Saturday, June 25, 2011

Grandparenting 101

Tristan and Mimi enjoying bedtime stories
Photo by John Lynner Peterson AKA Poppa

Being an overachiever from birth, I want to ace this grandparenting gig also. Since we moved back to Kentucky in late February, we have had only one sleepover with both precious angels present. Tristan is five and Payden is twelve months.

Now let me just clarify. I started decorating our guest room for these little creatures before we left North Carolina. It had to be neutral to accommodate both boy and girl. Cute but not so cutesy we couldn’t use it for an adult guest room when necessary. Lots of toys, books, pictures. It’s just what I wanted it to be. Only one problem---the little angels are too scared to sleep in there!

So we agree to try the both-angels-sleepover again.

We have a king-size Tempur-pedic bed but I also have a king size husband. John is 6’5” and as Tristan likes to tell everyone, “My Poppa used to be a Viking.” (Please do not tell him that just means he’s Norwegian and Minnesotan and has very big shoulders.) So the strategy is that I will get Tristan to sleep in our bed then put him on a pallet on the floor at the foot of our bed and let the little princess sleep with us all night. My daughter-in-law assures me this plan will work because Tristan can be moved without waking up and will not realize he’s been moved until morning.

Our plan works like a well-oiled Swiss machine for the first half of the night. I have already been having a restless sleep because I’m concerned the Viking will roll over on the Princess. I finally experience true rest with my back toward both them leaving the Princess in God’s hands. Then I awaken to gentle pushing against my back. “Payden sure is pushing hard against me for such a little thing.” I roll over intending to center her in the bed so I can get back to sleep. As I look at the little blonde head beside me, I have to blink my sleepy eyes several times before accepting it is Tristan beside me. He awakened during the night, thought he had fallen out of bed and crawled back in. We are now four-in-a-bed.

There is no Plan B so we all cuddle up and get whatever sleep will come. Since deep sleep came late, Tristan, Payden and I all sleep too late to get the four of us fed and dressed for church. At this point, I’m feeling grandparent failure creeping up on me like Ghostbuster slime. I wanted the two beautifully dressed and coiffed grandchildren in church with me today. Oh well, maybe next time.

Poppa fixes his world-famous waffles and we all gobbled them down with fruit and milk. He rushes off to church without us. The yummy-ness of having both angels with me surpasses any waffle, famous or not. Tristan is entertaining himself in the family room and Payden is getting a big dose of Mimi-love. I decide that I could at least put the refrigerated items away from the breakfast table. So with Payden on my hip, I pick up the little brown jug of maple syrup to move it to the fridge. Just as I turn away from the table, I loose my grip on the syrup and it not only spills, it bounces so that syrup spatters up the walls of the breakfast room!

A “tweet” went out at that instant to the entire world of black ants, “Syrup feast at the Peterson household. One hundred percent maple syrup. No preservatives, no corn syrup. Come one, come all.”

And they did. Instantly!

I admit that I am impressed with myself that I got Tristan to play with Payden long enough for me to mop the kitchen and breakfast room with the hottest, soapiest water I could make. I am not so impressed that even that process did not get all the stickiness up so Payden crawled around with the ants until I got her in the tub.

Surely, Grandparenting 102 will be easier.      


  1. I loved this post! Sunday mornings with little ones are HARD...plan your next sleepover on Friday night, sleep in and THEN have waffles for brunch in your jammies. Then you can pick 'em up at their house on your way to church on Sunday, already coiffed. :)

    I hope you realize that you have mastered grandparenting 101. You planned room in your home for them and then went with plan b to make them happy and didn't let plan c, d or e throw you either.

    A+, Valedictorian.

  2. Dear Web mistress, thanks for your kind comment. Picking them up already coiffed is beginning to sound really strategic! Thanks for the A+ and valedictory status! Just what I needed!

  3. As one who is about to become a "granny nanny" for a year in NYC, I read this post with interest. We won't be doing many sleepovers in this situation but we will be trying to ace the course. Once an overachiever, always an overachiever.

  4. Thanks for stopping by, Shirley. Good luck with the granny nanny gig. It won't be dull.

  5. What spontaneous fun you're having with those grandbabies. Now I understand why you made the move.

  6. So true, so true, Peggy. Time with my babies makes the move worth while!