I have officially initiated phase one of Operation Deprogram and Detoxify. My children spent the past several days with Grandma and Grandpa. My husband and I were there too, but we could just as well of been in China. My children would prefer us to just drop them off and leave. The reason is obvious. We are the only variables that threaten to interrupt their master plan involving premeditated mind games and trickery to mentally hijack their grandparents. “Grandma and Grandpa, let me introduce you to your puppeteers (a.k.a., your grandchildren).” They are con artists.
My poor parents don’t stand a chance against them. They have proven incapable time and time again of being desensitized to the cuteness of my children. I have tried to warn them. They see the big blue eyes exiting the van, hear the exuberant shouts of excitement, and there is no turning back. They have been sucked in and brainwashed by their own blood in less than ten seconds and they haven’t got a clue. It happens every time and it is a sad sight indeed.
I want to know what the hell happened to my parents? I know they are capable of saying, “No.” They used to say it to me all the time! Was I not cute enough to get Oreos for breakfast or an ice cream treat five minutes after not eating my supper? Here’s the truth. I brought an unopened package of Oreos with us on our trip home. We had been at my parent’s house one night. When I got up the next morning, there was one left. One. It had been less than 14 hours since our arrival.
You know what really sucks? I like Oreos. I really wanted one. And not the one left that was broken and looked as if someone had licked it a couple times before putting it back in the package. I ask the obvious question, “What the hell happened to all of the Oreos?” Everyone avoids eye contact with me, including Grandma and Grandpa.
No one had to say anything. Guilt was written all over their faces, especially the face of my 3 year old son who looked as if he had been eating dirt all morning. Of course my girls scattered and went into immediate hiding, but not before firmly stating, “Grandpa ate some too Mom.” Did they just throw the guy responsible for giving them Oreos for breakfast under the bus? They are clearly as dumb as they are ruthless. They would toss their Grandpa to the wolves in a split second if it meant that they would gain some sort of advantage over the situation. Shame on you kids. Your Grandpa loves you, and quite frankly gives you more sugary snacks in one weekend than you get in a three month timeframe at home.
My mom is the worst at enforcing rules and/or discipline with her grandchildren. My son asked her for another cookie and she replied, “What did your Mommy say?” His immediate response, “She say yes Gamma.” I was sitting right there. He did not ask me. Nor did he care that I was sitting in the same room and just witnessed him tell a blatant lie to his grandmother. Grandma didn’t seem to care either, given the fact that she gave him another cookie as soon as I left the room. “Shhhh, don’t tell Mommy.”
Shortly thereafter, my middle child looked me straight in the eye after asking me if she could have a soda (more specifically, a Mountain Dew) and then almost threatened me before I could even answer, “If Mommy says no, ask Grandma. Grandma is the boss because it’s “Grandma’s house.” Really? I mean it’s kind of cute when it’s on a t-shirt or bumper sticker, but not so much when your 6 year old uses it as a primary bullet point in her imaginary rule book at Grandma’s house.
My Dad is a bit more intimidating. He will actually say “no,” and quite forcefully at times. Aside from the initial and very short lived, “Holy shit Grandpa is pissed response,” they are unaffected. They have learned that Grandpa’s bark is far worse than his bite. In all honesty, my middle child is less intimidated by my Dad than I am. She actually spoke the following two words once after he sternly scolded her, “Whatever Grandpa.” I literally went into shock. Nobody says that to my Dad. But she did, and without any hesitation or remorse afterwards whatsoever. I didn’t know if I should scold her or praise her for her courage. Do you want to know what Grandpa did? He chuckled, and looked at me like, “Yeah, good luck with that. Paybacks are a bitch Jill (wink wink).” He then offered to take the little angel down to the ice cream shop for a treat. “Come on, let’s go. You can sit on Grandpa’s lap and help me drive.”
I get it. Grandma lets them crack the eggs in the bowl when she makes cookies. Grandpa lets them watch endless hours of the Disney Channel without argument. They have a bowl just for M&M’s that is never empty. The list goes on and on. They never want to leave, and how can I blame them? I wouldn’t want to leave with me either if given the choice.
Grandma and Grandpa soak it up too. Their agenda is clear. They sugar my kids up to the point that they are no longer capable of blinking and then send them home with us. The withdrawal phase reaches its height about 2 hours into our road trip home. The experience is the exact opposite of fun. “I want Gamma! I don’t want to go home! Give me some god damn jellybeans!”
Someday I am going to drop them off and leave for an indefinite amount of time. I can guarantee you that Grandma and Grandpa will be singing a different tune within 48 hours or less.
Trust me, the cuteness wears off.
“Don’t call me. I’ll call you. Maybe.”