Friday, January 28, 2011

Babies Babies Babies...

Well, I guess it's time to "get in the pooh" as they say Down Under. An axe to grind, if you please...or don't please, as they say.

A friend just retired from a high pressure job, and is having a blast with retirement. Her son and wife just had a baby. OH JOY...for the first week or so. It seems that now she has been awarded the dubious title of "default parent"... this, very short time after Bebe' came into the world! It was presented as "this is what you must do for OUR child"! Pretty presumptuous

The newborn child's Mama must drive to work in Atlanta. The kids, it seems, have apprised Grand mama of her part in her child's rearing. Grandma is scheduled to drive 20 miles EARLY in the morning to pick up the baby and drive it back to her house. She has been given marching orders to be in the room with baby every minute of the day. She may take it on outings that are necessary.

Said baby is fed breast milk twelve hours a day. I suppose mama has to pump milk for the other twelve. Daddy goes to work and picks baby up at 7:00 in the evening. This goes on 3 days a week for Grandma. The grandmother's ex- husband (boy's father) gets to " do the dance" two days a week. WOW!

Come on, people! It ain't HER kid! Ir's YOURS. I realize that money ain't growing on trees. Things get very tight when you start a family. You can't afford to go out every weekend, or buy a new-er car, or buy  a  house, or get bigger apartment for a few years...but the kid is YOUR responsibility, not GRANDMA'S. She may give you a sheckle or two, to help with things, IF she has a few extra sheckles on her fixed income. The prime responsibility for Bebe' belongs to you, the parents.

Now, most folks were born to be parents, it's a biological phenomena called preservation of the specie. You have 'em, and take prime responsibility for them, The Grandma is not in the picture as a prime care giver. I have heard figures upward to 35 to 40% of America's children are being raised by the grandparents! Sorry, people. " I'm from it", as Aunt Lou used to say.

There was a time in this country, actually in my lifetime, that children grew up, married, had kids and settled close, or on the same farm as their parents. In due time, they had kids and the grandparents shared in the upbringing. In turn the older generation were helped as they got older by the kids and grand kids. Seems like it's a one way street, now. Have a baby, give it to Granny, she ain't got nothing in the world to do but love my kid...and go to the nursing home on Medicare.

I realize that things are different in our world today. I understand that if you have a job you need to stay with it. IF you have a baby in the family, make arrangements, pay  for someone to keep the child, or stay home with your kids till they are of school age. You can get  babysitters for your tax dollar at that point. Ain't school wonderful!

Do not give over the prime care of a newborn to the Granny. She's done that and ticked it off...she has been the soccer mom, dance mom, dealt with measles, broken arms, and stayed up waiting for you come come in at 4:00 AM with her car. She has worked all their life to enjoy life without the massive responsibility of kids underfoot. 

One morning, the parent gets the call. "Mom, you've got a Grand baby". Oh Happy Days. Unfortunately, the next call, more often these days is "and now we're gonna' let you have it!

"The hell you are"! would be my first response. The retiree in question, after much deliberation, has resigned herself to her fate...but she don't like it.

I know, I know, you say she'll learn to love the little bundle of joy...THAT AIN'T HER JOB. She now has a life, the short part of it Don't muddy the water, Kids. Give her some room! She can help, and would be more than happy to, but the prime responsibility belongs to you, the PARENTS, not the GRANDMA.

Am I sounding like Neil Boortz a little bit! I don't like HIM, either. Niel, has a soap box everyday, and manages to kill two hours of prime radio time ranting. I think he should spend two hours ranting "You kids out their with kids being raised by you parents need a "dope slap" and that bad".

Now... Granny. My Daddy was a Civil Servant and ran the " big money give away machine" for the Dept of Labor. As you can imagine, his desk and telephone were was always bombarded with grant schemes. His first response to any query was... No! 

That was his stock answer to me, Mama, my brother and sister, and the rest of the world at large... always. I remember playing golf with him when I was about 16. I had a 2" putt. I said, "gimme". He said NO. Hard man, Mr. Shields, and I had to putt it in. Made me mad as hell!

As a parent you've used the NO! word a million, zillion time. Use it again. NO, I am not taking responsibility for you child... PERIOD, END OF DISCUSSION. You de Mama! I not de Mama.

So Kids and Grandparents listen up!

KIDS, the Grandma can keep your kids short term, on her terms. No coercion, tricks, whining, etc. Grandparents can pick 'em up from school sometimes, tell em stories, teach em to read and not to watch too much TV, feed 'em ice cream for breakfast on Saturday morning, but kids need their PARENTS until they are eligible for school...GOT IT!

The primary function of a parent is to be that, a parent. I am not, and was not, an exemplary parent. We all muddle through it own way, but it's not the responsibility of the parents to dump the kid off on grandma full time...and grandma needs to understand that. Been that was since Adam and Eve, Cain and Able. Needs to stay that way.

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