As you know, I have seven amazing grandchildren. In musing on what makes a good grandma, it seemed only right to ask them their thoughts on the subject.
I arranged some Facetime with each of them to discuss this very important subject. When talking with Henry, I was initially a little taken aback. His first comment was “Don’t yell a lot”, followed by “Don’t be mean all the time” and “When the grandchild does something bad, give a reasonable punishment.” Whoa! I was beginning to think he didn’t think I brought the stardust. Luckily, he continued with “When you come to visit, bring special activities like art crafts.” Henry and I have enjoyed many a craft project together so that made me feel a bit better. He also thought a surprise while I’m visiting would be nice, like going out to dinner. I asked him his favorite restaurant and he responded that he likes the Japanese steakhouse. This left me wondering why the last time Mr. Smith and I took the boys to dinner on our own while we were visiting, they chose Chuck E. Cheese’s! Since I don’t consider myself a big yeller or disciplinarian with my grandchildren, I’ve decided perhaps Henry is going to grow up to be an attorney and he was just trying to cover any possible grandparent behavior that may or may not arise in the future.
Eli has one basic rule for grandparents. Be one-half strict and one-half nice. He thought you should try and make your grandchild happy, but not give them everything they want. I think I can do that. Often times when I see something and think – oh, the kids would love that, I just multiply the cost times seven and keep walking.
And youngest brother Sam, who is usually a man of many words, kept it even simpler – Be kind. Always good advice.
Olivia didn’t have as many rules as Henry, but she likes her grandparents to be nice. Silly, but not too loud. Mr. Smith seems to have cornered the market on silly, so I guess I’ll be the nice one! She would also like grandparents to always have snacks and arrange for pool parties!
When speaking with Emily, she initially responded “I don’t know.” Her dad tried to help and rephrased my question, asking her what she likes about grandma and she responded, “You love me.” It doesn’t get any better than that.
Little Elizabeth is doing lots of talking, but not a lot of discussing. Mostly what I got out of her was, “Cookie!”)
I’ll have to wait a year or two before I hear what Eleanor thinks is important in a grandparent.
I will keep all these thoughts in mind. I will plan even more craft activities and surprise special outings. And – I will not yell, I won’t give them everything they want, I will be kind, I will be nice and I will love them. I will love them till the day I die.
Check out the blog on Sunday to find out how Camp Grandma came to be.
C’est la vie…