So I'm a grandparent now.
(And no, not a recent one, so congratulations are not in order.)
I'm just in the beginning of the grandparenthood stage with just one grandchild so far. But I've got to tell you I'm enjoying it far more than I thought was possible. This little life form is now 20 months old and I can't imagine life without her being around.
This kid is perfect, I shit you not. Oh my son and daughter-in-law may not quite go that far and will tell me that she can be fussy, mad, hates naps, etc.... but I have yet to witness any of this. Seriously. And as someone who's around her quite a bit I should. It's not that I don't believe them, after all I have two kids myself, and they weren't perfect. Pretty easy to raise over all, but not perfect.
Both my son and daughter-in-law work full time and have had a lot of trouble finding dependable and affordable daycare. So I stepped up to the plate and volunteered to watch her on my days off, which amounts to about 6 days a month where it works out that I'm off when they're working.
Below is a list of of activities we do that will display the awesomeness of this child during the 9-10 hours she's in my care:
1) I usually have to feed her two meals a day when I'm watching her. While the parents bemoan the fact that she won't always eat well for them I can honestly say this is a non-issue for me. She eats everything I throw in front of her. So what if there's always ice cream involved. Naturally the parents haven't been let in on this little secret. (And no, before any righteous parent decides this is terrible, not just ice cream, we do the healthy type of food, but this kid knows Gramps, or as she calls me, "Pa Pa", is gonna give her ice cream if she eats well.)
2) We play, and play, then play some more. And the best part? She's brought out my inner child. (And we make a huge mess, and it's great. After all, this babysitting gig occurs at their place, not mine. There's no clean up or picking up involved for me.)
3) And naps? Not a problem. This kid naps for an average of 2 hours for me. Every. Single. Time. At first this made me nervous, just based on what the parents told me with their troubles in this area. I'd check the crib every 10 minutes to make sure this kid was breathing and alive when she was napping for me. (After all, it wouldn't look very good on the babysitting resume if the kid died while napping in my care.)
4) This kid knows how I feel about poopy diapers. I can tell her she should wait for mommy or daddy to get home before doing this. And for some reason it works with far more success than I dreamed possible. Hell, I've even initiated the potty training sequence with some degree of success. But in listening to the parents my "some" degree is better than their efforts so far. (I actually think this irritates the daughter-in-law though. Not the "some" degree of success part. She just doesn't think potty training should have been started yet. But hey, I think that if a kid can come up to you, point at their diaper, and say they've peed, or pooped, it's time to potty train.
5) She listens to me and there's few bad behavior episodes. (Almost didn't list this one because I think it's normal for a kid to behave better for almost anyone else than a parent.)
I could go on and on, but I think you get the picture, and you're either bored enough already, or extremely jealous of the mad skills I possess as a babysitter. My point is she's an awesome addition in my life.