Glorious grandparenting

Michael Guzder, Vice President Education – at GEMS Education has a new job title – Granddad! Here he shares the joys of holding ‘your baby’s baby’ and why he’s still waiting for the rest of the family to admit the baby looks like him.

Michael Guzder and his granddaughter Evana

They say that nothing prepares you for the day you become a parent – it is just an amazing, life-changing experience. Then the kids grow up, find a partner, take wing, and fly the nest.

My wife and I are now proud, doting grandparents – this happened a little over two months ago – and if being a parent is amazing, then being a grandparent is surreal and simply mesmerising!

Evana, our little bundle of joy, (God bless her) entered our world on 14 March, while Covid, literally raged all around her.

Growing up, my grandfather spoiled me rotten whenever he got the chance, and over the years, I have seen innumerable grandparents indulge and spoil their grandkids and not feel guilty about doing so. I would look at them in horror and complete disbelief and make a personal vow that I would never be like that when my time came.

Well, my time has now come, and I have to say, we have ‘sort of’ joined the bandwagon.

 No excuses. I know it should not have happened and all that, but it did and by the way things are progressing, it will continue for some time. To say we are both smitten would be a gross understatement.

Spoiling their grandchildren is the prerogative of grandparents and no one will ever be able to change that.  In one fell swoop, all our vows to be firm, yet loving grandparents were discarded, as we gazed, smiled, and made goo-goo eyes at the ‘miniature doll.’  

Can you help it when a bundle of joy is placed before you, swaddled in a tiny pink robe with booties and a bonnet to match?

She is cute, cuddly, angelic, and simply adorable. I was waiting for someone to say she looked like me, but no one did. I did broach the topic in a rather matter of fact tone, but there were no takers. Never one to throw in the towel so easily, I will try again soon.

Now, I do not want to go over the top with words of praise, because I know she is just a normal baby, but like all parents and grandparents, we are already seeing signs of genius in her. Will she be a great cook like her mum, a basketball player like her dad, a musician like me or a teacher like her grandmother?

Of course, this is just conjecture. My mother saw genius in me, too – and was off by miles!

My daughter and son-in-law are typical modern parents so they have read all the books, watched videos and done their research on how best to bring up kids. They are already well-entrenched in the circus act of parenting, while balancing priorities, juggling responsibilities and quickly flipping between the needs of Evana, other family members and themselves. It appears that as parents they will be consistent, devoted, firm and loving.

For our part, I am determined that my wife and I will not interfere too much either, but when we visit, soft music, dim lights and me creeping around on tiptoe because the baby is sleeping doesn’t make for my ideal evening! I am encouraging them to lighten up.

Now, you are not going to believe the next part, but it is true. I have carried my granddaughter just once. I carried my daughters a few minutes after they were born but I guess I am out of touch, after all these years, and feel a trifle nervous doing so now, especially with a chorus of  “Daddy- hold her back properly”, “please support her neck” and “put a bib on your shoulder” ringing in my ears. So I have decided to wait for a few weeks.

However, we have already celebrated two monthly birthdays on the 14th of April and May, cut cakes bought gifts and done a bit of a jig!

I guess that is why it is said that grandparents need any excuse to spoil their grandkids.

I could be slightly wrong, but she already has clothes for at least six months and books to read till she is about four. 

Being a grandparent is truly a blessing.

There are no words to describe the happiness in holding your baby’s baby.