How do you bond with a new grandchild during a pandemic?
today at 6:06 am
The word on the street is that I have a new grandchild. Yep, it’s true. He just turned three months old on Sunday and he’s a very, VERY cute little boy. No prejudice on my part…he really is a cutie.
I met him for the first time when he only four days old. He was so little that I was scared to touch him, much less hold him. I’m pretty sure dropping a four-day-old baby wouldn’t have gone over well with his mother.
Since then, I’ve seen him a handful of times. I even held his body down and rubbed his legs during his bris. You’d think that comforting someone while they were getting their penis snipped would be a big-time bonding moment, but he most likely had other things going through his brain at the time.
Lately, the visitation opportunities have slowed down. You may have heard that we are in the midst of a pandemic. Yeah, we were in that same pandemic back in September and October, but the number of cases, hospitalizations and deaths have escalated in recent weeks. The latest numbers are scary. Plenty of people are taking them extra seriously. They are taking extra precautions to keep safe. Among those people are my grandchild’s parents.
I’m okay with that. All they are doing is trying to stay safe and healthy while going through the learning process of raising their first child. Hell, being a first time parent isn’t easy under any circumstances. You’re learning how to do it on the fly. All the books that give you the so-called perfect advice, aren’t really all that perfect. Then, try to imagine doing it during a pandemic that has killed 300,000 Americans. Only folks who have had children born since March can tell you about how that works. Hmmm…maybe my daughter and son-in-law will be the ones to write that so-called perfect book for the next generation of pandemic new parents.
But all that said, how is a grandparent suppose to bond with their grandchild when you have limited contact? My guess is that Zoom isn’t an option. I’m pretty sure a three month old boy isn’t proficient in that technology. Psssttt…don’t tell anyone, but his grandfather isn’t all that great at it either. I did find a trick to get to see him…..HANUKKAH PRESENTS!!!
I know….pretty sneaky, right? These are desperate times and they call for desperate measures.
So Sunday, we brought over a bunch of gifts for the kid’s first Hanukkah. Nothing too special. Books and clothes. Just a few bribes to get in the door. Hey, I’ve learned a few tricks in my more than six decades on Earth. And actually, I wasn’t totally sure we were going to get inside until it actually happened. I thought there was a chance that once the presents were handed over, we’d get a look at the baby and then adios until the vaccine is distributed to us common folk. That’s the way it is with lots of people in America in 2020, why not for us.
Well luckily, we made it inside. Phew!
My daughter put her son in one of those bouncy chairs that can hold him up. I don’t remember those things being around three decades ago when my children were children, but then again I don’t remember what I had for lunch. Anyway, it was bonding time for Grandpop and grandson. The kid is a lot more aware than he was on day four and he kept giving me looks like who is this masked man? Well dude, I’m not the Lone Ranger, I’m your grandfather…yanno…the father of your meal source. I’m pretty sure he hasn’t figured all that out yet, so maybe we just go for something simple to start. Let’s hold hands.
As you can see in the above photo, my grandson is holding on to my finger…hard! That kid has a strong grip! And if you’ve never had the experience of a child/grandchild grabbing on to your finger and not letting go, it’s wonderful and heartwarming.
Bonding moment #? went great. I can’t wait for the next time. I’m not going to push it. I realize I’m lucky to get these visits whenever possible because of the pandemic. Like so many of us, I’m hopeful that the vaccine gets to us sooner than later so we can get back to things that are important and special to us.
So to my grandson, Happy Hanukkah and enjoy the books. Hopefully, you won’t be reading them to me the next time I see you.
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