Tidewater Times June 2019

Page 11

Auntie Bad Example by Helen Chappell

I’m single and childless, this is true, but I do have two nieces, four grand-nieces and nephews plus five godchildren, so it’s not like I’m averse to kids. In fact, in some circles, I am known as Auntie B.E. for Bad Example because I taught a couple of grand-godchildren how to make rude noises and, also, how to cheat at Clue. I am the fun aunt, and proud of it. It’s a tough job, but someone has to do it. At our age, a lot of my friends are starting to have grandchildren, and if you think new parents act as if they invented having babies, you haven’t been around grandparents lately. Helicopter parents have nothing on helicopter grandparents, who record, document and share every little thing the kids do with anyone who will stand still long enough hear all about Little Susie’s third word or Johnny’s collection of Legos. Okay, I realize grandchildren are your reward for your kids’ horrible adolescence, and you get to a) spoil them rotten, b) feed them all sorts of sugary junk, c) get them tired, cranky and dirty so you can d) hand them back to their parents when they’re too much. I’m good with all of that and, in fact, quite good

at the spoiling, getting them tired and dirty and handing them back to their parents to deal with the fallout part. It’s just not the center of my universe, or indeed anyone’s universe. And if that makes me an evil Grinch, so be it. I’m an evil Grinch. All of this grandparenting is just fine, and more power to you. Most of your friends think your grandkids are cute, but they don’t share your obsession with your rug rats, and believe me, the kids may be all right, but they’re not the constant 9