I’m years away from having grandchildren of my own — at least 15 years, minimum, and even that would give me a heart attack.
But somehow, the other day, I was chatting with my four-year-old daughter about her someday-children. Specifically, how I must act when I’m in charge of these someday-children.
As I write this, our kids are having a sleepover with my mother. It’s the kiddie-equivalent of going to a rave, I think.
They spend their time hopped up on miniature chocolate bars, Pop-Tarts, Lunchables and bagels with cinnamon sugar. The apple juice is always flowing. There are treats and little surprises around every corner. It’s Willy Wonka’s factory, basically.
That’s why it was so hilarious when my daughter started talking about how I was encouraged — no, expected — to care for the children she might have in 20-odd years.
(Their names change each time she talks about them, but they always rhyme. Millie and Tillie, Dahlia and Ball-ia, Lonnie and Talauni.)
“When I’m a grown-up and I go to a wedding,” she began conversationally, “you can ‘babysitter’ my kids.”
(Apparently weddings are the most common reason a parent would need to go out of town for the night? I think I’ve only been to one or two in her lifetime, but oh well.)
“Oh, thank you!” I said graciously. “I’ll always want to take care of my little grandbabies.”
She nodded triumphantly.
“And I’m going to give them so many treats,” I continued. “I’m going to give them lots of chocolate bars and juice and pop and Rockets! And they’re going to come home all sugared-up and be really hyper for you.”
I thought she’d laugh and play along, but — to my surprise — she was angry …