Monday, 8 October 2012

Meeting Miss Charlotte

We went over to Manchester to meet Charlotte when she was 10 days old. 
Of course, Bill was completely enchanted. 
She has a crib in her parents' room and there are gadgets that tell the temperature of the room she's in and let her parents listen if she cries (also, for Helen to 'order' coffee from Martin downstairs).
She has a full wardrobe and chest of clothes, which we knew she would. With no idea of what to buy I picked up Amy Vanderbilt who suggested a silver teething dumbell. Bill found one at Reid and Sons (est 1778) in Newcastle, only it was a silver rattle with a mother-of-pearl handle. We were careful to explain to Helen that it was silver. She and Martin happily throw out whatever they don't like, so we suggested they at least list it on eBay if it didn't suit.
Charlotte looks to me to take after her mother and grandmother's hair colour, but Helen thinks she's more strawberry blonde.  Given that Charlotte was 8 lb and 22 inches with rather large feet, it would suggest she will be more the size of her 6'1" dad than her 4'11" mom.  Apparently the hospital initially recorded the weight wrongly and they had to get the records changed.  No idea how you go about accomplishing that.

That's an angelic face if I ever saw one.

I asked Helen what would happen if Charlotte is Martin-sized and turns out to be as bossy,  stubborn and hot tempered as people say she, Helen, is.  Not that I think she's that way at all, just one hears teasing comments from her brother and husband.  There may be a grain of truth, as that whole picture gave Helen pause!

Charlotte has a 'Moses basket' on a stand in the living room for when she's downstairs.  She sleeps most of the time, which is a bit boring, but I played with her tiny hands and feet anyhow.
I took most of these photos with Bill's new camera, bought for this purpose (or using this as an excuse).  I don't think I have a three generation photo; my Grandmother was practically allergic to cameras and threatened to break any she found pointed at her.   My Dad and his being professional photographers, one would think it would have occurred to them, but no.  Perhaps what they say about the cobbler's children's shoes and the plumber's faucet also applies to photographers?  Anyhow, Helen's maternal grandad is still living, so hopefully they will manage a four-generation photo.
Remember Daisy and Max?  They are cordoned off to the hard-floored surfaces in the kitchen and hallway and can't get into the living room or upstairs.  I'm sure Max could jump the baby gate if he really wanted to, but I think he knows better!
Yes, that's a shaven English Sheepdog with a pouffy top knot. I'm sure that constitutes animal cruelty to make him look so ... pouffy.
Martin hates having his photo taken but I notice he's a lot more cooperative now that Charlotte is here.  I think he realises that his daughter will want photos of him like this.  Martin kept talking about how much Charlotte liked watching football with him - she told him so.  He related any number of chats they'd already shared.  I suggested he not mention this when the health visitor came to visit, else the next knock on the door might be from social services.   It gives me the creeps, the idea of a health visitor coming to inspect the home of a new baby and all, but Helen seemed to take it in stride and had a pen and paper handy to jot down questions as they occurred to her. 
Helen is a Brownie leader and she knew her troop was anxious to see the baby and to give her their baby present.  The card was addressed to 'Helen and Mr Helen' which I thought was a riot.

Going to Brownies.

It was only after they got back that I got a chance to hold Charlotte; she was always either asleep or taken up by someone else.  Did I mention my hair isn't dark red anymore?  The journey back to blonde is slow, but it's been rather fun.
The other event was that Martin brought home a play gym for Charlotte, a floor mat with an arch holding several plastic swinging toys.  He and Bill couldn't wait to put it together even though we all knew fine well she's far too young for it.  I can see the future already:  Martin brings new toys in the front door as fast as Helen can throw them away out back...

I think this is one of my favourite photos.   Bill looks really happy here.  I tell you he was just beaming.  Even after we got home he was occasionally euphoric just thinking about Charlotte.   I hope she will grow up knowing how lucky she is to have such a nice Grandad.  

As for me?  I think I'm probably going to be known as the Evil Step-Granny.  But we'll see how it goes.


LR @ Magnificent or Egregious said...

What a sweetheart! You'll be passing on your love of books to Charlotte, I'm sure! Nice photos!

Rick Stone said...

Aw, granddaughters. They are a joy to behold. As previously stated, I've got five beautiful little girls that call me Grandpa and Joanne was a fantastic Grandma to them. All I can say is stay very involved in her life as she grows up and enjoy every minute of it.

Pauline Wiles said...

Aww, congratulations. What an exciting time ;)

Shelley said...

LR - I'm looking forward to seeing how all this new experience unfolds, that's for sure! As for books, that interest would have to come from me as neither of her parents are much into reading.

Rick - That sounds like excellent advice. I wish I'd had a chance to talk to Joanne more about her grandparenting experience.

Pauline - It is rather exciting. More than I ever thought it might be.

Susan Partlan said...

Aw, what a beautiful baby!