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Would You Seriously Want To Do It Again?


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#1 jaci

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Posted 03 August 2013 - 03:38 AM

Last night, my daughter and I was standing in line with several other women, waiting for a meeting to start at church. Several women there started a conversation about GKs. One lady, about my age, said she has 4 GC. I replied "We'll soon have our 7th GC.". The other lady says "I don't want anymore! Four is enough. I love them, but when they visit, its like a hurricane went through & we're glad when they go home."

 

Another lady commented on how much she enjoyed her GC, but how glad she is when they leave. This started a conversation on how times have changed, and it isn't as easy to raise kids for this generation, as it was for our generation. This group of women was in the range of 20s yr olds and women older enough to have retired.

 

I well remember how proud my mom's mother (my MGM) was to have 36 GKS. Thirty-six!! I could not even imagine.....Man, I hope to never have that many......

 

It makes me think about how many times we read here of someone complaining that a GP wants a "do-over"....or wants "another chance to play mommy & daddy".

 

Are there seriously any GPs around who REALLY want to be parents all over again?? I know I certainly don't!!!! I would raise any of these 7 precious children if the need arose BUT it would have to be a darn good reason.

 

We actually have 2 GSs who live with us, along with their parents, because of financial needs.  I am hearing of this more and more, with the cost of living. I will love when the day comes, my son & his family can start over again in their own home. I am happy that we can help out, but I would love for hubby and me to have our home back again, just the 2 of us. These 2 GSs does go every other weekend to spend with their MGM, and I love that break!

 

I see the other GC very often, sometimes 3-6 times a week. I enjoy the kids, and they all love us., but its nice when they all go home.

 

I have a very close cousin/best friend. She is GM to 5 kids. She has custody of all 5., and she tells me how much she loves them but how hard it is. She is still in her early 50s, I just recently turned 60.

 

I have never heard any GP express the desire to raise their GKs just to get another chance. Most are like me, get tired and stressed more easily, and is ready to slow down. I am actually enjoying my "senior" years and can say I am happy that my kids are grown. I do not want to do it all over again.

 

Never!

 

I just find it strange that any GP actually wants to raise their GKs.



#2 KaIana

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Posted 03 August 2013 - 03:41 AM

I'm with you, Jaci!



#3 critter21

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Posted 03 August 2013 - 04:25 AM

I agree Jaci, no do over for me either.

That was supposed to be one of the perks of being GP's you could play with them and then send them home.

The problems the parents face nowadays are so much worse than I had when my children were growing up.  I do not envy them trying to raise kids today with all the drugs and pedophiles around. 



#4 Layla

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Posted 03 August 2013 - 05:56 AM

Jaci I am not a MIL however when I think of my future I picture more than just grandchildren, I wouldn't want a life that is just about GC's and that's it, so I imagine that no for a lot of MIL's they must love their time with their GC but also enjoy their travel, hobbies, friends.

 

I think there are controlling MIL's out there who do want to run the show, they would have been controlling DIL's at one stage and a controlling wife.  I suppose some DIL's who have a controlling MIL may look at it that she wants a do over but I see it more as that's probably just her personality. Maybe there are some who really loved that time in their life and want to live it again but I think the majority of women would understand the difference in roles.



#5 nonna23

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Posted 03 August 2013 - 08:07 AM

Maybe what is wanting to share an experience/special event with a GC is which you did with your DC is viewed as a do-over. I loved watching my DGS play football, not just for the joy of seeing him play but for the memories of watching my boys play. The mixture of the past and present make the experience more meaningful. Sometimes when driving past kids practicing I get a twinge of awwww, but quickly remember how hard getting three kids to practices etc was. I love reading to my DGD2 and enjoying the moment but also remembering reading her mom the same story and watching her face have the same expression as her mother had. I enjoy the expression my DGD1 when we she "gets" a math concept she is struggling with and remember seeing her dad with that same expression. I don't see this as a do-over but more of the perk of being a GP. To me it is more a circle of life, a continuation my GP, my mom and me. The glimpse of immortality as a part of you lives on in your children and their children and their children. As a GP I don't have to worry about braces, hormones, pimples and first dates. I don't have to worry about the cost of dance shoes, baseball gloves, reeds or camp. But I get to enjoy the activity. I get to be at the prom night picture taking admiring what a beautiful YM DGD1 has become without having to go through all it took to get there. Do I wistfully miss active motherhood ? Sometimes. But not for long. All it takes is an overnight with a pouty teenager whose friend offended her, an overnight of watching Brave three times or an afternoon of video game playing with the accompanying yelling at the game to make me say whoo glad that part of my life is over. So a do-over NO! But a rememberance of the past with an enjoyment of the present and a glimpse into the future: ABSOLUTELY!
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#6 homeygfunk

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Posted 03 August 2013 - 10:12 AM

I have no desire to raise my GC. I never wanted a do-over. I was looking forward to my empty-nest syndrome and now that it is here I love it. I would have no problem taking care of them if there was a need to. I did have to take temporary custody of my granddaughter when CPS got involved and if it came up again I would not hesitate to take custody again. I am hoping that this is not necessary. The kids love their parents and it would be difficult to explain to them why they could not live with them.

I am more than happy to pass the torch on to my kids and let them have their own parenting experience. And one day they will pass it to their children and have the grandparenting experience that I am having now.



#7 KikisMama

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Posted 03 August 2013 - 10:58 AM

Maybe what is wanting to share an experience/special event with a GC is which you did with your DC is viewed as a do-over. I loved watching my DGS play football, not just for the joy of seeing him play but for the memories of watching my boys play. The mixture of the past and present make the experience more meaningful. Sometimes when driving past kids practicing I get a twinge of awwww, but quickly remember how hard getting three kids to practices etc was. I love reading to my DGD2 and enjoying the moment but also remembering reading her mom the same story and watching her face have the same expression as her mother had. I enjoy the expression my DGD1 when we she "gets" a math concept she is struggling with and remember seeing her dad with that same expression. I don't see this as a do-over but more of the perk of being a GP. To me it is more a circle of life, a continuation my GP, my mom and me. The glimpse of immortality as a part of you lives on in your children and their children and their children. As a GP I don't have to worry about braces, hormones, pimples and first dates. I don't have to worry about the cost of dance shoes, baseball gloves, reeds or camp. But I get to enjoy the activity. I get to be at the prom night picture taking admiring what a beautiful YM DGD1 has become without having to go through all it took to get there. Do I wistfully miss active motherhood ? Sometimes. But not for long. All it takes is an overnight with a pouty teenager whose friend offended her, an overnight of watching Brave three times or an afternoon of video game playing with the accompanying yelling at the game to make me say whoo glad that part of my life is over. So a do-over NO! But a rememberance of the past with an enjoyment of the present and a glimpse into the future: ABSOLUTELY!

Yes, I think the wanting to be involved in the little firsts and major milestones is what is seen as wanting a do-over.  I also think there are some (probably few) grandparents who really do want to swoop in and take over the middle-of-the-night feedings, diaper changes, baths - the new baby motherhood experience - sleep-deprivation and all.  But, even the desire to be there for all of the firsts can feel really suffocating from the perspective of the parents.  I honestly don't want to share all of those with my mother.  I want to share those things with my husband in the moment and then tell my mother about them and show her pictures later, not have her breathing over our shoulders, or worse-yet, elbowing us out of the way, as they occur.  Unfortunately, I have observed my mother do the elbowing, pushing, trying the run the show at birthday parties, etc.  I think a good GP observes firsts and special events when invited, but from a decent distance.  The ones who get accused of wanting a do-over are the ones who take over, step into the spot where the parents should be standing, get into the baby's/child's face, push hard for alone time and overnights, need to be the favorite GP (are competitive), insist on being the one to comfort an upset child, etc.  Unfortunately, I watched my mom as the take-over type with my nieces and nephew, particularly my younger niece who lives near her.  She was clearly, unabashedly, competitive with the mother.  She thought she knew best and would get indignant if she was ever given any restrictions or rules or if the parents made a decision that she didn't agree with.  She felt very entitled to be the third parent.  She is the "wants-a-do-over" GM for sure, pushing herself literally and physically into the place where a parent should be.  I've observed my sweet niece looking towards her parents in a moment of excitement or pride, like after scoring a goal, or in a moment of pain or fear, after a tumble, only to have my mom be the one to swoop in, and the disappointment on niece's face.  It's so sad to see this little girl who goes along and puts her GM's feeling ahead of her own, as GM puts her own feelings ahead of her GC's feelings, and my brother step aside too because he doesn't want to call GM out in front of his DD and risk making DD feel that much worse.  I won't tolerate that for my DD.  When she looks for her father or I, we will be there. So, I'm primed to defend my role as the mother and it means that she'll probably be much more excluded than either of us would really like.  Because she doesn't seem to know how to observe, and I don't want what should be special moments marred by tension or being on guard, my mom will not be invited for many events, although I would otherwise have liked for her to be there.


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#8 BlueEyedGirl

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Posted 03 August 2013 - 11:04 AM

I know GPs who would adamantly say HECK NO. And I know GPs who would just as adamantly say HECK YES.  And I know both in real life. My parents and ILs would raise our girls in an emergency situation or take us in if the need arose...but like most of you, they have no desire for a Do-Over. They enjoy their child-free existence and prefer it that way. They enjoy the time they have with their grandchildren but are ready to send them home when it's time.

 

One of my BFF's mom's on the other hand...I'm fairly sure if BFF decided right this moment to send her children to live with her, she wouldn't bat an eye, she would jump for joy. When the children visit, which is incredibly frequently - bordering on the equivalent of non-custodial parent visitation, mom and dad have a hard time getting them back from the grandparents.  Grandma is quite content to have the children stay with her for weeks on end during the summer and they decide each day whether the kids are coming home or staying with Grandma. The kids usually make the choice until mom and dad finally put their foot down because they miss the kids and want to see them.  The kids come home for a few days and then they are back at grandma's house. During the school year, all four of the kids are there pretty much every weekend if they can swing it. I've heard (with my own ears, not second or third hand) Grandma say in regards to the kids that they are really hers anyway, that her daughter just carried them for her. It's all said in a loving way, it doesn't seem to bother any of them. Not outright. I know it bothers BFF when the kids don't come home for days on end until she basically has to demand it.  I don't know if she considers them a Do Over or just an extension of herself via her DD.


My own grandmother - though I often speak in very loving terms of her (maternal grandmother) was very bad about lumping my mom and myself together as if we were sisters instead of mother and daughter. She would look at me and say "Your father" when talking about my grandfather and would often tell people I was hers and I found myself telling people even as a child that I was her granddaughter and not her daughter. I spent so much time with my grandmother as a child that people thought I was hers, especially in the summer when the boys were with PGM.  She often forgot (and still does) that there was an entire generation between herself and me and that I had a mother.



#9 kerijo77

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Posted 03 August 2013 - 11:10 AM

I don't think my MIL wants a do over in parenting per say. I do know (per her own words) that she saw LO as the daughter she never had. It was no secret that MIL was disappointed she only had boys. She made this very clear. So when we found out we were having a girl she was over the top ecstatic. She has said that you live your whole life just to get to te point of being a GP; add to that that she was going to "have" a girl - whoa! She envisioned getting to finally do all the girl things with LO that she never had the opportunity to do with her boys. An this isn't just me making assumptions, she has actually said to AIL, "you know I always wanted a little girl and now that I have my chance they are taking it away from me". And she kept hinting around that we should name LO after her or FIL. I'm sorry, but names are a parenting decision. Who thinks they have any input in someone else's child's name? She was mad that we wouldn't share the name with anyone during pregnancy. She thinks GP and parents are on the same level to the child so she couldn't fathom not having the same amount of input/knowledge that we did about our daughter.

Anyway, I don't think she wanted to raise her GC but I do think she expected to have parental input and I know she looked at LO as opportunity to fulfill her dreams of having a daughter. And she has said that when her boys were young they couldnt afford a lot so, given her reaction to us being able to afford to buy our kids nice things, I think she looked at LO as a do over in that area.

I also think that, like I said earlier, she sees grandparents and parents as an equal role to the child. This is how I see the situations where parents say the GP want to play mommy/daddy. I don't think they necessarily want a complete do over but I do think some GP see themselves as an equal role as the parents. When someone complains about having to ask to hs their GC, or having to give a crying baby to his mother, or having to ask the parents before doing certain things, etc. - I think those people see their relationship to the child equal to a parents relationship to the child.

And note, I am NOT talking about all, or even most, grandparents. I think most grandparents are normal.

#10 rosered135

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Posted 03 August 2013 - 11:33 AM

I wouldn't want a "do-over," either! I've come close enough to that, in the recent past, as a nanny granny, sometimes watching granddolls for long hours, and as much as I enjoy them, it can be way more tiring for me, at my age, than it was when I was a young mom.

 

Nor would I want full responsibility for them or to be the decision-maker/one of the decision-makers. In fact, to me, one of the perks of being a GP caregiver is that I don't  have to make the major decisions - that's a parental role.

 

Well, most of the time. On the rare occasion when I didn't agree with a choice YDD made or thought she was taking too long to make it, there was a part of me that just wished I could grab the reigns and do it my way (no worries, I didn't even try). So I can see where some  GPs who are this close to the situation, might want to take over, even if they didn't feel that way, originally.

 

Then again, I think - I know  - there are some  GPs (hopefully, very few) - who would like to "be the parent," even if they're not so involved. B/c once-in-a-while, we've had GMs come in here and say they thought they were getting a "second chance" when their GC was born or that they wish their DIL or DD (or whoever) would let them. And b/c my DGD's PGM, unfortunately, has often tried to "have a say" in even some of the smallest decisions YDD was making for DGD . (Yes, YDD has learned to give her info, only on a "need-to-know" basis.) I don't think she would want to "play Mommy" on a fulltime basis - once, after she and PGF took DGD on an outing, as much as they enjoyed it (and DGD, too, of course), they were openly shocked at how tired they felt, afterwards! I just think it's hard for her to accept the fact that she's not in control this time around. And that may be true for some other GPs. (Actually, in my case, DGD's PGM may actually think that I'm  getting a  "say," even though I'm not.)

 

I also think some GPs would like to be in charge of certain areas  of their GC's lives. That was true of both my DM and my MIL. In fact, I once accused DM of wanting to be '"the mom" and she protested, "Oh no! I did that already! I love being a gramma!" And, no doubt, that was true. But, looking back, I realize she still wanted control over issues where we disagreed and that meant something to her.

 

But I'm not  saying it's always about control. In fact, I agree with nonna that sometimes, it's just about wanting to repeat certain pleasant/fun/exciting experiences or parts of them ( not the part about "getting three kids to practices," etc. :)). Unfortunately, that's probably why some GPs try to "get in on" or take over "firsts." I've been fortunate enough to have been included on many of my granddolls' firsts and it can be quite a delight! And yes, I agree with nonna, that there's something to be said for the feeling of deja vue and sweet nostalgia that goes with it. But that hardly means I'd want to be responsible for any preparation that was involved, etc.

 

Then again, I know that some DILs here have had to deal with DMs or MILs who seem to want to "play Mommy" - grabbing the baby away, every chance they get, constantly asking/demanding to feel, change and/or bathe baby, etc. or have them for an "overnight." There, too, however, I think it's often just to re-experience the sweetness of it all. It always amazes me how some of the GPs who cry the loudest about wanting more time - esp "alone-time" - "disappear" or make excuses if ever the parents want them to do some frequent or extended babysitting (again, saying "some," not "all" or even "most").

 

And. of course, the circumstance in which a GP ends up really having a do-over/having to raise their GC are usually sad ones - either the parents have passed away or are drug addicts or whatever. But regardless,  I've never met a custodial GP who said, "I'm so glad I got to raise kids again.

 

So in those cases where, say, a GM seems to want to "play Mommy," IMHO, the operative word is "play." They don't really want the whole job,  anymore than those GPs who want more say. Or those who would just like to be in on more of the fun activities.

 

As for those GPs who really seem to have a fantasy about a total do-over (not talking about the ones who are trying to save their GC from abuse, etc.), I think they are among the more "toxic" GPs. And I believe they are few and far between.


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#11 nonna23

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Posted 03 August 2013 - 11:37 AM

I am very suprised that being involved/invited to witness firsts and milestones is a do over. I asked my mom(my dad and the kids PGM couldn't have cared less) to first day of school morning to take pictures. Kindegarden graduation, award ceremonies, games ,proms, track meets, cheerleader competitions, trick or treating. I have been to most of those things with the DGC. DGD1 at her first Santa picture had my mom, myself, my DB's now XW and DD. We had a wonderful time. I by myself took the older two trick or treating one year because both parents had to work. To me wanting a do-over would be picking the costume for trick or treating. Picking the time place and outfit for Santa pictures. Going to the parent day at school not taking the first day of school picture.

#12 BlueEyedGirl

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Posted 03 August 2013 - 11:53 AM

Nonna, I think it depends on the approach. My mom attends a lot of things for the girls, for several years in elementary school she would go with us for first day of school drop off, for awards day, graduation ceremonies, soccer games, to have lunch with the girls. Now that they are in high school and middle school the first day, lunch etc don't happen for anyone lol. But she's invited. And she doesn't *expect* to attend.


Now counter that with a GP that jumps in front of mom when little one is taking their first steps so LO can walk to GP instead of mom, or buys the first Halloween costume or feeds the first cake or intentionally TRIES to get those firsts before the parents can. Or a GP who literally attends so many things that no one knows who the parents are and who the grandparents are. Where the family never gets any time that is just for family. I think there is a balance.

 

I don't think its a do-over when grandparents attend things they are invited to attend. I think Do-Over is more about looking at your grandchildren as a chance to do the things you didn't with your own kids. So here you had your son or dd...and you (general) never made a single game, recital, award ceremony, graduation, whatever...and then as the grandparent, you can make EVERYTHING their child is doing. I think THAT feels like a do-over to a parent. Especially if the GP says, "I never got to do these things when you were little!! I just want to be able to do these things with my grandchild!"



#13 JustaGrandma

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Posted 03 August 2013 - 11:54 AM

When a grandma calls a gk by the parents name is it really done on purpose or is it the subconsious bringing you back to a moment in time? I was the spitting image of my mother my gm sometimes would slip up and call me my mothers name and referr to gp as my father. That grew less and less as I got older.


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#14 rosered135

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Posted 03 August 2013 - 11:56 AM

I am very suprised that being involved/invited to witness firsts and milestones is a do over. I asked my mom(my dad and the kids PGM couldn't have cared less) to first day of school morning to take pictures. Kindegarden graduation, award ceremonies, games ,proms, track meets, cheerleader competitions, trick or treating. I have been to most of those things with the DGC. DGD1 at her first Santa picture had my mom, myself, my DB's now XW and DD. We had a wonderful time. I by myself took the older two trick or treating one year because both parents had to work. To me wanting a do-over would be picking the costume for trick or treating. Picking the time place and outfit for Santa pictures. Going to the parent day at school not taking the first day of school picture.

 

IMO, nonna, it's great that you've been included in so many of those activities! As I said above, I've had that good fortune, too. Perhaps I missed something, though, but I don't think anyone said that "being involved/invited to witness firsts and milestones is a do-over." I think they said pushing  to be involved/invited and/or taking over  are definite signs of wanting to play the parent role again. And I suggested that the nostalgic feeling, a GP often gets, during those experiences, adds to their joy. Not  saying that makes it a do-over or even a partial do-over - It's more like, "Wow! I remember doing this with my kids and now here they are, doing it with theirs, right b4 my eyes!" But I can see where the open eagerness of some GPs to share those experiences may make it seem to some parents as if they want a do-over.



#15 KikisMama

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Posted 03 August 2013 - 11:56 AM

Nonna, my DD woke and cried to be fed before I finished my thoughts. I quoted you because I intended to contrast your seemingly healthy, more of an observer approach, with my mom's take over and do approach. I wish I felt like I could trust my mother enough to include her to the extent that you are included. But, I am quite confident that she would overstep her GM role and push me out of the mother role. I apologize for not finishing before hitting post.

#16 JustaGrandma

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Posted 03 August 2013 - 11:57 AM

I don't need or want a do over, I don't have the energy anymore to raise kids, however if something where to happen and I needed to take them in I would. I hope that need never comes.


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#17 JustaGrandma

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Posted 03 August 2013 - 12:01 PM

Nonna, my DD woke and cried to be fed before I finished my thoughts. I quoted you because I intended to contrast your seemingly healthy, more of an observer approach, with my mom's take over and do approach. I wish I felt like I could trust my mother enough to include her to the extent that you are included. But, I am quite confident that she would overstep her GM role and push me out of the mother role. I apologize for not finishing before hitting post.

Has you mother stopped mothering you? I think just as some kids fail to launch some parents fail to move in to the the parent-adult child relatsionship. Still see thier kids as having to be show and told how to do things. My mother was like that. Once mine left home I figured they'd learn things the same way we did by making thier own mistakes and learning from them so adivce on anything wasn't something that was offered up unless asked.And then maybe they saw that is not carrying



#18 KikisMama

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Posted 03 August 2013 - 12:25 PM

Has you mother stopped mothering you? I think just as some kids fail to launch some parents fail to move in to the the parent-adult child relatsionship. Still see thier kids as having to be show and told how to do things. My mother was like that. Once mine left home I figured they'd learn things the same way we did by making thier own mistakes and learning from them so adivce on anything wasn't something that was offered up unless asked.And then maybe they saw that is not carrying


I think my mom had a pretty appropriate approach to the AC-parent relationship. She gives advice when asked but I don't think she assumes that I need to be told how to do things. My brother was only 22 when DN was born, so there may have been a touch of that initially with them. But she didn't show them how to comfort the baby and then let them try, she pried the baby from their arms as soon as the baby whimpered and left the room with her...every time for months and months....long after they knew how to comfort their own baby. Another example of the sort of thing I fear...At DN's 1st birthday party my mom quietly put the baby in her high chair, while her parents were chatting with other guests and distracted, then snuck inside and lit the candle on the smash cake. She then, without first getting the attention of either parent, carried out the smash cake while singing Happy Birthday and was about to set it in front of the baby when my brother got to her to intervene. Other people were looking toward my brother and GF nervously and sort if half-singing along. Someone caught all of this on video, and I wasn't there but I have seen the video. So my brother blows out the candle, says "we aren't ready to do this yet" and carries the cake back inside. My mom gets a brief look of embarrassment and then fury (she has a very specific body language when she is angry) and storms inside after him. Then the cameraman says "that was awkward" and the video stops. Basically, my mom tried to steal that moment, which should rightfully have been for the parents to lead, and then got furious when they didn't just let her get away with it. And, it marred the whole party. The look on my DN's face whe she saw the bright candle on the cake wasn't repeated when everyone was finally included and singing and looking at her, rather than nervously looking around for the parents.

#19 JustaGrandma

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Posted 03 August 2013 - 12:31 PM

Wow, is all I can say, I've never been one for wanting to steal anyones thunder but lots of people seem to like to do that. I see that as a flaw in them.



#20 BlueEyedGirl

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Posted 03 August 2013 - 12:37 PM

When a grandma calls a gk by the parents name is it really done on purpose or is it the subconsious bringing you back to a moment in time? I was the spitting image of my mother my gm sometimes would slip up and call me my mothers name and referr to gp as my father. That grew less and less as I got older.

 

This made me LOL and brought back memories. My grandfather, may he rest in peace...and I swear he did this on purpose because he knew it drove me insane....would call me three names...look at me directly and call me Jane (my grandmother's name) - pause -  Lydia(my mother's name) - pause -  Gwendolyn(my name) and then WINK at me. For years my mother and my grandmother told me just to go to him when he called the names if he was looking at me, he had a hard time remembering names(they said this in front of HIM). He, without a shadow of a doubt DID NOT have a hard time remembering names...but he enjoyed having them THINK he did, because it meant any time we were at an event, one of them ALWAYS stayed with him and whispered people's names in his ear so he would "KNOW" who they were.  He intentionally called me all three names around them to make them think he couldn't remember MY name....every single time. This was our little inside joke my entire life. I miss him and every time I call one of my girls by her sister's name I remember that and laugh! He actually brought them in on the joke when they came along...made for a real mouthful and made my mother and grandmother suspicious after all those years because now he could remember to say 4 and then 5 names in a row..in rapid succession because when they came along he said it without the pauses like one big long name...


"Jane/Lydia/Gwendolyn/Zoe/Kennedy, can you come help me with this infernal TV?" (names changed to protect the innocent lol)