I really have to “set the scene” for this one. My daughter in law was going out for dinner for her “once a month dinner with her friends from high school” last Fri. My husband, youngest son, granddaughter (7 yrs), grandson (3.5 yrs) and myself decided to go to the local “Stanley’s” for our supper. The guys had plans to golf the next day and I had plans with granddaughter, Trinity to go shopping at her favorite little shop in town, “Judy’s Cottage” as part of her first communion gift from the previous Sunday.
So, we pile into the Suburban, son driving, husband in passenger front seat, kids each in car-seats with me in between them in the backseat. We go eat our supper and since we were near the golf course, guys want to check the golf cart to make sure it was “ready” for their first venture of the year out on the course. In between the restaurant and the golf course, Trinity had put a piece of bubble gum in her mouth. I was playing ABC flashcards with grandson Christopher and Trinity started to giggle and play with the gum. Pulling it in and out of her mouth and stretching it out with her fingers all the while giggling furiously. So what did I do, I laughed with her. We got to the golf course, took a short ride in the cart, got back in the Suburban and the men thought “since we’re here,” we’ll take the cart to the gas station to fill it with “fresh gas.” Because Lord knows you have to use fresh gas, can’t use gas from the tank in our yard don’t you know!!!
So we were running back and forth. Trinity kept it up with the gum and she was cracking me up to tell you the truth. She was so excited about our day the next day and was delighted in the fact that her dad hated her chewing gum AND playing with it the way she was but he had no idea. It was between her and me. We finally got home after an hour of sitting in that backseat.
So I’m telling my husband about it later that night and I told him how hilarious she was with that gum. In walks youngest son so I started telling him about the whole scene and how funny she was. Well, he didn’t react the way I thought he was going to. He got mad at me. He tells me later that he wasn’t “really” mad but I felt he was mad. He told me that I knowingly let her do something that he didn’t like and what was that telling her?? How was I going to feel when “she was kissing boys” because Dad didn’t like it. HOW WOULD I LIKE THAT????
I was speechless because I never thought of it that way and after a second I said “IT’S NOT THE SAME THING” and he said it was. Was it the same thing or was I just sharing something with my granddaughter?
So I think about this for a LONG TIME while and think, maybe if it was the same thing, is it better that she can come to me and know I’ll love her and she can tell me anything, maybe something she wouldn’t want to tell mom or dad?
I’m at a loss. How do you feel? Was I wrong or were we both kind of doing the right thing??? HELP!!
Whilst it is undoubtedly wonderful to have such a close relationship with your granddaughter, the fact that you knew your son didn’t like her doing that but you continued to turn it into a joke and almost egg her on, does really undermine his authority. Turns him into the bad guy and you into the good guy. I think he was justified in being a but annoyed, but hopefully a mountain wasn’t created from a molehill!
PS not sure that kissing example really holds much weight though!
I’d agree with Barman! I just told Eric that I know what grandma (my mom) thinks and does with the grandkids she won’t care much if I agree with it or not because she’s my elder and is stubborn! Her ways are the right ways in her book, but I hope she will respect what I don’t want my kids doing-although sometimes I will be wrong of coarse! I’m sure it is a fine line, huh?
I think we need to keep in mind that this was a piece of bubble gum and I was trying to occupy the kids. We were stuck in that backseat for a long time. I didn’t let her get any piercings or a tattoo or something serious. It was a piece of gum!
Also, I honestly feel that these kinds of little things are my privilege to do and it builds a trust between us. Didn’t your grandma let you do anything your parents wouldn’t have?
In all honesty I believe you haven’t done something wrong at all, I think they will be grateful later on and in all honesty chewing gums is far different to kissing boys. Sadly that is guaranteed to happen in any event, no stopping that. Rather have a place where the kid can go other than the regular disciplinarians. Sometimes being goofy is important.
Just one question – how would you have reacted had it been your child?
Sanity, had it been my child, I wouldn’t have cared if they chewed gum but it just bugs Toby. Sounds bother him for some reason. I don’t think it’s the gum, it’s the sound of chewing he doesn’t like.
In all honesty, the “secret” was the funnest part plus she was so excited for “our day” the next day. She was just really excitable that night.
Also I should add the he wasn’t “really” mad, he was just making a point.
When it comes to discipline, I think it makes sense for one person to be the bad guy, and it should be the parent (or parents as a united front). Granny as a separate caregiver should have some leeway to set different boundaries – more restrictive or more lenient, as the case may be – as long as it’s not dangerous or unhealthy.
I am not sure I would have told Toby though!
Personally, I know I would have done the same as you did. I think it’s OK to have little secrets with grandma. Chewing a piece of gum (as long as she brushes her teeth or it is sugarless) certainly is not the same thing as kissing boys. I think the gum chewing just annoys your son. I also think it’s good for a child to have someone to talk to other than the parents. Someone she knows won’t go running to her parents and she can confide in that person. My daughter always had my sister and still does. She knows that if there is something she is uncomfortable to talk to me about she can go to my sister and my sister won’t tell me. My poor sister has to juggle us both because I tell her everything too and she has to remember what not to tell me and what not to tell my daughter. She’s like our personal therapist.
And let’s face it, you’re an adult and can tell the important things from the trivial.
If chewing gum is a personal annoyance for your son, but it isn’t for you, then what your granddaughter is learning from this incident is that people are different and you can behave differently based on those differences. Welcome to the world and a great lesson in reading people. The chewing gum incident is not the same thing as kissing boys.
Toby is such a freak about noises! I know he made them as a kid, but now he can’t stand when the kids even sneeze wrong! I think it was fine and I think sometimes he overreacts.
My grandma used to always hand me a dollar and said “sh, sh, don’t tell anyone.” I feel this type of thing is okay between you. You are developing a trust between the two of you. If she ever needs to, she will know she can come to you and trust you. I feel grandparents have earned the right to a few things.
I’m kind of with SKL, maybe you shouldn’t have told Toby. Still though, you didn’t think he’d be mad so how would you have known? I think giving her gum once in a while is okay and probably so does your son. He may have just been yanking your chain!