Monday, September 12, 2011

Grandparents Day | Honoring Grandparents and How the Rules Change

(Although yesterday was officially Grandparent's Day, it was overshadowed by another very important day of rememberance.  Some churches have chosen to move their Grandparent's Day observences to next Sunday, but we are going to stick with being as close to the actual calendar date here on the blog) 

Grandparents are very special. 


Addie has three living grandparents that she loves dearly.  They are Grandma and Pops (Brian's parents) and Grandpa You Beat (my dad).

Grandma is so wonderful not only to Addie but to me as well.  She has been such a huge blessing to us and really takes her role as Grandma very seriously.  Addie has a collection of books with accompanying CDs that she received from Grandma during each of our visits over a period of time.  When we would go to their home, Grandma would sit with Addie in the "Grandkids' Room", follow along with the story, and listen to the CD.  Then as the second part of the CD would play music, Grandma would get down on the floor and play with Addie.  On the day that Addie asked Jesus to come into her heart, Grandma had a special book and CD for her called How to Be a Good Christian.

Grandma was with us when we found out that we were having a boy (part of her birthday gift from us).  A night or two later, she and Pops were at our home with a brand new diaper bag, little boy socks, little navy and light blue newborn sneakers, and a Tampa Bay Rays t-shirt with the name of one of our favorite players (Longoria) on the back! 

A couple of weeks ago, Mom called me as I was out and about and told me that she had picked up a mattress cover and mattress pad for Addie's new big girl bed.  Then she told me she was looking for a car seat so we wouldn't have to do the "car seat swap" everytime we left Addie with her.  She even has plans of taking Addie with her (and Pops when he is home) for a little bit here and there after Ian is born to help me out.

Pops has been told by his little granddaughter, "Pops, you're my hero!"  (Seriously, what can top that!) Pops is always available when we need him.  He helped Brian pick up Addie's mattress set and has helped Brian take care of a lot of things around the house that are more of a two man job.  The day we thought we had miscarried, Pops and Mom came over immediately and while Mom stayed with me, Pops went right to Addie and put himself on Addie-duty.

They both have been known to run around the house chasing or being chased by Addie.  And no matter how hot it is outside, when Addie asks to go out on the swing they have in the backyard, they willingly take her.

Grandpa You Beat has one of those names that only a grandchild could give.  All of the children in our family (my sister and me, nephews, nieces, grand nephews, grandnieces, and now grandchildren) have been told by my dad, "I'm gonna give you a beaten!" at which point he tickles them in the ribs (he has always been the best tickler).  About a year ago, he started that up with Addie.  Every time he walked in the door after that, she would tell him, "I'm gonna give you BEAT! B-b-b-b-b-b!" and then she would take off running.  Eventually, she just decided to name him "Grandpa You Beat" and the name has stuck..... and I think he really likes it!

Everytime he comes over for a visit, he brings her a little trinket from the dollar store.  And she thinks his little gifts are made of gold!  Through work, he has an iPad (he is a senior trainer at a major wireless/communications company).  He has downloaded page after page of preschool games on this iPad and brings it over with him at each visit.   

Grandparents have a vast storehouse of wisdom and experience....... and yet they have a way of changing the rules!

Take my dad, for instance.  While I was growing up, he was very strict. It was his way or the highway! He believed in babies being allowed to cry it out at night (so do I to a certain extent). He was very strong on the rod of correction being applied to the seat of application.  If we didn't want to eat something, there were no alternatives- actually forget the alternatives, we ate it! 

Then along came Addie.

For the first six months after Mom passed away that he lived with us, he rocked Addie to sleep every night if his work schedule allowed it (no crying it out for her!).  He has suddenly become a Dr. Leman advocate and agrees that other options in loving discipline should be used before spanking is an option (boy, do I wish he had felt that way a long time ago!).  And he feeds her!  She has been feeding herself for quite some time now, but when Grandpa You Beat comes over, suddenly she needs to be fed..... and he goes along with it!

On the day that Addie showed him her new big girl bed, she decided to show him how she could jump up onto it.  I wasn't in the room at the time, but when I walked in, there she was jumping her way up onto the bed... and there he was encouraging her!  He looked at me and said, "You know that grandparents allow jumping on the bed, even though we didn't when we were parents."  I, now the parent, gave Addie "the look" and the jumping stopped.

At his house recently, Addie wanted to go swimming while we were supposed to be eating dinner.  She refused to eat the required three bites.  I took her into the house and had her sit on the sofa while we continued eating dinner outside (he has huge windows looking from the house out to the back porch so she had eyes on her the whole time).  After a bit, he went into the house to talk to Addie.  I was curious to hear what he was saying so I went in through the bathroom and listened (eavesdropped) in.

"You're making Grandpa You Beat very sad (sad sounding voice).  Just eat three bites and you can go in the pool (pleading voice).  Do you want Grandpa to feed you?"


When he came back outside, I looked at him and smiled, "Becoming a grandparent really does change a person."

"Well......"  he responded.

"I can tell you that if that was me in there, that conversation would have been much different.  It would have sounded more like, (spank) 'Eat your food, and you're still not going in the pool!'"

We both laughed because it was true.   

And even though the rules have changed,  I'm okay with that (to a certain extent).  That is one of the joys of being a grandparent. And that is something I am not willing to take away from any of them.

Happy Grandparent's Day Grandma, Pops, and Grandpa You Beat!


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