The Great Grandparent’s Competition….healthier ways to get along

This post was written by Valerie on September 30, 2011
Posted Under: Grandma Quotes

Yes it is true. Grandparents do compete to be the Best Grandparent ever. They buy the latest toys and clothes and can pull together multiple trips to Disneyland, Hawaii or ???? When it comes to living on one coast while the other Grandparents live next door how do you manage to stay just as close? Did you dream of having Grandchildren and have them love you just as much as you loved your favorite Grandparent? Me too.

Being on a tight budget in this economy doesn’t help much if you aren’t wealthy or live far away and still want to stay close to your Grandchildren but just what was it that made you favor one Grandparent over the other if that rings true for you? Was it the gifts, the outings, travel? I realized that for me it was the routine they set up for me on my visits with them. I knew that once I arrived at their door they would both be there to greet me and were really excited about my being there. They put my things in “my room” and I knew what to expect–a walk to the small grocery for Strawberry soda and red vines. We also played “hide the plastic spider”. My Grandmother hated spiders so the joke was we would bring a spider to put in her fridge or in a cupboard and we knew she found it when she let out a scream!! We always laughed and she always knew it wasn’t real but it did not matter.

I knew my Grandfather loved to sit on the floor and have me brush his hair. I can still feel that safe feeling with him. I knew we would have a small dinner and then play a board game. I also knew the next morning my Grandmother would make me the BEST French Toast ever!! My Grandfather always gave me a quarter before I headed back home. Sometimes we would go for a special ice cream cone at the drug store.

My Grandmother always made us new pajamas for Christmas Eve and I could hardly wait. I loved the flannel and still love flannel PJ’s (PJ Salvage are my favorites). When I was older she taught me how to sew and cook French toast. For the really special times we got to go to the San Diego Zoo (my Grandfather worked at building most of the exhibits) we got in free. Another thing that is back now is the Coronado Ferry and you could buy fresh caramel corn (can’t today) and ride the Ferry all night for about a quarter.

So when I think back it was their time with me. They lived in San Diego about a 40 minute ride from our house. So how about living far from your Grandchildren?

My Dad’s father lived in Florida and had a horse ranch in San Ysidro where he raised and trained race horses. He and his wife did spend a lot of time in San Diego but they never were able to actually spend time with me and I did not feel as close to them. I worried that if my children moved away from San Diego that my Grandchildren would not get to know and love us. Ok to the fix….pictures…lots of pictures.  With every visit with the kids my children would put together Shutterfly picture books. They would spend time with the kids and look at the pictures and talk about their visit and point us out when they got back home.

When they were old enough to talk about the books on the phone that was even better. Also on their visits to San Diego we keep a routine and the kids actually picked their special things to do…ice cream sunday’s, play in the fountain in the back yard, kick the ball around, put together puzzles and lots of play dough fun. Always trips to the beach where all the family can meet up and play in the sand and the water. The San Diego beaches are extra special and easy to get to even with nine Grandchildren and several sets of Grandparents and grownups and friends to join us all–more pictures.

Grampy playing with Lila

Kid level

Did you forget about my topic…Grandparent’s competition…yeah me too. There is no competition for connecting. Sitting on the same level as your Grandchildren looking them in the eyes/dancing with them to Lady Gaga and build your own routine.

And don’t forget the pictures, the zoo and the beaches are all here when they come back to visit.





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