We recently spent a week at Kent's, thoroughly enjoying family and lovingly spoiling our grandchildren.
When our first grandchild was born, we morphed into something brand new. J.D. made us Nana and Papa. Rules changed. Priorities shifted. Our strengths became weaknesses. We turned into mush.
It's my mother's fault. She set the tone. She had a candy drawer in her kitchen. I do too! She kept frozen treats in her freezer. "Want an ice cream sandwich, Kent?"
Kimberly once told her, "Mamas have more NOs than grandmas."
To which my wise mother answered, "That's because I used up all my NOs on your mama, Honey."
Only once do I recall Grandma saying no to Kimberly. It was too close to supper when she asked for candy from the precious drawer. So she scampered right out to the back yard to try my dad. Plan #2. "Granddaddy, can I have some candy pwease?" (I doubt she actually mispronounced please, but it's cuter that way.)
Granddaddy, also very wise, suspected something. So he asked her a question back, "Did you ask Grandma already?"
Kimberly, not quite so wise yet, lied, wide-eyed, "No-oooooo."
"Are you sure?"
"Kimberly, if I go inside and ask her, what will Grandma say?"
Silence. Wide eyes grow wider.
"Honey, would she say you're telling the truth or could you be lying to me?"
"I could be lying."
Our 14 grands know to expect treats when we visit. Amazing how thrilling The Dollar Tree finds become when passed from grandparents to grand kids. Sometimes we hide them for the hunt, sometimes they close their eyes and guess what it is by feel. Elizabeth, our first granddaughter, dubbed them spoilers because we spoil the kids with them. We try.
Katy once remarked indignantly, "Mom! You would never have allowed us to do that! Boy, do the rules change." Of course they do. Our roles change. Now I confess, if our family lived in the same town, we might tighten up a bit. Might. But they live far away. Visits are spread out. So Nana and Papa are big squishes!
We can be only because their parents are good disciplinarians. They undo our damage rather quickly.
Two of life's greatest joys:
- seeing your kids parent well
- spoiling their kids