What happens at Nana’s…

snow baby skiing

We just got back from visiting B, our incredibly cute, sweet and highly amusing grandson. He’s 16 months old and is a chip off the ol‘ AGMA block.

Of course.

He’s our only grandchild. *sigh* That’s what you get when your kids actually listened to you years ago when you told them not to rush into marriage and a family. What the hell…? They didn’t listen to anything else I said.

I have a number of friends who are actually younger than me who have grandchildren graduating from high school. High school for Pete’s sake!

We’ll be lucky if we’re still alive for B’s high school graduation.

B and parents live in Chicago. In a condo. With no yard. Or driveway. Or hose.

AGMA has nothing against multi-family living units. It seems like the majority of the world’s population live in multi-family buildings. It’s just that it makes me a touch sad that most of B’s experiences with the great outdoors will be scheduled, “curated” events. No building a snowman in the back yard, no running through the sprinklers on a hot summer day, no driveway ant floods, no building a fort in the woods.

It’s hard to teach an old AGMA new tricks.

But they live in a lovely urban Chicago neighborhood that has a wonderful new park a block away. A very curated park. Of course. Spongy, bouncy surfaces beneath the swings and high tech play equipment to cushion falls, artificial grass with those little rubber pellets in it to make the ground softer, and fencing all around the perimeter of the park. The only “real” grass and dirt is around the edges near the fence. And the kids aren’t supposed to play in that area.

Of course.

We went to said park twice on our weekend visit. It was packed. The line up of strollers in front looked like Brad and Angelina’s house on play date day. You couldn’t spit and not hit a child having a curated park experience.

B is my son and DIL’s first child. As such, when they leave the house, they’re prepared for every contingency imaginable. Sort of. B had a cold and they forgot to pack tissues. Rookie mistake.

But sans cold, they are ready for any possibility. B’s diaper bag (DB) is stuffed chock full of anything and everything that B might need on their park outings. A block away from their condo.

Mostly, they seem to be worried about the possibility of B starving. I was charged with carrying the “everything but the kitchen sink and tissues” diaper bad on the second trip to the park. It was a lovely sunny day, and my DIL wanted to put more SPF 9,350 on B’s fair skin. She asked me to look for in the DB for sunscreen.

Oops – no sunscreen. Another rookie mistake.

But digging through the DB, I found enough food to feed every kid at that park, and still have six baskets of loaves and fishes left over. There were little plastic food storage containers and plastic bags filled with crackers, veggie sticks, yogurt bites, animal cookies, wheat squares, and other nibbles I couldn’t identify. And there was a whole banana, an avocado and a squeeze pouch of yogurt. All organic of course.

AGMA remembers thinking I was doing something really healthy for my kids when I gave them Cheerios to snack on when they were growing up. Epic mom fail.

A quick call to my son who was at their condo a block away and the sunscreen appeared a few minutes later. Whew! That was a close one.

I realize there is more than one way to raise a child, but AGMA’s very happy that B’s other grandparents live in a house with a big yard only a few hours away. A yard that snowmen can be built in and sprinklers run through and forts built in the wooded area. His other grandpa has lots of tools and other things to use to make cool “stuff”. B’s going to love that.

And AGMA takes some degree of comfort in knowing that, when B comes to visit in a few months, we’ll have an ant flood in our driveway. Although we don’t have a yard per se because we live in a townhouse community, there are plenty of green spaces with real trees and grass and lots of dirt that we can all explore together.

It’s why grandparents are so awesome…  No diaper bags required.

I hope we find some cool bugs.

25 thoughts on “What happens at Nana’s…

  1. My theory was to take the grand kid for a short enough time that a dipper bag wasn’t needed. When we’d get to that point, I just hand the kid back and say, “This one’s broken, can I have another one?”

    Sometimes I teach the kids a little woodworking. I have one rule in the shop, “No hitting a sibling with a hammer, when I am looking.”

    Plus I am teaching the older ones how to swear. I figure I need to be a positive roll model…

    Liked by 2 people

    • Sounds like the perfect grandpa! How many grands do you have Andrew?

      I remember once, when they were little, we got my nieces a croquet set. They must have been like 5 & 6. They were outside playing with and I was inside talking with my SIL. I looked out the window and the older one was chasing the younger one with the semi-heavy wooden mallet with an angry look on her face. I told my SIL that she might want to intervene… 😉


  2. Oh, they should start to relax about the time the third one comes along. That poor first one though – it’s the experimental model. I have enough grandchildren and great-grandchildren to fill a short bus. That first one, by itself, well, good luck!

    Liked by 3 people

    • Holy cow! How many grands and great grands do you have??

      I only have two children and I’m 99.9 percent sure the younger won’t marry, so no grands there. Then the older one & DIL are in their mid-30’s so you know that there won’t be many more popping out. I’m thinking maybe one more… Neither one has the temperament for a big family.

      So I’ll be lucky to get the backseat of a car of grandchildren. I’m pretty sure I won’t be around to meet any of my greats since my little buddy is only 16 months old. The downside of waiting later to have children (both myself and my son…)

      So I venture to say that what I do have will be very spoiled!


    • Me – judge?? What ever do you mean…? 😉 I just “observe”!

      I remember when our first came along, I was going to make his baby food in my brand new Cuisinart food processor. Yeah – that lasted like one time. It was jars of Gerber all the way… NOT organic may I add. It’s a miracle both my kids ever survived!

      Thanks for reading and laughing!!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I too am a one grandchild grandmother. My first son and his wife aren’t planning on any. The son and his wife want to try for some more. I am actually going to baby sit the afternoon before Mother’s Day! Yea!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Oh this was a WONDERFUL post! I smiled throughout.
    At least i get to be a great-aunt-mother so even if my son never reproduces, I am thrilled to have my nieces’ little girls and boy (4 in total) in my life. The things that I do with them, I probably won’t be physically able to do with any futur grandchildren, at the rate my unmarried son is going, so I’m taking full advantage of the time I get to spend with my sweet little things.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh – I so love that you liked the post! Thanks!

      And I totally get what your saying! My nieces have 5 kids between them and even though they each live a plane ride away, I have LOVED going to visit them as they’ve grown up. The oldest one is turning 11 soon, so it won’t be long before they aren’t so keen on spending time with Auntie AGMA, but there’s still 5 year old… 🙂

      I might live to see my nieces become grandmas making me a great great aunt which would be wonderful, but I’m pretty sure I will never be a great grand considering my little guy is only 16 months old. But you never know… 😉 I could be a rockin’ and runnin’ 90 year old great grand!


  5. Curated, scheduled, programmed, structured, regimented, etc. To me it’s sad perhaps, because I liked things the way they were when I was a kid. How soon before he gets a smartphone and iPad? They’re ubiqitous and they’d mirror the strollers. I used to wonder why member of older generations lamented the good ‘ol days. Now I get it.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes Eric – I get it too!

      I have to say that in many ways they really weren’t the good old days (especially for minorities), but in some ways, I do wish we could turn the clock back. I’m really glad I had my kids when I did and they were practically grown before smart phones, social media, tablet computers and the “technology takeover”. We bought our first personal computer in 1984, when my youngest son was just a baby, and had a computer from then on, but it was just sort of there in the background. It wasn’t the center of our lives.

      My biggest worry with my kids was limiting their TV time and Nintendo time! They still played outside and built forts in the woods and rode their bikes and got phone calls on our landline. And I didn’t have a way to keep track of them 24/7 which I think was good for them and us!

      It’s a new age though Eric… We need to make the best of it and help them (as much as we can) get some of those experiences that we so precious to us as we were growing up. I know I plan on sneaking in a few for my grandson when my son and DIL aren’t looking! 😉


  6. There is a great book (probably out of print) entitled “Where Did You Go? Out. What Did You Do? Nothing.” that every parent should be required to read. It spells out in humorous detail what childhood should be like. With all the precautions I see parents implementing, I’m not sure how any of us “older folks” even survived. But survive we did. Enjoyed this post.

    Liked by 1 person

    • The both sound wonderful! And was he eavesdropping on my older son and I when he would come home late? 🙂 I just checked on Amazon and it’s available. I laughed when I read that it was published in 1957 and he wrote it because he thought suburban kids were over scheduled and their activities over planned. In 1957! He must be turning in his grave at what’s happening today…

      Thanks for the recommendations! I’d love to give them to my son.


  7. Would you believe that the green eyed monster reared its ugly head when I started reading this? Since I’d been “knocked up” by Spouse before our marriage, at the overly ripe old age of almost 35, I’ve always told my daughters that they could only do that if they also had completed their educations, had good jobs and owned a home, as I did when I found myself embarazada (Spanish for pregnant don’t-ya love it?). So far, it looks like they took me seriously, too.
    I added the Spanish because, as a working older Mom, I felt justified in having nannies to help raise my kids, and Spanish was the first language of most of them. I could tell a lot of stories about these sympathetic women that I paid under the table without benefits. Most of them were moms as well. The last one, Rosa, was a single mom of a little boy who was the same age as my youngest daughter whom I spoke of in my office as my devil- or Velcro-child. Long story short, Rosa and Ernesto were two of the best people to ever come into our lives. We are still in touch with and care about both of them. The sad part for me was that Rosa got to take them on most of those fun local adventures that you imagine for B, though she also had to wrangle/tangle with devil-child when I left the house. All three kids were her highest (and nearly equal) priorities, though devil-child might beg to differ. Rosa made them read and spend time outdoors everyday, which I doubt I would have had the backbone to do! In return, Ernesto got to attend the excellent public schools in our neighborhood.
    After they left us, when I got a part time job which I highly recommend for anyone with kids, if they can arrange it, Rosa went to school and became an ultrasound tech. Ernesto should soon finish his college degree. It has taken some time for my temporarily adopted son to decide what he wanted to be when he grew up, so I need to check with Rosa or her cousin or Ernesto to see if he will be a veterinarian (a shocking thought since he actively disliked our cat) or a landscape architect. Last time I talked it over with Rosa, Ernesto was more enamored of plants than animals, thanks to his job at Home Depot!

    Liked by 1 person

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