My in-laws are in town. When people hear this, I am immediately asked, “Is that a good thing?”
It is. You already know how much I love my mother-in-law, and I’m not just saying that because she’ll read this. Both she and my father-in-law enjoy spending time with the kids, are happy to help tackle the house projects we’ve ignored for years, and are always up for fun adventures when they’re here.
If I love when my in-laws are visiting, my kids are ecstatic. Life looks different in the glow of Grandma and Grandpa, and it’s not just the snuggles. We’re talking over the top, grandparent awesome.
Here are some tips for maximizing Grandparent Standard Time.
1. Say goodbye to the boring Raisin Bran or yogurt you usually have for breakfast, and say hello to a dizzying choice of sugar cereals from the Kellogg variety pack. The choice will be difficult, but you can’t go wrong with either Cocoa Puffs or Cinnamon Toast Crunch. Both are better with an M&M chaser.
2. Mornings are meant to be lazy, with snuggles only outnumbered by cartoons. This is a great time to convert two more Frozen fans, and to triple your average daily television viewing by 9 am.
3. This early morning excess is easy, because your parents are still in bed, pretending to sleep, but actually playing on their phones while enjoying the silence. Let them be. As soon as they’re up, the fun immediately diminishes by 37%.
4. Time to take on the day! Get your shoes on and do something fun, like go to a museum, zoo, or anywhere a cheap plastic toy or stuffed animal can be purchased for what Mom and Dad make in a year. Don’t worry. Grandma and Grandpa have budgeted for these necessary cash outlays, and they live to spend money on you. When you go to the hardware store later, they’ll spring for an $18 book that sings. This is why you love them the most. All Mom and Dad ever let you get is the free popcorn, and that’s only when they’re in a good mood, which is practically never.
5. Lunch time, or as Grandpa calls it, “Who wants ice cream?!”. Not just ice cream, of course. That would be crazy. Round out the meal with a blue drink in a glass the size of a fishbowl. You’re worth it.
6. Naptime. For Grandpa.
7. Afternoon is a great time to take the dog for a walk, and also to have a silly string fight in the yard. Follow it by a dozen rounds of that stupid game Mom and Dad hate. Grandma hates it too, but she loves you more. Play on!
8. Mom and Grandma are busy starting dinner, while Dad and Grandpa work on a house project. Now is an important time to make sure the sugar levels are maintained by sneaking some of the candy Grandma brought. Work quietly, and the grown-ups will forget you exist for just a moment. That’s all you need, really.
9. Impress both grandparents by eating as much as an adult at dinner. Grandparents love to see their grandchildren packing it away like Renee Zellweger preparing to play Bridget Jones.
10. Bedtime. LOL, just kidding. That doesn’t happen for hours. Grandma and Grandpa are here, remember? Grab a book or four, and get ready to earn your black belt in snuggling.
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