Saturday, July 30, 2011

Back To Our Senses

Phew!  I was starting not to recognize us.  We were beginning to do all the poor parenting things we used to criticize other people for.  We slipped into grandparental overindulgence and began to create a monster--but no more!  We realized our error both in our grandboy's behavior and in his lack of pooping.  He began to turn into the the yittle boss, which is funny because that's what his mother insisted she was at three years of age.  She and I were going roundy-round about one thing or another and I said to her, "YOU are NOT the boss."  (I was very emphatic.)

She puffed out her little chest and put her adorable little hands on her hips.  She furrowed her beautiful little brow and narrowed her amazing blue eyes and corrected me.  "I the YITTLE BOSS!" she said.  Her son was beginning to assert himself in similar fashion.  He was also deciding what he would and would not eat.  Bumpie and I were giving in because we wanted to be popular.  We figured out how stupid we were being when we realized our grandboy hadn't pooped in two days.  His mother did have a similar tendency, naturally, but it was an epiphany moment for us and we knew we had to be more responsible.  So...we began feeding him bananas and peaches and watermelon and eggs and LOTS of water and limited milk products and no junk cereal.  We say "no" sometimes and have even had to use the time-out chair.  It should be noted that even though the grandboy is strong-willed (like his mommy), he is also smart and has only had to sit on the time-out chair twice.  It's good when we can learn from our own mistakes, isn't it?

And guess what?  We, too, have learned from our mistakes.  We are still popular because we hug him and hold him; we tell him he is wonderful and beautiful; we take him fishing (bishin') and swimming (simmin'); we kiss his boo-boos and sing "Jesus Loves Me" with him.  We feed him chocolate chips when he uses the little potty and don't scorn him when he prefers not to.  I think too many parents and grandparents allow bad--and destructive--behavior because they want to be popular.  Don't they realize kids love to be loved and paid attention to?  Kids need parameters, and really do respond well to limits.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Grandparenting: My New Frontier

Oooo!  This is fun!  Dear hubby and I became grandparents a couple years ago, but our daughter lives in NC, so we saw the baby twice when he was really wee, but then not again for two years.  Last summer he acquired a little brother.  Two weeks ago, when our daughter and her little guys invaded, we officially became Nanny and Bumpie--the most fun, junk-food-offering grandparents in the world!  We feed the grandboys cheese puffs and allow them to slurp coffee (no sugar, of course).  Our older grandboy chooses his own attire--even if it's none--and doesn't have to eat balanced meals if he doesn't want to.  We don't want to cramp his style.

We have NEVER behaved thusly with small children.  We were fun parents (I think) but we never served up snacks instead of meals and allowed people to run naked.  We followed rules, kept our young 'uns squeaky clean, and did not allow them to eat sugary cereal or drink syrupy drinks.  We did homework with them and observed an early-evening bedtime.  Teeth were brushed twice a day--scrubbed might be a better word--and they held their silverware properly by eighteen months.

Our daughter has been looking at us, like, "Whuttt?  Who are you people and what have you done with my parents?"  And this is the really funny part--guess who the tough guy is now?  Our dear daughter, that's who!  She is disciplined with the two-year-old and consistent.  She doesn't make excuses for bad behavior, and she doesn't ignore it.  She insists that he holds his fork correctly and is diligent about teeth brushing.  We just stand back--we haven't crossed the line of overt grandparental interference yet--and feel sad for the poor little guy.  He didn't mean to kick the dog.  He didn't try to spit his food on the table.  He might have screamed something that sounded like "NO!" but we aren't really sure that's what it was.

The boys' mommy has graciously allowed us to keep the two-year-old for two weeks while she travels a bit.  We are having so much fun!  But...both Bumpie and I have purposed in our hearts to try really, really hard each day to be more strict grandparents.  It's just so hard when they're so cute, when they snuggle into your arms and say, "I loves you, Nanny."  It's just so hard.