(Just posted the first chapter of my cozy mystery on my writing page for your enjoyment. Click on My Writing at the top of the page to see it.)
Benjamin Franklin said, “Guests, like fish, begin to smell after three days.” Ben’s got a point. Being a host can get old. But then, being a smelly guest can become very uncomfortable, too, even for a grandparent who is visiting from far away.
I tell the twenty-seven-month-old I’ll read a book to her and then tuck her into bed. She shoves her chubby palm in my direction and, with a fierce baby scowl on her face, she says, in extremely clear English, “No. Go away, Grandma.” Whoa—a stab to the heart. The wound heals, leaving only a little scar tissue, with the giggles elicited by my threat that a rooster will sit on her lower lip and peck her baby nose if she keeps pouting.
The six-year-old. Have you ever had a long-legged youngster throw a tantrum in a bathtub full of water, resulting in a flooded bathroom and a soaked you? This—all because of my failure to realize she is telling the truth; she actually does get candy during every bath time.
Perhaps an out-of-state grandparent should visit often but for short periods of time–three days or fewer? Spoil the children in outrageous ways, read and play and cuddle with them, and then leave them to their parents, teachers, and babysitters, daily caregivers who know the ropes.
Bickering, tantrums, realization that Grandma won’t stand for bad behavior—more likely to happen during a three-week visit than during a three-day visit. Hearing from your children that their way of raising their children is different from yours—the same.
Getting to help potty train your clever, happy, toddler granddaughter, becoming involved in the kindergartner’s passion for birds, watching the children crumble into sobs over “owies” and laughing with them during their unrestrained dancing to silly kids’ music, giving my daughter time to study for her Boards, and enjoying the leisure time to work on my book while the kids are at school–all probably require a longer time.
So…well…make your own decisions. And, enjoy!