The Union Recorder

Columns

April 19, 2014

ROWLAND: It sure is quiet around here

MILLEDGEVILLE — My sleeping habits may not interest you, but there are very few nights when I can’t sleep. In fact, most nights I lie down, fall asleep immediately, and awake seven hours later.

Of course, I am now climbing into my mid-50s, which means that getting up at least once during the night is not uncommon. I won’t bore you with those details, but if you share my age range, well, you get the point.

The last week has been the polar opposite. I haven’t had a full night’s sleep in four days, but given the reason, a few sleepless night have been a small price to pay.

Our grandson has been at our house.

My Little Buddy is 5 months old, and generally speaking, when he is full and dry, then he is happy. He still isn’t sleeping through the night, which explains the aforementioned insomnia, but I really didn’t mind. After all, he is so cute!

Just so you know, I get up with the chickens and have for as long as I can remember. One morning this week the chickens got up at 4:30 a.m. A little earlier than I like, but when Little Man, as we affectionately call him, wants to play … hey, what’s a grandpa to do?

Besides, I figure I got an extra hour with him while Grandma went back to sleep. In the interest of full disclosure, she didn’t get a full night’s sleep either.

Just so you have the entire picture, my grandson lives in Virginia - nine hours away by car. A long way by car - too long in fact — but I digress.

So, Grandma has been in Virginia hogging all of my kisses since the first of the month. I flew up on a Friday to spend the weekend, and we all drove back together on Sunday.

Minus his mom and dad.

I know it was tough for them to let him go for the first time, especially given the fact that he is so far from home. Intuitively, I think my son and daughter-in-law know we will take good care of him, but there is just something about that first overnight stay away from home.

It’s been a long time, but I do remember. There are the competing emotions of needing a break and feeling just a little guilty about … well, needing a break.

And just in case I haven’t mentioned it already, my Little Buddy is the cutest thing. He wakes up happy each morning, and has the kind of smile that could melt a million year old iceberg.

And he loves kisses. I love to give kisses. We are a perfect match!  

So all week, I have hustled home from work so that I could snuggle up against the soft skin of an infant and the intoxicating aroma of Baby Magic. Of course you have to throw in the occasional aroma of spit up, but hey; nothing is perfect.

As you might imagine, it has been some time since we owned all of the necessary paraphernalia for a little one. Of course that didn’t stop Grandma. We now have a Pack-N-Play, which used to be called a playpen, and a bouncy chair.

Now, I’m pretty sure the product name is not “bouncy chair”, but our nickname seems to suit its purpose. If I didn’t know better, I’d swear the bouncy chair has taken the place of the walker.

This thing has a seat that can hold a little fella in place while he pushes off from the floor with his feet. This engages the bungee cords attached to each corner and thus provides the “bouncy” effect.

It’s as cool as a ‘64 Mustang at a car show, and Little Man just loves it. Of course, you know me. First thing I asked was, “How much did that set us back?”

“It didn’t set ‘us’ back anything,” was Grandma’s quick response. The beauty of having two checking accounts.

I’ll have to admit that the bouncy chair was purchased out of self-defense. If I didn’t know better, I’d swear this boy is made of Mexican jumping beans. His legs are in constant motion, which means if you hold him for very long, well, let’s just say the Insanity workout ain’t got nothing on us!

So the bouncy chair provided the occasional relief for two old babysitters, and my Little Buddy just loves it. He laughs and giggles and plays with all of the little gadgets that surround the bouncing seat.

Oh, and it comes complete with lights and sound. What’ll they think of next?

Of course all good things come to an end. I had to put Grandma and our little bundle of joy on a plane back to Virginia.

I think Otis, our 100-pound chocolate lab, was a little jealous and happy to see him go, although he never said as much. I, on the other hand, was not.

So, I said my goodbyes at the security line, got my last bit of sugar, inhaled the familiar sent of Baby Magic, and hung around the airport until I knew they were at their gate. My ride home was filled with flashbacks of a squirming wiggle worm, the sounds of laughter, and a smile that I swear could steal the gold right out of Fort Knox.

I grin from ear-to-ear just thinking about it.

At this moment, I’m sitting in one of the familiar spots where I write this column, Otis is lying at my feet, and we both agree. Sure is quiet around here.

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