Thursday, February 1, 2018

To Love is To Enjoy

I took one and a half weeks off for myself, and I drove four hours with my wife to see 9-month-old granddaughter. The little girl saw the grandmother took the initiative gesture to flutter to the grandmother's arms immediately, but when met me , this old man, she was scared to cry. Tried my love, this little girl still did not want me to hold her. She started to recognize people now! This kid is really interesting. Although she wants her parents' hugs, my wife's  hug, but insists to not like me to hold her. However, I still feel that I am enjoying every minute when I am with this little darling. 
       The experience with my family from these few days made me truly understand what the Bible says: "Love does not envy ". When you truly love someone, you do not care if she will give something in return. Your love is the joy and enjoyment of your own pleasure. The world is often not aware of this truth. To remember the fault of others, do not forgive people, hate people, in fact, these thoughts only increase negative feelings and add burdens to yourself. It is a suffering. God lets you meet many people throughout your life. How much happiness you can add to your life if you can learn from each person, see the good part of them, and enjoy the friendship and communication.
       I quote here the Bible, not because try to be an old man with religiosity, but the biblical story once again pointed out to people what is the symbolism of ideal love: God sent His Son to love the world, the world crucified His son ... but God still loves this world. I love my grandchild, I do not care about her childish behavior. Because the choice of a child is from the most primitive emotion , whereas my love for her is a grandparent's love. My love for my family is out of reason.
       In our daily life, as an adult, we also use reason to guide our behavior. Angry or crazy love is a naive behavior! Believing in God can not be superstitious. I suggest that when we read the Bible, we should relate the examples in our own life to reach a true understanding of what the Father, Jesus and the Holy Spirit are symbolizing for, and how they are connected. 
       Ha, let me try again, to see if the  little girl is willing to accept my love now. 

Daniel Nie, M.A., M.F.A.
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DanNie Studio  704-574-1815


Monday, October 23, 2017

Babysitting Tip: Carpe diem / Shao-shao-ya

Date:  10/17/17
Baby's name: BabyE (4.5 months old)
Grandfather: PapaNie, the babysitter of the day.

(The following journal was recorded by PapaNie at the real time.)

7:30am, my daughter fed the baby then went work.

Today, the baby is left for me and my wife. I am the babysitter for today. I am going to use present tense to record this one day adventure. So here it goes:

7:30 to 8:00am:
I am PapaNie and this is my granddaughter BabyE. Hi,  I am holding the baby walking around the house, talking to her, telling her what I see around the house: "See? This is a photo of your parents... These are new flowers in the red vase that your mom got from her friends... Oh, here is the laundry room... see? your mother did not have time to wash the clothes... now, let's go to the living room ... Wow, the room is neat and clean... Your mom is a good house keeper, isn't she?"
BabyE seems like this big touring of her house. She did not make a any noise in my arm but watches item to item with her big eyes, as if she is really interested. 


8:00 to 9:00am:
We (my wife and I) is ready to dress up the baby to have a "fashion show." From when she was born, BabyE has been always very photogenic. Don't you think she is a natural little model?



9:00 to 9:30am:
I am reading poetries and singing songs to the baby, and we are sitting on a sofa side by side , but she is still too young to sit for long, so in this case I am letting her sit on my lap and lean her back on me while I am holding her. I realize that the best music to her ears is human voice. I speak to her constantly, she replies occasionally with making some baby babbling.
Now, we are playing the ear touching game: This is papa's right ear, this is baby's left ear , this is papa's right ear ..... After a while, the baby responses with closing her one eye and/or opening her mouth to the side of her ear I am about to touch. I think this is a really good game for developing her sides of the brain. The baby seems fully aware and can respond to my touching and teasing. 

9:30 to 9:45am:
This  is the feeding time again, I let the baby drink as much milk / formula as she wants until she is full. That part has finished without breaking a sweat. Now, I am holding her straight up for Burping. This is done. Now,  it is the best time to take a morning nap. The baby has fed, burping is done, diaper has been changed,  but the baby just wants to cry. I was told "Baby crying is good for her lungs. " Her crying is for no reason other than a sign of that she needs to take a nap...Yes, it's time to take a nap.

9:45 to 11:30am:
The baby is sleeping. How to make the baby to fall sleep fast? I place her in a portable car seat.  Practically,   it is a baby rocking chair.  First, she was mad  after I put her in the seat, but when I started to rock the chair she started to get sleepy. The trick is to raise the seat cover and to add a blanket on the top to block the light.  A dim lighting environment,  rhythm sound of rocking chair  plus my humming of a children's  sound, all of these,  helped the baby falling to sleep fast. 
This more than one hour napping time is my opportunity to check emails and taking care of my business including getting some housework done. What a plan!


The baby wakes up. This is the time for a "mind and body work" -- First,. I put the play mat on the floor,  now she is in a belly side down position, this position encourages her to raise her head therefore to strengthen her neck muscles. I roll on the floor with her so that is playful to both of us. This position also let her to exercise "back kicking." Thanks to the musical kicking piano board at the end of her floor mat, her each kick makes different music. 
As we know that a baby often has very short attention span. After BabyE plays 15 minutes, she gets bored and starts to be fussy.

Now, it is the time to switch to another exercise. This time, I place her is an electrical operated rocking crib. This small rocking crib not only rocks gently but plays repeatedly different types of music, some are slow some are fast. When the slow music comes, I do tai chi, when the disco music play I do aerobic, as you can see that I am getting exercised! A very interesting thing I find is that while the baby watches me doing these "crazy movements,"  she starts to imitate me, doing her own kicking movements in her rocking crib! She gets very excited time to time. Wow, she and I both get plenty workout.
Yes, we repeated these 2 exercises every 15 minutes from 11:00am to 12:00pm. 
Now it is her lunch time. (I'm feeding her)



Now it is the time to do the burping and to take another nap.

12:15 to 1:45pm
BabyE is taking a nap now. I am taking care of my own paper work, etc.

BabyE has waked up. She wakes up with a smile (not crying).
I am wondering if it's the time to change her diaper; well, let me call my wife and let her to do that part. We are planning to get ready to take walk in the neighborhood.
The baby loves to go out, as I know.

Thank God, the baby's mother is home! My daughter comes back early today.
I hand the baby to her mother.


(End of the journal)

I was prepared to be willing to go through all those above routines again, if I had to babysit until the dusk.

Well, that was a special day of spending a "quality time" with my 4.5 moths granddaughter. I haven't  done any babysitting since my daughter was a little girl. How did I do? Have I offered you any babysitting tips? Babysitting is a hard job. In the end of the day, you just have to tell the baby and yourself: Shao-shao-ya!(Smile, in Shanghai dialect ).



Tuesday, March 21, 2017

“The Grandbaby Business”

Knitting and crocheting are what my wife is doing these days. Why? We are expecting a baby. Don’t be too quick to assume! Actually, we are expecting a grandbaby girl!
I have granted myself a new title: PapaNie. How do you like it? “Pa-pa-nee” in Chinese means “giving someone a pat.” It is a common Chinese expression meaning that you care for someone. Yes, I do care about the life of my children and my future grandchild.
In this challenging world, young people’s lives may be tough; however, with our love, encouragement, and care, they can make it in America. A brighter tomorrow is yet to come.
You may wonder how I got the name, “The Grandbaby Business.” Well, a friend of mine mentioned it to me when he and his wife announced their retirement. They said they were going to start a new chapter in life called “the grandbaby business.”
At first I thought they were going to open a retail business in children’s clothing. But I soon found out that what they meant was devoting their retirement years to raising an excellent grandchild. It was more a philosophy than just an activity.
You’ve probably heard the saying, “It takes a village to raise a child.” Do not get me wrong—I am not preaching socialism here—but I do think it takes an entire family to raise a child. That includes not just the parents, but the grandparents, as well.
Since I will become a grandpa soon, I’ve asked myself what is a grandparent’s duty? Is it buying toys for the little one, or taking her out for ice cream and movies?
The answer may include those things, but I think the most important duty as a grandparent is to give guidance and wisdom to the child. I would like to think that my grandchild will see me as one who gives her wisdom; who gives her gifts that are not just sweet, but meaningful.

What will be my first gift to the child? It must be a meaningful one!

By chance, I found an old crib that belonged to my niece, who will be the aunt of my grandchild. I think this crib will be more meaningful than a new one. Why? Because this crib has a history that involves another young lady. I want my granddaughter to see from the very beginning the whole picture of life.
The little old crib represents a picture of the past, present, and future, educating the little girl in both the history of the bed and the person of her young aunt, who has present and future dreams. By contrast, a brand new crib could be nice, but it would not tell a story like the old crib will.
As a grandpa, my job will be to take every opportunity to inspire this young mind, regardless of what we might be doing—whether playing, eating, or reading. What a fun, meaningful, and challenging job this grandbaby business will be.
My wife and I are looking forward to our first granddaughter! From time to time I will share our grandparenting adventures with you, so please stay tuned. I will shoot my blogs from PapaNie —The Grandbaby Business.

March, 2017