Last year, close to PK's first birthday, I decided to start potty-training her. To be perfectly honest, I thought that I could pawn this formidable task off on my mother. After all, she did train both my sister and me by age 1. My mother is the epitome of efficient, no-BS parenting. Growing up, my mother would not put up with any crap. Literally, and figuratively, hence the early potty-training. Time was something that was not to be wasted. Nothing would get in the way of our studies. Video games were a no-no, as they were a waste of time. Summer vacations were spent learning multiplication tables, math, history, practicing spelling, and going to swimming lessons. Curfew was early. Bedtime was early. There was no room for negotiation.
That was then and this is now. NOW, my mom is a grandmother. And apparently with grandmotherhood (is that even a word?) comes an entirely different perspective on this whole parenthood thing. For example, I am trying really hard to get rid of PK's soother. Daycare has eliminated it altogether so that she doesn't even use it at naptime. At home, she would only use her soother at naptime and bedtime, so to ensure continuity, we too, have eliminated the naptime soother. Sure, PK protests, but she gets over it pretty quickly, because she often falls asleep within minutes of going down for her nap. Sounds great, right? Well, grandma thinks that it is cruel and unusual punishment to deprive PK of her "shoo-shoo" (as PK calls it) at such a young age. PK knows that Vovó (grandma, in Portuguese) turns to complete mush amidst the desperate, heartfelt cries of, "shoo-shoo...peeese?" And so, my mother, the once all-powerful Child Enforcer has become Vovó, Servant to PK.
What this means:
1. Soother is given on-demand
2. Diapers are changed at an alarming rate (I go through more diapers in a day with my mom around than I do at daycare in 2 weeks)
3. Almost anything is done to stop PK from crying, including giving PK her soother, and feeding her ice cream
4. PK does not eat the food that we set out for her at breakfast and lunch. Instead, PK has come to expect: pizza, ice cream, eggs, and Ramen noodles (in no particular order)
Sure, my mom can be a total pain in the bum sometimes when it comes to looking after PK, because we totally butt heads on certain things - like the soother thing. (I will, however, prevail on this one. Just you wait.) At the same time, she IS doing me a favor by looking after PK once a week. While she lives relatively "close" by in Toronto terms, it's still a 1.5-hr trek by bus and subway to get to my house. Plus she's not getting any younger, either, and PK requires a lot of energy. I have a considerable amount of energy, and I get tired. So I can imagine how tiring it is for her. Also, because she's there for one-on-one attention, PK picks up a ton of things from her, like letters, numbers, and colors. She also spends a lot of time drawing with PK, taking her to the park, and making sure that PK has as much fun as possible.
Besides, she and PK have a fantastic bond. It reminds me of my special bond with my maternal grandmother. So for all of the annoying things that my mom does as a grandmother, I don't hold any of them against her, because she's a pretty awesome grandma.
Raising a Screen Smart Kid on NPR
5 days ago