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A portrait of grandpa and a grandson

As promised in the previous post about distant grandparents, the story continues. It has been two weeks since Nana and Pop arrived and Eric has accepted them as if they’ve always lived with us (well, almost).

He agrees to go for walks with my parents, to play with them, to let them feed, change and bath him. Nana was even able to put him to bed a couple of times (with Eric that is a big achievement for a “stranger”). He doesn’t cling to me or Rob any more, only if he’s tired or sleepy, usually evenings and mornings. He clearly enjoys Nana and Pop’s company and likes to be with them.

The good

Their presence has contributed a lot to his development. Nana is singing him new songs and teaches him cute new things. He’s learned to answer “Who is Eric?” by pointing at his chest and yelling “I am!”. She taught him how to say “Thank you” – kind of, he doesn’t say it but nods his head every time I give him something he asks for. I am noticing a lot of the new “words” he’s saying or trying to say. She’s taken over the morning walks and trips to the playground and every time they come back she tells me about something new that he did today. It looks like they’ve boosted his development because in terms of physical activity and speech he’s progressing in gigantic steps.

Pop spends time with Eric in his own way – taking over when Nana needs a rest, playing with cars, showing his grandson spinning tops or kicking a ball in the backyard. Both of them were spending a lot of time with Eric and yesterday their efforts were rewarded – without being asked, he ran to my dad and gave him a kiss. You should have seen my dad’s face, he was surprised, delighted, moved, all at the same time.

The bad

Nana and Pop are obsessed with Eric’s weight. He is a big toddler, weight-wise he’s in the 95th percentile – but then again he always has been. I am not concerned about his eating habits because his meals and snacks include a lot of fruit, veggies, meat and fish in the right proportion and most importantly – he has never tried junk food. No lollies, no sugar, no cookies, no oily chips, no sweetened juices or coke, no hot dogs. They have suggested I put him on a diet, stop giving him bread, etc. It took us a couple of heated debates to settle this issue and I even had to produce a weight chart to convince them that he’s doing fine.

Another inevitable consequence of having new people live in our house is the new foods we don’t necessarily approve of. Normally we don’t buy any cookies and Eric has never had a chance to try them. But my dad must have cookies with his morning tea, and one day curious little Eric was passing by the table, spotted his Pop eating something interesting and reached for a cookie which Pop happily handed over to him before I had a chance to scream “Noooo!”. Like that would have helped. From now on Pop has to hide with his tea and cookies to avoid a fuss Eric would make to have some. On the bright side, things could have been worse if there was chocolate involved :)

As you can see, I don’t have a lot of experience dealing with grandparents. How do you handle differences of opinion with your parents about your children?