Friday, November 14, 2014
Twelve Good Things About Being A Grandparent
After talking to several of my friends who had already been initiated into the ranks of being a grandparent, new worries arose. What if my daughter had the same difficulty adjusting to the drastic changes brought on by new motherhood that I once experienced? What if my grandchild was colicky and inconsolable at all hours of the day and night? Even worse---what if I was unable to bond with my grand baby?
Fortunately, my fears were assuaged once my granddaughter was born. She was a healthy, happy baby, and my daughter eased naturally into her new role as a mother. And I couldn't have been any prouder of the patient, confident parent that she became.
Despite a few fevers, tantrums and troublesome teething episodes over the years, I think I've gotten the hang of grandparenting. Now that my granddaughter is approaching her third birthday, I've had time to reflect on my relationship with her and the advantages of being a grandparent:
1. You can load them up on homemade chocolate chip cookies after dinner, then send them home to their parents before the sugar kicks in.
2. You're allowed to teach your grandchild descriptive words such as "dingleberry" and "fartcake" without an ounce of guilt.
3. When the grandchild has a meltdown in the grocery store and thrashes around on the floor like someone in need of an exorcism, you can hand the whirling dervish over to the parents.
4. You'll have fun reading to your grandchildren all the old storybooks that you read to your own children... but this time you're allowed to tweak the tales: "There once was an old woman who lived in a shoe. She lost all her teeth and forgot how to chew."
5. When the grand baby gets sick, you don't have to be on barf patrol 24/7. This is a job for the parents…and the reason why speed dial was invented.
6. You don't have to buy your grandchildren boring things such as school supplies and uniforms. You can spend your money on entertaining toys such as Tom the Talking Cat, Wubble the Bubble Ball and My Little Pony. Bonus points for loud toys or ones that require assembly and have over 100 parts.
7. Any parent who talks incessantly about their precious offspring's accomplishments will receive plenty of eye rolls and cold shoulders. But as a grandparent, you're automatically allowed the bragging rights you were denied while raising your own children. "My two-year-old grandchild knows the Preamble to the Constitution by heart and can recite the Seven Deadly Sins…in fluent Russian…" No eye rolling, please.
8. You can embellish stories from your youth and your grandchild will believe every word. "When I was two, I learned how to skin a bull and make my own diapers out of his hide." No one needs to know that Grandpa grew up in the city and that the closest he ever came to a bull was a plate of Rocky Mountain Oysters.
9. If the grandkids don't finish their dinner at a restaurant, you have permission to eat their leftovers. "What? Grandma gave you too much milk and now you're full? Of course she can help you eat those extra chicken tenders and fries!"
10. You have the opportunity to pick and choose which recitals/ concerts/ sporting events you'd like to attend. Skip the three hour violin concert but don't miss the twenty River Dancing toddlers in Pull-Ups.
11. Grandparents have free license to act silly, play games and spoil their grandchildren without punishment or unsolicited advice. Because no one will put the grandparents in time-out.
12. You get to skip the whole potty training phase. If someone leaves a poop on the carpet, better check on the dog...or Grandpa.
My connection to my granddaughter is a bridge between the past and the future. When I look at her precious face, I see my own childhood mirrored in her eyes.
I'll never be too old to use sidewalk chalk, finger paints or play kick the can in the suburban streets of my youth.
And I'll never be too old for fairytales with happy endings.
***Want More Meno Mama? This week I'm up at Humor Outcasts talking about my husband's obsession with fire. You can read it here: http://humoroutcasts.com/2014/firebug/