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    « The heat is (still) on | Main | Everyone's a winner on my two-year blogiversary! »

    Reason No. 411 grandmas come in handy

    One of the most important tasks of grandmothers is to support our adult children in their choices, their rules, and their lessons when it comes to raising their kids, our grandchildren.

    Sometimes the need for such support comes in unexpected ways.

    Megan called one day last week, starting the conversation with the typical "What are you doing?"

    "Um, just working online," I told her. "What are you doing?"

    "Well, Bubby and I are having a conversation. About poop," she said in her matter-of-fact teacher voice.

    Ahh...I get it. She was talking in her this-is-a-lesson voice. She was on speaker phone. Bottom line: Bubby was listening.

    So I resisted my immediate "WTF? Poop?" response, following instead with the requisite lilting, "Oh, really?"

    "Yes," Megan continued. "We're talking about all the different places there is to poop. Bubby poops in the potty, like a big boy. Mommy and Daddy poop in the potty, too. Baby Mac poops in his diaper. And Roxy (the dog) poops outside. But when I told Bubby that kitties—that YOUR kitties—poop in the house, Bubby didn't believe me?" She ended on a high note of incredulity at Bubby's skepticism on the matter.

    I'm no dummy. My daughter needed my support and I wasn't going to let her down. I immediately launched into authoritative grandma mode.

    "Oh, but they do!" I responded loud and clear for Bubby's benefit. "Abby and Isabel both go poop in the house. In their litter box."

    "That's yucky," Bubby responded.

    "Some people don't want their kitties to go outside to go potty because a fox might get them, so they have their kitties go potty inside in a litter box."

    "We wouldn't want a fox to eat the kitties, would we?" Megan asked Bubby.

    Of course Bubby said no ... but it was clear the yuck factor was still a factor, especially the idea of the stink and the mess such activity might make.

    "I clean their potties each week," I told Bubby. "And Abby and Isabel have litter boxes with lids on them, so they keep the stink in their potty. It makes it a private potty for them because kitties like privacy when they go potty. Maybe next time you're here, we'll watch as Abby and Isabel go into their private potties."

    "Can you believe that?" Megan asked Bubby.

    Bubby's response: "I don't even believe it!" in a chipper my-eyes-have-seen-the-light tone, doing his best to convince us he gets it, that he does indeed now believe what was once truly unbelievable to him.

    Shew! Gramma successfully came through on the unexpected and unusual call for support.

    After a bit more chit chat, the conversation wound down.

    "You guys go now," I told them. "And maybe you should continue your discussion, maybe talk about where fish go potty."

    As Megan said "goodbye," I heard Bubby in the background clearly inquire, "Where DO fish go poop, Mom?"

    "Thanks, Mom," Megan added as she hung up the phone. Only I wasn't too clear on her tone. Was it one of sincere thanks for the support? Or one dripping with sarcasm at my suggestion for continuing the poop lesson?

    It didn't matter. My grandchild's mind had been expanded. My daughter's lesson had been supported.

    My grandma work was done for the day.

    (My paparazzi work, on the other hand, continues, as I stalk Abby and Isabel with camera in hand in hopes of snapping them entering their private potties. I figure photos would be great reinforcement of the lesson for Bubby.)

    Today's question:

    What are your thoughts on cats? Where fish—or other animals—go potty, and life lessons learned? (Really, what question might you expect in relation to such a post?)

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    Reader Comments (13)

    Does Bubby have the book "Everyone Poops?" If he doesn't, get it for him!

    July 26, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAmy Hollis

    Good thoughts here. Support of our kids as they raise their kids, without judgement, is SO important! Always enjoy what you have to say! Keep up the good work and congrats on two years of blogging! (and hanging those panties on the line. :-)

    July 26, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterpodso

    Your two-year anniversary is now into a third year and you're continuing to be a good Mom and Grandma, assisting Bubby's mama. Good Job!

    I love Leroy and Sylvester enough to clean their litter boxes frequently; they deserve clean bathrooms, too. I guess Fish Poop all settles to the bottom of the ocean...I'm not going there.

    July 26, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAnn

    Cats are great, but Bubby's right: Litter boxes are YUCKY. But as Forest Gump said, "It happens." :0)

    July 26, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterPammeey

    I love my cats! They fill the huge whole that Amara leaves behind when she goes home. They are indoor/outdoor cats as we live in a very safe and quiet area. I do make them stay inside at night because I like knowing right where they are when I get up in the morning. They have a litter box but very seldom use it. They'd prefer to wait and go outside.

    July 26, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterGrandma Kc

    Nice support for an important issue under discussion. I especially liked your ability to expand the topic by bringing up an additional species. I'm sure your daughter fully appreciated that...but pay back will come, granny.

    July 26, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterOlga

    I am a cat lover and have always had cats up until this point in my life. We currently have no pets because we just don't want to deal with poop. Both of us got tired of having a litter box that had to be cleaned and maintained. Once our last cat died, we adopted a no kids, no pets policy. Both are welcome to visit, but no permanent residents. I miss having a kitty, but I love being footloose and fancy free.

    Great job of supporting Mom in her parental discussion of poop!

    July 26, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterGrams

    I thought you explained all of it very well! I am not a cat person....also my hubby is allergic to cats. My daughter has a cat so we had to explain to my granddaughter why we can't visit for very long at her house. I would love to have a dog in my semit-retired life but my hubby refuses to deal with the the poop.

    July 26, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterDebbie E.

    I love my cats too! (5) They have taught me a lot. They have helped me expand my sense of caring, compassion and patience. I think they have helped to fill the void of an empty nest. (I don't have any grandchildren ~ don't tell anyone.) I would love to have some one day. If not, I'll borrow some.

    My cats are indoor/outdoor cats. I let them go out because we live in a country area with open fields on all sides of a small subdivision. I try to keep them in at night to protect them from wild critters (raccoons, skunks and bats) and from other unfriendly cats. But, sometimes they slip out and refuse to come in when I call.

    I don't mind cleaning up after them. I also have 2 small parrots called Caigues. I don't mind cleaning up after them either ~ most of the time. Ha, ha.

    July 26, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterPat S.

    You have got to be the best at ad libbing when put on the spot. That was incredible the way you habdled it. Good luck with capturing a shot of the kitties.
    Now for the life's lesson....Mine was G-Maw why does your poop stink and mine doesn't? i told my grandson that he ate good nutritious food that his mommy cooks for him and G-Maw eats that and other stuff she shouldn't that makes her be a stinly G-Maw. Well we would be right in assuming I left myself wide open for that one. The next time I tried to pop something less than nutritious in my mouth, I felt like I had had the police called on me. And since he is the policeman of the neighborhood I was read my rights.

    July 26, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAlice

    You handly that so well Lisa, congratulations. Actually never have had that sort of conversation with granddaughter but nearly 7 I would hope she'd be passed it.

    July 26, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterSally Kabak

    Funniest story! :) Cute as! Well done in supporting your daughter and being helpful to your little grandie :)

    July 26, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterShawnnita

    Great post! We have outdoor cats, so they poop outside just like the dog!

    July 27, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterTammy
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