I will never forget the day my mother and mother-in-law played their first round of grandma tug-of-war. With our two-week-old son as the rope.
The competition was held at my parents’ home.
We stayed there for a few weeks after our baby was dismissed from NICU before taking him to the remote corner of South Dakota where we lived 90 miles from the nearest hospital. My husband’s mother, who lived in Alaska and had scheduled a June visit to meet the baby at our house, changed her ticket and first laid eyes on her grandson at my parents’ home instead.
The special needs grandparenting tug-of-war was on.
Both grandmas had spent considerable time fretting over and praying for their grandson. First, when they heard he’d been life-flighted 750 miles for the surgery that saved his life. Then, for three weeks as he recovered in NICU. By the time they met our little shaver, their I-just-want-to-snuggle-that-sweet-little-baby instincts were in high gear.
The special needs grandparenting tug-of-war commenced.
“When my babies were fussy,” my mother advised, “I used to wrap them tight and hold them close. Like this.” She took fussy little Allen from my arms, wrapped him tight, and held him close.
“When my boys fussed,” my mother-in-law countered, “I took off the blankets, and sometimes their clothes, and jiggled them.” She took Allen from my mother and demonstrated. “Like this.”
Thankfully, the tug-of-war ended without casualties.
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Part One: Different Dream’s Special Needs Grandparenting Series Begins
Part Two: Special Needs Grandparenting 101
Part Three: Special Needs Grandparenting–The First Word Is Never the Last Word
Part Four: The Special Needs Grandparenting Tug of War
Part Five: Special Needs Grandparents Are Part of the Village
Part Six: What’s It Like to Be a Special Needs Grandparent?