Being grandparents as parents is a unique life. Some people miss out on their childhood; we’re missing out on our golden years. At this stage in life, Stu and I were supposed to be planning European cruises, not cruises by Disney. We looked forward to getting up leisurely on the weekend, not at six o’clock in the morning and, most certainly, not to the voice of SpongeBob SquarePants on the TV! We can’t always accept invitations because we’re at the mercy of finding a babysitter. My days are bookended by school drop-offs and pick-ups, with not much time in the middle. How can the day go so fast? Early evenings were supposed to be filled with relaxing activities like preparing a quiet dinner for Stu and I, or soaking in a hot tub, while he picked up dinner. Instead, I’m making grilled cheese sandwiches -and taking a leisurely bath? That means, while I sponge quickly, Brady’s running past my tub after his “Nano” battery-run bugs, yelling for me to watch. It’s back to the chaotic daily life that only a child can provide. Don’t get me wrong, in Brady we’ve been given a joyful gift of life that we wouldn’t trade for the world; but we’ve also been given a few lifelong challenges.
“Brady, it’s time to do homework!” I call out.
“Can’t it wait until later?” he pleads. “I want to play.”
“If you wait until later, you’ll be too tired and you still have to practice piano,” I tiredly answer. “And I need time to make dinner.”
“But, Mom,“ he argues, “I’m a kid, and kids are supposed to play. It makes us happy.
He always manages to make me smile.
“Well,” I say, “you are a kid, and you are supposed to play. But your first job is schoolwork.
Then I try the competitive approach.
“Brady, how come your cousin Aidan does his work without arguing and looks forward to solving math problems?”
“Mom,” he says as if I’m clueless, “Aidan and I are two very different people. We were made that way, so we don’t do things the same.”
What can I say to that?
“You’re right, Brady, but you still need to do your work.”
After more coercing, we finally sit down together to do homework. He’ll look bored, play with the pencil until it flies out of his hand, argue that his printing is neat when it isn’t; and homework that should take fifteen minutes, is taking forty-five!”
How many more years of homework do I have to look forward to?