Tag Archives: Grandparents

A Baby Is Born . . . via Text Message

The first text came in around 9 pm.

The grandpa-to-be needed to update the family on what was going on.

K is in hospital waiting fur the baby to come. She has been there since one this morning. They are about to give her an epidural and then try to speed things along. Will try to keep you all up to date if I can keep my eyes open. 

This was grandpa-to-be’s first blood grandchild and to say he was elated would be an understatement akin to saying Mount St. Helen’s got a little burpy back in the 1980’s.

I’m sure that this is nothing new to the older relatives of children being born these days, but the sense of immediacy and connectedness that this engendered was amazing to me.

Way back in the old days when I first blessed this world with the spawn of my loins, things were a bit different. And I don’t say that just because of all the dinosaurs roaming around.

My dad was the only grandparent who lived out of the state and so we had to call him in advance and let him know we’d be inducing our first born on a certain day. That way, he could plan ahead and be there when his first grandchild came into the world. Everyone else we delayed because we didn’t want our entire family in the delivery room.

We had to plan. Then, once the proto-Sarcasmo was born, the only people who knew what he looked like were those who came to look at him directly in the face and be blinded by his astonishingly good looks.

Non-immediate-family had to wait until we had taken the first of approximately 7 gillion pictures of the boy, had said pictures developed at a local photograph store, picked up said pictures and then mailed them out to interested parties. It was weeks before everyone we cared about knew that we were parents, much less had seen the little dude.

This time, though, it was like we were in the delivery room with the AlmostMom is smiling because the epidural has kicked in real nice and she's feeling no pain in the delivery room as she works to birth her first baby.beautiful mother, older sister, smiling dad, amazing aunts and gobsmacked grandparents.

We received pictures via text message and then e-mails with more pictures and even a video or two. It was a connected birth the likes of which I’ve never experienced before.

Say what you want about the intrusiveness of modern communication, how cellphones and computers and the internet are forcing us apart from each other and into hiding behind screens of glass, but there are definite upsides to this.

Not only did I know that Scarlet Jane (also christened Baby Jake by her grandpa) was born, I was able to look into her adorable little baby eyes and see her mother smiling back at me, the same adorable face I’ve known since she wasn’t even a teenager.

Thanks, Grandpa and Grandma, Auntie L and all the rest for your great updates. Thanks for showing us how it’s done here in the 21st century. And welcome, Scarlet Jane.

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Showing Off At The Expo

This is a report, live from the Baby Shower & Toddler Expo. Well, not live, per se. But live in that I’m sitting at our table in the Expo while I’m typing this.

Don’t you just love technology? Out somewhere far away from electricity and internet communication and yet I’m still able to get across all this great stuff. Okay, fine. For certain very not great values of great, but you get the idea.
Barry and I went down to the Baby Shower & Toddler Expo at the Park Convention Center in Charlotte to tell people about our book, A Dude’s Guide to Babies. And maybe sell a few. We did.

I also discovered that I still have an exceedingly low tolerance for kiddie music. Not music that kids like, but music specifically designed for something to which kids should listen.

You know the kind.

We were serenaded by a kid puppet show at least four times during the Expo. Four times, these giant-headed puppet things came out and, in squeaky high voices pitched in such a way to be deliberately horrifying to adult ears.
And then they sang. Well, they did have a human singer and he was good, actually. Quite good. But the puppet things. Their loud, loud recorded voices. . .

I learned that not only is Hell real, it has a house band.

But enough whining. No, seriously. Enough whining. I’m not kidding.

Barry and I had a great time talking to the dudes who walked past our booth. We met a lot of really interesting folks, both pregnant and not-pregnant.

Not only that, but we managed to meet most of the other exhibitors and found them to be a really nice bunch of people. Lots of cool things on offer, including some astonishingly creative and talented photographers. More about whom later.

I also learned that I still have an amazingly soft spot for little babies. They’re so little and so cute and so soft and. . . Well, suffice to say, I quite enjoyed seeing them toddle by. Even better when their moms and dads stopped by the booth and I got to say hi. Even better, I got to let go of them and watch them wander off with their parents before they started screaming, fussing and needing to be changed. Yeah, grandparents really do seem to have the right idea.
Now the only question we’re left with is, do we go down to Atlanta for the next Expo? Long drive, overnight. Long hours. On the plus side, I’d not have to cook anyone’s meals and be able to control the remote. Maybe, maybe.

If you’re one of the folks Barry and I met down at the Expo, thanks so much for stopping by. It was great meeting all of you. If you’re the one who stayed away. . . We have a very particular set of skills. We will find you. We will k–
You know what? That really doesn’t work if you don’t have Liam Neeson’s voice.

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Tattoo You

by Richard

Yesterday, I talked about an embarrassing time in my past when I asserted my manly manhood and independence by getting my ear pierced and then hiding that fact from my grandparents.

That raised the question, though, as to what age was too young for someone to get his or her ear pierced, another body area pierced, a tattoo?

That, dudes, is a knotty question and a lot of it depends on the parent. Actually, I’d say almost all of it depends on the parent. And the rest depends on just how rebellious the young dude or dudette really is.

In a lot of states, the legal limit for people deciding for themselves if they want a tattoo, piercing or other permanent body modification is the age of majority: 18 years. Something that was touched upon in a CNN story that went out last weekend.

Child development experts contacted by CNN agree with this age of majority for permanent body modification in young adults, but also assert age is but a number; maturity level is a much better parameter to go by.

Psychiatrist Daniel Bober, an assistant clinical professor in the Child Study Center at Yale University, says it helps to look at a child’s functioning in other areas of their life, such as school and peer relationships.

“The brain of a young person is still developing and they are less risk averse, more impulsive, and more likely to engage in risky behaviors,” says Bober. “This is because the last part of the brain to develop is the part that tells them to ‘put the brakes on’ before they do something potentially harmful and dangerous.”

Of course, that doesn’t count the parents. Some parents go ahead and pierce the ears of their just-born infants (some boys, but mostly girls) and think nothing of it. It’s just the way they do things. Which can get people into trouble, especially when they start talking about tattoos.

In June, Jerry Garrison, a Florida grandfather, lost custody of his 10-year-old grandson after allowing him to get a tattoo of his initials on his right leg. A “family tradition,” according to Garrison.

Under Florida law, a person younger than 16 years old cannot be tattooed except “for medical or dental reasons,” and anyone age 16 to 18 can be tattooed only with the consent of a parent or guardian.

That law was changed in January 2012; it had previously allowed tattooing under the age of 16 so long as the minor had parental consent.

To me, that’s the issue. Not whether or not the parents or the young dude or dudette want this procedure, but that it’s permanent. A tattoo just isn’t going to go away as you get older. It’s going to still be there, stretched out and faded, as you get older. Unless you pony up the big bucks for tattoo removal surgery, and that’s costly and not always successful.

Personally, I think folks should wait. Ear piercings I can see allowing before someone is 18 because you can always take the earring out. Body piercing and tattoos I’d say should wait until the person getting the procedure is at least 18. Sure they’re still too young to really make that decision because they are, after all, young and dumb. However, I think if they’re old enough to be asked to fight and die for our country, they’re old enough to decide if they want to look stupid as an old person because they’ve got a faded and stretched dragon tattoo bumping along on their stomach.

If it’s not possible to walk the procedure back, or at least make it disappear, I say you should have to wait. I know it’s horribly nanny statish of me, but it’s not like the tattoo parlor won’t be there when they turn 18. Let them wait. They’ve got the rest of their lives to regret it, so why start early?

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