Wednesday, January 27, 2010


Being grandparents sufficiently removes us from the responsibilities so that we can be friends. ~Allan Frome

I find it somewhat amusing that my mother (heretofore known as “Babcia”, the Polish word for “grandma”) is so completely besotted by Charlie that she is blind to any faults or less than perfect moments Charlie may have.

I’m wondering if most grandmothers are like that… or grandparents.Or perhaps it's just with the first grandchild?

Am I supposed to be like that? As Charlie’s mother? I know I’m supposed to be biased towards thinking she is wonderful, and I am and I do. But I’m not "blind" to her challenging moments.

The other day we were at Wal-Mart and Charlie had not had her nap. For the most part she was patient and good, but she had a meltdown in the cashier line. When we got home, Babcia described her behavior as “angelic. She was a perfect little angel. And without any nap too, can you believe it?”

Meanwhile, I’m thinking to myself: “Hmmm. Did I IMAGINE that shrieking, stiff-backed, head fling that caught me in the nose??? Nope… nose still sore… it happened….”

Or yesterday, when we were going through the toddler book, and Babcia was convinced my 16 month old was way ahead of her peers: “Charlie is at a 20 month level. She is sooo precocious!” I note that yes, she is very verbal and stringing along up to 3 words on a good day. But she is also not doing everything listed at the 17 month level, her next bench mark. Which is fine. There’s no hurry. Not a race.

The video of Charlie saying “thank you” is a good example of what I’m talking about… In the video, Charlie absolutely does NOT say “thank you” the first time, but Babcia hears “thank you, Babcia, for that succulent tangerine segment” quite clearly. Her Opa (grandfather) is also convinced she is a little genius. Which is cute.

And probably true ;-)

Are the grandparents in your family like that?


Chrissy said...

haha..I think it is a grandparent thing. I don't have my little one yet..but watching my parents with my nephews wears me out! They do no wrong!

Anonymous said...

Yes, grandparents in my family are like this. Perhaps it's an old-fashioned idea, but in our family the parents have the primary responsibility to raise the child. The grandparents are there to enjoy the child. I had such a STRICT father, and he transformed into the most gentle of grandfathers. There is no set rule about how families function, but I think it's nice to rely on the different roles of parents and grandparents, and kids know the difference (it doesn't confuse them like some parents worry about). Enjoy your parents - they sound wonderful.

advocate_for_the_innocent said...

I came to your blog late in the game - but have read every word and have to say I really like what you're bringing to the blogosphere.

I'm actually in a kind of unique position to comment on this, because I was raised by my Grandmother after my mother died.

She has a total of 11 grandchildren (I'm #8) and soon to be 5 great grandchildren, and I can certainly say she is in love with them all. However, there is a distinct difference between the way she viewed me and my cousins (at least while we were growing up).

My cousin summed it up when I was about 9 saying, "You are so lucky to live with Grandmama. Do you get to have cookies whenever you want?"

Obviously I didn't... because I was her child... not a visiting grandchild.

Which brings me to my second point (chapter?) that I do believe it has everything to do with responsibility and reflection. When you are raising a child you feel the responsibility to do more than just appreciate and love them. You've got all sorts of long term responsibilities to make sure they grow up healthy, educated, well adjusted, responsible, respectful, articulate........

Furthermore... the ego gets involved on some level and we realize that their behavior reflects on *us*.


Anonymous said...

I will let you know as my first grandchild, a boy, will be arriving from Ethiopia soon. I will tell you this though, As soon as we got the referral, I went down and started buying outfits and familiarizing myself with the current "thing" in toys.
Raising kids alone, I did not have those luxaries.

Michelle said...

Yes they are. My son was the first person to have the ability to truly mel my father. Even now when we visit my dad together, all focus is on my son. Recently my son had a video on youtube of a sort of fight club boxing match he was in. (yes, that's his hobby, but that's a whole different story!) I sent the link to my father. By his reaction you'd have thought my son had won nobel peace prize rather than a boxing match. My father sent that link to EVERYONE and in each email he told them how amazing his grandson is and what a SWEET guy he is. Grandparents. Go figure. :)