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Being a grandparent has all the joys of being a parent without the stress and discipline. When my daughter was in the hospital getting ready to deliver her first child, my first grandchild, I was fortunate to be present. I experienced all the feelings of a first time parent without the labor pains.
When my grandson was born I spent a week at my daughter’s to help with the new baby. Well, actually I took care of all the house chores while my daughter and son-in-law took care of all the baby’s needs but I did get a lot of one on one time with my new grandson. My grandson now calls me Nonna which is Italian for Grandma.
Because they live about 2 ½ hours away, I don’t get to see my grandson on a daily basis but we manage to see each other about once a month, sometimes they come up to stay with us but most times I travel to Columbus for a weekend stay. I don’t mind the 2+ hour drive down but the drive back always seems longer and not as exciting.
Being a grandparent means you get to spoil and break some (or most) of the rules. For example: My grandson loves chocolate chip cookies especially home made. My daughter and son in law have a two cookie rule. When I babysit he usually manages to get three cookies (sometimes four) especially when he looks at me with those big baby blue eyes and says “One more, Nonna? one more?” Bedtime is always at least an hour later than normal. After all you can’t send the little guy to bed when he’s having so much fun.
While visiting this past weekend, we made a trip to the park on Saturday and spent Sunday at the Columbus Zoo for Boo at the Zoo. My grandson went as a fireman, a very handsome fireman. For some reason I was up at 6:44AM on Sunday! I was probably excited about going to the zoo, so I decided to sneak down stairs and clean up the kitchen from the night before and start the coffee, when I heard a small voice upstairs say “Is that my Nonna?” my heart melted.
I ran across a couple quotes that explain it all:
“The idea that no one is perfect is a view most commonly held by people with NO grandchildren.”
“Grandchildren are God’s way of compensating us for growing old”
To all you grandparents out there, what do you think the most rewarding part of being a grandparent is?
Sara is a mother of four. She has two daughters – Jamie age 35 and Taylor age 16 – and two sons – Justin age 20 and Christopher age 14. She is also a grandmother of one – Andrew age 3. She lives in Mantua, Ohio with her husband Bill. She has worked at Step2 for the past 12 years (before that she was a stay at home mom for 9 years). Sara is the Operations Manager for Step2 Direct internet sales.
I am the first to admit that Martha Stewart I am not. Making large dinners is not my thing. Actually, making any dinner is not really my thing. My husband cooks for himself and I cook for myself (that is what happens when one of us is carnivore and the other a veg head). My husband does his laundry and I do mine. We split meals for our little one and also split laundry duty for daily wardrobe changes. However, one domestic task I have always enjoyed is decorating for the holidays.
I think the love of decorating the house was passed on by my Mom (who also enjoys cooking, cleaning and laundry so I’m not quite sure why the decorating bug stuck with me). She was the queen of window stickies and we would decorate our sliding glass and front door with new designs every month. She also had a small decorative tree that she kept out year round. We would decorate it for all of the major holidays including Valentine’s Day, St. Patty’s Day, Easter, 4th of July, Halloween, and Thanksgiving. It was so much fun for us growing up, but I now realize how much work that must have been!
I don’t have stickies for every month nor do I have a year round tree that stays up, but boy do I have a lot of Halloween decorations. Many of my decorations, I inherited from my Grandma when she passed a few years ago. She loved Halloween. In fact, her and my Grandfather married on Halloween. I’ve absorbed the love of the holiday from her and that day also marks my hubby’s birthday so we normally go all out. Three foot tall witches and scarecrows, dancing skeletons, pumpkin string lights, blinged out Jack-O-Lanterns, and cauldrons typically fill our house from October 1st through November 1st. However, this year, I am thinking about not decorating for the first time since I’ve been married.
My favorite little boy is now 14 months old and minutes away from walking. The thought of giving him so many extra opportunities and objects to get into (and for us to clean up) sounds about as appealing to me as making Thanksgiving dinner. I also don’t know if all of these props, which are life sized to him, will scare the daylights out of him. Plus, are they choking hazards? I hadn’t even thought about choking hazards!
I know there is a school of thought out there that as parents, you should keep doing what you always have done, tell your little ones no, and ensure that they will listen to you. I’m just not sure if I subscribe to that school of thought. I think my belief is more along the lines of avoiding melt downs and toddler tantrum traps if at all possible. Just like I know that bringing my little dude on an afternoon shopping trip at nap time is not going to go well, I think it might be a smart idea to sit out on the decorating fun this year.
Before becoming a Mom, these were not the things I pondered. I knew that the most important part of being a parent is to raise a happy, healthy and independent adult, but that is big picture. The devil is surely in the details and I never realized that the option of decorating the house vs. not decorating is a big decision with the possibility of equally big consequences.
So now I have to know (so I can judge myself against you J) – did you/do you change the way you decorate for the holidays to accommodate your one year old?
Tena and her best friend (and hubby) had their first child in July, 2011. Their little guy has a congenital heart defect and he is one tough little cookie; don’t ever think about calling him sick though – “his plumbing is just different.” Tena is an animal loving vegetarian and is excited to teach her son about compassion and the importance of volunteer work. She secretly hopes her son will be left handed like his momma. She is the Online Marketing Director for Step2.