Sunday, August 30, 2009

Why do people want to be grandparents?

Those of you who know me (Why else would you be reading this?) realize that I am an only child that never was planning to have kids, which pretty much eliminates the grandchildren part. But kids happened, they were great, but don't ask me to hold someone else's kid.

Once you have a kid, or more than one, you find yourself spending time with other people that have kids, most of whom were not only children and have that "Oh, let me hold him" thing going on inside. Those people really lust after grand kids. I never did. I never asked my kids "When are you going to produce some offspring?" nor did I entertain putting other people up to that kind of thing. I won't even participate in such conversations.

However, I now understand at some level what is going on inside those people. Grand kids are very cool on many levels. First of all they have parents, which means if they make a big noise or do something messy, you just fain stupidity and/or ignorance and hand them back to the parent. This will not go on forever, for eventually the grandkid will be able to understand the words "Lower Volume" and "Clean that up right now," and be more self-maintaining. Mine are not there yet, but I have not yet had to use the lateral handoff. It may come up, so I practice it in my mind.

Since these youngsters will possibly read this drivel in some ancient "Way Back Machine" one day, I won't use names. But I will say that they are so fun and educational.

Take language arts. Sometimes it takes the parent to translate, but sometimes I can make up my own interpretation. Since I don't hear that well I do that with adults as well, so I'm pretty good at it. Then there is the art of getting stuff into perspective. While most people are concerned with health care reform and the real estate market or space shuttles, little ones are concerned with pull-ups and how many pears they can eat. Stuff that they can actually DO something about, though they present similar frustrations.

Another feature is that you can talk to anyone about anything once your little kid introduces you to the complete stranger. Opening doors is easy if you are only 30 inches tall. One little pinch is all it takes - you have their complete attention. Breast feeding is so common now, and gets you great service from waiters. Amazing! My coffee cup is always topped up.

Take technology: There are strollers designed by supercomputers that I can't even figure out how to open. Or was it close? And car seats that I am not sure I could operate myself. I am sure they were a spin-off of some NASA research. I saw one with a flat panel the other day. I would not be surprised to learn that it had mobile broadband and was GPS enabled so you can find the kid if you forget where you left him or her watching the stock market report on Sesame Street. Forget fonics, lets learn reading by text messaging. r u sure?

Some things have not changed much. Burping is still done the same way. Burp rags are still, well, burp rags. And they are still needed mostly when you don't have one in your hand.

Giving a 2 year old a book designed for a 5-10 year old still is not such a good idea. I am not sure it will last 3 more years, but if not, he may be able to use it in some creative way. Trying to read a good book and skipping a page will still get you in trouble. Counting is still the same, starts near one and goes to near ten. Not too hard. Five and six still have wonderful mouth-feel.

I have had the true pleasure to spend a good time with both of the grandkids this summer and it has been a highlight of my life. They are safe with their parents who are amazing for me to watch grow every day. The internet makes it easy to keep up, but to give a little pinch requires a road trip. See you again soon!


anilia said...

Can't wait.

erica said...

Laughing a lot about the pears. Sorry I was in the shower and missed that. Actually, I'm NOT sorry I was in the shower... showering is good. Hehehe.

No worries about the book, because we have a little spot high on a bookshelf for books Kent has gotten that he's not ready for yet, like pop-ups and other age-inappropriate stuff. He'll love coloring and playing with those cutouts someday soon, and we won't need to wait until he's 5. Besides, it could be worse-- you could have bought him a t-shirt that won't fit him for another 3 or 4 years, then asked how he liked it, like someone else recently did. ;)

Anonymous said...

As another "only child" i can agree completely. Raising the parents was worth the thrill of grandchildren.

OldBikeRider said...

Oh, I DID buy him a tee shirt he can't wear for another 5 years, but I am holding on to it. And I could not resist cropping that picture with Kent and I on the M/C and using it as my profile pic. It is great!

OldBikeRider said...

Yes Pat, I agree that there are mysteries that seem unreasonable and it takes many years to adjust to ...

Anonymous said...

Great reading about grandchildren, Ron, and oh so true. As soneone who never had children, but inherited both through marriages, I can relate to your comments and then some. And, I too enjoyed your grandson in Savannah.

Mom A said...

Oh, Grandpa!!!