Entry 765: Things I’ve Learned as a First-Time Grandfather

Well, I’ve been a grandfather for about 24 hours now, and I’m ready to impart some essential advice to readers who plan on following in my grandfatherly footsteps. In no particular order . . .

  • Before accepting a used high-tech diaper disposal unit from a relative, be sure there aren’t any 2-year-old used diapers inside.
  • Also on the subject of hand-me-downs: Furniture–okay. Unstained clothing–okay. Burping towels–buy new ones for the kid, you cheap bastard.
  • Don’t assume you remember anything about caring for a newborn. Which is actually okay, because…
  • ….pretty much everything you did when your child was born was wrong, and it’s a miracle she made it to kindergarten.
  • When your daughter tells you she plans to wake her newborn up every two hours for a feeding, try not to laugh.
  • When your daughter shows you ultrasound photos, it’s okay to pretend you can identify the various body parts as long as you don’t point and say things like, “She’s got a cute nose.” You will invariably be pointing to the baby’s toe.
  • When your wife and pregnant daughter tell you that your daughter is having minor pregnancy issues and you don’t want to know about them, they are correct.
  • Advise your daughter not to schedule a birth around the date of a royal wedding. To quote my wife last week, “Everybody’s talking about Meghan Markle and nobody’s talking about my granddaughter.” Fortunately, by the time our granddaughter was born, Meghan was old news.
  • Newborns are now required to have something called “tummy time” every day. This is to avoid the unintended consequences (like flattened skulls and undeveloped muscles) of forcing babies to sleep on their backs to avoid SIDS. But the sleeping on the back thing started in 1992, and the tummy time thing began in 1998 so, presumably, there are now a bunch of 20-something weaklings in the world who are unable to get a hat to fit properly.
  • When you hear that the baby’s other set of grandparents are giving the parents-to-be a SNOO*, and you Google it to see what the hell that is, don’t be shocked when you discover that, each night, the baby is mummified and clipped into place, like a very tiny insane person in an asylum.
  • A few times a week, your wife will approach you with tiny garments and say “Look what I found on sale. Isn’t it cute? It was only five bucks.”
  • Fifty times five is $250.
  • As far as your daughter is concerned, the most important person in the delivery room will be the person who takes the first pictures of the baby. That job usually falls to the father, especially in my daughter’s case because she’s having a scheduled c-section so her husband doesn’t have to be preoccupied with helping her breathe. I’m a little jealous, because taking that photo is a lot easier these days. I remember that my wife’s doctor, while doing her c-section, had to take time out from the operation to remind me to remove the lens cap of our camera.
  • The first pictures will be out in the world seconds after the baby is out in the world. Back in our day, we had to get them developed (the pictures, not the babies).
  • Here’s something else I remember from our daughter’s birth which I passed down to our son-in-law. During the c-section, they place a screen roughly halfway down the woman’s torso and tell the father not to look on the other side of it. That is some of the best advice you will get in your life.
  • Millennials don’t do the cigar thing.
  • Do not be alarmed when you go to the hospital to see your new granddaughter and notice she’s got some sort of device attached to her ankle. She is not already under house arrest. It’s a security thing; the staff will take it off when she is taken home, as if the baby has just been purchased at a clothing store.
  • When you go to the hospital the first day, also do not be alarmed when it appears that your wife will not relinquish her hold on the baby under any circumstances.
  • There are aspects of your daughter’s pregnancy that are reminiscent of the months before her wedding. Here’s one that comes to mind: When your wife and your daughter are arguing about something that seems silly or obvious to you, do not participate in the debate. Somehow, you will piss both of them off.
  • Evidently you cannot announce a baby’s name these days unless you first check to see that the domain name is available.
  • Here’s an observation my wife shared with me after a trip to Buy Buy Baby: “You wouldn’t believe,” she said, “how many different kinds of nipples there are.”
  • When your daughter, in her eighth month, says, “That’s it. I am now officially just a belly,” there is no appropriate response.
  • Seriously, don’t even try to install the car seat.

See you soon, and keep scrolling down.

*I actually did know what a SNOO was, because I had recently read an article about its inventor, a self-proclaimed baby sleep expert who says that infants as a whole have not had a decent night’s sleep since parents began forcing them to sleep on their backs to prevent SIDS. Which I guess means that parents in the 90’s had to deal with cranky, flat-headed infants who couldn’t even lift a pacifier.

This entry was posted in humor, parenting and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to Entry 765: Things I’ve Learned as a First-Time Grandfather

  1. Vinny Marini says:

    Congratulations Gramps!

  2. Nancy Hadden says:

    Congratulations to the new grandparents!

  3. Mary Ann says:

    Love the name (& the entry)! Congrats to you all. –MA

  4. Peter Marshall says:

    Congrats to you all!

  5. Liz Baker says:


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