I didn’t grow up with grandparents who lived close to me, so I didn’t get to experience this awesome phenomenon like my own kids do.
People who think that everything you say is genius and live only to make sure that you have the most fun ever? Yes, please. People who think that when you climb on the table it’s a cute display of independence and that you are brilliant if you finish your milk? Um, yes, please!
My kids have the best grandparents. I find myself watching them and wishing for the day that I get to have little people in my life who I love as my own, but who I don’t have to holler at to not be weird in public.
Here are some reasons why grandparents are way better than parents:
1. They have lived, and they know that living is not doing the laundry. It’s building a Lego tower, or going on an adventure hike, or reading 10,000 books, or making cookies badly.
2. Your kid constantly feels like a rockstar. I mean, around me, my kids probably only feel like Lance Bass, maybe during his good years. But around their grandparents, they could just use the bathroom correctly and come out freeling like Bono.
3. Discipline is not the goal. I mean, why put someone in time-out if you can give them a cookie instead. Cookies stop tears way faster than time-outs. It does look like more fun.
4. They know what works and which things are pointless to argue about. Like, they know to stay far away from the un-winnable trifecta of parenting battles which are booger-eating, pants-wearing and vegetable-tasting.
5. They can just laugh when your kid randomly informs the checkout person at the grocery store that “fuck” is a bad word. When this happens to me, I have to never go to the grocery store again.
6. They can take all the mean statements, like, “Grandpa, you have a big fat tummy!” in stride, because it’s usually followed by, “Let’s go cuddle and read a book!”
7. They get to give all the treats without the guilt. How fun would that be? Ice cream for lunch? Gummy bears for a snack? Soda at dinner? Yay! I even want to live at grandma’s house.
8. They don’t have to think past the present moment. They don’t have to worry that three hours of TV watching is going to turn your child into a sociopath. It just means three hours of snuggling with a sweet little person who makes charming (annoying) observations about every single thing that happens.
9. They don’t come into the situation with child-induced brain fog. They come in fresh, like the guy who takes your place in a game. But they are way better at the game because they’ve played it before and won. I mean, you turned out awesome, right?
10. They know that life is short. As parents, we are so bogged down by the idea that we have a huge responsibility to feed, clothe, and avoid creating an asshole, that we can forget how quickly our children stop wanting to sit on us all of the time.
Grandparents know that all of the sticky-faced kisses and squeaky-voiced declarations of love will stop. Soon our kids will be sullen teenagers who want us to stop talking to them and just drive them to the mall. Grandparents know that it’s important to take in all the madness and enjoy every moment. We could probably learn something from them.