Sunday, May 9, 2010

Happy GRANDmother's Day

TODAY IS GRANDMOTHER'S day! Oh, it's not? It's Mother's Day? Well, it should be Grandmother's Day.

After all, we're the ones who brought those mothers into the world. Now that our daughters are mothers themselves, we Queen Mothers have been pushed to the sidelines while our good advice is ridiculed and our wisdom is ignored.

But where would our young mothers be without us? Aren't we the ones who baby-sit at the last minute when their regular sitters call in sick? Don't we fix those big family meals on Sunday evening that bring all the grown kids and grandkids together?

And aren't we the ones our grandkids run to when they need a new toy, a piece of candy, or a game of Chutes and Ladders?

I love being a grandmother. I get all the fun with little of the angst. All I have to do is act incompetent and the kids shake their heads and do all the dirty work for me.

I don't have to change diapers anymore, not since I put an extra-large on the infant and stuck the toddler's diaper on backward. Funny how I've forgotten how to do such a simple task.

I can let the grandkids get dirty in the mud, because I don't have to wash their clothes. I can serenade them with songs from the 80s and they don't even roll their eyes. I can give them a bite of my brownie without worrying about tooth decay or a spoiled appetite. And if they don't want to take a nap at grandmother's house, they don't have

Grandmothering has changed over the years. Back in the day — my grandmother's day — becoming a grandparent meant rocking chairs, knitted shawls, bunion powders, and blue hair tints. But grandmothers today are generally active adults who work, attend college, travel the world, and stay active — but who still want to spend time with our precious — and precocious grandkids.

What we bring is attitude. I think of myself as a subversive grandmother who not only likes to bake cookies and read stories to the grandkids, but who also enjoys playing with Slime, whipping up a Kitty Litter Cake, making up secret codes, dressing like a pirate, getting a fake tattoo, and dancing to the Black Eyed Peas.

We grandmothers are going to take over the world. In 2006, there were 80 million grandparents in the U.S. This year there will be 115 million! We're younger when we become grandmothers (49-53), we live longer, spending up to 30 or 40 years as grandparents, and half of us will become great-grandparents.

A bunch of us know how to tell the difference between a PlayStation and a Wii, why tattoos and piercings aren't signs of devil worship, how to operate an iPod, download on iTunes, use an iPhone, play an Xbox game, and even understand what ROTFLMAO means (Rolling on the floor laughing my ass off).

Sometimes we go by aliases, such as Big Mamma, Glamma, G'Ma, Queen Mother, or Moneybags, instead of using the "grandmother" title. Either way you look at it, we're here to stay.

So I'm celebrating Grandmother's Day today by trading the knitted shawl for a leather jacket, the fuzzy slippers for running shoes, and the rocking chair for a Mini Cooper — because I still rock.

Just remember, "What happens at Grandmother's, stays at Grandmother's!"


Anonymous Fran Birnbaum said...

Your comments on M-'s Day are exactly my thoughts.
I can't get your e-mail address so
this blog will have to do.
Stopped in at read.booksellers
in BP and ordered your latest book.
Talked to Vicki about you.
Fran Birnbaum

May 18, 2010 at 7:38 AM  
Blogger Penny said...

Hi Fran!
It was great seeing you in Auburn!
I'll definitely check out Read in Blackhawk. My email is

May 18, 2010 at 8:14 AM  

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