Grilled Grandma: Debra

How many children do you have? I have three sons.

How many grandchildren? What are their ages? I have 1 grandson by birth ( my middle son’s child ) and his older sister became part of our family as well. So….two. Brent and Kate.

My son has joked in the past that it was the ‘buy one get one free’ program!

What do your grandchildren call you? Sometimes they call me "Oma" and sometimes "Grandma."

When Brent was younger, I was "Oma" and the other grandma was "Mamaw" or some variation of that. "Oma" is German for Grandmother and I had initially gotten Kate to start calling me that, since she called her "real" grandmother "Grandma."

After the initial elation, what was your first concern upon hearing you would soon be a grandmother? Well, my son was in Iraq during the mama’s pregnancy so that was not easy…I was always worried about him. Other than that, after getting over the first shock in regards to becoming a grandmother, I was becoming excited.

In the end, my grandson Brent was named after a wonderful soldier who had died in Iraq. I posted about him, Brent Adams, on my blog on Memorial Day.

How often do you get to see your grandchildren? I see Brent almost every weekend. Sometimes I have both Brent and Kate. (Oftentimes, Kate’s Grandmother will just have her for girl time on the weekend, so generally I see Brent a bit more) Both parents work shifts and often on the weekends, so there are rarely “visits” ; rather there is babysitting duty ! My son’s father, Brent’s “Pappy” is retired and he pulls some hard shifts. Sometimes the mama has to open her Starbucks store, and she must be there by 4:00 a.m. I get off easy compared to him, that’s for sure. I have to make sure to never retire….

What is the best thing about being a grandma? Ha ha well you know that old adage about being able to give them back is true : ) Seriously, though…when that baby is born your heart just melts and you fall in love in the same way that you did when your children were born. This time around it is like a double delight: MY child produced THIS child…..just sheer wonder and blessedness all over again.

And the cuddling….I will miss that as they grow older.

What is the most challenging part of being a grandma? Worry. Don’t fall down the steps, don’t fall down those other steps, don’t touch the stove, don’t choke on this, and don’t fall off the chair. PLEASE don’t have some horrible accident while I am babysitting you for your parents…don’t don’t don’t!

Now I am laughing because I remember a time that I’d watched Brent for most of a day and worried about falls etc. He was about 1 1/2 years old. At the end of the day he had a temper tantrum melt down and threw himself on to the floor and banged his head on purpose! I looked at him in dismay! I had kept him safe ALL DAY and now he was going home to his mama with a little boo boo mark on his head.

Describe a recent time that one (or more) of your grandchildren made you laugh out loud. They always make me laugh but an ongoing thing with Brent is that I kept his 2 year old birthday video on my phone. He loves to watch it and he blows out the candles with himself (with his phone-self).

What is your favorite thing to do with grandchildren who visit your house? Watch them sleep after they wore me out all day! Seriously, one thing that they love to do is that if they are over on the weekend and I’ve washed my bedding and am putting fresh sheets on, they love to help. They love having the sheets billow out and help to pull up and arrange the bedspread etc. THEN once it is all made, they hop in and hide under the covers and we have tickle and monster games and they scream and laugh.

What is your favorite thing to do when visiting grandchildren at their house? Kate’s grandfather had purchased a large bean bag (covered in some sort of soft material, just like a piece of furniture) years ago. Naturally being thrown or dropped into this is their favorite activity there.

How do you maintain the bond between yourself and your grandchildren between visits? I see them most weekends. Sometimes I am able to work from home and might have them for a bit during the week, or occasionally stop there on lunch break or after work