When we woke up this morning, it was not to the sounds of an alarm clock. Three-year old V. opened our bedroom door and announced, “It’s seven o’clock. Time to get up!” (I have to admit, it was actually seven thirty. All this recent focus on the cuckoo clock has provided her with a sense of time, but no accuracy yet.)
As to timing and accuracy, the Razorbacks enjoyed both last night in their win at the Texas Bowl. While some sports columnists seemed blasé about Razorback Nation’s 31-7 win, others described it as a “beatdown” with Arkansas clearly dominating Texas. My daughter and her husband enjoyed the festivities and (as always) calling the Hogs. #WPS
For their forbearing children here at home, I’m afraid the Razorback interlude is pushing them to their limit! Before breakfast this morning, middle child (T.) asked me to text his mom and learn their expected time of arrival. Alas for him, their late night at the football game was followed by a luxuriant opportunity to sleep in this morning (sans children) resulting in a delayed departure for the drive home. All three grandchildren have now expressed their dismay that bedtime this evening (8:30) will arrive before their parents do!
Lunch offered another chance to fine-tune my rules on the fly. Grilled cheese and cold ham sandwiches were on the menu. T. asked for a ham sandwich and, like his older brother, opted for sweet pickles with the ham. (He specified sweet and that’s what I had on hand.) Halfway through eating his sandwich, he announced he no longer wanted the pickles. After yesterday’s carrot struggle, I agreed to let him leave the remaining pickle pieces on the plate. (Better than having him furtively drop them on the floor, I thought.) If I’d been my younger self dealing with my own children, there’s no doubt they’d never have gotten off quite so easily! Back then, I had strict rules about eating what was on one’s plate.
In contrast, I’ve begun to realize my granny-style most closely resembles the path of least resistance. For example, because the weather outside was bitterly cold today, I allowed little V. to remain in her pajamas all day. (The minute I put day-clothes on her yesterday, she assumed we were going out shopping … which we eventually had to do!) I decided today it would be easier to leave her in pajamas than try to explain we were not – definitely NOT – going out in the miserable cold!
Nearing his tenth birthday, eldest grandson (G.) is a contented child with a vivid imagination. He’s entirely comfortable playing alone in our well-equipped upstairs playroom.
Grandson T. is another story … a social child who enjoys action and interaction. Last night, he requested permission to watch the football game (past his bedtime). At first, he asked to watch the full game, but negotiated that back to watching the first half. (He didn’t quite make it, but came close.)
Today, we pulled out the checker board and T. learned to play checkers. He’s a competitive child and enjoyed beating me! (It wasn’t a true “win” because in fact I got the “assist.“) He has now challenged my Beloved to a game.
V. is a bonafide drama queen in a three-year old’s body. Whenever she feels she’s been slighted (or has simply been told “no“), her mouth turns downward and she marches petulantly up the stairs to pout and moan. My ability to ignore these ridiculous expressions of pique amazes me! How is it I did not see through such episodes when my girls were that age?!
As a grandparent, I know now my approach to parenting was totally misguided. We think we’re training our children when in fact they are training and educating us. For children who become adults, their children will in turn teach them. In other words, we (parents) never really make the grade until after our children are grown … when we’re no longer needed!
Here’s what’s great about being a grandparent though. We’re no longer trainable! We are inured to the affected cries of manipulative urchins. Even though we love them dearly, we’re blithely able to send them out the door in the care of their parents knowing the end result is blessedly out of our hands.
And so it shall be on the morrow.