A grandma’s bittersweet relief from isolation: Watching my grandson’s first steps over and over and over again

SNEED: I wasn’t able to see the magic Magnus walking in person, but a video shot of the moment it happened is now part of my bedtime relief during this unprecedented pandemic.

SHARE A grandma’s bittersweet relief from isolation: Watching my grandson’s first steps over and over and over again

Sneed’s grandson, Magnus.

Provided photo

Ah, isolation. 

One step at a time.

A semi-retired Sneed, who falls into the COVID-19 killer category, has been playing it safe while the pandemic clock unwinds.

But I missed a few steps along the way. Baby steps.

In the midst of this coronavirus-induced madness, a very splendid baby stood upright. 

My only grandchild, the Mighty Magnus — now 14 months old — walked. And grandma wasn’t there to see it.

At my age, 76, it was a last chance sort of feeling. An Easter visit had been canceled fearing Magnus might prove a deadly magnet to an elderly me. 

It’s hard to think of myself that way. But too true.

So now I have a new happy bedtime routine: watching a video taken by my son, Patrick, of the moment the magic Magnus walked to his mother, Becca, for the first time.

And so it goes. 


Sneed’s grandson, Magnus, takes his first steps to his mother, Becca.

Provided photo

As a child, I experienced the polio epidemic and practiced the “duck and cover” drill under my third-grade desk while picking my nose during the Cold War in the 1950s. 

Now the world is topsy-turvy again.

Isolation has forged new crazy routines.

My strength-training regimen now consists of surfing channels; phoning three sisters who live far away; texting friends; Zooming buddies; reorganizing old files, and ordering pastries and fresh bread from Three Tarts bakery. 

Cinnamon scones and apricot rugelach today? Why not. 

In addition to feeding two dogs, petting two dogs, talking to two dogs, I’m now convincing myself I have two vicious guard dogs who now attempt to assault any critter that appears on my TV screen.

It’s hilarious.

Finding time to iron clothes, wash clothes, change bedsheets, match socks, wash dishes, sanitize counters, vacuum carpets, polish furniture, chase doggie dust bunnies, spritz plants, and dust floors — all with a frozen knee — is no problem now.

Did I mention my second knee replacement is stiff as a corpse in an ice house?

By the way. I fibbed. I have yet to meet my ironing board.

I have also found time to focus on my health.

In the midst of exhausting housekeeping madness, time has been segregated for biweekly phone calls updating my doctor on my latest COVID-19 symptom.

“No,” he gently states. “You don’t qualify for the COVID-19 test.” 

“Vodka instead?” I ask.

“Good idea,” the doctor chirps.

As a person of age caught in the coronavirus gunsight, I am not one of those people guilty of hoarding toilet paper and disinfectants.

I just happen to always possess a ton of toilet paper. 

And please note: Disinfectants in my fussy ZIP code have been a missing commodity on our grocery shelves for the past five weeks.

And there are new residents in my ICEBOX! Canned whole peaches in thick syrup; milk, half and half, cream, four dozen eggs, and Chinese sauces! What’s that all about? Lettuce now has time to wilt.

And my TV time has a new life of its own. Fox News is a hoot! 

Watching President Donald Trump lie, imply, implode, explode and explain until I’m in pain is excruciating, but watching the good guys giving it up and paying it upfront for the health care workers and police and firefighters is inspirational. 

Now simply being able to watch the spring migration of birds from my back porch mitigates the danger of a virus lurking outside my door.

But missing those first baby steps was hard.

Sneedlings . . .

Pew news: Cardinal Blase Cupich’s appointment of Kellogg School of Management dean Sally Blount as chief executive of Catholic Charities not only makes her the first lay person to lead the 103-year-old charity, but is in keeping with Cupich’s tradition of appointing women to top Archdiocesan jobs. . . . Restaurateur Phil Stefani, who has been delivering free homemade food to the city’s health care workers in his Flamingo mini bus, just delivered homemade ravioli and sauce to 600 firefighters as part of his plan to service food to 3,400 firefighters at 96 firehouses. . . . Saturday’s birthdays: Al Pacino, 80; Tim Duncan, 44; and Len Goodman, 76. . . . Sunday’s birthdays: Melania Trump, 50; Aaron Judge, 28; and Carol Burnett, 87. 

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