I was going through some old files of mine, and tucked in behind a cluster of newspaper clippings was a folded up, handwritten note on yellowed paper. This little note turned out to be an instructional letter from my ‘Boppa’ – my mom’s dad. I didn’t know Boppa too well, he passed when I was about 9 years old, but from what I hear, he got a real kick out of spending time with me when I was little. So, without further ado, I present his words of advice to you.
Instructions for the Raising and Nurturing of His Granddaughter
Parents are a necessary evil and do have a place in things, once they find out where exactly that place is.
Once people discover that they are going to be parents, they get all upset and excited and do all sorts of crazy things.
First of all, they usually enroll in a school run by Old Maids and Bachelors who will teach them all they need to know about the raising of a child. All they ever get out of this is arms full of pamphlets full of gobbledegook.
That’s why all babies should be handed over to their grandparents immediately after birth; after all, who has had more experience in the successful raising of a child. Look at the grandparents’ beautiful daughter who married far below her station in life, or their brilliant son who some trollop caught in one of his weaker moments and they married.
Parents have been brainwashed into believing that they must be firm with their child and not give in to its every wish or whim, and above all must never be picked up when crying and must be fed only on a rigidly kept schedule. That is mistake #1. When my grandchild cries, I want her to be picked up and cuddled and comforted and if she wakes up between feedings it’s because she’s hungry damnit, so feed her. I want none of this balderdash ‘Now Gramma or Grampa WE don’t pick her up every time she fusses, you know the child psychologists say this is very bad for her GENES.’ I tell you, I don’t give a hoot about her genes because it will be years before she’s interested in the male gender, be it Gene, George or Jack.
I don’t want you to ever think that she won’t be smart, because as she grows into a toddler I can see the battles coming should her Grandma and I pay you a visit….Because when Dayna and I arrive home 5 minutes before supper and she doesn’t want to eat her peas and creamed broccoli and all those other delicious terrible vegetables and you find out that she and her grandfather – while on a short walk – stopped in for a hamburger and French fries with lots of gravy, fresh berry pie with ice cream and a chocolate malt just to keep us going until supper. It wasn’t our fault, see, the afternoon just went by so fast and after all, wasn’t our choice of food much more appetizing than all those delicious (???) vegetables and creamed chicken? So if you must get mad, don’t send Dayna to bed, send me.
In fact, the more I think about this, I think I will contact all grandparents and start a lobby supporting all the above.