Twelve Nasty Things I Love About Being a Grandma

Posted on August 12, 2012

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Having regular babysitting time with our little grand-daughter has caused me to reflect upon some of the talents needed in child-minding, as well as some of the gross things that mothers have to handle on a daily basis. Motherhood is about the toughest job out there – but the most rewarding. When you “sign on” for the job, you have no idea how it’s going to change your life, or your perception of self.

New mothers are endowed with the superhuman features necessary for the child-rearing years like eyes in the back of their heads and antennae for detecting when a situation with their children becomes too quiet (beware the extended silence). Their retinas become focused slits capable of piercing glances towards husbands that offer lame excuses for not sharing the overnight shifts. A mother’s magical spit alone can clean mud off a dirty sneaker, peanut butter from a chin, tame flyaway hair, and heal minor scrapes and boo-boos. A mom’s stomach accepts any and all leftover and unwanted mealtime experiments, even when it looks like something from a preschool art project. It’s only after her kids are finally grown, that her saliva supply returns to normal. And when the next generation appears, that’s when the grandma gets to brush up on all that early stuff once again. That’s the phase I’m going through now.

In the last year and a half, there have been a few “reminders” of how wonderful having a little one around truly can be:

Toddler having lunch in highchair

Mealtime isn’t always smiles.

Toddler snacking in sofa

The usual crumbs left behind after play time snacking.

Toddler playing in sofa

Munchkin loves to hide in her sofa fortress.

  1. Trying to remove yogurt, sweet potato and cereal mush from baby’s hair, while trying to distract her with more food or toys.
  2. Discovering the bits of slimed, uneaten rice cakes or biscuits that the little munchkin has squirreled away under sofa cushions or in her toy bins.
  3. Coping with the never-ending (or does it just seem that way) game of drop toy/pick up toy.
  4. Trying to outsmart the little squirt when it comes to child-proofing an empty-nester home.
  5. Developing “rug-burned” knees and hands after umpteen trips up and down the carpeted staircase.
  6. Having the verses of “Thomas the Tank Engine” run through your brain when you’re trying to get to sleep at bedtime.
  7. Testing your gag reflex when dealing with one of those “hazardous waste dumps” (see item #11).
  8. Distracting the little smarty-pants while mom heads to work – and then dealing with the separation melt-down that can occur.
  9. Discovering the wee one’s rhythm of napping has changed (aka are you kidding about a nap, Grandma?) when you’ve had a dreadful night of insomnia the night before.
  10. Realizing just how uncoordinated you are when you have to re-adjust or move baby car seats – and how a four-passenger vehicle is suddenly now a three-passenger one with baby seating.
  11. Remembering the challenges of potty training (on so many levels).
  12. Realizing you still you don’t have all the answers when it comes to parenting.

I remember how exhausting it was with our babies, especially in those early years. That part of parenting hasn’t changed a bit. Being a grandparent, however, allows me to commiserate with her parents while experiencing a fraction of the stress. The best part is the joy I feel when she recognizes my face and does a happy dance for me. I wonder if she knows I do a happy dance inside too, every time I see her sweet, sweet face, and put aside all the nasty stuff.

Toddler sleeping in car seat

The end of a hard day of playing.

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