Recently my daughter called and asked if I could come to Charleston and keep her 4 year old and almost 2 year old for the weekend. I said, “of course”, hung up the phone and thought, oh my God, how in the hell can I do this. Gary had other commitments which meant I was going into this battle field alone. Not a job for this grandmother with these tenacious grandkids! This job requires a very limited amount of wine and sleep. (the two things I love as much as these kids…Sort of a Sophie’s choice, if you will) As I was trying to build up the courage to do this I was thinking how in the world will I be able to keep these little critters happy for an entire weekend? This overwhelming challenge was haunting me. Finally it dawned on me…the awful truth… I am going to give them what ever they want! For 3 whole days! When they ask, the answer will be yes, problem solved. I can do this!
I thought parenting was tough, but this Grand parenting thing is painful! You see your kids are going to love you even if you screw a few things up…like them for example. Screwing up as a grandparent is frowned upon, and is usually corrected as soon as the life alterring mistake occurs. ( Lollipop’s before breakfast…Is this wrong? Who knew?)
All that children need when they are young is attention. Little ones just want to know, “why”. Why do I have a belly button? Why do I have to drink milk? Why does Gracy (my grandma name) drink “juice” at bed time? Then all of a sudden you have a teenager and the magic happens! All they want is to be left alone! At last! Just stay as far away as possible and, with out question, DO NOT ask them any questions. Pretty nice actually, even the shrinks will tell you not to hang out with them! You are not their “friend”! So like… you know…like I’m kinda like soooo okay with that…like ya know…just saying.
Well the next thing you know they are grown, and lo and behold, you are your kids friend. They LOVE to hang out, drink your “juice”, and most of all, LET you keep their kids. They call, and you hear yourself saying something insane like, “of course I can”, and you have no idea why. Then you realize you are afraid. Afraid that these little people won’t absolutely adore you like a rock star for the rest of your life! Let’s be honest, we want them to jump up and down, clap their sweet little hands together and squeal to the top of their lungs the minute they lay eyes on us! This will certainly validate that you are the best! Therefore, what we are required to do, in order to earn this unattainable admiration, from these adorable little people, is to jump up and down, flapping our arms in the air, while squealing their names like they are mini rock stars. It works! IF, you give them what ever they want!