Monday, March 24, 2008

Pop and Oma

It's been great having my parents around for the past 8 months or so. Typically, they live on a sailboat for most of the year. Lately (since 2004) the sailboat has been in the Mediterranean. That makes visits from my parents rarer than we would like. Communication is often difficult, with ship-to-shore technical difficulties and large time zone differences to accommodate. So having them in the States -- and usually just a 3 hour drive from their condo south of here -- has been much better.

They've been in the States since they dropped everything, stashed their boat in some unintended and obscure port in the Med, and high-tailed it to DC. When Ma Chere was hospitalized after Blueberry (temporary blog pseudonym for Baby Girl) was born -- and then Blueberry herself was hospitalized -- they came a-runnin'. Of course, we were thankful for that. And somehow we all survived an explosive, mutually detrimental stomach virus around the same time.

But here were Pop and Oma for a brief visit on Easter Weekend. Easter egg hunting fun was had by all. A road crew left a steamroller parked on our street a few blocks away over the weekend, so steamroller driving fun was had by Boom. And making use of my parents' time during my day at home from paid work, I put them in charge of the kids and quickly recoated our 100-year-old roof this morning.

The plan was for Oma to take Boom to the park around the same time that Blueberry started her morning nap. With both kids out of the way, I could apply myself on task with the roof coating, about a 90 minute job if you do it slapdash fashion (as I did). With Oma working with Boom and Pop manning Blueberry's baby monitor for her awakening, everyone had a job.

And this plan was also aimed at giving Pop & Oma some special time with Blueberry. One of her endearing qualities is the sweet way she wakes up. She squawks for a while to let you know she's awake. And then she greets the first face she sees with the sweetest smile you can imagine. Over to the changing table, the sweet smile and laughter continue. Getting dressed is more smiles and laughter. It is some really enjoyable play time, as sweet as can be. I was happy my dad got to experience that.

My parents prolonged their visit by a couple of hours, hitting the road a bit late. That meant Oma could give Blueberry her lunchtime bottle and put her down for her long nap. (As an auxiliary purpose, Pop could make Easter eggs into egg salad sandwiches, which were good.) Giving Blueberry a bottle can be a little challenging, because she can be a little fussy and sensitive to stimuli right before bed. But Oma was able to work through it, serving up all 7 ounces of "white gold" that Ma Chere pumped before leaving for work this morning. Oma drew out the necessary burps, and Blueberry slept uninterrupted for a full nap. And once you get past the fussiness, giving Blueberry a bottle and putting her down for a nap is a very peaceful, restful sensation.

And while Pop and Oma each got to spend some special time with Blueberry, the past few months have seen Boom forge a nice relationship with them. He enjoys them, trusts them, plays with them, eats with them, and generally recognizes them as falling within his circle of care.

Here's hoping that the delivery of their boat back to the New World will make visits and communication easier and more frequent.

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