It is common knowledge that when a baby is born, the mother feels abandoned. For nine months she received an endless amount of attention from her husband, from doctors, from family. But the minute the baby comes out of her belly, all eyes turn towards the baby…

It is also common knowledge that when a baby is born, the father feels abandoned. The new mother is focused totally on the baby.

And what about the grandmother, the new “babushka”? Ten seconds after her first grandchild is born, my wife becomes the matron of the tribe. She takes command, she is full of energy, she is efficient. She becomes the oracle that transmits the accumulated female knowledge of a thousand generations.

In our complex family, where we have my children, her children and our children, things are… complex.

So what about the grand-stepfather, the grandfather-in-law?

I feel not only abandoned, I feel totally forgotten. I’ve moved way down in the hierarchy… right after the grandchild, the parents, the other children, the other grandparents, uncles, aunts, friends…

All of that I expected, of course.

But strangest of all was the first night when I, a three-times grandfather, found myself for the first time in bed with a grandmother…

babushka