I have felt this way for years – at least since we had
children of our own; it has only gotten worse since the grandchildren came
along. Now it seems to have reached a
new peak with the youngest grandchildren – Molly, aged 30 months and Danny, aged
6 months, since it appears that they are likely the last little ones – at least
until the great grandchildren come along.
I’m sure my wife feels the pressure.
It was confirmed today as preparations for Christmas
in our household has hit full throttle.
Last weekend my wife made one of her seasonal treats, so she could bring
some along to a holiday party that a neighbor was throwing. She makes three kinds of flavored nuts:
candied pecans and cashews, spiced pecans, and spicey pistachios. Wanting to help, I dutifully shelled a large
bag of pistachios. After taking some of
each out for the party, the rest were put in storage tins and stacked up on the
kitchen window seat. I was reminded that
these were for Christmas and cautioned against further taste-testing.
The next evening, craving a salty snack, I filled a
little glass dish with some of the leftover cashews. My wife’s eyes were on me as I passed her on
my way to my recliner. “If you eat those
cashews now, there won’t be any left for me to make the chocolate covered ones
with.” There it was – guilt complex.
Today, my daughter Elizabeth came over with the two
aforementioned youngest grandchildren to help bake cutout cookies. As many of the older grandchildren that can
make it will be coming on Saturday morning to decorate them. Grandma had already mixed the dough, so all
they had to do was roll it out and use the cookie cutters, so that all
the necessary shapes (stars, trees, angels, Santas, candles, snowflakes,
gingerbread men, and candy canes) were all well-represented.
Molly burst into the kitchen with excitement, spied
the decorative tins of flavored nuts on the window seat, and promptly tried to
climb up so she could check them out.
Grandma sat down beside her, popped the lids off of each tin, and let
Molly sample as many nuts as her little fist could hold. Grandma didn’t caution Molly that the nuts
were for Christmas. In fact, she even
brought a little bowl over so Molly could sample every kind, and even put some
extra pistachios in to aid with some counting practice.
All this has left me quite conflicted. It doesn’t seem right to be jealous of a
grandchild. Inside, I feel a bit like
the two grumpy old men puppets that used to sit in the balcony and complain on
the old Muppets television show. I think I would be good at that. Deep down I don’t
want her to stop this spoiling of children.
After all, she clearly stated her intentions years ago when she bought
the sign that denotes her kitchen as the “Grandma spoiling zone.” No, I don’t want her to stop – I just want
her to make sure that she remembers to spoil ALL the children, especially the old ones. That only seems fair.
His Peace <><