When Grandparents Attack: My Kids Are Full Of Sugary Crap

sugar rush kids junk foodWhen it comes to grandparents, it’s all fun and games until someone loses their lunch. At least that’s what happened in my family several years back during a big Father’s Day celebration. We were all enjoying our buffet brunch at a fancy golf club eggs, toast, yogurt, waffles, the works and I noticed my dad sneaking my son, then 3, a cookie.

“No biggie,” I thought. Well, what I really thought was, “Ohmigod, he hasn’t yet taken a bite of his lunch and now my dad’s feeding him crap.” But I let it go because I get respect, even the fact that grandparents exist in this world to spoil their grandchildren.

My boy then moved on to a giant bowl of Grandpa-supplied ice cream topped with spoonfuls of Skor bars, Oreos, chocolate sprinkles. “Dad, c’mon,” I pleaded, but he pretended not to hear me.

I drew the line at Skittles.

“Dad, he’s totally wired and he’s going to get a stomachache. Please stop feeding him junk!” Not even two minutes later, my son looked up at me, all wide-eyed. “Mommy, I don’t feel well,” he uttered and then proceeded to vomit ALL OVER me, himself, the table and the (carpeted) floor.

My son was fine three minutes later he was running around with his cousins, happy as can be but I’ll never forget the look of horror on my father’s face. He was traumatized! And beyond guilty. I’m not even kidding when I say he called me that same day to apologize, again the next morning, and I think at every family function since (it’s been three years, by the way).

In fact, when he pops by for a visit these days, he’ll often pull me aside far away from the kids and get a very serious look in his eye. I panic, of course, thinking he’s about to share some horrible news, when really he’ll just come out with, “Is it okay if I take B. for an ice cream? A small one?”

Clearly, my father learned his lesson. Of course, I didn’t plan for it to go down this way. I want my parents to spoil my children and feed them shit they’re not allowed to eat at home (really, isn’t that what grandparents are for?). But there’s a fine line between treating them to something special and overindulging them to the point of puking.

There’s also the dreaded sugar high. Many of my mom friends complain about their kids spending a day with their grandparents and coming home WIRED. We’re talking bouncing of walls and full-on wigging out. These moms feel guilty about being annoyed as they really are grateful for all that their parents do but that doesn’t change the fact that they now have to attempt to get their sugar-infused kids to bed (on a school-night!).

My mother-in-law, bless her, carries a Ziploc bag filled with lollipops in her designer handbag. She hands them out to my children every time she visits, and it reminds me of my late grandfather and how he used to do the same when I was a little girl. I’m glad my kids will have the same memory one day, though I’m not so happy when this is all taking place two minutes before mealtime and my 2-year-old cannot comprehend the notion of waiting until dessert. [tagbox tag=”grandparents”]

It’s times like these that I simply walk away and remind myself that it’s hardly the end of the world if my children eat ice cream for lunch every now and then, or suck on a lollipop moments before dinner especially during this decadent holiday season. It’s all part of being a kid.

So, as much as I want to tell my parents and in-laws to ‘cool it’ at times, I’m not that stupid. I let them have their moments. They may be filling up my kids with sugary crap, but with it comes a whole lot of love and a special kind of bond that can only come from a grandparent. A smitten one, at that.

(Photo: Hemera)

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