Monday, June 13, 2011
Thank God for Grandparents
(Before I go any further, let me just note that Dada J's mother died when he was young, and while his father is still alive, he is older, and we only get to see him twice a year if we are lucky. M is also his 11th grandchild, while she is my parents first, so there is a big difference there.)
In the 18 months of M's short life, my parents have had a huge presence. Even though they live in Florida for most of the year, they have made a point to see her at least once a month, whether we are flown down there or they come up to see us (nothing like having a free place to stay in Florida in the middle of winter). But during the summers they now stay from Memorial day to the end of September at a golf resort in Newport, RI, simply because we live up here, and they want to be close to their granddaughter. Not only do we have built in babysitters for 4 months of the year (which for us is a huge thing as we have no family close to us at all), but my parents get to see M whenever they want...and if M had her way it would be every day.
There is something about my parents that makes M start to kick her legs and smile from ear to ear every time she sees them. She wants to hold their hands, not mine, when she walks...she wants to be in the same room with them when they are around...she wants to sit next to them. All I hear all day is her screaming their names, "Belle? Belle? Beh-beh? Beh-beh!? Papa? Papa? PA-PA!?"
If she hurts herself the first thing she says is "beeeeeh beeeeh!"
If we get in the car to go somewhere it is "Belle? Papa?" as if she is asking "are we going to see them? Because I want to see them right now." When we arrive somewhere and I get her out of the car it is the same thing, "Papa? Belle?"
We have photos of them in the living room, and when we are doing our laps around the house she walks up to the one of her and my father and says as dramatic as she can "Ohhhhhh PAAA PAAA!"
If we are all together and I pick her up she will immediately lung towards my mother and say "belle! Belle!"
Now, I don't want you to think I have a problem with all this, as I don't at all. I love the fact that she likes them so much. She doesn't kick and scream when we leave them, or when they leave to go home, and she doesn't throw fits because we don't see them every day. She just has this crazy enthusiasm for them, and it couldn't make them happier. It is honestly great for me too because I get much needed breaks when they are around!
And I know why she loves them so much. They are always "on." There is always a puppet in someone's hand, and a crazy voice coming out of their mouths. There is never a dull moment, or a lull in the "entertainment" ever! My mother draws with M, she sings with M, they play instruments together, they walk around the house, they walk outside, they read books...it is non-stop. At the end of a day my mom will always say "I don't know how you do it, I am exhausted."
To be honest I am not "the entertainer" all day at all. We go to classes, we go on errands, we watch some tv and play with the iPad occasionally (who am I kidding - there is no occasionally about it :). I also let her do a lot of independent play while I am cleaning up around the house. If I was the way my mom was with her, I would be asleep at 6:30 along with M.
So I am terribly excited for this adults-only vacation, and I think my parents are excited to have M all to themselves for a few days. They won't have me looking over their shoulders questioning their every move, which will be a nice change for them I am sure. She will probably eat some things I wouldn't normally feed her (if my mom has her way she will be having juice and cookies all day long), and her sleep schedule will probably be all out of whack, but that is fine by me.
I will be basking in the Caribbean sun, poolside with a margarita, reading a book uninterrupted. I will be able to sleep in (which is 7 AM for me), and not have to worry about checking a monitor during the night. I will go 5 days without changing a diaper. I will be able to use a real purse, instead of some giant heavy diaper bag. We will be able to have a nice long dinner, with no kids around, and not having to worry about getting back in time for the babysitter to meet her friends out. It will be glorious.
Of course my parents might never want to babysit again, but I will take my chances!!