Tell me about being a grandparent

Yep, it’s gonna happen 'roundabout February and I’m pretty sure I’m thrilled. I may as well start hiking my pants up to my nipples now.

In any case, I’m having a hard time imagining what it will be like, other than I think it will be pretty cool.

So talk to me. No need to shout, my hearing is still intact so far. Tell me the good stuff, the unexpected thrills, the deep-inside feelings.

It’s a boy. What are my responsibilities? How to whistle with a blade of grass? How to throw a knuckleball?

I’ll be back in a jif, just gonna go work on the lawn for a while.

Heh. I’m no help. Every time I see my kids I drop a few hints about the importance of birth control.

Congratulations, though!

Me too. I feel old enough already.

MMM, one great reward for being a grand-parent is watching your kids having to deal with their own kids :slight_smile:

This. Plus you get to spoil them, so then you become the favorite because you’re so much more fun than the parents.

The downside? You’re still going to have to change poopy diapers.

I was (and am) the uncle but saw my parents dealing with grandparenthood, so I have some advice. I distinctly remember phone calls from my mother (although my father instigated the calls) to my brother (who lives ten minutes from them):

“Are you (and your wife) coming over today?”
“No, we’re kind of tired. We’re going to stay home,” he would reply.
“Oh, you don’t have to stay. Just drop off the grandchildren and go home. Or we can pick them up. In fact leave an overnight bag.” In short, we don’t care about seeing you. We want to see and spoil the grandchildren. It helped that my brother’s two children were delightful.

And my father, the sober, serious college law professor, would absolutely dote on them. A friend from college was visiting when my father went out the back door with the older kid (then about a year old). “No playing with the garden hose” was the instruction from my brother. So of course ten minutes later they both come back in. Completely soaked. And giggling.

Those two kids grew up with two sets of grandparents within ten minutes of home and saw both sets of grandparents regularly. I like to think it helped them to become happy, well-adjusted people.

There’s nothing specific you need to do with or teach the grandchildren. Just have fun and roll with it. Like my brother’s older kid got it into his head that leprechauns live underground. So my father dug holes around the backyard so they could leave food for the leprechauns. (And then before the kid returned to the grandparents’ house, they had to make sure the food was removed from the holes.) The only problem was when one of the gardeners tripped and fell in one of the leprechaun holes.

And I figured out why old men wear pants up to their chests. They lose height as they age (my father has lost at least several inches) but are too cheap to buy new pants or have the ones they have rehemmed. So they have to wear the pants high.

Possibly how to throw a baseball period. I coach baseball and have a couple kids every year who learned to throw a ball from their grandfather because their parents just want to play video games and think it’s kinda weird that their kid wants to play outdoors. :rolleyes:

The grandfathers who show up at practice are always the most fun to talk with. They always have good stories about the leagues they played in growing up or sometimes the rec leagues they are still playing in.

This is awesome. It triggered a memory in my of my own grandpa. When I was very young, he used to tell me that he knew how to speak Chinese. Every once in a while he would demonstrate by spouting fake-Chinese gibberish (very over-the-top and un-PC). I swear I was probably in my 20’s, and this was long after he died, that I came to realize that he was just messing with me all that time.

Good point. I will be all over this and attend every game I can.*

*Assuming he turns out to be a baseball kid. I’d also attend every dance recital if that turns out to be his thing

It’s marvelous. You get to cuddle and play with them, but when they get really cranky you can give them back to their parents. If you’re retired, like my husband and me, you can have fun with them without the worry of going to work.

I also get a giggle out of seeing my daughter deal with the same stuff I dealt with when she was small. Kid won’t go to sleep? Wakes up every night at 2 AM? Gets sassy and talks back? Payback’s a bitch, ain’t it? Hahahahahahaha!

When I first became a grandpa I was fairly young and a bit sheepish about it because it made me seem old. Now, a dozen wonderful grandkids later, I really enjoy it. We are both retired now and due to the lengthy working hours of my wife’s youngest son and his wife, the little one stays with us 3 or 4 days a week.

He is 3 now and talking and figuring things out. He is an absolute expert on a smart phone, I can’t even turn it off or on.

It’s just the best.


Another thing. It’s kind of a cliche, but it’s fun to watch them discover the world for the first time. Like watch a baby the first time he/she experiences ice cream. You can see their expression change from “What is this weird cold stuff?” to “This is awesome. I want more.” Or when I held my nephew as he saw his first Independence Day fireworks show.

I became one in June, and it is awesome. I got to hold my little grandson when he was just an hour old. But I’m no expert.
I’m in the Bay Area, and when he was born my daughter was in LA and now is in Indiana, but I’ve gotten to see him four times, which is pretty good.
The thing his parents appreciated most was that when they came to stay with us for a weekend we volunteered to take over night duty, so they could both sleep. We kept him all day when they were packing to move also. Not only did it give them a break, they now trust us with him.
And I got to see him grab and lift his rattle for the first time, so I win!
I love babies by the way.

I am 35. My second grandson (via stepdaughter) is due right around my birthday in less than a month.

I never wanted kids at all (though somehow wound up with 4 of them), but I fully enjoy having the grandson around, watching him grow, and then, when he’s having a bad day, knowing that his mom gets to deal with him instead of me :stuck_out_tongue:

My most sage advice is- whatever his parents say he can’t do, make sure he does all of them, on every visit. Then again, maybe I’m not a very good grandpa :smiley:

I also highly recommend being a grandparent. I get to do things like play with crayons, make a mess, play in rain puddles, play music and dance, watch baseball on TV, chase bugs and a thousand other things because that’s what my 15 month old grandson wants to do. I do believe I have as much fun as he does. Then my daughter and son-in-law get all the not-so-fun parts. What’s not to love?

I’m just an auntie but my parents are grandparents to two little girls (5 and 7) and while my mom does enjoy them immensely my dad is absolutely *addicted *to them. They watch the kids a lot and my mom does most of the work so she is most tired out by them. Dad is somewhat disabled (back and neck issues) but puts about 110% of his daily energy in to them.

If you can swing it, and if the family will be visiting enough, I highly suggest outfitting your house for kids as much as possible. Playroom, outdoor playset (when old enough), big outdoor climbers, tricycles, baby pools, pack-n-play (portable crib), highchair, stash of diapers and wipes, sippy cups, play clothes, etc etc. All of that stuff can be had for pennies on the dollar from garage sales and online sales, or even free from friends and neighbors who are done with theirs. It is super fun to shop for deals and have toys around, and of course makes it much easier on everyone when the kid(s) come to visit. Most of the stuff we buy for the kids for Christmas and birthdays stays at grammy’s house, because they have plenty at home.

Have fun :slight_smile:

Definition of “Grandparent”:

a baby-sitter who watches the baby instead of the TV.

I had a great-uncle and aunt whom I met a few times. Great uncle Arthur had me convinced that the old wive’s tale about sprinkling salt on a bird’s tail, to catch them, was true. He also liked to make puns, so that taught me something! And remember the trick where you count your fingers fast, and get to eleven? Uncle Arthur said he had NINE fingers. so, having already known that trick, I made him slow down when he counted. Sure enough he had nine, one of his hands was missing the middle finger due to an accident. Wood chopping I think.

The thing that fascinated me was the process of language acquisition.

I kept a list of favorite sayings and pronunciations, year by year. My daughter loves me for having kept a record of that - she had forgotten many of them.

It is generally considered bad form to dance, do fistpumps and holler when they put their parents through the exact same grinders said parents put you through.

If the kid’s parents don’t remember what kids are like (something which happens to a lot of first time parents who weren’t among the older cousins), there may be times when it’s your job to calm them down so they don’t drive their kids crazy.

Not after they leave, it ain’t! :stuck_out_tongue: