Five grandparenting mistakes

I recently read an article on about some of the mistakes made by grandparents. Titled "5 Mistakes Even Good Grandparents Make," the article warns Grandma and Grandpa to watch out for these issues that mar a near-perfect grandparenting record:

  1. Encouraging tantrums
  2. Agreeing to do too much
  3. Getting frustrated
  4. Falling for the hype
  5. Breaking too many rules

Well guess what? I don't do ANY of those!

Does that make me the perfect grandparent? Not by a long shot.

What it makes me is a long-distance grandma. A long-distance grandma physically incapable of committing such mistakes. For each of those mistakes -- with the exception of No. 4, but I'll get to that -- requires a grandparent to see his or her grandchild on a regular basis. And I definitely don't see Bubby often enough to rack up the faux pas, at least not those presented by the article.

To wit:

I've never committed No. 1 because Bubby is the perfect child who never, ever throws a tantrum. Okay, that's not true. But because I don't see him often, he's usually on his best behavior when he's around me and I can honestly say I've never seen him throw a tantrum. So I certainly can't encourage them.

The No. 2 mistake is impossible for me to make because I simply cannot agree to do too much. Believe me: I'd love to babysit too much and all the other "too much" issues of which the article speaks, but unless Megan were willing to send Bubby to me as an unaccompanied minor a few times a week -- or pay for me to fly to the desert a few times a week -- there's no way in cuss I can do too much.

No. 3? Well, the article notes how easy it is for a grandparent to become frustrated upon having to hear an Elmo CD again and again and again. I don't get to hear Elmo singing at all ... which presents frustration of a different sort, but not to the degree nor manner of which the article speaks. So I'm clear on No. 3.

No. 4 is one I could commit from afar. But I don't. I'm not one to fall for the hype when it comes to buying Bubby high-tech or uber-educational toys. In fact, I'm probably guilty of getting him oddball creative crap, er, cuss, that most grandmas may not consider. Witness the Bilibo I'm getting Bubby for his birthday. Actually, I've bought him two Bilibos for his birthday. Yeah, I choose weird gifts. Sorry Bubby, sorry Megan. But at least this grandma's not committing Grandparenting Mistake No. 4.

And No. 5, the mother of all grandmother mistakes, doesn't happen either. I see Bubby rarely enough that I don't feel compelled to break all the rules and try to instill the "There are no rules with Grandma" rule. I just go with the flow of the family and do what Bubby is used to. No sense upsetting the norm just because Grandma's around for a few short days is my thinking. Now if Bubby lived nearby in the mountains -- or when there are local grandchildren added to the family tree -- things may be entirely different. But I'd never admit that, of course.

On the surface it appears that I surely must be the perfect grandparent.

More truthfully, though, I'm just mistake-free by default, by a technicality, by 819 miles in between me and my Bubby.

And I have no doubt at all that I'm screwing up in hundreds of other ways, the ways long-distance grandparents screw up.

Hmmm ... Now that I think of it, that is the list I should be consulting. But I've searched and there doesn't seem to be one anywhere online ... yet!

Coming soon to Grandma's Briefs: 5 Mistakes Even Good Long-Distance Grandparents Make. You won't want to miss it!

Today's question:

What's one mistake you've made in the past six months that you're willing to admit?

My answer: I burned Jim's bacon on Sunday, Father's Day, his Father's Day Breakfast bacon. He likes it crispy and I went a little too far in trying to please him.