The grandparents

We are not elderly, nor frail. We are in good health. Accomplished. Successful in our careers. Still lots of energy and vitality in us. Until.


Until we show up at our daughter’s to babysit the two grandchildren. Ages three years and nine months. By mid afternoon we need naps. At the end of the day, a glass of beer and a quiet dinner. Falling into bed, we are asleep in minutes. When the alarm goes off at 5:30 to start another day, I moan and roll over. Why did I agree to do this for a whole week?  And it’s only Tuesday?


Small children need very young, healthy, smart people to care for them. It takes quick wit, quick movements, and never-ending storytelling to keep them moving forward through their day with all the accouterments necessary for living the life of a toddler. Clean clothes, good food, educational activities. And don’t forget potty breaks. Or, in the case of the nine month old, diaper changes.


It never stops. Even when they are napping or sleeping, the tasks must be accomplished if the next day is to be successful. I am glad we are the grandparents. We could never make it as the parents.

7 responses to “The grandparents

  1. Yep, that’s why grandparents get to give them back to Mommy and Daddy. We are just not made for the long haul! However, for a week it sounds like boot camp! 🙂

  2. I don’t know how I will manage when that time comes, good luck to you this week, lol.

  3. I was thinking the same thing when we watched our granddaughter this summer for just three days. It’s good to be young when you have children. You NEED an abundance of energy. But then… look at that adorable face, what a joy to be with them.

  4. One was manageable. Two wear us out. We cannot fathom three, yet some friends of ours have three little stair step grandchildren that they babysit almost every day due to parent’s working schedules. We would probably babysit a whole lot more if we were closer than three hours. Well, maybe not. I’m not crazy about being this tired.

  5. certainabsurdity

    After doing the cool Auntie thing for three weeks this summer I’m glad to have time to myself. I don’t know how parents do it. I’m glad to be able to pitch in, but I’m glad to be home in my quiet house too.

  6. This all makes me laugh. Remember, I was the one who taught 100 high school teenagers every day. Week in and week out, for 10 months, for 21 years. How can two tiny children make me more tired than a classroom of teenagers?

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