Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Grandparents Gone Wild

You know when you have the most wonderful, relaxing week of vacation-induced bliss - away from all the cares in the world that are constantly niggling at the back of your mind and causing that tiny furrow in your brow to become a gaping chasm that can only be fixed by a boatload of Botox?

Yeah, well - I totally didn't have that kind of week.

Oh sure, there were a few sunny days that we enjoyed outside with the girls and the grandparents, but overall I think I need a vacation from my facation.  And while we're on the subject of grandparents (were we even on that subject? Well we are now, peeps - bear with me.  It's been a long week) - can we talk about the double-edged sword that is Grandparenthood for just one very long, drawn out second (be prepared, because this is going to be the longest second ever in the history of time...)?

I'm going to preface this with the following disclaimer:


There.  I said it.  Now nobody can say that I'm a big meanie head and deprive me of birthday presents (I want new shoes please, in case anyone's asking.  I just thought I'd put that out there before my parents stop reading in disgust and vow to disown me).

But oh my freaking jellybeans my children are INSANE when the g-parents come to town.  Like so insane that they need 3 days of detox (at least) after they leave.  I thought Nissa was immune, being a teeny baby and all - but sometime during the last week of double-g-parent visiting she underwent a massive personality shift and devoured her former cheery self.  All that's left now is a screaming baby banshee who frankly scares me more than just a little bit.  If I don't give her what she wants I'm afraid she'll gnaw off my toes:


And the child formerly known as Inara has been replaced by a chocolate-at-every-meal demanding, bedtime-fudged-up-beyond-all-recognition imposter whose favorite phrase is now: "Mama. You can go away.  I'm busy (insert activity she knows she shouldn't be doing here.  Like playing in the basement.  By herself.  With all the lights turned off).

I don't think that the g-parents are to blame.  Honestly, they can't help themselves.  They're just following the Good Grandparent's Guidebook, where it expressly states that the ONLY rule of grandparenthood is to Give Your Darling Grandchildren Whatever They Could Possibly Want, Regardless Of The Consequences (and you get bonus points if the consequences don't actually happen until you leave).  Enter chocolate-covered marshmallows for breakfast, impromptu toy-store shopping trips instead of naps, and my favorite: slipping lollipops when I'm not looking (I totally SAW YOU DOING THAT, MOM.  But I still love you...please don't take my new shoes off the birthday list!)

Truth be told, we NEED these crazy people who have forgotten that they used to enforce bedtime at a normal hour, and meals that included vegetables.  We need them to play with our kids so that we can pack up boxes to move, to give ourselves a break from wiping spit-up, and so that we can take a shower that lasts longer than 5 minutes.  And because we need them so badly, we are willing to look the other way when they buy that really annoying battery-operated toy that you SWORE you'd never let enter your house as long as you lived, but that your children just can't get enough of (Well played, grandparents. Well played, indeed).

And so we brace ourselves for withdrawal as the grandparents load up their cars and vans and head on out into the wild blue yonder. And we tell ourselves that we are NEVER going to let that happen again.  Next time we are going to put our collective foot down, and put the kids to bed at their normal time - even if it means they have to stop playing with Papa.  We're going to MAKE them eat their carrots and broccoli and cauliflower.  And there's no way in Hades that we will allow toys with annoying voices to be brought to our house.  We'll show 'em.  Victory will be OURS!

But then we look at our girls with their quivering lips as the g-parents pull away from the house.  And we see the tear-brimmed eyes of their Grammies as they blow goodbye kisses and promise that they'll be back soon, while the Grampas play a goodbye tune on the car horn to try and lighten the mood.

And we realize that we can't wait to have them back again.  Consequences be damned.

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