Friday, April 20, 2012

Which is better for Grandparents? How-to books or a sense of humor!

Baby Shay at 7 days old!
This is the last one!  As grandchildren go, she is just about the best last grandchild any grandmother could ever ask for.  She is relaxed, cute cuddly and 9 days old.  What could there possible be to worry about?  I can't think of one thing and I am not going to tempt the fates by reading any advice columns or books.  I may just shut myself in the house and not even talk to anyone.  It turns out that everyone book has a horror story and all grandparents are so proud of their offspring's offspring that I can never top their stories. I don't like advise books and other people's grandchildren if they are better than mine.  No, I am thinking about becoming a recluse!

I was reading a blog post from the Huffington Post today called New Grandparenting Books Offer Advice From Two Perspectives by Dr. Georgia Witkin's.  The blog author, Karin Kasdin, talked about how little time she had , how little patience she had with the how-to books and how she just didn't want to follow anyone's advice.  She likened the book to the daily news.  Every broadcast begins by wishing you a good evening and then proceeds to tell you why it's not.  I am with her.  I cannot even figure out why anyone would write such a book...all I have been doing for 20 years is what my children wanted me to do.  They are the responsible ones and I am the one that plays, makes cookies and giggles when my grandchildren poke me with their toes when we try to take a nap (which I need more than they do obviously.)

The only advice book I have looked at about being a good grandparent is the one written by Bryna Paston called How to Be the Perfect Grandma.  (I know, I have talked about this before.) Actually it is not so much a book full of advice as it is about the comedy of errors...she makes me laugh. Her advice is tongue in cheek but still lingers very near the truth.  For example, she advises that if things don't go right and the child gets a boo boo while you were perhaps taking a peek at your email, don't tell the truth. Blame it on the cat.  Lie a little.  If you tell the truth you will be sent directly to Grandmother prison and your children will whisper behind you back at family dinners.  Most boo boos cannot be seen anyway and a bandage is all that is needed in most cases.  In Paston's words "Never, ever, ever let anything bad happen to the kids on your watch.  If it does lie!"  Don't question her advice...just follow it.

So now I am grandmother to 12.  Our new granddaughter is a wonderful little soul.  Shay is what we call her.  Her brothers are  loving her so much but craving the attention of anyone that admires their baby sister.  It works for me.  They are spending time at my house drawing and making a mess.  The 4 years old drew his first picture of himself for me today and his little 2 year old brother wants to do the same.  Before long they will be telling me about the "pee hole in their underwear" and playing tricks on the kids at daycare...the same tricks their grandfather taught them.  They may even be sent home for playing grandpa's tricks.  We will laugh, not admit it is our fault and enjoy as many years as we can with these last grandchildren.

So given my choice I would have to say that having a sense of humor is by far the better than reading some psychiatrists serious humorless advice on grandparents and child rearing.  Laughter is the best medicine.  Please, just pay attention.  Your children, the parents of the children, will tell you how to do it.  Trust me!  I know!

Have a wonderful day.  And don't tell the truth unless someone has broken the law.  It just hurts people's feelings or gets you in trouble and why would we want do that?


  1. I love this post. I'm your kind of grandma.

  2. Grammy, I am sorry I didn't respond blogger account has been a little naughty.

    I am glad I am not the only grandmother like me. I am conforted by that.



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