People often comment on how well-functioning we seem as a multigenerational family and how sweet and well behaved my kids are.
My response… Thank you! I’m a perfect mother.
Ha! Just joking.
If nothing else, being a practical minded person is what I have on my side. I mean, really, it’s all I’ve got.
My 4-year-old (who will be five shortly) did not want to go to the grocery store with my mother-in-law. He just wasn’t interested. Since I was working at home, he thought he could stay and hang out with me.
I was working and my mother-in-law was in granny nanny let’s get something for dinner mode.
My son was immediately upset and I could see he was going to throw a tantrum. I looked directly at him and said, “Grandma is on a schedule and so am I. How about I set the timer on my phone for two minutes – you fall apart – and then you go to the grocery store with grandma? And, if you keep the tantrum down to two minutes, I’m sure grandma will buy a donut for you.”
Tantrum transpired – 1 minute and 46 seconds.
Grocery shopping was completed.
Donut was consumed.
I’m not sure if this technique would make it into any perfecting parenting handbook, but that’s just how I roll.
And…later that same day, I ran into some website glitches and immediately became frustrated and upset. I was going to push through it and be grumpy – but I allowed myself a 2 minute tantrum (lying on the bed and kicking my feet), and damn, it felt GREAT!
Will my kids need therapy later on in life? Probably so.
Here are the top issues and things I think my kids’ therapists will hear:
My friends and I got together and they were talking about their baby books. I didn’t know anything about that. I thought it was customary to have your formative years documented on a blog. No?
People tell me I’m confused when I tell them senior citizen is a bad word. When I was growing up, saying senior citizen was equivalent to dropping the F bomb!
My parents were really strict about our bedtime – and I thought this was for my growth and development. Now I’m realizing 8:00/8:30pm was the time my grandmother went to bed, too.
I thought my after-school activities were about exposing me to broader things. I now think my mom signed us up for after-school activities so my grandmother and I could be out of the house.
I loved taking summer trips to Minnesota with my grandmother – but now I understand this annual trip was really about my parents having “kid free” summer camp!
I know the big calendar in our kitchen kept our multigenerational family on track – but as an adult, I break out into hives when anyone says, “Is it on the calendar?!”
My grandmother always asked, “Who put a nickel in you?, when we were full of energy. When I say that now, people ask, “What’s a nickel?”
My partner/spouse thinks I’m silly for ringing the triangle when it’s time to eat. Isn’t this a universal practice?
I still don’t know the different between supper and dinner. Help!
Is it odd I consider myself a grandmother whisperer?