Head trainer just another grandpa
It doesn’t seem possible, but I am firmly entrenched in grandad-dom. Grandchild No. 6 is on the way. My wife and I are convinced that being a grandparent is about the best gig going.
You heard about Camp Blackberry a couple of months ago and those that know me, know that I’ve fully recovered from the nervous breakdowns that happened on Days 5 and 7 (just kidding).
So last week I was putting away the dishes and just stopped and thought ... we are really, honestly 100-percent full-fledged grandparents. The evidence was in front of me — and constitutes the first line in the rest of the column.
You know you’re a grandparent if...
Your “sippy” cups outnumber your wine glasses.
Your dining room has a high chair. Probably recycled from your own children. We actually have two — one for indoors and a plastic one for outdoors.
You’ve tried to recycle Strawberry Shortcake and My Little Pony. Barbie is still out there but I’m too much of a feminist to embrace that whole arena.
You know how to change a diaper but wonder where the pins go. When I talk about cloth diapers, I get looks that let me know with absolute certainty that I’m a dinosaur.
Your vacation plans just might include something that begins with Disney. Oh, and you know what the “Hot Dog Dance” is.
You’re pretty sure that swimming means they don’t need a bath but your own kids would still have been scrubbed to their last layer of epidermis.
Pizza now fulfills four major food groups — but it sure didn’t used to. I mean, think about it. Grains (the crust), fruits (tomato paste--remember, tomatoes are fruits), meat (pepperoni), and vegetables (other toppings). See?
You know you’re a grandparent if it is now OK if they eat too much candy and stay up too late. You’re just going to send them home anyway.
You find cereal in the couch instead of change. And your meals involve two menus, one for the adults and one for the children. Ham and plum baby food? I ain’t goin’ there!
You think James Dobson’s The Strong Willed Child is funny.
You put plastic sheets back on your beds and get excited about a phone update on potty training.
You have no idea how to put in the car seat or fold up the stroller. Your own kids probably just used an adult seatbelt and you yourself might have stood on the front bench seat between your parents, unrestrained. Yeah, it is a lot better now. A LOT better.
And finally, you know you’re a grandparent when you realize that even though you thought you had all the answers when you were raising your own kids you now understand that parenting is mostly about not messing them — more like gently re-arranging clouds — than it is about grand design.
Joe Black, PT, DPT, SCS, ATC is a physical therapist and athletic trainer at Total Rehabilitation and is Manager of Outpatient Rehabilitation for Blount Memorial Hospital. Write to him at (firstname.lastname@example.org)