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First grand baby lived with me from birth to 10 months, then moved away

(21 Posts)
Nanny2020 Wed 20-Jan-21 14:31:04

My son and DIL and our first grand baby moved in with us soon after her birth at the start of Covid, They lived in a tiny condo in a place with high cases. We have a large separate space here where he could work from home and it all worked out so well. We got along wonderfully and I , having just retired got to help mom with her every day, whenever she wanted me. Believe me I know how lucky I was during Covid to have them here. Now, he took a new job and moved 2 hours away , we are under very strict lock down rules no travel and no contact outside your household. I’m so bonded to my GD and she to me, I miss her terribly, my house is so quiet and empty now. So I’m so sad here dealing with that. But yesterday she FaceTimed me , for the first time. Poor baby reached out to touch my face on the screen and looked so confused, she cried and cried and kept looking and turning away. We hung up and mom tried again, but the same response. I felt heartbroken, should we keep trying? She’s so young and doesn’t understand why nanny can’t hug and cuddle her . Will she forget me if we wait too long ?

Doodledog Wed 20-Jan-21 14:35:18

I'm so sorry, Nanny2020. Covid is so cruel.

I would keep trying. Your granddaughter will get used to the screen really quickly - little ones learn very fast, and take easily to technology. When she understands (in whatever way they do understand screens at that age grin ), it will be a great way of keeping in touch. Don't give up.

DillytheGardener Wed 20-Jan-21 14:37:42

Perhaps have something she can see? Maybe amazon her a stuffed animal and have the matching one for you so she can see you have the same special toy? I have done this with my GC in NZ

GagaJo Wed 20-Jan-21 14:39:33

Me too Nanna2020. I was at my grandson's birth and was with him until he was 2. I have been working away for 6 months now. He has gone through tears, anger with me, and now won't talk to me on Facetime. At Christmas, I was supposed to go home and couldn't because of covid, and he kept telling his mum he saw me. On a bus, by the shop, in a car. Broke my heart. Still does. I have tears in my eyes now, typing this.

Madgran77 Wed 20-Jan-21 14:53:30

That must have been hard. Keep going Nanny2020 because she will adapt to the "new you" on screen and learn that it is different. When facetiming maybe have a funny toy/hand puppet or something to make her laugh and distract her too. Make the puppet tickle you and things like that. And if you can get 2 puppets the same then send her one so that then she (with Mum's help!) can "play" with you with the puppets on Facetime. She will, even so young, quickly get the idea of the two puppets being/looking the same. Another idea is music, singing, etc ... clapping ryhmes and other movements that she can copy etc.

The point is that instead of her thinking about not being able to touch you she will be caught up in playing with you. Good luck flowers

Madgran77 Wed 20-Jan-21 14:55:03

Gagajo The puppet idea might work for you too Send him a puppet and a letter to be read to him telling him that the puppets twin will be on Facetime with Nanny and wants to say Hello....??

Madgran77 Wed 20-Jan-21 14:55:59

Sorry *Dilly missed your post before I wrote mine...similar idea. Glad it worked for you with your NZ grandchildren

SueDonim Wed 20-Jan-21 15:15:47

I’d set it up as you FTing with your son or DIL, with the baby on their lap, so that it isn’t all focused on her, it’s more part of a natural conversation and you can chat to her within that. It then becomes a normal part of life.

They do adjust to it - my own youngest GD now presses the off button with no warning when she’s had enough of us! grin

Nanny2020 Wed 20-Jan-21 15:39:50

Oh no!! That’s heartbreaking it must be so hard 😢 He’s so little and confused . So many tears

Nanny2020 Wed 20-Jan-21 15:40:28

Was replying to GagaJo

Nanny2020 Wed 20-Jan-21 15:41:25

Good idea for the puppets I’m going to order some right now !

GagaJo Wed 20-Jan-21 16:31:47

Thanks Nanny2020, I know you understand! Poor little babas', losing their much loved Grannies.

Hithere Wed 20-Jan-21 16:51:11

Your gc will adjust to the new circumstances really fast.

Of course she won't forget you!

Fennel Wed 20-Jan-21 18:28:23

Nanny I can imagine that both you and the baby built up a close bond in those early days. The separation must be very painful.
My experience didn't last so long, but still created a close bond.
Eldest son and his wife were living in Kuwait when she had our first grandson. Their live-in help had to go back to India because of a family bereavement, and they had to go back to work, so asked me to fly over and look after him for a few weeks. He was only 4 weeks old at the time.
Of course I agreed but was very nervous. It was a wonderful experience and the bond is still there, after 18 years.

GagaJo Wed 20-Jan-21 18:59:30

I heard one of my 18 year old students talking to his abuela this afternoon on the phone in tones of great affection. I hope my DGS wants to talk to me that way in 16 years time.

Fennel Wed 20-Jan-21 19:11:52

@ GagaJo smile.

Madgran77 Wed 20-Jan-21 19:19:44

Nanny 2020 Let us know how it goes! smile

Nansnet Thu 21-Jan-21 06:24:13

Nanny2020, keep trying. My little GD, who lives overseas, and who we visited often, was just a year old when all this happened, so we've had to spend the last year being content with video calls. Very strange at first, as she couldn't understand, but over the past year she has become very interactive with us on a mobile phone!

It helped that mummy & daddy would FaceTime each other when one of them was out shopping, so she soon got the hang of seeing them on the phone, and, in turn, got used to seeing us on the phone too. You won't get much interaction at such a young age, but even just saying 'Hi', and blowing kisses, will build on your relationship. Don't worry, your GC is not going to forget you, just have regular video calls, and be thankful that you can still see your GC, albeit on a phone! We will get through this eventually, and we can look forward to making up for all the missed kisses and cuddles!

Nanny2020 Sun 24-Jan-21 04:03:21

Thank you for all your thoughtful replies.. it’s so nice to know I’m not alone .. both my son and DIL are hesitant to try faceTime again soon, they want to wait a bit .. I asked them to at least show her pictures of me and see how she reacts to that ..

Jackie12 Sun 14-Feb-21 15:31:25

I feel your pain. My daughter's moving 4 hrs away in a fortnights time too.
You can still Skype etc. You won't be forgotten. The end of covid seems a long way away for us but it'll be over in the blink of an eye for them. So, you'll be able to meet up and visit soon enough. Use this time to concentrate on you.
Take care.

grannyactivist Sun 14-Feb-21 16:03:51

My youngest grandchild was ten months when I became very ill and by the time I had recovered I went straight into lockdown, so a very similar situation.

Her mum and dad started to FaceTime me when she was having her evening bath and that's worked very well. She was busy playing and I chatted to her and to my son and daughter-in-law so it wasn't an 'artificial' situation. Now we FaceTime at other times as well and she likes to play games with her dad and we 'join in'.

One day recently she insisted that her dad must phone her grandad (it was 7.30 am) and refused to go into nursery until she had spoken to my husband. grin

So try not to be too disheartened Nanny2020 your little one will very quickly get used to new ways of interacting with you - I love the 'puppet' idea, which I think could be very helpful. I have a five year old granddaughter who lives on the other side of the world, but we are very close and I sometimes think I 'see' her more often than if she lived around the corner. (Technology is wonderful!)