When our grandchildren Leo and Grady are out of school without scheduled activities, they go to “Mommy Camp”, run seamlessly by our daughter-in-law. But when Katrina unexpectedly had to go to California for six days, she asked us to take over.
We agreed, but I was concerned about having to drive the kids in Katrina’s huge van around a town I didn’t know. Also, at ages ten and almost eight, these boys are very active, and their play can get a little rough.
My goal was that Katrina would come home to no new scratches on either her car or her boys. In that, I succeeded.
However, instead of being the perfect grandparents who come with gifts and can do no wrong, we were now the ones who rationed “screen time” and set limits. Also we can’t play soccer and do all the other things that baby sitters do. But we drove them to swim practice; we took them to buy new bathing suits; we made trips to the grocery store. We handed out snacks and played games.
We did the best we could, but the kids were always happy when Dad got home from work to play catch with them.
I explained to Grady and Leo, that although they might have more fun with other baby sitters, there aren’t any babysitters that love them more than their grandparents.