I am the caregiver during the day time for my now 5 month old granddaughter. I think in many ways this very personal relationship is keeping me sane. (More)

Midday Matinee is our people watching, people doing and people being feature. Join the Woodland Creatures for an afternoon break.

On Sunday, my son, his wife and their daughter left to drive to Iowa for her grandfather’s funeral. They came back Sunday night. I was at the grocery store. When I came into the living room Maddie was in her mother’s arms. I said hi to her and she giggled and beamed and stretched out her arms. I lit up inside and out.

I remember being taken with my son as a baby but this is different. I had a full time professional job and though he was an interesting kid and I loved him dearly, I couldn’t focus on him the way I can focus on her. This is truly a gift for me in the midst of the madness of our government meltdown. I wish every parent and every grandparent could have the luxury I have.

Day care costs for an infant run $1,500 a month. That means for people making $15 an hour they would have to work for 100 hours just to cover day care. This is so not doable for so many people. I was stunned by the price tag and I’m betting most people without young babies would be too. The idea of a living wage takes on new meaning when the cost of having a baby are included. That cost reflects a licensed child care center and not the many licensed home day care providers which are maybe $500/month cheaper.

I read to Maddie and I sing to her. I make up songs. Every day I sing, “It’s a happy Maddie xxxday, happy xxxday, happy Maddie.” She grins big time. I will say that when she is stressed I sing Kum-ba-ya and she calms right down. I sing “Hello Dolly” changed to “Hello Maddie” and she loves it. I have also sang, “We might have come here in different ships but we’re in the same boat now.” I am singing songs that mean something to me and hopefully arming her for the world she will grow up in.

I am trying to teach her to turn the page. Right now, she has a strong right hook and can knock the book out of my hands. We have a ways to go. She is almost to saying “moo” and has a very soft stuffed cow. She hugs and eats the cow.

I firmly believe that children our are future. Given the right wing agenda, I have to wonder what they believe.

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Credit: Adobe Stock Images. Standard License.