This past Saturday, the wife and I managed to get three of our four children over to the house for a visit. Of course, with two of the four kids living in the house you would assume that getting the three over would be a cake walk since we only had to convince one to visit, but it's not. After a child leaves the nest, even if they come back to stay, as our two youngest boys are doing, they have this feeling that their life is their own. They don't have the same enthusiasm for coming over for a family dinner like they did at age 10, when life revolved around them. We now find that we are competing with game conferences, time away with friends, and other priorities.
For child number one it's getting all six of her kids in the car(s), and getting them to behave as they undertake the long journey to Papa's and Grandma's house. That half an hour, 16 mile drive must be hell for them. The grandkids are usually on their best behavior and why wouldn't they be, coming to our house is like winning a trip to a place called "Funland".
I don't know what your memory of your grandparents is like but mine, to be honest, sucked. I met my father's parents three times, (which is exactly how many times I met my father), and my mom's dad three times. Loved my grandmother on my father's side, as did everyone, tolerated grandpa, he was a strict southern man, mostly an unkind man, with occasional outbursts of complacency. Adored my mom's dad, but the miles were too great to have the relationship I wanted to. As for my grandmother I grew up around… well she didn't have the best life, 8 husband's in her 61 years, and she was never married to Grandpa. She battled every ailment known to man and womankind. Going to visit Grandma's was like going to see the World's Biggest Ball of String… exciting the first time but seeing it week after week, year after year. "Kid's, get in the car, we're going to visit GRANDMA!" "Wow, I can't wait." (Cue Funeral Dirge)
Our house, on the other hand, is the place to be and it's better than McDonald's, the zoo, or Disneyland. The wife and I are in a lifelong contest to be loved and adored more than any of the other grandparent's in their lives. We are not beyond slowly poisoning the others to death, if necessary. We are united in our goal to be number one and beyond. We want other people's kids to wish we were their grandparents. We're ruthless, ruthless parents.
But we are not without a motive for our enthusiastic approach to being grandparents. And we think, no we know, that the reasons for our actions are very justifiable.
We're enacting revenge upon our children for their behavior when we were raising them. What better way to do that then to be grandparents? And now, I've decided to break the vow of silence that all grandparents take and share some of our innermost secrets with their parents.
We love you. Hold that thought now…. got it? We'll come back to it.
Okay, what does 7-11, Baskin & Robbins, Mrs. Fields, the grocery store, Halloween, and our house have in common? You got it, SUGAR! Our number one goal in life is to see how much sugar we can pump into your children at least one hour before we return them to you. And they follow us like Lemmings! The definition of "Papa" is really "Free Slurpee's for Life!" Ice cream? You're not having a good time if you don't have at least 2 helpings, "would you like some chocolate sauce on that, oh look, caramel too!" Rules, we have them, but once you, their parents, walk in the door, most of them get suspended. Usually, it's when your mom says no to dessert because you didn't eat your dinner. Then we jump in and say, "but at Grandma's house" you always get dessert, especially when you don't eat your dinner. Perfectly behaved children are swinging from the chandelier as soon as you walk in the door. What's my favorite thing to hear the grandkids say? "Papa said we could."
Hey kids! Remember that time you sassed your mom, say that one time when you were 13-16 years old? Yea, we've got sugar revenge for that. Bedtime for your kids is what, 8pm? Papa says you haven't lived if you don't try to stay up all night watching TV and playing video games. Don't forget the sugar! "What, they're tired, I don't know why Sweetie, they didn't hardly do anything."
I'm surprised that my grandkids don't get Diabetes just giving me a kiss.
Are you still holding that "We Love You" thought?
You're childhood actions are responsible for our actions, because, we all know that for every action there is an opposite reaction.
And you, as their parents, can't do anything about it, oh, I'm not saying you can't or won't try. But if you enact revenge on us and ever ban them from coming over, we do have the final say, because, and pay attention, etch this little bit of wisdom into your minds.
We babysit for free and at the last minute.
Revenge is sweet.