Grandparents are like a lithium vacation

by doodaddy on May 12, 2008


I’ll bet you never noticed that in the stars.

Two out of Boobaby’s seven grandparents visited this weekend. Boo around houseguests is like someone suffering from mania going off their meds: from her typical, cheerful self she morphed into supertoddler. Her highs were very high: she was completely ecstatic about everything. “We’re going to the hillside playground today,” I’d tell her, and she would shout back, “YAAAAAY! IT’S CHILLY THERE!” A scarf was cause for celebration, and a card game put her high on glee mountain.

Whenever we have visitors, Boo starts talking more lucidly. She may find it necessary to articulate because grandparents don’t understand her clipped toddler shorthand as we do. Whatever the reason, grandparents somehow manage to elicit lengthy and bizarrely comprehensible dialogue from this two-year old: “That pizza’s a little too hot. Grandma will blow on it and I’ll eat a pretzel. Do you want some salt?”

On the other hand, having visitors can make the low swings really, really low. Boo rarely acts out, but today she was just too excited playing with her grandparents to eat or sleep well, and as a result, fussed and cried until I could finally get some avocado down her. Bedtime, too, became an ordeal, although that’s pretty normal for poor Boo now that we’ve interred her in Sleep Reeducation Camp.

Have you heard the theory that some bygone genius artists were actually untreated manic depressives? The idea is that Van Gogh wouldn’t have cut off his ear if he were medicated, but then again, he might not have painted “Starry Starry Night” either. Interesting guess, but I wonder if maybe his grandparents were visiting, too.

So I’m ambivalent at the grandparents’ departure. On the one hand, Boobaby enjoys them tremendously. On the other — well, it’s a relief to return to the everyday chaos I’ve come to think of as “normal.”

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tagged as in behavior,family ·

{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

Thom May 12, 2008 at 11:38 pm

Grandparents are ambivalence personified, and you couldn’t have described it more accurately. Although Tiggy only has four grandparents, the effects are much the same… I try to keep in mind that old adage mawkishly employed by Hillary Clinton in the nominations race: ‘It takes a village to raise a child’, but sometimes the village elders are just too much!


Audubon Ron May 13, 2008 at 5:26 am

Ah yes, the new normal.

Little ones I think know they are the center of attention. (E-hem, I never got past that stage).

Great photo, did you Photo Shop that?


Michele Shores May 13, 2008 at 9:23 am

All of our family is local but whenever my girls were little and they would visit the grandparents on either side holding was a must so by Monday my girls who normally would sit in a swing or saucer now want mommy to hold them 24/7. These days were hard. Normal life is good!


Xbox4NappyRash May 13, 2008 at 11:36 am

Little known fact, Van Gogh had his ear cut off by a prostitute he didn’t have enough money to pay for down the red light district.

…or was that my buddy Johan?


doodaddy May 15, 2008 at 4:58 pm

Amsterdam always feels like something out of a movie.

Not, probably, a movie I would have watched… but a movie, all the same.


doodaddy May 15, 2008 at 4:59 pm

Yep, it’s photoshopped. Van Gogh was going to paint it that way, but he changed his mind…


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