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GRAND Vol VI Ed I

GRAND honours and supports grandparents by providing information on resources and businesses for families and a forum for the exchange of ideas and opinions: Thou Shalt! A Grandparent’s Guide to Doing Away with the Rules • Grand Boundaries • 10 Baby Shower Gifts

GRAND honours and supports grandparents by providing information on resources and businesses for families and a forum for the exchange of ideas and opinions: Thou Shalt! A Grandparent’s Guide to Doing Away with the Rules • Grand Boundaries • 10 Baby Shower Gifts

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<strong>Vol</strong>. <strong>VI</strong>, <strong>Ed</strong>. I<br />

<strong>GRAND</strong><br />

grandmag.ca<br />

Thou Shalt!<br />

A Grandparent’s Guide to<br />

grandmag.ca<br />

Doing Away with the Rules<br />

Grand Boundaries<br />

<strong>Vol</strong>. <strong>VI</strong>, <strong>Ed</strong>. I 1<br />

10 Baby Shower Gifts


Grandparenting<br />

Thou Shalt!<br />

I<br />

grew up with a lot of shibboleths and<br />

thou shalt nots. Thou shalt not make a<br />

mess, thou shalt not make a peep, thou<br />

shalt not reach for another cookie, thou<br />

shalt not say “love” when talking about<br />

food, thou shalt not question the conventional<br />

wisdom or upset the status quo.<br />

My husband and I wrote anarchist<br />

songs, Brown Bag Blues, and toured a<br />

show called Jabber Disease. We brought on<br />

“Thou shalt!” in poem and song, paeans<br />

to seven beautiful virtues.<br />

Pride is a goodie. Watch any kitty<br />

when she catches herself in the mirror,<br />

Thou shalt not was a tune with infinite<br />

variations. In church, where we<br />

were washed in the blood of the lamb,<br />

which turned out to be propaganda, they<br />

preached the Seven Deadly Sins and my<br />

life ambition turned out to be turning sin<br />

into mindful practice.<br />

They say suppression invites subversion.<br />

I fancied myself a subversive and<br />

got arrested a few times. Call me arrested<br />

mother, grandmother and great grandmother.<br />

I’m still getting busted.<br />

a window. Yikes. Is that me or a more<br />

formidable she? Babies smile in the mirror<br />

and that is before they hear they are<br />

too smart or not smart enough, too ugly<br />

or too beautiful. I love you, we say. Keep<br />

smiling. Draw yourself over and over.<br />

Paint yourself proud. Colour your world.<br />

Greed is gathering. We make picture<br />

after picture of images we love. We gather<br />

friends when we play in the park near<br />

our house, say “Hello friend!” to every<br />

new face. We gather berries to cook and<br />

2 <strong>GRAND</strong> grandmag.ca


shells to paint. We gather music. Every<br />

last thing makes a sound and we listen,<br />

greedy for birdsong and, ocean wailing,<br />

footsteps drumming sidewalks, all notes<br />

for our scores. Soundwalks are great. Is<br />

this greed? If so, bring it on.<br />

Wrath is war on bullies. Whoever said<br />

righteous indignation is bad? When is<br />

a wrong not a wrong? Get mad at the<br />

window that smacked the sparrow. Get<br />

mad at the thug smacking a smaller kid.<br />

There are bad guys and good guys. Fairy<br />

tales tell us that, and kids need to know<br />

how to deal with oppression. Read the<br />

stories that tell us to love ourselves, be<br />

bigger, set an example. Get mad and use<br />

our words. Rage at the bad stories on TV<br />

and man and woman up for warriordom.<br />

Fight for clean air and clean water, for<br />

peace.<br />

Lust is hunger for knowledge. Aren’t<br />

we hungry all the time, for truth and<br />

beauty. Lust drives us to smell the flowers,<br />

collect leaves, read books, climb trees<br />

so we can see forever. Some kids like<br />

small collections that fit in their pockets.<br />

Sometimes we go for walks and gather.<br />

What is this pebble, this egg, this caterpillar<br />

(be gentle) this moss, this bug?<br />

Every last thing has a story, a life. We<br />

gather people too. Safe strangers are fun.<br />

Sometimes they tell you their stories and<br />

sometimes it’s fun to guess.<br />

Envy is admiration. We listen to music<br />

and copy the sounds. We look at art<br />

and aspire to paint. We dance to the<br />

rhythms in poetry. We envy the sunset<br />

for its’ beautiful regret and sunrise for<br />

its’ promise. We want to be the light. That<br />

is the meaning of genius, joining the<br />

envious “I” to the “Us” so we are one, all<br />

moving parts in the great circle of life.<br />

Look at this, look at that, we say. Choose<br />

the best parts, the ones that fit with our<br />

mandate to be the best us.<br />

Gluttony. Do cookies ever taste as good<br />

as batter? We take, then bake, our bellies<br />

filled before we load the oven: bread<br />

dough, whole bowls of berries, spoonfuls<br />

of honey. Food is for pleasure and<br />

for life. Who said we shouldn’t love it?<br />

Be greedy, little ones, and take enough<br />

to share, all our fingers in the same pie,<br />

because everyone deserves a taste. We<br />

decorate brown paper bags, ride the bus<br />

downtown and give happy lunches, all<br />

our pleasures combined in one joyful<br />

afternoon.<br />

And most important of all is sloth,<br />

the pure joy of rest, doing nothing but<br />

breathe and dream. First, we find a soft<br />

bed of grass or moss, clover if we’re<br />

lucky, then we lie down to experience<br />

the luxury of rainbows or starry nights.<br />

We look up and watch the shapes of our<br />

ancestors playing hide and go seek with<br />

future kids through clouds as fleecy as<br />

the sheep we count on our way to sleep.<br />

Of all the deadly sins, sloth is the most<br />

pleasant because S is for satiation when<br />

we fill ourselves with sunshine and story.<br />

Sin away kids. Thou shalt! We’re a big<br />

club. Everyone welcome. Grammalinda’s<br />

got your back.<br />

Linda Rogers is a poet,<br />

novelist, essayist, journalist,<br />

editor and songwriter.<br />

WHAT WILL YOUR<br />

LEGACY BE?<br />

Make a BIG difference.<br />

Support local children and<br />

youth with a gift in your will.<br />

(250) 475-1117 ext. #102<br />

Victoria.BigBrothersBigSisters.ca<br />

grandmag.ca<br />

<strong>Vol</strong>. <strong>VI</strong>, <strong>Ed</strong>. I 3


Shop<br />

10 Baby Shower Gifts<br />

for Grandparents-to-Be<br />

I<br />

have just had the immense pleasure<br />

of meeting my first grandchild! He<br />

is such a delicious little blob of goo.<br />

So soft and warm. I have always loved<br />

babies and am happy to cuddle any baby<br />

at all. But my own son’s baby feels very<br />

special indeed.<br />

My daughter-in-law, Chloë, and my<br />

son, Simon, who live in Ontario, were<br />

very conscientious in curating a wishlist<br />

for their baby shower. So I thought<br />

I would share some of those items the<br />

new parents liked the best and found<br />

the most useful. And I have added some<br />

of my favourites, too.<br />

1. Swift Playard by MaxiCosi<br />

Chloë absolutely loves this. She says<br />

it’s super clutch to have a shallow bassinet<br />

where the baby can sleep in the<br />

living room, and where they can change<br />

a quick diaper. Later it will convert to<br />

a deeper playard which can fold up and<br />

come along on trips to friends’ houses.<br />

I like that it’s got wooden legs—<br />

makes it feels like furniture instead of<br />

camping equipment. And it’s very light<br />

and easy to set up; I was able to do it<br />

with no trouble. maxicosi.com/ca-en/<br />

swift-playard-05430-mc-ca-en.html<br />

2. Happy Island Diaper Service<br />

Simon is so impressed with the Diaper<br />

Service they are using in Ontario.<br />

He very much wanted to use cloth diapers,<br />

but they live in an apartment with<br />

coin-operated laundry. So washing their<br />

own diapers is a difficult proposition.<br />

The Diaper Service delivers clean diapers<br />

every week and take the dirty ones<br />

away. Diaper service is comparable in<br />

price to using disposables, but it’s better<br />

for the environment.<br />

My mother, the baby’s Great Grandmother,<br />

is paying for the diaper service<br />

for the first few months. It makes her<br />

feel very useful! happyislanddiapers.<br />

com<br />

3. The Yoyo2 stroller from BabyZen<br />

Very compact, the Yoyo2 folds up in<br />

a snap to the size of a carry-on suitcase.<br />

Light enough for Chloë to lug up to their<br />

3rd floor walk-up. There are several attachments<br />

for it: a bassinet for new babies,<br />

clips for the car-seat, a yoyo-board<br />

for the big-sibling when the next baby<br />

4 <strong>GRAND</strong> grandmag.ca


comes, even skis for deep snow! It’s<br />

steady, with a low centre of gravity, but<br />

easily manoeuvrable. It’s quite pricey,<br />

but several households pitched in at<br />

the baby shower and it seems to have<br />

been well worth it! babyzen.com/pages/<br />

yoyo2-stroller-birth<br />

(Simon and Chloë recommend consulting<br />

this comparison chart on Reddit:<br />

reddit.com/r/beyondthebump/comments/z2qwrs/comparison_of_travel_<br />

strollers_details_in_the)<br />

4. Herschel Settlement Sprout<br />

Backpack Diaperbag<br />

This backpack comes in many colours.<br />

Trim and compact, with many<br />

separate compartments and a changing<br />

pad. Will need an extra wetbag if<br />

parents are using cloth diapers, but<br />

that’s easy enough to get (see #5). Both<br />

parents agreed they could carry this bag<br />

with confidence. So stylish that Simon’s<br />

fashionista Great-Aunt was happy to<br />

select it for the baby shower. westcoastkids.ca/settlement-sprout<br />

5. Colibri Wet<br />

Colibri is a Manitoba company with<br />

wetbags in a whole raft of sizes, colours<br />

and patterns. Good quality at a great<br />

price. Wetbags are useful for so much<br />

more than wet diapers. Bathing suits,<br />

toiletries, snacks, sandwiches. A great<br />

parenting hack! colibricanada.com/collections/regular-wet-bags<br />

6. Beluga Baby Wrap<br />

This Canadian company makes soft<br />

and stretchy sustainable bamboo fabric<br />

wraps, just over in Vancouver! While<br />

learning to use a baby wrap might<br />

seem scary, it’s really no more complicated<br />

than tying your shoelaces. Simon<br />

learned in an afternoon and loves to<br />

wear the baby around the house and out<br />

on walks in the neighbourhood. It really<br />

is the cosiest, easiest way to keep a baby<br />

soothed, while getting chores done, and<br />

a great way for parents to bond with the<br />

baby. belugababy.ca<br />

7. The Make My Belly Fit Universal<br />

Jacket Extender<br />

This is a brilliant idea, invented by a<br />

Dad in Montreal. It’s a panel that zips<br />

into most jackets to create space first<br />

for the growing pregnancy tummy, and<br />

later for the baby in a wrap or carrier. It<br />

has a removable fleece layer for colder<br />

climates. A really thoughtful gift that<br />

Chloe used all winter. And Simon can<br />

use it when he baby-wears too! makemybellyfit.com/products/universaljacket-extender<br />

8. ErgoPouch Cocoon Swaddle<br />

Sack<br />

As Chloë said, this was clutch in the<br />

early days when baby needed to be<br />

swaddled to be comfortable but the<br />

parents were still figuring things out.<br />

Later, when the baby can roll over, you<br />

can open the sleeve holes so baby’s arms<br />

can be free. Being swaddled helps baby<br />

calm down because of the slight pressure<br />

on their body. And it also keeps<br />

them warm and cosy through the night.<br />

The ErgoPouch was invented by an Australian<br />

mom—Alina Sack! ergopouch.<br />

com/products/pouches<br />

9. Organic Cotton Baby Gowns<br />

from Parade<br />

I loved dressing my own babies in<br />

baby nightgowns. Not only did they<br />

look so cute and old-fashioned, but the<br />

nightgowns were so easy to pull up for<br />

diaper-changes in the dark. And no<br />

need to thread legs back into pants, or<br />

snap fasteners with sleepy fingers. The<br />

organic cotton gowns (and all sorts of<br />

other baby clothes) from Parade come in<br />

lots of colours and patterns, including<br />

a wide selection of genderneutral ones.<br />

And the cotton jersey is thick and warm<br />

and holds up to many many washes.<br />

When I found out Chloë and Simon<br />

had not received any little gowns at the<br />

shower, I sent a batch of these off to<br />

them. They use them all the time. parade.ca/collections/organic-baby-gowns<br />

10. Copper Pearl Premium Burp<br />

Cloths (in the Bloom pattern)<br />

So pretty with their flowery pattern<br />

(and there are many other patterns to<br />

choose from), but also thick and absorbent<br />

to catch baby spit-up. A lower<br />

price-point item, always good to include<br />

on a baby shower wish-list. copperpearl.com/products/premium-burpcloths-bloom<br />

Bonus Item<br />

Really more of an “Oh Wow you’re<br />

pregnant!” gift: A is for Advice (The Reassuring<br />

Kind): Wisdom for Pregnancy<br />

by Ilana Stanger-Ross. Ilana is a Registered<br />

Midwife in Victoria. Her book is<br />

full of up-to-date, evidence-based, gentle<br />

information and advice for pregnant<br />

parents. It’s wonderfully comforting<br />

and beautifully designed with great illustrations.<br />

I send it off (via bookstores<br />

on the internet) to anyone in my circle<br />

who gets pregnant. And they all love it.<br />

Being a grandparent is full of surprises<br />

and joys. I didn’t expect to feel so<br />

moved by seeing my son parent his baby<br />

so sweetly. I never thought about how I<br />

would feel to see my parents hold their<br />

first great-grandchild. I think that was a<br />

high point in my life.<br />

With Simon and Chloë and the little<br />

one living so far away, I am going to<br />

be a Zoom-Ma, who checks in via the<br />

computer screen on the weekend. I will<br />

miss a lot, I know. But I certainly can<br />

engage in one of the time-honoured joys<br />

of grandparenting—shopping for the<br />

baby! Enjoy!<br />

Eva Bild is a childbirth, parenting<br />

and lactation educator and doula<br />

trainer. She has been working<br />

with new families since 1992.<br />

Eva is the founder of the<br />

Mothering Touch Centre. She is the mother of<br />

three wonderful adults, but most excitingly,<br />

she is now a grandmother! evabild.ca<br />

grandmag.ca<br />

<strong>Vol</strong>. <strong>VI</strong>, <strong>Ed</strong>. I 5


Grandparenting<br />

Grand Boundaries<br />

My daughter is growing into her role<br />

of mother with grace, wisdom and<br />

patience. Yes, I know I’m biased,<br />

but it is a remarkable thing to witness. I<br />

believe this to be one of the most meaningful<br />

experiences of my lifetime along<br />

with being a parent myself. The determination<br />

that could bring me to my knees<br />

when I was her mother is one of her<br />

greatest gifts as a mother herself. It provides<br />

her with the strength to make decisions<br />

based on her beliefs and values.<br />

There are many boundaries to consider<br />

between parents and grandparents. How<br />

much time do we give or ask for when it<br />

comes to babysitting? Or, as a grandparent,<br />

when are you stretching yourself too<br />

much? I see a reluctance in my daughter<br />

to ask me to babysit while she teaches<br />

yoga or goes to an appointment if it is<br />

outside of my usual Nana Day. So, I make<br />

a point of checking in any spare moment<br />

I have which tends to be an hour or two,<br />

here or there, a few times a week. We<br />

check in with each other. Am I asking too<br />

much, I know you have your own life, Mom.<br />

Or, are you wanting some company or have<br />

you got plans?<br />

Other boundaries include the role we<br />

play in our relationships. While I have<br />

taught parenting for decades, I am not<br />

my daughter’s parenting expert. I’m her<br />

mom, the only woman on the planet who<br />

can be her mom. Imagine how allergic<br />

she would feel to my advice if it was<br />

unsolicited and coming from judgment<br />

or wanting to teach her how to be a better<br />

parent. Fortunately, my own mom<br />

modelled this boundary for me. She stood<br />

back, respected my choices, and didn’t<br />

interfere with our parenting.<br />

I’m grateful that there is so much information<br />

available to parents now. More<br />

than that, I’m grateful that my daughter<br />

beats to her own heart. She doesn’t buy<br />

into some of the theories that suggest you<br />

can spoil children by responding to their<br />

needs.<br />

These questions are asked by both parents<br />

and grandparents:<br />

How do we have serious or difficult<br />

conversations when we see things differently?<br />

What would be an issue that I<br />

would feel compelled to discuss? What<br />

are the important points of parenting<br />

that I would want to share? If I see or<br />

hear something that concerns me, what<br />

is my belief? What is important about<br />

this issue? What is the need or value that<br />

it represents?<br />

A recipe for bringing things up:<br />

Choose a time to talk when there are<br />

no distractions or children present.<br />

Ask permission. Would you be comfortable<br />

with me stating a concern?<br />

Stick to the facts, not what you think<br />

but what you can specifically observe.<br />

When I hear or see __________. And state<br />

what need or value you are concerned<br />

about.<br />

Watch your body language. Your adult<br />

child may be exhausted, uncertain and<br />

already riddled with feelings of guilt.<br />

Have a soft face and a gentle tone.<br />

If the statement doesn’t land, stop talking.<br />

Go slow so that you have time to feel<br />

things out and to listen to the response.<br />

Get curious.<br />

If what you say is making sense and<br />

well received express gratitude. I appreciate<br />

our ability to talk about these things.<br />

Remind your child that we learn as we<br />

go, and we are all doing our best.<br />

We tend to repeat what we learned in<br />

our own families growing up when it<br />

comes to boundaries. If we are fortunate,<br />

healthy boundaries come easily. If the<br />

boundaries were blurred we may have<br />

some blind spots yet, we can educate ourselves<br />

and develop our awareness.<br />

As parents, we learn through our successes<br />

and failures. We don’t have all the<br />

answers up front. We gather knowledge<br />

day to day by looking back if something<br />

didn’t go well or if we are feeling guilty.<br />

Boundaries that matter usually represent<br />

respect for time, privacy, emotional and<br />

physical safety, people’s autonomy, and<br />

the need to belong and be loved.<br />

I remember very clearly, two times<br />

that my mother spoke up. Once, when my<br />

daughter was four and I was sick with<br />

the flu. My daughter was climbing all<br />

over me and not letting me sleep. I said<br />

something awful like, if you keep waking<br />

me up, I’m going to get sicker. With that,<br />

my mother spoke sternly and said, she<br />

doesn’t need that kind of responsibility for<br />

your health.<br />

The second incident came years later<br />

when she was in her late 80s. I started<br />

going to her apartment to clean it. I was<br />

on my knees cleaning her toilet bowl.<br />

Standing behind me, I heard her say, Dr.<br />

Rees! I can hire a cleaner, I just want you to<br />

be my daughter.<br />

With a loving connection, and healthy<br />

boundaries we can navigate those invisible<br />

lines. We can create what works for<br />

everyone and enjoy loving and being<br />

loved.<br />

Dr. Allison Rees is a parent educator,<br />

counsellor and coach at<br />

LIFE Seminars (Living in Families<br />

Effectively), lifeseminars.com<br />

6 <strong>GRAND</strong> grandmag.ca


TRavel to snowy forests, scorched savannaH and the darkest depths of the ocean,<br />

and meet animals all over the globe.<br />

BUY TICKETS AT<br />

imaxvictoria.com<br />

grandmag.ca<br />

<strong>Vol</strong>. <strong>VI</strong>, <strong>Ed</strong>. I 7


Gone are the days of rocking chairs and<br />

recliners. Today’s grandparents are more<br />

likely to be rock climbing or going for a run<br />

than they are to be rocking or reclining.<br />

<strong>Vol</strong>. <strong>VI</strong>, <strong>Ed</strong>. I<br />

RAND<br />

grandmag.ca<br />

We’re an active and diverse group—an engaged,<br />

evolving and powerful force. We’re<br />

mentors, nurturers, keepers of secrets.<br />

We’re caregivers, child care providers,<br />

dessert-before-dinner defenders. We’re<br />

historians, spiritual guides and the holders<br />

of family stories.<br />

<strong>GRAND</strong> celebrates who you are as a grandparent<br />

and who you are as an individual.<br />

You love spending time with your grandchildren<br />

and you’re happy in your other<br />

roles: at work, in the community and on<br />

your own. <strong>GRAND</strong> acknowledges that you<br />

are not “one or the other”—an “either/or”<br />

version of yourself—you are many different<br />

things to many different people. And to<br />

yourself.<br />

Thou Shalt!<br />

A Grandparent’s Guide to<br />

Doing Away with the Rules<br />

Jim Schneider Publisher<br />

publisher@islandparent.ca<br />

Sue Fast <strong>Ed</strong>itor<br />

editor@islandparent.ca<br />

Kristine Wickheim Account Manager<br />

kristine@islandparent.ca<br />

RaeLeigh Buchanan Account Manager<br />

raeleigh@islandparent.ca<br />

<strong>GRAND</strong>, published by Island Parent Group Enterprises Ltd., is a digital<br />

publication that honours and supports grandparents by providing<br />

information on resources and businesses for families and a forum<br />

for the exchange of ideas and opinions. Views expressed are not<br />

necessarily those of the publisher. No material herein may be<br />

reproduced without the permission of the publisher.<br />

518 Caselton Place, Victoria, BC V8Z 7Y5<br />

Grand Boundaries<br />

10 Baby Shower Gifts<br />

250-388-6905 grandmag.ca<br />

A proud member of<br />

BC<br />

With an Island perspective that speaks<br />

to an international readership, <strong>GRAND</strong> is<br />

the source for on-the-go grandparents of<br />

up-to-the-minute and thought-provoking<br />

information and ideas—on everything from<br />

having fun, staying fit and things to do to<br />

travel, leisure, health and technology. Think<br />

of <strong>GRAND</strong> as a trusted friend who happily<br />

shares those “senior moments” (in the<br />

best sense of the words!) and keeps you<br />

informed and connected to the issues and<br />

ideas that really matter. After reading an<br />

issue of <strong>GRAND</strong>, you should feel inspired,<br />

up-to-date and informed.<br />

We’re here for you: from helping you<br />

figure out where you fit in to tackling your<br />

most perplexing questions, sharing your<br />

greatest discoveries and celebrating your<br />

deepest joys.<br />

<strong>GRAND</strong> features articles on topics ranging<br />

from the importance of storytelling,<br />

cooking with your grandkids and community<br />

superheroes, to photographing your<br />

grandkids, gift-giving and grandparenting<br />

from afar. There are ideas and inspiration<br />

to help keep you in-the-know and connected,<br />

there’s a guide to investing in your<br />

grandchildren’s future and there’s tech<br />

support that will help you face your fears<br />

and embrace the cloud.<br />

<strong>GRAND</strong> is as diverse and engaged as you<br />

are. Together, we’re a powerful and positive<br />

force—in our grandchildren’s lives and<br />

in our communities.<br />

8 <strong>GRAND</strong> grandmag.ca


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grandmag.ca<br />

<strong>Vol</strong>. <strong>VI</strong>, <strong>Ed</strong>. I 9

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