10 Things NOT To Do When Caring For The Grandkids

by Karen Alpert
Originally Published: 
grandparents and grandchildren
skynesher / iStock

Dear Granny, Grampy, Nana and Pop Pop:

Thank you sooo much for taking care of the kids next week so the husband and I can go away for the first time in years. I know I’m just supposed to be appreciative, so let me tell you a little something that I would appreciate.

I would appreciate coming back to the same kids we left behind. See, in the past when we’ve left them with you for just one evening, we came back and literally couldn’t tell where their buttholes were because both kids had turned into the most gigantic assholes I’ve ever seen. I know you think that taking care of your grandchildren is your chance to relive your glory days, but these are not your kids. These are our kids. And if they act more a-holey than usual when we return, then going on vacation has actually made life more stressful, which means I just paid a shitload of money for my life to get worse.

So here you go, my little geriatric friends. This is a list of shit not to do while we are gone:

1. Please do not constantly stuff my kids with candy. For some reason, whenever I walk out of the room you suddenly turn into a Mexican piñata maker and stuff my kids silly with candy like they’re hollow papier-mâché donkeys. If we get back and the kids are high on Pixy Stix and Pop Rocks, I’m putting a blindfold on, grabbing a stick, and beating the crap out of the nearest grandparent.

2. Please do not keep the TV on constantly in the background. This is for two reasons: 1) since you have the volume turned up to 99, it is not in the background, and 2) if my kids watch TV for a week straight, they will literally turn into zombies and suck your brains out. Karma.

3. Speaking of television, please do not let them watch shows other than the ones that are on the “approved” list. Because if they get hooked on Caillou or Max & Ruby or some other annoying show, I am going on Pinterest and I’m learning how to make thongs out of dental floss and then I am going into your closet and secretly replacing all your granny panties.

4. Seat belts, car seats, bike helmets, pill bottles, sunscreen, plastic bags, sharp objects, EpiPens, etc., etc., etc. These things are not debatable. Yeah, I know you think you’re joking when you say it’s a miracle your own kids are alive today, but I’m dead serious when I answer, “Yes, it is.”

5. Please do not send my kids out to play at 9 a.m. and call them back in for dinner at 5 p.m. like it’s the good ol’ days. Because playing with the neighbors all day is super fun until you find out the neighbor is a 60-year-old man with a Polaroid camera, an anonymous Instagram account, and more duct tape than Home Depot.

6. Bedtime is not two hours after bedtime. And two minutes before bedtime is not a good time to start watching a movie or make chocolate sundaes or go outside to play. Just because I’m adjusting to a different time zone doesn’t mean they have to too.

7. Please do not let them skip school or their activities while we are gone. I know you think it’s OK because it’s just a special treat, but guess what? Not learning how to do math or read is not a special treat. And neither is being a homeless person who lives under a bridge because you can’t get a job because you don’t know how to do math or read.

8. Okay, here’s some shit I don’t want to find when I get back to my house: whistles, horns, xylophones, cowbells, finger paints, permanent markers, window markers, bath crayons, fake weapons, real weapons, lawn ornaments, new pets, or other annoying shit that wasn’t in my house when I left. If you desperately feel the need to buy them something, buy them underwear or buy them jewelry to give to me.

9. When I hand you the list of emergency phone numbers, please don’t poo-poo me and toss them aside. I’m not questioning your ability to handle an emergency. I’m questioning your ability to know the pediatrician’s phone number off the top of your head when my kid pokes his eyeball out with the scissors you gave him.

10. If one of the kids misses us, do not tell them we cannot bother Mommy and Daddy on vacation. Put the iPad in their hands and let them Skype us. Please take note that I did not say, “You should Skype us.” I said, “Let them Skype us.” Because you’re absolutely right, you don’t want to bother us on vacation.

That’s it. Have an awesome time! And just remember, one day in the not too distant future, we will be choosing where you live.

Love and kisses,

The Parents

The above is an excerpt from Karen Alpert’s hilarious new book I Want My Epidural Back. It releases this week in hardcover and e-book and is available wherever books are sold. Check it out!

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