Friday, January 09, 2004

GRANDPARENTS


I was thinking about our new grandchild yesterday. I had talked to a friend earlier that day, and she asked about her.

Bad move. Fifteen minutes later, I had barely gotten warmed up.

It go me thinking. The most wonderful thing about a grandparent is that they think their grandchildren are incredible.

That doesn't mean that they think the tads don't need some shaping up. My grandparents (on my mother's side) let us stay overnight often on vacations. I partook of that privilege so often I was semi-traumatized to return home to find the house completely re-decorated. Talk about a Twilight Zone moment!

We reveled in the opportunity to visit, despite the fact that we were subjected to a boot-camp-like training.

  • Sit up straight!
  • Don't talk with your mouth full!
  • Don't say "yeah", say "yes, ma'm or yes, sir"!
  • No TV!
  • As Yul Brynner says in "The King and I" - etc., etc., etc.


All of the above was accompanied by a sharp rap on the top of the head with a bent knuckle (properly administered, it causes an immediate pain, with a throbbing headache for the next several hours.

We thoroughly enjoyed the visits, and craftily endeavored to find reasons to return. My parents, who bought wholesale into the permissive parenting nonsense, also enjoyed the mannerly children who returned from these visits. It only lasted a few days. You have to reinforce a habit to keep it.

How does this relate to my own wonderful grandchildren? I do think they are wonderful, but I don't hesitate to correct their behavior. Right now, the youngest is on a biting kick. If she were silly enough to bite me, I wouldn't say, "How sweet", but administer correction.

Love, but be firm.

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