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  • Last modified 2301 days ago (June 7, 2012)

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Caring for grandchild is tiring

Staff writer

Life is good at 50. On a typical day, I would get up about 6 a.m., have morning coffee with my husband, and watch the morning news. I would then see my husband off to work, tidy up the house a bit, have a little breakfast, then head to my good friend Judy’s house for our morning coffee and girl talk. Sometime between 8:30 and 9, I would head into work.

My husband and I enjoy walking each night, camping in our little travel trailer, bluegrass music, and relaxing. I like my little Sunday afternoon naps while my husband is watching racing or some classic western on television.

However, life is far from typical or anywhere near relaxing as of lately. About a month ago, my daughter in Colorado called. She had some business to attend to in Florida then they would be moving back to Kansas to be closer to family. She was in need of Grandma’s help. So I willingly and very happily agreed to drive to Colorado and pick up my 4-year-old grandson, Reid. It sounded simple enough.

I called daughter Nikki, who lives just a few blocks away here in Marion, and we made a game plan. She and I would drive the pickup to Colorado, pick up Reid, and haul as much stuff back as we could. Again, sounds simple, right? Did I forget to tell you Nikki has my other two precious grandsons? Isaiah, then 2-years-old and Damien, the oldest at 4. Yes, you guessed it — with pillows, stuffed animals, coloring books, colors, DVDs, matchbox cars, tiny trucks, snacks, sippy cups, diaper bags, overnight bags, and car seats we head out.

Ten hours later and only one major incident along the way, we made it safe and sound to our destination. We loaded up what we could, repacked the back seat of the pickup, strapped the three grandsons into their car seats, and made the trip back the following day.

It’s been a month now since becoming a temporary parent. Getting things done in the mornings are a bit more challenging and rushed.

My day starts out about the same, or at least the waking up part. I usually hurry around to get the housework done, beds made, and a load of laundry going. Then hurry and get myself ready for work before Reid wakes up. He’s always hungry the minute he gets out of bed, so I try to have everything else done so I can sit with him while he eats and we talk about what our day is going to be like. Then it’s time to get the little guy dressed, face washed, hair combed, and it’s off to day care we go.

My evening walks have been replaced with playing trucks, bath time and T-ball. My peaceful, relaxing camping trips are now weekends at the park (I believe we have been to every park in the county). My Sunday afternoon naps have been replaced with short trips to the Emporia zoo, Old Town in Abilene, and carousel rides. It’s go, go, go!

This week means adjusting my lunch schedule so I can pick up Reid and Damien from Bible school. Our first T-ball game is tonight at 5:15. Mind you that I work till 5.

I forgot how much energy a 4-year-old has. This second round of parenting is temporary for me. It’s proven to be challenging and yet rewarding. We have suffered bee stings, visits to the doctor, scraped knees, and the usual bumps. But it is also full of hugs, special moments, and snuggling at bed time. All three grandsons go to the same day care and I get to kiss each one of them every morning before work. How special is that?

I have a new respect for grandparents raising grandchildren. Hats off to them. God bless all those grandparents who have taken on the job as a full-time parent for the second time around.

Would I do this again? In a heartbeat! But I’ll be glad when I can go back to being the grandma who just spoils them, loves them, and sends them back to their parents. This grandma doesn’t have the energy she once had while raising their mothers. But, oh, what an adventure and blessing this short time has been.

Last modified June 7, 2012

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