Saturday, April 14, 2007

An e-mail from my Aunt Glrr

I know I've mentioned my Aunt Glrr numerous times, as she is the one who graciously set up this site for me. And I'm pretty sure I told the story about how I gave her the nickname Glrr, but just in case, I'll provide a quick refresher: Apparently I was learning how to say the word "girl" and when I saw my aunt, I immediately pointed and screamed "GLRRRRR!" So I've called her "Aunt Glrr" ever since.

Anyway, as much as everyone says I am exactly like my mother, I have more than a lot in common with my aunt. And although there couldn't be two more strikingly different individuals on the planet, despite the fact that they shared the same womb, I like to think that I couldn't have two stronger female role models in my life. (Well, they're only trumped by their mother, my amazing, can't-capture-her-awesomeness-here-if-I-tried grandma. And I know they will both nod in agreement when they read this.)

Well, my aunt and I have been corresponding through e-mail the past few days, mostly her commiserating in my complete lack of knowledge and, therefore, absolute terror at the thought of having the task of not killing our baby with simple incompetence. And the e-mail I received this morning came with the perfect reassurance. It's a story I hadn't heard before about bringing my cousin Dietrich home from the hospital. And the reassuring part is that I know he survived. I see him at family gatherings and holidays.

I wrote back and asked her if I could share the e-mail, but I'm incredibly impatient and I want to share it NOW. So I'm just assuming that she'll be okay with it. So, without further explanation, here is the e-mail. Not only did I laugh out loud, but I can easily picture this being me in a few months.

When I see the Hummer-like baby strollers in the mall now, I think back to the flimsy little umbrella-style stroller that your mother used for you. That was all there was in those days!

You will always worry that you are "doing it wrong," because that's part of being a parent, but the kids will tell you, in one way or another, if you need to change tactics.

Be prepared for triumphant laughter from your mother when you tell your daughter she can't put posters on the wall of her bedroom.

Anyway, here's a little story from my first weeks as a mom. You were living across the street from us on Lake Road, and you called Dietrich "Baby Glrr."

The first day that Dietrich came home from the hospital, the furnace went out. Just what you want when you have a 3-day old baby. We got that fixed pretty fast -- amazing what people will do for a new baby.

Maybe two weeks later, I put some bottles on the stove to boil/sterilize (I was breast-feeding but also using some bottles to get him used to it). It suddenly became apparent that Dietrich needed changing, big-time. I took him upstairs to change and when I was just about done, I smelled something odd. I thought, "Damn it, the furnace is acting up again!" After another minute or so, I realized that the smell could _not_ be the furnace. I basically tossed Dietrich into his crib and ran down the stairs.

The pot I had been boiling, the bottles in it had boiled dry and was RED HOT. I mean GLOWING! This was a Pyrex dish -- and I know you have experience with them! I grabbed some oven mitts, planning to put the dish in the sink, but the minute the oven mitts touched the dish, they both burst into flames. Then I had no choice but to run out the back door and toss both the mitts and the dish in the snow bank, wherein the dish exploded!

So there I was standing behind the house, looking at a smoking hole in the snow as Dietrich is screaming his lungs out upstairs, and I thought, "Mom was right! I _AM_ going to manage to kill him before he's even a year old!"

But, as you know, he still lives. And I haven't set anything on fire or blown anything up since. Yet.

Take heart. You've got the most natural Mom in the world (yours) to model, and you've got me to tell you what NOT to do!


Thanks Glrr. I needed that.


Leslie said...

Haha, that's an awesome story! Your aunt seems very cool.

Julie said...

That was perfect.

And it made me want to kindle a relationship with my mom's two sisters.

Anonymous said...

"I have set anything on fire or blown anything up since yet." Those last two words combined make that sentence hilarious.

Amy said...

She seems great.
And her writing reminds me of you
she should sell advise for a living.

And she's right you will be fine
your instincts will kick in.

The Pyrex Plainsman said...

HA! Good old (still?) made in the USA Pyrex stuff is durable, but not THAT durable! Gloves bursting in flames! Hmmmm...sounds like a "taco shells in the toaster oven" story I read somewhere recently....Yes, you are related! LOL!

Every mom-to-be needs someone around like Aunt Glrr, besides her
own mom, of course!

Lioncloud said...

Those oven mitts _really, really did_ burst into flames! I swear!


Miriam said...

I laughed so hard when I read your Aunt Glrr's email. I imagine something very similar will happen to me when and if I have kids!

Janice said...

That's a really amazing story. I know that would help me in your situation... She seems like a great woman, you're lucky to know her :)

Bryan said...

just stopping by to say hello!

Shadowblogger (from xanga)

jsi said...

She sounds tremendous!

Emilee said...

Looks like you'll always have somewhere to go for good advice!

Corbow said...

It's a good thing Glrr lived where it snows. Here, it usually isn't raining hard enough to put out the fire and the Pyrex would have burned a hole in the concrete.

Ray said...

No one's perfect. I think that's what all parents fear, messing up their kid. But all you can do is the best you can, and listen to your heart. And also think about things from the opposite perspective. "If you were your kid, what would you expect from you?" That's how I see it, seeing as though I'm still fairly young (I'll be twenty in 13 days).

Take care, Kelly.

april said...

lesson # 1. take priorities, either bottles first or diapers.


your aunt is pretty cool. both of you write with wit and humor. :)

Tiffany said...

Sounds about right... I think all of our parents have made mistakes, but we're living :-) You'll be fine!

Kristin said...

What a great support to have. That's proably about the most perfect story to tell :)