinning over their heads. But basically, I assumed my generation figured out this parenting thing and all subsequent generations would learn from us.

Not so.

My friend tells me that the boundaries between the baby bed and the adult bed have become more fluid. That a crib may even have only three sides – the fourth one staying open and merging into your bed so that you can reach out for the crying infant.

And diapers. Yes, you can still do cloth – indeed, that’s the green path, but plastic cover pants are out. Maybe your grandson is unusual? – I ask. Maybe others are still in those things that resembled a shower cap? No no, she tells me. I would bet no one sells clear plastic cover pants anymore.

We commiserated about how fine the world was, how much better, neater, saner – with cover pants to cover the, well, mess.

Let me mention another highlight of this day (there were many). Picture this: it is November in Wisconsin. Feeling sorry for us? You shouldn’t. Not today. Record highs of nearly seventy.


Other news? Well, Ed is temporarily back, but the new world (can I call New York that?) will pull him back again in a few weeks. Perhaps I’ll tag along.