Monday, February 9, 2015

Conversations with Grandparents

My kids have been jipped. (Or gypped depending on your choice of dictionary.) While most children their age have two sets of grandparents, they have one. Russell has never had two sets. Both of my parents had passed and probably didn't dream I would have 3 children. Jack does not remember my mom, so he has basically only had one set. Now, I will tell you, the grandparents they have (Josh's parents) are the best. Do they spoil them? Yes. Do they always put them first? Yes.

This weekend, the grandparents came to town for Anabelle's birthday. She is now 6. First thing out of her mouth on Friday morning was, "I grew! I grew! Did I grow? I feel like it." My MIL and I took her and 3 other little girls for pedicures. We picked each one of them up, went to the nail shop, stopped at Steak n' Shake, and finished it off with play time at our house. Chaotic? Yes. But I will say, I am so glad we did this instead of a large class party. The girls had a blast. I had fun, too. Although, we listened to Taylor Swift nonstop, full blast. I like Taylor, but not on constant repeat!

There is no question that life with 3 active children is crazy. A friend sent me a text that said she didn't know how we managed to keep 3 kids alive and well while working full time. You know, sometimes you just do it. You organize, get through the day, and you just make it happen. I will admit that the same thought has crossed through my mind. How do we do it?? I know that each of my children could use more attention. They are not deprived, but a little more one-on-one would not hurt.
This is the part where grandparents come in. I can remember spending time with my Mamaw. Lots of time- probably more time with her than my parents. She was patient, always kind, and always on my side. I can remember my mom getting a little frustrated that I could do no wrong with my Mamaw. I totally get it now.

Grandparents have the time to spend just sitting and talking and playing. What do people always say? They get to have the fun with the kids then give them back. I am grateful for this. Going to my Mamaw's house was special. It was a time that was so different than being at my own house.

For the past week, Jack has been emotional. The type of emotional that is only rational to a 4 year old. Ice in his water cup? Fall out in the floor. Popcorn at 7 in the morning? Fall out in the floor? Crying on and off for 4 hours because your little brother touched your foot? No problem. Jack has it covered.

Well Saturday, Jack had a friend over while I was out for Anabelle's party. Josh said they played great together, but by the time dinner rolled around, Jack was exhausted. Cue the emotional breakdowns. He could not be satisfied. And then it happened. I couldn't hear him cry. He was not weeping in my lap. I was not coming up with rational explanations for irrational breakdowns. After a week of this, I suddenly thought, "Did he run away? Lock himself in the basement?" I found him in his grandfather's lap in the living room. I was on the deck, but I could see them through the window. They were snuggling and talking. Well, Jack was talking and John John was listening. One-on-one time that was much needed. I watched as Jack chattered away and my father-in-law just shook his head. Jack would quit talking and just snuggle. In a minute or two, he would start chatting again, and my father-in-law would continue to listen, shake his head, and smile.
I wonder what they were talking about? I would have loved to be a fly on the wall in that room.

I know as I get older, I have those moments when I think, " I would give anything to ask my Mamaw ________." Or "I wish I knew ____________." I think about how important grandparents are to little ones and how important little ones are to grandparents. The meaningful, one-on-one conversations stick. The kiddos need to be heard, and they know that grandparents will listen. I could always pick up the phone and call Mamaw. She wouldn't say much, just listen. I could always depend on her for the extra one-on-one attention.

Josh and I are kind of grandparents. We have several sweet little dolls that Anabelle has determined are our grandchildren. They "call" us JJ and Lulu. Most mornings before school, Anabelle dresses the dolls and packs them a bag. She then tells Josh what he has to do with them for the day. See, since Josh works from home, she lets him be the babysitter. There have been several mornings that when I leave the house, Josh is having a cup of coffee on the couch surrounded by dolls and bags. He repeats the instructions back to Anabelle, and if he gets one thing wrong, the process starts over. I made the mistake of carrying one of her babies the wrong way at church. I received a scolding worthy of an Oscar. I want to tell her, "Honey, we are pros at this. Don't worry. Have you seen us change a diaper in a parking lot in less than 30 seconds?" I wonder how many times the grandparents have wanted to say that to us??

Happy Monday!
I am so thankful for Alabama weather today! I woke up and it was 57 degrees! The sun is supposed to start shining around lunch. Jack keeps asking me if it is summer... (You can only imagine the emotions when I tell him we have a few months to go!)


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