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.)
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?)