Like Riding A Bike

If you're one of my Facebook "friends," you've seen a variety of pictures I've been posting of baby clothes and books and toys.  Like any grandmother-to-be, I'm indulging myself, wandering through baby departments, oohing and ahhing over all the cute outfits and soft blankets.  My mom and I ventured into a store called Buy Buy Baby - a very apt name, because there is SO much merchandise between those four walls that you could buy until your credit card literally smokes! This was our first shopping trip since finding out the baby's gender, so we concentrated our efforts on all things blue. I have to admit, I felt completely out of my element amongst all the paraphernalia, and I'm certainly glad this baby's parents are among the most educated consumers I know.  I'm sure they are researching every piece of equipment they'll need, and will have narrowed it down to a solid list of essentials when it's time to start making the big purchases.  Wandering through aisle after aisle of strollers and car seats and swings, my head was starting to spin.

Being in that store today reminded me once again just how long it's been since I had anything to do with a baby.  I'm starting to feel a little like the character of Prissy in Gone With the Wind - you remember she assured Miz Scarlett that she knew all about bringing babies into the world, but when it got to be crunch time, she fled down the stairs, crying "Miz Scarlett, I don't know NOTHIN' 'bout birthin' no babies!"

Thankfully, once again my grandson's parents have that covered, and are already well acquainted with the midwives at the Allen Birthing Center where the baby will be born.

When I mentioned to Jim that I was a little worried about remembering how to care for a baby, he simply laughed. "What are you talking about?" he said. "You'll know what to do! You don't forget things like that - it's like riding a bike."

Well, not exactly. That sounds like something a man would say, doesn't it? Can you really equate all the intricacies of child care with the mechanical memory motion of riding a bicycle?

I suppose there is an innate maternal sense that kicks in. When my son was born, I really didn't know "nothin' 'bout raising no babies."  Ever the student, I had read book after book about the subject (remember, we didn't have the internet in those days), and was often seen wandering around the house clutching the baby in one arm and Dr. Spock's Guide to Baby and Child Care in the other.  Between book learning, instinctive maternal capabilities, and lots of help from my mom and grandmother, he turned out all right.

Just to be safe, though, I've been doing some research - sort of a "refresher course" in Infant 101. The other day at the library, I picked up a couple of books (circa 21st century), and although the young woman at the circulation desk looked at me a little strangely when I checked out Heading Home With Your Newborn-From Birth to Reality and The Modern Girls Guide to Motherhood, I just gave her an enigmatic smile and went on my way.

My husband may be right - the rudiments of baby tending might be like riding a bike, but I wouldn't start out on a 100 mile ride without a few warm up laps around the neighborhood first.