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Grandparenting Style: What will be my role??

Published November 24, 2013 by The Hip Grandmother

As I reading different articles that I find on the internet, I notice that I have a lot to live up to in March. It makes me thankful that I have the internet to learn about new things instead of not knowing what I should expect. I have often read that finding roles in grandparenting is more of an unscientific study but it is fun to read about it. In many classifications, basing a name for a certain role in grandparenting can take some research but it is a whole lotta fun just observing. But you will be who you will be, right?

I took a quiz about what kind of grandparent I would be, given I was in that situation of “what to do if your grandkid has a recital”, or “if you had a grandparent shirt, what would it say?” There were a few situations that I will not be in for many, many years to come…but I answered the best that I could possibly answer to the question. So what is my grandparenting style?

What’s Your Grandparenting Style?

You’re a Cool Grandparent!

You are not the stereotypical grandparent. For one thing, you’re totally at ease with technology. You’re likely to be young in years, but you are definitely young at heart. You love movies, music, video games and other diversions that you can share with your grandchildren once they get old enough. You’re not really into baking, knitting or gardening, and you’re not a great fan of family history. You’re more interested in living in the here and now, and your grandchildren will appreciate that.

As I sit here in my living room, pondering on how gorgeous my little granddaughter will be, writing to you, my faithful readers, I fantasize about being able to introduce the internet to my little grandkid, introducing the right way. I want to be that cool grandparent that allows them to stay up on the weekends, gives them an extra helping of veggies in their plate (because we all know veggies are cool!) and the one who starts a ‘tent’ in the living room with the cushions and blankets.

Wow….this is going to be fun!

But I feel I have to let you all know of different kinds of grandparent styles if you don’t already know them. Let me introduce you to a few of em….

The Pollyanna Grandmother

I want to tell you now. I totally suck at cooking. But I can maintain a garden. Being in this style would not be for me. I can see it now….I am not going to be the grandmother that will babysit on a dime…or will I? But I do want to be known as the grandmother that loses patience quickly. But I want to be the grandmother that sends gifts through the mail….just because.

The Grumpy Grandmother 

I think I am a pretty good expert at this. Since I am in my middle 40s, a ‘woman-on-the-edge’, I can understand a lot about what a grumpy grandparent can be. Never letting anyone know that underneath it all they are a real softie, they give themselves away by buying ice cream for everyone or playing board games with the kids. I just know that a little part of me will be this kind of grandparent. I wouldn’t want to be the person that ever threatens my grandchild in any way.

Taking charge kind of grandmother

This is in no-way me. I don’t like to have the responsibility all on my shoulders and if something goes wrong, its all my fault. No-sir-ee. But if my grandchild needs me for anything, responsibility or not…I will be there. This sounds sort of wishy-washy of my personal life because, really, I don’t give out advice, I’m not teacher material and I have a hard time taking my OWN advice. But it is true, I want to be the one who buys necessities for her as much as I can..and she can always come to me if she needs someone to listen. So I guess I will be a ‘little’ bit of a ‘taking charge’ kind of grandmother.

A Crunchy kind of grandmother

These types of grandmothers are those who preserved some type of skills of what our forefathers had but with a twist. She can feed the entire neighborhood healthy foods with little to nothing in her cupboards (who does this remind you of) and make a fun lesson out of taking care of the planet. Not only does she read to them but she makes sure they have hit every museum in the nearest metropolis, teaching them skills to live off the land or bringing them to various ethnical celebrations and different cultural ceremonies.

http://grandparents.about.com/od/grandparentingtoday/a/GrandparentRoles.htm

Love me or hate me, I have a feeling that I am going to be a little of all these grandparent styles. Which one are you? Or which one do you think you will be? As I have said before, I love comments. So please let me know…..

The promise ring

Published November 17, 2013 by The Hip Grandmother

My family has many wonderful memories. As with so many families in the 80s, we were brought up by a single mother. Her life was devoted only to us and that is the best present anyone can give. My mother is a very special person who has taught me to become an up-standing human being and a devoted mother. She is the reason I am the mother that I am today. Today we were invited to have dinner at her house to decorate the Christmas tree. If there is anyone that loves Christmas, it is her. She loves the music, the giving and the feeling the season has when the spirit for your fellow man is strong. I will always remember the relationship between my beautiful mother and her favorite time of year.

After dinner, my daughter was rummaging through her jewelry box. My mother had spoken of many stories of each piece of jewelry. We sat and listened to her wisdom as she had a gleam in her eye, telling us who she bought them from, what event it was originally for, and what the story was behind that particular piece. She kept us enthralled for an hour listening to her memories.

One particular item was a ring. My daughter tried to put it on her finger but it was too small. My mother told us about the wonderful memory behind the ring. It was given to her on Christmas morning by my little sister from “Santa’s Workshop” in elementary school. My mother was so happy to open up the christmas gift from my five year old sister. As my sister watched her open it proudly, she tells her, “When I get married, I really want you to wear this.” My mother, surrounded by mountains of ripped-up Christmas wrappings took my little sister in her arms and held her tight. Secretly, my mother vowed not only to keep it safely in her jewelry box, but to keep it close to her heart.

Busy, busy, busy….no one could predict my little sister welcoming such a big family into her house and heart. Last June was the deadline to an amazing day, her wedding to the man of her dreams. Tall, dark and handsome was the man she would marry. But their day was so beautiful. As I walked down the aisle as a bridesmaid (never a bride), I notice the beautiful decorations of the trestle with delicate flowers intertwined from the ceiling to the floor. I had to stay in step with the music while I walked down the aisle  as I was enchanted with the decorations and the surreal feeling that my little sister has finally found the happiness she so richly deserved.

The music changed tones to the classic song “Pachebel Canon” and the beautiful bride waiting with my mom, arm in arm, to walk down the aisle to her future husband. My mother shows her the ring that she bought her when she was a kindergartener. Tears streamed down my sisters face at that moment. They continued walking down the aisle for my mother to rightfully give away her daughter to a man who the whole family, like my sister, had fallen in love with.

My Spirit: this seasons last football game

Published November 10, 2013 by The Hip Grandmother

Walking up to the football field with my whole family was a treat. There were the aunts, uncles, grandmothers, cousins, daughters, step-children and babies. My youngest of my many nephews had so much fun with all of his siblings (half and step) surrounding him. He will be three years older than my grand daughter and (as my sister and I are planning) to have them grow up together and become in the same social groups. That would make me a very happy Titi and Grandmother.

Making our way through the crowds, we had to pay to get in the game at a make-shift desk with a couple of the mothers who have children in the football game. I opted to buy raffle ticket for a $50 coupon to benefit my nephew’s football team. Everyone in our group had walked over to the grandstand to find themselves a seat on the cold, metal bleachers.

There is my beautiful nephew, my “Spirit” in a crowd of young boys donned in football gear. My sister always introduced sports to the kids to teach them that “Its not winning or losing, its how you play the game”. I appreciated it when she introduced my daughter to softball as a child.

There is a reason why I had something in common with NASA as I was waiting for his birth. It was in the early part of January 2004. My mother went to the hospital to be with my sister as she was giving birth and I wanted to sit by the phone and wait for any news. Remember this was South Florida and the sun was setting in the west. I decided to turn on CNN to watch NASA anxiously awaiting a satellite drop both Opportunity and Spirit Rovers on the Martian surface.  (Opportunity was dropped 2 weeks later.) Watching the scientists watch the satellite was so exciting as I am sitting on my couch in the air conditioning, holding a remote control in one hand and a cell phone in the other. It is about 8 p.m. and the first rover drops, bounces in a balloon-like vessel then lands with pure grace. Mission Control cheers. I get a phone call *as Mission Control is cheering* to learn that I have a beautiful nephew that just entered our world as we know it.

Funny…..I am jumping up and down cheering along with NASA Mission Control for the same thing. Welcoming two beautiful vessels into a new world.

I love you, my Spirit, my nephew.                     Love, Titi

A little piece of reality

Published November 10, 2013 by The Hip Grandmother

My daughter…sleepy one minute, hungry the next, sensitive at one point but becomes hormonal during the next. Keeping up with what is going on inside of her is always a race for me. Her sleeping schedule is all wrong, her eating schedule is all wrong but I vow to be there for her whenever she needs me. I am the one that runs to the store for one of her famous craving. And I want it that way, wrong or right…..

One of the many cravings she has.

One of the many cravings she has.

She now looks like a real pregnant woman. As the weeks go on, her belly gets bigger and bigger. Many of her tee-shirts aren’t as fitting as they once were. Keeping the clothes on one side of the closet to save for after the pregnancy is what she is doing right now. Friends have been offering baby clothes and other important items which seem to be growing bigger and bigger by the week. As we walk around the neighborhood to get exercise, I notice a little waddle in her steps. I honestly never thought I would see that.

Spending time with your mother must be a very important thing to her. It is important that I get to spend time with her as well. There are many days that we are both watching our favorite shows together but with our laptops on our laps. As she’s growing older, we seem to have been finding common ground more and more. This makes my heart soar. I have been told when she was a baby that she will ‘come back’ and become my friend again. I think that time is about to return.

Before we go to bed, as a tradition, I like to go in and tuck her into bed. I have been doing this since she was a baby and I am happy to continue. Unfortunately last year, I was diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis. It has been hard for me to do the things that I have done in the past on my bad days. November 8th was one of those bad days. My daughter decided to come into my room and tuck *me* in, making sure I have a bottle of water on my nightstand, fluffing my pillow and pulling my blankets over me, (even tucking in my feet) so I don’t get cold at night. As she lay there next to me, she tenderly grabs my hand to set it on her stomach. After 15 minutes of waiting, I finally felt her daughter kick! It is such a great feeling to know there is someone coming into my life that will change me in so many ways but this is throwing me into reality: there IS a human growing inside my daughter’s belly and now I have proof! Now I felt it for myself! If reality didn’t set in at that moment, I don’t know *what* would!

Walking in my shoes: How to become a Hip Grandmother

Published November 5, 2013 by The Hip Grandmother

Elderly-looking grandmothers are behind us. We are now in a world where humans are living longer, children are becoming adult (mentally) at an earlier age, and grandparents aren’t quite looking like the traditional grandparents that we had when we were younger. Long ago were the aprons with grey and white hair up in a bun, smelling the house filled with assorted aromas of apple or pumpkin pies and the smell of moth balls with doilies on the end-tables in the living room. Fortunately we can enjoy our grandchildren for decades to come and being out in public with them (if they are older grandchildren) can be an adventure. The modern grandmother thinks and is open to many situations as their kids and grandkids. As I am moving along with my journey to become a fun-loving hip grandmother, there are a few things that I have been learning along the way.

Dressing your age is not the way of a hip grandmother. No one wants to see a woman in a bathrobe walking around the house. But on the other side of the coin, you needn’t dress like one of your granddaughter’s friends. Think logical about how much leg you would like to expose. Remember, you are not a teenager or young adult anymore. Learn to act like it. When you walk into a clothing shop, you will notice the women’s section sports a wonderful display of assorted colors for you to choose from. Quietly walk out of the junior’s section where your granddaughter frequents and look around to see what your individual style is. Thats the thing about being a hip grandmother. We know ourselves in ways that many young people don’t. We have the ability to mix and match items that doesn’t make us look trashy and trying to compete with our children’s child but in a way that can send a message that we have style in our every day life.

This includes hairstyles and makeup. Most grandmothers of old have no desire to ‘wash the grey out’ of their head. Make way for the new grandmothers of today! Sure, its fine if you have changed your hair color since you were a teenager and no one minds if you have a few streaks of grey to show wisdom. You have experience in life and you should let it show! Having a unique personality that goes with your style speaks volumes to the world that you are ‘old enough to know better but young enough to do it again.’

Find an even level that you and your grandchildren can have private talks. For instance, there are some things that my own mother and my daughter talk about which brings their bond so much stronger. They are ‘best friends’ and have inside jokes that sometimes I am not involved in. As a parent, I feel excluded at times but as an up-and-coming grandparent, I hope I get to have those inside jokes with my grand daughter one day. Patience is a virtue. Keep open communication with your grandchildren and not closed-minded about different social stigmas aren’t and shouldn’t be shown as stigmas anymore. The times have changed since we were young and you need to learn how to ‘roll with the punches’.

Technology at its finest. In a world of computers and the internet, we have to be able to keep up with many things in life. Especially what our grandchildren are up to. Take a class at the local library of the different programs such as Word or even how to learn to navigate across cyberspace. Never look at technical gadgets as a burden in your life, rather look at them as a convenience that you can find new ways of communication be it text messaging, Facetiming, e-mailing, social networking and/or video chat.

Laugh with the good times. Having a great rapport with your grandchildren is a must! If they can’t speak confidentially with their own parents, remind them that you always have a trustworthy, non judgmental ear for them to unload their little feelings on to you. Have in-depth conversations to let them know that you understand what they are going through. Just listen, without pushing advice on them and talk back and forth about what the solution is to the problem at hand.

To every season, learn, learn, learn. Remember to look at life as a learning experience because, lets be frank, you aren’t finished. I assure you there are still places to see and things to do. Take a class to learn about the latest technology or join a book club at your local library. Keep your mind energized as you would do with your body. Start doing puzzles and word-finds online as well as on paper. You can even do them with your younger grandchildren to keep your mind crisp and to build a bond with them. Strive to push education to your grandchildren to allow them to live in a better world than you did when you were a child. Isn’t that what we all want?

Whatever you do, where ever you go remember you are still an individual with your own identity. Remember what that is??

The Hip Grandmother’s Day Out

Published November 4, 2013 by The Hip Grandmother

 Leaving the computer screen is a rather hard thing for me. But today, I decided to step away from the screen and get some much needed sunshine.  Today was the day that I would spend with the *other* grandmother going out to lunch and window shopping to get ideas for the baby shower. As I am getting ready, I feel a bit nervous of how I will be perceived..is the house clean enough?, will I get along with her?, will she be as happy as I am about this wonderful bundle of joy that is making her appearance in March? These are things that run through my mind as I am brushing my long brown hair. Glancing in the mirror at my reflection, I take a deep breath and tell myself that everything will be alright. This is going to be a relationship about compromising.

I received a text message that she was on her way to my house to pick me up. Sitting in her Ford Focus, we both decide that the best place for us to have our lunches would be at Olive Garden (http://www.olivegarden.com/). In our own way, it is the best chance to ‘break bread’ together and get to know one another because, lets face it, we are going to be grandmothers for the next 18 years. As adults, we should become friends (at least). We decided to get appetizers because the breadsticks alone will fill us up. We both had such a great time sitting and chatting about raising our babies in the good and bad times, eating great food and building a bond that will be shared for years to come.

After the last bit of food and drink was consumed, we both decided it was time to go window shopping. Where else could we go to see what is in-store for our little grandchild?http://www.buybuybaby.com/ has such a wide selection of baby products, we really didn’t know where to begin! Splashes of pink and blue were all around us as we hunted for the Car Seatprice tags of only pink items. We were a bit silly giggling at the vast selections of little girl (and little boy) products. We also came upon multitudes of choices in carriers. Carriers that attached would make up a car seat, stroller and basic carrier for an infant.

I have to say that I am truly blessed knowing that she wants to be there on my journey as well. Some people aren’t that lucky. This child is going to come into a world knowing what a loving family is. That eases my heart. As my daughter’s belly continues to grow, I know that I am not the only grandmother that is planning the future of this little angel.

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