White Knuckle Parenting: When Nana Comes to Town
My family loves it when a grandparent comes to visit. Aside from the joy of being with family, there are some very practical reasons to welcome these people into our home.
My mom is in town to visit my family, which is lovely. Aside from the joy of seeing my kids interact with their nana and being able to hang with my cool mom, there are some very practical benefits to having her hanging around. For instance, I have never taken so many daytime naps in my life.
I decided to make a list of happy things about having grandparent houseguests so that next time I am, let's say, overwhelmed by having someone stay in my home for multiple days, I will have a cheat sheet to go to as a reminder of why grandparents are awesome.
• She goes to the bus stop to pick up my kids after school so I don't have to. What? It's cold out there. I don't want to go. My kids are more excited to see her anyway.
• Because Montgomery County has evidently given up on making kids arrive at school in the morning and leave in the afternoon, it is extremely handy to have another adult around to deal with two-hour delays and early releases. Trust me, if you have kids at multiple schools, anything other than regular hours is a nightmare. Her presence has allowed my husband to actually go to work on those days. In fact, her presence has allowed neighbor parents to go to work and my house to become early morning two-hour delay party house.
• She actually likes our dog, so she remembers to feed her. Every day.
• When you drag your family to the zoo on a 24-degree day, and two of your kids are running ahead to get to a building and one of them is lagging really far behind because he is tooooooo coooooold to walk, she can take one of the groups. The lagging one, naturally.
• She sleeps closer to my kids, which means she is the first line of defense before they wake me up in the morning. I haven't had a middle-of-the-night small-person visitor since she got here.
• I can leave my kids with her instead of dragging them to every single stupid thing I have to do. It is so much easier to run to 7-11 to buy candy without three little kids following you around calling you out on your hypocrisy if you don't buy them anything.
• My husband and I can go out to dinner and a movie without adding a $100 babysitting charge on top of the cost of our outing. (We finally got to go see Argo. OMG, go see that movie.)
• My kids love her very much.
• I love her very much.
• She loves spending time with my kids, who want to show her every craft they've made, every song they've learned, every book they love. They are so lucky to have a nana (and a grandma who also loves to visit—two is better than one!) who loves them so much and wants to spend time with them.
Jean, a.k.a. Stimey, is a freelance writer who writes a personal blog at Stimeyland and runs an autism-events website for Montgomery County, Maryland, at AutMont. You can find her on Twitter as @Stimey and on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/Stimeyland.