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.
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.
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.