Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Mom?, Dad? Would you mind taking a parenting class?

Last weekend my husband and I went to a dinner party.  We were the youngest ones there, which doesn't happen much anymore. Everyone else was about 5-10 years older, so they all already had some grandchildren some for longer than others, but it was obvious everyone was involved with their adult kids and grandkids on a regular basis.

One of the newer grandpas commented that his son's wife had requested that grandma and grandpa take a parenting class before watching the little bundle of joy.  I think my mouth was literally hanging open, I was speechless!  All kinds of things were going through my head! I just looked at my hubby with that, 'can you believe the nerve?!', look on my face.

At this point two of the other couples chimed in saying that they had had similar experiences!  Again total disbelief!  I can't believe what kind of nerve you have to have to ask the people who have raised you, clothed you, fed you, educated you, payed for your wedding and are now offering to watch your children without monetary compensation by the way, because they love that little person you have brought into the world, maybe more than you at this point.

The next day I saw my Dad at the gym and relayed the story to him.  I thought he might fall off the elliptical with laughter! (Which would not be good by the way because at 76 that would be a hip fracture for sure.)  Trying to control his laughter he said, 'Can you imagine what your Mother would have said'?  My response was, 'I know what side my bread is buttered on'!

My mother the queen of brain washing had told me all my life that she would not be babysitting my kids.  Turns out this was just a ploy on her part to deter  any thoughts of teenage pregnancy.  So by the time I had my first baby after being married for 8 years I was having some sort of anxiety disorder about asking her to watch him.  She was the one who offered first and when reminded of her prior statements regarding child care, she said, 'Oh I just wanted to make sure you knew I would not be raising another family'. Ok, score one for Mom.

My parents probably didn't and still don't do things the way I would with the kids, but that's the beauty of grandparents, right? The kids love to go there because it is different.  The routine is different, the food, the way the laundry smells, the outings.  My parents do a lot of things with the kids that they didn't necessarily do with my brother and I because now they have the time.  They don't have jobs, school, and crazy schedules getting in the way.

There is something to be said for being able to have the kids somewhere where you know that they are getting the best treatment ever.  Maybe better than we can give at times because of all the family commitments that we have.  Knowing they are there, I never give a second thought to their well fare or safety.  Truth be told I couldn't afford to leave my kids with anyone that has the experience that they do.  My mom was a pediatric nurse for over 20 years and my dad has a Masters in early childhood education.

I know not everyone's parents have that kind of resume, but they do have one outstanding qualification. They raised you, enough said.  I guess what I'm trying to say is how disrespectful, and ungrateful those kids are to even suggest such a thing.  They are lucky they didn't end up with the 12 year old neighbor watching the kids.  They are also lucky  that they have wise parents who were willing to overlook their temporary insanity.


  1. I think this is my favorite post you've written to date! As I hope to be a grandma someday, God willing that day is soon, I cheered HEAR HEAR throughout your very wise post. Thank you for always being the bearer of good common sense observations and advice. Arrghh...kids (the grown kind) these days!

  2. I'd have to agree with the previous comment from Ms. Knightley! Speaking as a future grandpa, I say "hip hip hooray!" for elucidating upon this theme. Can we borrow your mom and dad too?