Meeting people in the new millennium seems really different than it used to. I’ve ‘met’ people online that I now have as Facebook friends – and I may never actually see them in person. And of course, online dating is no longer strange. My friend D. met her husband online and now they live in Trinidad! But nothing prepares you for dating someone who not only is a parent – they are a grandparent.
Remember bringing your new sweetie home to meet your parents? Stressful, right? Well that’s nothing compared to meeting your date’s adult children! They’re thinking, ‘Who is this person invading my family?’ And unlike meeting parents, ie: 1 mom 1 dad, maybe a step-parent, there can be several kids, each with their own opinion, and their spouses. Luckily for me, the BF only has two kids. It took a while, but now we’re comfortable with each other.
And then, there are the grandkids. Kids can be really picky and judgmental! And grandkids aren’t sure where YOU fit into their world – you don’t have a predefined position like mom, aunt, cousin, or grandma. In some ways it’s like being a step-parent, but you aren’t . . .
It took a lot longer to get the grandkids to accept me.
Dating a grandparent is a real challenge. A lot of times we choose an activity that is kid friendly so that one or more grandkid can come along. So, instead of having a date end early because a thunderstorm caused the Cardinals game to be cancelled, the date is cut short because one of the grandkids is too cranky to sit still until the end of the game/movie/event – or worse, overtime means it’s past their bedtime, and we have to leave before the end.
So, this weekend Grandpa got to stay with half of his grandkids – four of them, aged 18 months, 3, 7, and 14 – while his son and daughter-in-law had an overnight mini-vacation at the lake. And guess who got recruited to help out?
I have cats.
My girlfriend M. laughed and warned me that I was in for a ‘fun’ weekend. But, I’ve met all the kids and they are good kids. It wasn’t as bad as M. had tried to make it sound. Yes, the two little ones squabbled a lot, but mostly it was amusing to watch the dynamics between 3 year old O. and his baby sister E. We watched a LOT of children’s show on Netflix (Mechanical dinosaurs? Really?). 7 year old D. spent most of the time playing his interactive video game, and 14 year old B. texted her friends, but she also was a big help with the little ones – especially changing E’s diapers!
Overall it wasn’t a terrible way to spend the holiday weekend. And I did get taken out for lunch today. No kids. Or cats.