Archive of ‘random rantings’ category

Rent-a-Grandparent: The Best Idea No One’s Ever Had.

Once upon a time, extended families lived, if not in the same house, then definitely within walking distance of one another.

smiling rent-a-grandparent by  sean drellinger

Tired mothers (and fathers) could knock on a door, hand off their little bundles of, ahem, joy, and go home and collapse for a little while.

Then the industrial revolution came. Trains, planes, and cars took over the world, and families scattered.

Now it’s not uncommon to live thousands of miles away from your nearest and dearest. We, thankfully, are within a day’s drive of both sets of grandparents (for the moment, at least), but such a trip requires planning. And once we finally arrive at their doors? We no longer feel like escaping.

Which means, on days like this? When it’s seemingly one fit after another and my temper is one frayed thread away from snapping? We’re on our own.

That kind of sucks.

What the world needs now is a Rent-a-Grandparent service.

Forlorn grandparents with long-distance grandchildren could create profiles, list their qualifications, and wait for needy parents to come to them.

Moms and dads living way too far away from their own parents could click through smiling photos of gentle-looking older folk, read their ads and find the perfect substitute grandparents for their monsters.

There would have to be an interview process, of course.  Prospective rental grandparents would be advised to arrive with cookies in hand, presents tucked under an arm, and hugs at the ready.

They would agree to be paid in hugs, snuggles, and giggles.

They would be available for date nights, weekend breaks, sick days, and the occasional unscheduled panic attack.

And they would, of course, love the kids unconditionally (if not quite as much as their own grandchildren).

Parents, for their part, would agree to be incredibly grateful for every moment said rental grandparents spared them.

They would promise to deliver clean, snot-free children whenever possible.

They would stop by their substitute grandparents’ homes at a moment’s notice to shovel snow, move heavy things, and do all those other chores that get tougher as you get older.

It’d be a win-win for everyone! Frazzled parents would get some back up. Lonely grandparents would get some kid time. And everyone would be the happier for it.

All we need is someone to start it.

Any volunteers?

Photo by Alex E. Proimos via flickr.




The Hardest Part.

The most difficult part of a serious injury isn’t the immediate aftermath.

I mean, sure, you’re in a lot of pain. A LOT of pain. But the doctors? They give you wonderful medications to help you deal with all that pain (or at least space you out enough so that you don’t care).

Plus, people are worried about you. No one minds picking up extra chores or carrying your bags or grabbing your lunch.

So it sucks, but you’re not left to suffer alone.

The worst part of an injury comes after that. When you’re starting to feel better. Starting to feel like you should be able to do things. But your body? Just laughs when you try.

But you? Are determined not to be broken anymore. So you do something stupid. Like try to take a walk in the sunshine.

At first it feels good. Your blood starts to pump through your veins. Your brain brightens up under the sun. But then? Then all hell breaks loose. You knee starts to yell at you. Then scream. By the time you get back to where you started, it’s all you can do not to cry.

But you can’t whine anymore, because everyone’s sick of listening to you (unless you have a blog. Then all bets are off).

You can’t ask for any more favors, because you used all those up weeks ago.

You just have to suck it up and smile, saying, “me? Oh, I’m fine. It’s MUCH better than it was. I’m practically good as new!”

Inside, of course, you are cursing up a blue streak. But no one knows that (unless you have a blog. Then all bets are off).

At the end of the day, you limp home, curl up on the couch, and hope no one asks you to move until morning.

But, of course, you have a family.

A family who needs you.

So you suck it up. Do what you have to do. And try not to whimper.

And they? Are none the wiser (unless you have a blog. Then all bets are off).

Someday, this in between period will all seem like a bad dream. You’ll be up and running again (or at least walking).

Until then? At least you have a blog. A blog where you’re free to whine.

Thank goodness for that.

(real post coming tomorrow. I just had to get this out of my system).



Fighting for the Sunshine.

Tori stands in the middle of her beautiful, sunshine-filled room, scowling at the walls.

“I don’t like my room. I want it pink,” she says, little hands resting on her hips in a perfect mockery of me.

“Pink? Why would you want a pink room? Your room is gorgeous!”

“It’s not gorgeous. It’s lellow. I don’t like lellow.”

“Yeah, it’s yellow. But it’s also blue and green. And look!” I gesture dramatically at the wall above her bed. “You even have your own sun. Sun for my sunshine!”

“I don’t want the sun.”  Her arms cross over her chest, and her scowl deepens. “I want pink.”

“Well,” I sigh. “It’s good to want things.”




“Not going to happen, honey. I’m sorry.”

“Why you so MEAN? I want a pink room. It’s all I ever wanted!”

“Well, I’m sorry. We can’t paint your room today.”

“This weekend?” she chirps.

“We’ll see.”

I’m lying through my teeth, of course. I have no intention of painting her room this weekend. I love her room. Love. It.

Brian and I agonized over every part of it in the months before she was born. We didn’t want anything cutesy, or stereotypical, or, well, pink. We wanted something that would last a while.

So instead, we painted it the colors of summer and decorated it with flowers and sunshine.

Tori's room, bursting with sunshine and flowers.

Did I mention I love her room? Because I do. In the weeks after her birth, when she was still sleeping in a bassinet next to our bed, I would bring her to the comfy blue chair we had put there and just stare at the sun.

It made me happy. It still does.

And, dang it, she’s three! Surely that’s too young to start making interior design decisions.

But I know it’s just a matter of time.

Sooner or later, I will get tired of the whining.  I will start to rationalize that her demands are a good thing, indicative of an independent soul.

And I will give her her pink room.

But I’m not going down without a fight.



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