My dad (runnerdude from the comments) was here for a visit this weekend, which made my mom (knittergran) very jealous. She couldn't come because she had already planned to go away with members of her knitting coven.
Mom is desperate to see the kids, and one of my friends had what I thought was a brilliant suggestion. She said I should send Campbell home with Granpa for a visit, and then when Gran comes in a week or two, she can bring him back with her. Oddly enough, my parents didn't go for it. Perhaps it's because I've been telling them too many potty-training stories. Campbell would have loved to go on the plane with Granpa and then visit my parents and be spoiled rotten.
Watching my dad with the kids made me think about how differently my parents react to their grandkids, and the differences are pretty amusing. Here are some examples collected from years of watching my parents be grandparents.
Scene 1: Lily is requesting a piece of bread and butter an hour after leaving the table without finishing her dinner.
Granpa: No Lily. Dinner is over. No bread and butter.
Gran: You're still hungry? How about I make you some oatmeal? Or a sandwich? What would you like?
Scene 2: Ella is having a huge tantrum because her fancy flower cookie is the wrong color.
Granpa: Ella, if you're not going to eat it, I will. (And then he did.)
Gran: Your father shouldn't have eaten the cookie! He should have gone to the bakery to get her the color she wanted!
Scene 3: Campbell is sitting on his potty. He scratches himself and then grabs a handful of goldfish crackers.
Granpa: Your mother would never have survived having boys.
Gran: Oh, gross. I think there are things boys do that I just wouldn't have been able to watch.
Scene 4: Elizabeth is standing up all by herself and clapping.
Granpa: Look at her! The programming is just amazing. She is just driven to make these developmental leaps at all the right moments.
Gran: Oh I wish I could see her! I bet it's so cute. Wait until you see the teddy bear I got her at SAFF - it's baby alpaca and it's so sweet because she needed something soft and sweet.
I guess the point of all this is that it's so funny to watch my mom, who was very no-nonsense when we were growing up, turn into a puddle of goo around her grandkids. She thinks they are the funniest, cutest things ever and will do anything they want - like make oatmeal at 9:00 at night or go to the bakery for special cookies or search stores for a replacement tea-party doll for Lily after hers broke.
Dad, however, remains his calm, analytical, engineer self. Which isn't to say he's not a good grandfather, because he is. He spent hours sitting outside with the kids while they rode their bikes and scooters back and forth, and he walked around and around the block with Campbell while he rode his bike. He took Campbell on a boys' trip to the hardware store and taught him all about hammers. He also taught Lily to ride her two-wheeler without training wheels, and he has worked wonders with the kids at the swimming pool. He just doesn't turn into a puddle of goo like mom does.
Dad went home yesterday, much to Campbell's dismay. He came charging out of his room this morning asking for Granpa. My parents will be back at Christmas, which may not be soon enough for the boy's taste.