Monday, 17 October 2011

Five Mistakes Grandparents Make

Whoa, this one is packing a bit of extra timber isn't she?
The battle of ‘who knows best for baby’ is something every new parent goes through with their parents and, bless their M&S cottons, if they are still around, their grandparents.  
However, among the many inter-generational spats to be had, there are five howlers that all grandparents seem to make.

Calling your baby fat

Grandparents are hard-wired to call your baby fat. They can't help it. Sometimes they might use 'weasel words' like ‘sturdy’ or 'blooming' but make no mistake, they are calling your baby fat.

The last jibe I witnessed of this nature went something like this:

Grandparent picks up nine month old of normal size and stature for inspection. 

‘Aw the weight of it. Nigel, I said, have you felt the weight of it?’

She’s a baby.  She doesn’t eat iced buns all day, except when she is with you and then it's acceptable to scoff Jammie Dodgers for breakfast, apparently.

Feeding them nonsense

We all know that it is a grandparent's job to spoil their grandchild, but really, forgoing all fruit and veg for doughnuts for a weekend? Is that spoiling them or setting them up for a coronary bypass, you decide.

Telling you how it's done

As my lovely grandpa put it when he was first introduced to his two day old great-granddaughter: 

'What you’ve go to do is swing them from side to side and then slap them really hard on the back so that they breathe, oh that sheep? Oh well, our four seemed to do ok...’.

When you can’t tell the difference between a human birth and  lambing, it maybe time to stop dishing out the child rearing advice.

Dressing them like morons

Once you utter the fateful invitation of: ‘I know, shall we let granny to dress you today?’ know that a fashion train crash is heading your way.

Grandparents have a habit of dressing children like a cross between a sensory toy for the visually impaired and Katie Price: Hand knit cardigan - check,  combat pants (they’ve outgrown)- check , belly exposing  t-shirt - check and Minnie Mouse ears - check. Perfect for a day at Junglemania. 

Staying up late

Like the best, most green behind the ears supply teacher your child could ever wish to encounter, grandparents happily let little ones stay up way past their bed time, in fact, way past your bedtime.

Hey grandparents,  two year olds are no good at pulling all nighters, no matter how many lines of sherbet dip you allow them to snort.

But when you consider the technological, medical and psychological advances that have been made in child rearing in the past twenty five/fifty years since they became parents,  is it any wonder their approach is slightly skew?

I mean, for a start, we don’t let them sleep in the bottom drawer anymore.  We are pretty sure that eating crisps with brown spots on them while pregnant won't lead to birth deformities and as for weaning them on hay...or wait, is that sheep?  

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