An interview with the grandparents

Wally V is blessed with a Fab 4 of grandparents, and both Wally and I are so glad for the support we know we’ll have from them. I asked them a few questions for the record, and below you’ll see their responses! Below I’ll be referring to my parents as Mom and Dad, and Wally’s parents as MomOtt and Coach, as that’s what I call them. Without further ado:

It’s weird to me that at some point you all had your first baby on the way and didn’t know what to expect. What do you remember most as your biggest fears and hopes of that time?

MomOtt: Because Wally was not a planned pregnancy, one of my biggest fears was that I would not be a good or ready mother. I think that is why God gave me a baby that followed all the rules down to sleeping through the night at 1 month, to nursing exactly as the books said he should. I hoped he would “feel the love” of his big family  around him and pass that on to others. I prayed he would know how much Jesus loved him.

Mom: When we found out I was pregnant with Joe, we had just moved into our new house and taken on a huge mortgage payment ($482.78).  We were so worried about our finances since I was going to stay at home.  We were excited about the baby, but worried about money!

Coach: I was afraid I’d have a little boy that would pee on the side of the house with the neighbor girl watching his antics and I was afraid I’d have a little girl that would cry for 6 months straight. I hoped (and prayed) they would be filled with God’s spirit and bloom like two of God’s perfect flowers. (Still blooming but they are beautiful.)

What’s your best memory about the first few years of raising your firstborn?

Dad: 1. Watching Joey progress from rolling over to sitting up to scooting around the house on his butt in order to get around. Then finally at the age of 4, he took his first step.
2. Watching him learn to talk. His first word was ball, I think.

MomOtt: I remember how much both sets of grandparents doted on him because he was either their first (grandma and grandpa ott’s) or the first grandchild around all the time (Donno and Bops.) I remember him graduating from diapers to underoos and wanting to prance around in his spiderman underoos and cowboy hat. I remember his tender heart and how upset he would get when his baby sister would cry (which as you know was constantly for 6 months).

Coach: Many memories. I loved how they held your hand when walking somewhere. I loved when we played water games in a pool and Jane clung to me like I was a “Rock of Gibraltar” and squealed with joy as we splashed and attacked her brother and cousins. (She was very much anti-touchy feely and this was one of the few times I could hold her.)

Mom: Since Joey was our firstborn and the first grandchild and great grandchild, the whole family loved every new thing he did. I think Aunt Sara took more pictures than I did (imagine that!). My favorite memories are of taking Joe over to Mama D’s. She had had a stroke and didn’t get around too good. We would go out to lunch once a week and just drive around in the car.  Mama D even watched him for an hour while I went to the store. It meant so much to her. The funniest memory was on Joe’s 2nd birthday when Mama D smashed his face into his cake while he was licking the icing. Not so funny at the time, but hilarious now.

MomOtt and Coach, Wally V! You said all along no pressure for a boy, but how does it feel now to know the name will live on?

MomOtt: You know how I feel about the name Wally, but am glad for Coach, Grandma, and Wally IV that it is happening.

Coach: I really would not have been bothered if Walter 5 didn’t happen, but it is kind of a cool thing and it is made more coolamundo because of the name Walter. If it was just James or John or Joe (sorry Joes) it would lose a lot of the coolocity. But Walter is kind of retro, geekish, unique, and yet honorable. I only wish Walter Jr. was still around to meet Walter V. I would love to have a picture of the four Walters sitting on the beach.

What qualities of each parent do you think little Wally V will have?

Coach: Assuming you mean qualities means a good thing, I think Smal Wal will have a kind gentle spirit like his parents.I think he will have a curious nature about God’s creation and I think he will have his mother’s good looks.

Dad: Mollie’s coordination and athletic ability.
Wally’s brains and ability to copy-edit my answers.
Oh wait!
No, that’s not right.

MomOtt: I hope Wally V will have Mollie’s upbeat, positive outlook on life. I know he will have Mollie’s laugh and hope he has her desire to read. Because of the previous Walters, I’m guessing he will have Wally’s athletisism and probably be artistic in some way. I hope he has Wally’s gentle spirit. I know he will be very kind and loving because of the example set by you both.

What do you want to be called by Wally V, and why?

Mom: I think Wally V should call me Mama D. It would honor my Mama D.

Coach: I think each little one is so different and they will come up with whatever name they think of or are physically able to vocalize (for example Donno and Guy), so I don’t have too much say in the matter. But, although it seems a little boring, a traditional “Grandpa” gives me a feeling of respect and honor and yet it sounds so loving.

MomOtt: I DON’T want to be called Schmoopie!  I agree with dad (coach). I’ll let Wally V, or possibly Grady, decide what to call me. I just want to see him enough so that he knows me!

Mom and Dad, First grandbaby! What do you expect you’ll enjoy most about being a grandparent?

Dad: I have no idea but every one that has been there tells me every part is great.

Mom: I will love everything about being a grandmother! I just hope you’ll let me know if I’m hovering too much. I can’t wait to watch him one day a week — are you sure you don’t have to go into the office so I can have him to myself???

MomOtt and Coach, With the arrival of Grady on June 3, you are now experienced grandparents. What have you liked the best about the experience?

MomOtt: I’ve liked EVERYTHING about being a grandma to Grady. I look forward to Janie asking me to babysit him. I love his smile, pouty face, and serious look. I love when he talks and when he is asleep on my chest. I love watching him look around at this great big scary world and see the comfort in his face when he spots his momma. I love how Joel props him on the couch next to him (under his arm) to watch sports.

Coach: We get to see the little “Birdman”quite a bit and I am amazed at how much he changes physically and personality wise each time we see him and that is just so much fun to watch. I love to watch his eyes follow his Mom everywhere she goes. I love to see that smile come a little easier. I love to watch him talk and move his mouth around making new sounds.

So is being grandparents what you expected, or much different?

Coach: Being new Grandparents is something that is so much experienced and felt, and experiences and feelings are hard things to expect. You just feel these emotions and you love that little guy. So I guess in a way it was nothing I really expected.

MomOtt: Being a grandparent is everything I expected and more. When Grady was first put in Jane’s arms at the hospital, she looked up at me with tears in her eyes and said, “Oh I love him sooooo much already.” My feeling exactly.

What’s your top piece of advice for the new parents?

MomOtt: Just love him and do what comes naturally. God will take care of the rest.

Coach: If you can’t keep up with the instruction manual then just keep pointing him in the right direction and shower him with encouragement and love.

Mom: Love him to pieces (which I know both of you will); and enjoy every minute. You won’t believe how fast the baby time will fly by.

Dad: Work together to raise him with love. You guys already know that though.

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4 Responses to “An interview with the grandparents”


  1. 1 Danielle September 26, 2009 at 9:31 pm

    Mollie, what a fabulous idea. Again one more piece for you and the little guy to treasure as he grows up. Not only is he going to have amazing parents, but four grandparents to love him like crazy!

  2. 2 Deb September 27, 2009 at 7:26 pm

    AWW! All the answers made me smile and cry at the same time.

  3. 3 gloria September 28, 2009 at 10:58 am

    “Work together to raise him with love.” Very sweet.

  4. 4 Kendra September 29, 2009 at 10:22 pm

    Mollie- Your dad seriously cracks me up! What a beautiful memory you’ve made for your sweet little one already.


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