Carrying a baby around on your hip is fine when you’re a young mother. It’s a classic maneuver, convenient and comfortable for you and the kid.
But when you’re a grandmother of a certain age, hip-hauling a baby can be hazardous.
Especially when said baby is actually a 20-pound toddler and you’re carrying her through a throng of revelers at a Christmas tree-lighting ceremony, where you can’t safely put her down to toddle for at least an hour, and of course you forgot the stroller.
As your hip aches the next day and for many days after you may have to face the brutal fact that you’re not as young as you think you are. As Shakira says, “Hips Don’t Lie.”
When I’ve thrown my hip out yet again (mopping the floor will do it, too, which I think is an excellent reason for me to retire my mop) I rely on the aptly-named yoga pose “Happy Baby.” This has got to be the most undignified exercise ever, and that’s saying a lot when you consider how other yoga poses look.
But Happy Baby works like a charm – not just for my hips, but for my lower back as well.
In fact, ever since I started caring for my granddaughter on a regular basis I’ve been forced to create – and stick to – a morning exercise routine. It’s a simple matter of self-defense – grandkids can be murder on your joints.
I don’t dare skip my morning stretches: I used to stretch for fun but now I stretch for survival. Daily stretches are that only way I’ve got any hope of getting back up when I go down on my haunches to play with the baby.
In addition to Happy Baby, every morning I try to do a modified Sun Salutation (it looks a little like this, but I don’t do it nearly as well), a gentle back bend and my favorite stretch, Child’s Pose, which is great for my knees. For a while, I toyed with adding the FiveTibetan Rites, which are much like yoga, but I haven’t really gotten into those yet. The first rite, which I call the Spinner (you turn in a circle) makes me dizzy. I guess it’s tougher than it looks to be a whirling dervish.
What about you? I’d like to hear from other grandparents of small children about how you stay flexible. Do you have any tips for keeping in shape for your grandkids?
And now, here’s our gal Shakira with some musical inspiration to help us keep our hips and other joints moving smoothly:
Images courtesy of Wikimedia Commons and Pixabay