Monday, September 7, 2009


You’ve seen the bumper sticker that says, “If I had known how much fun grandchildren were, I’d of had them first!”

Well, it is absolutely true! And not just for the obvious reasons! Of course, there is the all inclusive, “spoil and go” methodology, which is my favorite!

But, while that may help us exact “revenge” on our grown children, the other reasons are a little more subtle but, oh, so very effective!

I remember when the beautiful little girl I carried for nine months in a swollen and stretched belly, became a mother to the first of her four children. This was my turn to watch the metamorphosis from a surprising and delightful vantage point.

It was my turn to watch as this lovely young body (on scale of one to 10 – she was indeed a 10) grow to that of a small elephant. She was so happy – glowing with the radiance of first pregnancy. Little did she realize that in six months she would be standing, naked in front of her full-length mirror and with horror exclaim, “Oh my gosh, I look like a backward humped back whale!”

The whale look, of course, came after she had been initiated into the pregnancy process. The first thing dear daughter noticed was the growth of her bosoms. She had always been a charter member of the IBTC club (ask me if you’re not sure what this means).

When she was four months pregnant, she excitedly and with great pride, said, “Look mom, cleavage!!”

She did have a little trouble dealing with the pain of growing her new breasts, but as I lovingly explained to her – that was nothing compared with the pain of having three baby teeth grinding and gnawing during feeding time. Oh, and then there is the pain (and total humiliation in a bikini) of stretch marks – but that of course comes “after” the new arrival, no need to even think about it now.

Luckily my beautiful, glowing young daughter (she has aged some since the birth of her fourth child) was spared (for this first pregnancy anyway) the incessant indigestion of beginning pregnancies, but she did get all of the morning sickness – not just in the morning either, which isn’t such a bad thing when you can get out of cooking for the next four months!

When pregnant with said daughter, I tried to go into my fifth month with what my daughter called the “burping urpies,” but the father of this child told me I was “stretching” it…. He had NO clue!!

After surviving the indigestion and the morning sickness came the next, almost fun, stage of pregnancy – buying maternity clothing.

Oh, the memories…. when I was pregnant with this lovely young creature about which I am writing (I will never admit my age…even when her oldest graduates from college!!) the only “large” clothing for pregnant ladies were tent-shaped frocks, like the kind you take camping – pup tents. Probably made for the birthing of puppies! The manufacturers of these wonderful size-less dresses – I use that term loosely (pun intended) must have used actual canvas and painted flowers on it.

Thank goodness I wasn’t having multiples – the tents would have come from the military – large enough for a battalion.

The best, or worst, thing about maternity clothing is that it never wears out. It can be passed from expectant mother to expectant mother. Or, from mother to daughter and probably even on to a granddaughter. And, in the event there are no daughters it can be used to wrap the outdoor pipes in winter or as birthing blankets for those puppies I mentioned earlier.

So, by the time the fifth or sixth month of pregnancy rolls around, so is the babe within. Daughter, whose husband was in the military (I will refer to him simply as “he-who-impregnated-my-daughter-without-my-express-permission-and-he-who-will-suffer-until-the-day-he-dies-or-he-hollers-uncle-whichever-comes-first) were at a dinner party with umpteen officers and their wives. As she was sitting there, her tummy began rolling – much like the motion of the ocean during a hurricane – nearly pulling her off the chair.

The child she was carrying, my future grandson, was just changing position in order to get his mother to change hers – who knew this would continue for the next 18 years? Already, the child had her number.

Every time daughter ate brussell sprouts, my impending grandson would kick her right in the middle of her belly button. At two years old, he just threw them at the cat… he’s still doing that today at nearly 17!

Daughter also was trying to take a couple of classes during this pregnancy. Sitting in a lecture class, the unborn boy had the hiccups. Her belly began making peculiar jumps and bounces and all she could do, as the rest of her body bobbed merrily along, was pretend she was listening to music no one else could hear (and this was before Ipods!)

As her belly grew with my soon-to-be eight-pound grandson, daughter found that it became a magnet for everything she ate and a lot of what she didn’t. The distance between the plate and her mouth had increased by at least 12 inches. Spaghetti was a real trip – literally!

Cooking also was a new experience while pregnant for her. Of course, cooking had been a new experience for her after she grew up and left home – talk about boiling water – but I digress. As she would try to reach the back burners on the stove, or reach the back of the refrigerator, it was like climbing Mount Everest – the bulge was never ending.

I remember once when I was carrying sweet daughter I managed to dump an entire casserole on my belly and it didn’t even fall off. I walked around the entire house shouting, “Look dear, no hands!”

I have to admit, having grandchildren is so much more fun and a lot easier! As my daughter and son experienced the coming of each of their children, I must say, I also enjoyed the process immensely! And I got to enjoy their pregnancies the way I always wanted to enjoy mine – sans the morning sickness, the indigestion, the kicking and hiccups, and most of all no tents to hide the big belly!