This Is No Joke

You know those lightbulb jokes that ask how many people of a certain group are needed to change a lightbulb? The punchline always targets a certain group and is usually derogatory. Well I have a slightly different version for you: How many grandparents, aunties and uncles with Master’s Degrees does it take to care for a small infant for an afternoon? The answer is no laughing matter…or maybe it is rather comical, if you were an outsider looking on.

I’m visiting my brother and sister-in-law this week, and they take care of their two-month-old grandson while their daughter, an ESOL teacher, is at work. As a bonus, their son, my nephew who is a Montessori teacher, is visiting from California. All of us have Master’s degrees and consider ourselves fairly intelligent. Then why is it that the four of us were scratching our heads trying to figure out how to get the baby into one of those carriers that you strap onto your front? And why do seemingly intelligent people with excellent vocabularies start talking baby talk with high-pitched voices? For my nephew’s part, I have to say I have yet to hear him coo to the baby in nonsense syllables with a voice that sounds like Micky Mouse. He’s more the strong, silent type who bonds with the baby non-verbally or in a regular timbre.

imageYesterday we went to a shopping center and had lunch at a nice restaurant. When people came by admiring our baby, we all beamed as if we had birthed the little guy ourselves. He was the perfect angel and slept through nearly our entire lunch. When he did awake, he looked around with his beautiful huge eyes and cooed and smiled, turning us to mush. It was after we finished eating that that ugly incident with the baby carrier happened. My brother attempted to strap the harness onto my nephew so we could walk around and shop. After some struggling, he and my sister-in-law did manage to figure the thing out, but I have to admit it was quite comical. If you were an onlooker, that is. I didn’t even try to help them because I would have had the baby upside down and sliding out. A couple of college degrees clearly isn’t enough. I should have gone for the Ph.D.

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About Coming East

I am a writer, wife, mother, and grandmother who thinks you're never too old until you're dead. My inspiration is Grandma Moses who became a successful artist in her late 70's. If I don't do something pretty soon, though, I'll have to find someone older for inspiration.
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34 Responses to This Is No Joke

  1. Kathleen says:

    How many psychiatrists does it take to change a lightbulb?
    Only one, but the lightbulb has to really want to change 😀

  2. pattisj says:

    I’m so glad we didn’t have all those conveniences to deal with.

  3. Al says:

    Not sure what you’re talking about here? Our grandkids could walk, talk and read at 2 months.

  4. Jiawei says:

    That baby of yours is so cute! Glad you figured it out finally! It sure takes a team of Masters for the job!

  5. John Hric says:

    I cannot wait to encounter similar new devices. We have a new granddaughter too. And I have already stumbled into a few of the new devices. Fortunately mom and dad are sparing us the confusion….. so far. This too shall pass. Nice post.

    • Coming East says:

      Isn’t it wonderful to be a grandparent, John? Our granddaughters are 11 and 15, so having this little grandnephew is wonderful. We raised three kids of our own, but we didn’t have such fancy contraptions. Amazing that our children survived without them. LOL

  6. Have you been inside one of the Babies R Us stores lately? Oh, my, so many newfangled contraptions, it’s enough to make your head spin! When it comes time for me to become a grandparent, maybe my son with his masters in mechanical engineering will be able to help me out. Of course, I have no idea how long I’m going to have to wait for that day. No time soon, all our kids tell us. 😉

  7. Shofar says:

    Isn’t it amazing that we all have Master’s degrees and never attended parenting classes that included practical how to do stuff?

  8. Jenny says:

    Great story. I am glad to hear you are enjoying the new baby and family time! Maybe they would like to invest in a ring sling?

  9. winsomebella says:

    I have had similar experiences with those carriers. But they sure are nice once ready. He is a doll—I can see why he has you masters mesmerized 🙂

    • Coming East says:

      We went out with him again today, Stacia, and we had to break up into teams of two when we wanted to shop in stores so we could carry paraphernalia and help with the diaper changing. It takes at least two adults our age to handle a baby of ten weeks.

  10. Dianna says:

    those new-fangled baby items! Your story reminds me of the few times I’ve been with my friend, Bev, while she was caring for her grandson. It also reminds me of something a friend mentioned right after my son was born (when her husband and Marshall’s dad were “baby talking” to him): “a baby will make a fool out of a grown man”. So true!

  11. Glad you figured it out safely. It wouldn’t do for your husband’s family to not be safe and secure. Regarding baby contraptions, it’s how do you unload and set up the stroller? My daughter just whips that thing out and with a push of a button it unfolds and pops out like an umbrella …whoosh! 🙂 What fun you all are having now. Gotta love every minute.

  12. Add car seat straps, high chair straps, stroller straps to the list. I wrote a post about it last summer. Sure makes you feel humbled and wonder about the degrees. (I have a master’s), no PhD.

  13. Anis Rahman says:

    Reblogged this on Anis Rahman.

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