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Grandma and Grandpa with our first grandchild

Baby Love: The Surprises of a First-Time Grandma

Grandma and Grandpa with our first grandson.

I’ve been a grandma for 15 months, and my life is richer because of it. When our daughter, Janet, was expecting, everyone told me I’d love being a grandma. That’s so true! The wonders of being a grandma continue to surprise me.

Unexpected Worries

The first surprising thing about my grandson, Walter, was the worry. I’m a mom, so it’s my job to worry. When he was born in February 2023, another little person entered my life to worry about. Bringing a baby into the world doesn’t always go as planned. So, I did my share of worrying during those first few days for Walter and his mom and dad.

The Joy of Bonding

Thankfully, the worry faded. Now I can enjoy the happy surprises of life as a grandmother. One of the biggest surprises is how wonderful it feels to have Walter stretch out his little baby hands for me to hold him. I feel like I won the lottery, because I was chosen over Mom, Dad, and his favorite person, Grandpa Bill. I’m also surprised by how much I love our one-on-one time. Over the past 15 months, we took walks together, played together, and built a snowman together. What a joy it is to hear him squeal with delight when I chase him and hear him babble when I talk to him. I am really getting to know him, and I hope he’s getting to know me, too.

Diaper Dilemma

Another surprising thing – changing a diaper is tricky. The first time I changed Walter, I put the diaper on backwards. Diapers haven’t changed that much in 30 years, so it must have been me that changes. I admit I was rusty, I had no trouble the second time around. While Walter has grown and changed so much in 15 months, he’s still a baby who needs a lot of care – and a lot of diaper changes.

Cherished Moments

But sometimes, he seems so grown up. I remember one Sunday at church when little Walter surprised us all. Grandpa Bill was holding Walter during the Mass, when Walter imitated my folded hands and my singing. Bill thought he was holding an angel. What a moment!

Baby-Proof Adventures

I’m also surprised that the contents of my cabinets are so interesting. Walter loves to open the cabinet doors, pull everything out, and spread everything around on the floor. Our house isn’t baby-proofed. When Janet and Walter visited in April, Walter was exploring our bathroom cabinets while Janet was running his bath water. I heard Janet sigh with exasperation and say, “Oh, Walter!” He had pulled out the toilet bowl cleaner, Windex, and other no-nos. The cleaners all ended up on the countertop, out of his reach.

Parenting Comes Naturally

Finally, I’m surprised by how wonderful it is to see Janet and Tyler as parents. They sing him silly songs, play silly games, and use silly voices when they read books to him. They are naturals – so loving, fun and responsible as Mommy and Daddy.

Happy Mother’s Day

So far, being a grandmother has been everything it’s cracked up to be. I’m looking forward to more surprises in life as Walter’s grandma. Happy Mother’s Day to all moms and grandmothers, too.

Author: Joan Koehne

Once a mild-mannered reporter and editor, Joan Koehne has taken on the persona of her alter ego, Wonder Writer, saving the world one word at a time. In 2017 she went up, up and away to launch a writing services business, Writer to the Rescue, a division of Packerland Websites. A 2017 college graduate, Joan earned highest honors and the Marketing Student of the Year award.

Joan Koehne

Once a mild-mannered reporter and editor, Joan Koehne has taken on the persona of her alter ego, Wonder Writer, saving the world one word at a time. In 2017 she went up, up and away to launch a writing services business, Writer to the Rescue, a division of Packerland Websites. A 2017 college graduate, Joan earned highest honors and the Marketing Student of the Year award.

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