As many of you know, we are expecting our first grandchild in a few weeks. Our daughter is at the slightly miserable stage with Baby Max either bouncing on her bladder or playing kickball between her ribs. Our son-in-law just walks around with a permanent deer-in-the-headlights look. I think they have just realized that they are soon going to have a baby. A real one. When I mentioned the deer-in-the-headlights look a couple of weeks ago, she confided in a half-whisper: “We don’t know what we’re doing.” I didn’t want to scare them, but they are right. We parents don’t know what we are doing. We don’t have the answers when we are walking the floors at 3 a.m. with a wailing infant who has been fed, changed, burped, rocked, and lullabied. We don’t know what we’re doing when we teach that very active toddler that no means no and hot means hot because he just keeps going back again and again. We must not know what we are doing when we make sure that vegetables are eaten before dessert and that fruit makes a better dessert than cookies because we get to hear plenty of complaining. There is no instruction book on how to soothe your child’s boo-boo the best way, be it a bumped head or a skinned knee or God forbid, something worse. Then come the tween and teen years when parents REALLY don’t have a clue. We insist that homework comes before the TV or computer and family comes before hanging out with friends and our rules are answered with a lot of eye-rolling and heavy dramatic sighs. We obviously need a lot of help because we send up silent prayers whenever they go on a date or attend their first prom, and each and every time they get behind the wheel of a car. Somehow, despite that fact that we didn’t know what we were doing, they grew up and became responsible adults. (Don’t panic here, folks. Some of them take longer than others.) The day they have children of their own is when something miraculous and magical happens. You become a grandparent. Grandparents, my friends, know everything. Just ask them. They know how to soothe a crying infant that has been fed, changed, burped, rocked, and lullabied. They can fix any and all boo-boos. They know how to stop a toddler from sticking his fingers in the electric sockets. They know that vegetables should be eaten before cookies, but they don’t necessarily follow that rule. When my daughter was small, she once angrily told me, “When I have kids of my own, I’m going to give them candy whenever they want!” I remember my answer very clearly: “No, I’ll be the one doing that because I’ll be the grandma!” I can hardly wait.