Usual Disclaimer: Gee…I sure am lucky to live so near to my parents! We are so lucky my son has his grandparents in his life. I sure don’t know what we would do without them.
But I could do without the handover notes.
Which usually go a bit like this:
Toddler is thrust back into the house, after our much needed time off, looking rosy cheeked and full of gusto with a new attitude of “well now I know who’s really boss”.
Grandparents give me a carrier bag of half eaten brioches, soggy biscuits and a cup of squash that looks like it has been dragged through several puddles of manure.
And the Toddler Grandparent handover notes commence:
1. First and foremost – we are told how much our son did not want to come home to us in any way, shape or form. We are told how miserable he is at Departure Grandparents, Arrival parents; You know – the ones who look after him 24 hours a day and the woman who barely survived a three day labour.
We are told that he started protesting and weeping merely at the thought of coming home to us when he reached our block – as soon as he saw the familiar streets leading up to this house – well, he had a breakdown. The poor soul. How awful for him.
2. Secondly – we are told a list of information about his bowels. If he has gone, when he went, what the poo was like! Shape, smell, consistency. What they did about it – never a straight forward: “Oh we simply changed his nappy, like you do 76 times a week.” No, no, always something elaborate because there was some sort of shit based disaster that meant he had to be hosed down in the bath like an incontinent Rhino.
“And you know, there’s something wrong with those nappies you gave us, or we might have put it on backwards and inside out – or on his head – we just can’t figure them out.”
3. Accompanied by something they have ‘spotted’ while he has had his clothes off that is a major cause for concern. A pimple or a red raw arse (according to them) or a jutting out bone or a scaly patch.
“Have you seen it? I really think you should have seen it? Do you ever look at his body? And we are sure he needs to go to the doctors asap about it, or A&E. Are you bathing him enough?”
4. A detailed description of how much he ate while he was with them – Veg! Yogurt! An adult portion of Fish and Chips! Juice, more juice! And pudding (“although you know, I want to get him some vitamin C supplements because of the tone under his eyes and how he obviously doesn’t get what he needs when he’s with you”) and
“we can’t understand what you mean when you say he will only eat egg! He seems to eat everything when he’s with us. Ha … Ha…. Ha.”
5. A list of perfectly easy and simple things they couldn’t do when they were out with him.
“We just couldn’t fold down that pushchair after all, so we have had to leave it at the train station in Scarborough. We couldn’t figure out how to fasten those reigns….that nappy…that coat. We couldn’t figure out which shoe went on which foot. We couldn’t adjust the car seat so your Grandfather just held onto him for the journey!” (no of course the last one is a joke)
6. A detailed description of how much he achieved when he was with them. “He was obviously just in the best environment for personal growth”.
“I know you say he can’t walk, talk, read, count… but when he was with us today he ran ten metres, said Grandma and Grandpa repeatedly and counted to eight in Russian.”
7. A detailed description of how much fun he had with them.
“You know dear, I don’t think I have ever, in my life, seen him so happy! It’s such a pity that you can’t do things like this with him all the time! Such a shame he has had to come back to you – look how upset he is! Poor Sod.”
And they leave.
Us waving and nodding at the door, and promising that we will give him another bath to get rid of any encrusted poo, we will get that spot checked out, we will feed him more broccoli and have more fun with him.
“Take him out in the fresh air every single day and play with him. Don’t just neglect him! Poor bugger!”
They drive off happily.
Toddler screams and wails and stamps whole body onto the floor. I gear myself up for the long evening counting the minutes before I can put him to bed and have some rest.
Once in my bed I close my eyes and hear the tick tock of the clock counting down to the next time he can go to his grandparents.
Repeated Disclaimer: Gee…we sure are lucky to live so near to my parents. Grandparents are the best and we don’t know what we would do without them.