Flashback Friday: Back in my day

Flashback Friday: Back in my day

Dear readers: Today is the day my firstborn learns the gender of her firstborn, scheduled for arrival in October. With all things pregnancy on my brain today, I thought this post—originally published June 13, 2011—a fitting Flashback Friday feature. Thank you for reading!

I had my youngest baby, Andrea, nearly 26 years ago (Flashback update: nearly 33 years ago!). Listening to Megan talk about pregnancy, labor, and newborn care, it's clear there have been some important—and some not-so-important—changes in the whole process since back in my day.

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Don't speak: When silence refreshes relationship between Mom and Grandma

mother and sonMy daughter recently emailed me the ticket confirmation for my next visit to the desert. The trip is set for the latter part of April.

I, of course, must work to contain my excitement and anticipation as I look forward to soon spending ten days with my grandsons.

I also look forward — sans the fanfare and excitement, I admit — to the days after the trip, the days when I’ve returned home and my daughter won’t be speaking to me.

Yes, when I get back from that trip, I’m sure my daughter won’t speak to me. Which will be okay, though, for I surely won’t speak to her, either.

That may seem odd, considering I have no doubt we’ll have a delightful time in April. The first few days of the visit will be spent with my daughter, son-in-law and my precious grandsons. Then I’ll have nearly a week of serving as sole caretaker of Bubby and Mac, as Megan accompanies Preston for an out-of-state conference. Then Megan and Preston will return home, and we’ll have even more time together.

That time together is precisely why my daughter and I won’t be speaking afterward.

You see, somewhere along the line of my daughter becoming “Mommy” and me becoming “Gramma,” we fell into the habit of not calling, texting, e-mailing or connecting in pretty much any way whatsoever for a few days after extended visits with one other.

We didn’t plan such a tack; it happened naturally. It’s a natural progression of the ways our roles and connection to one another have changed. And it’s been a boon to our relationship.

My daughter and I thrive on the times the miles that typically separate us geographically are erased, and we strengthen our connection with hours upon hours of real face time. We come together with much to share about our jobs, hobbies, anxieties, accomplishments, family updates and hopes for the future. And, of course, there’s always much to discuss about her children, my grandchildren — how to care for them, grow them, love them best.

We share it all, accompanied by hugs, laughs, tears, good times. Intense times that can be exhausting — in fulfilling ways. Eventually, we've filled up the nooks and crannies of our hearts and souls, the spots that often feel empty when loved ones live far away.

Then, as luck would have it, that’s usually about the time the visit is over. So we separate. And we stop talking.

The mother/daughter relationship is one of those tangled webs we unwittingly weave. The web only grows tighter, more tangled, the more time we spend together, especially when we’re used to having our own space, our own place. It takes time to untangle, to return to our separate realities.

After a few days, we'll little by little start conversing again. By text, by phone, maybe through email. Now that I have FaceTime on my iPhone, it may just even happen in a pseudo face-to-face this time.

However it happens, it happens naturally. More importantly, it happens to work — for us and for our relationship.

Today's question:

How often do you communicate with your children — in person, by text, by phone, etcetera?

Stylin' grandsons

When I was a child, I don't recall ever going to a salon to get my hair cut. My mom cut it. I had long, straight hair, so it was fairly easy to trim up here and there. None of the styling sessions stand out as memorable except for one particularly disastrous cut when I pleaded to have my hair cut like my favorite Liddle Kiddles doll. And my mom gave me exactly what I asked for.

Thing is, there's a big difference between the (artificial) hair on Liddle Kiddles and the hair on my head. My wannabee fancy curls, meant to coil and curl gorgeously around my ears, instead looked like horrendous '70s sideburns that refused to coil, lying straight and flat against each cheek...except when the slightest breeze caught them and they flapped up and down no more gorgeously than mud flaps on a moving van.

Surprisingly, that horrid haircut didn't dissuade me from cutting my three daughters' hair. I did, though, unlike my mother, have a minor amount of training in trimming locks, gleaned from my senior year in high school. Having earned all the academic credits I needed, I was allowed to participate in a certification program at the community college during my school hours. I chose a certificate in cosmetology over one in cuisine.

I never actually continued in the program after high school graduation so I never earned my cosmetology license, but my training did come in handy for cutting my girls' hair. (And for once giving Jim a perm. Hey, it was the early '80s. But we won't go there for he might kill me. Nor will I show you the photo of such only because he'd surely kill me, not because I'm not dying to share it here now that it's crossed my mind and I know exactly where that photo is.)

Anyway...

So I cut my girls' hair for many years. They had a salon visit here and there, especially during the years I was a nail tech/seaweed wrap giver, but for the most part, I was their stylist. Even to this day, Brianna and Andrea will ask me at various times to trim up this and that for them between their visits to a real stylist. I don't cut Megan's hair at all anymore...and I certainly no longer cut—or perm—Jim's hair.

My grandsons have had a different experience when it comes to haircuts. Perhaps it's a boy thing. Bubby once underwent a home haircut from Preston and his buddy Scott. And Mac suffered through a near shaving from Mommy for his first cut. But other than those two trimmings—or maybe because of those trimmings—Bubby and Mac always visit a salon for their hair snippin' and stylin'.

I've been lucky to be in town to witness several haircuts with Bubby. A time or two, the salon visit was made into a guys' day out, as Bubby, Preston, and PawDad had their hair done together.

My first time visiting the salon with Mac, though—who loathes having his hair cut—came only recently, during my December visit, when he and Bubby both hopped into the chairs at Supercuts. Here is my record of the experience:

 

PawDad has yet to visit the salon with both grandsons. Maybe we'll be able to fit that in next time he goes to the desert with me.

(And maybe we can convince Mac to get a perm with PawDad. Just for fun...and photos. And I'll be sure to share those photos here, the prospect of murder and mayhem inflicted by Jim be damned! Stay tuned.)

Today's question:

What is the worst haircut you ever received and who was responsible?

Grandparenting as a second chance: 15 things I'd do this time around

Broncos girls.JPG

Some grandmas and grandpas consider being a grandparent their second chance at parenting, their opportunity to do things right, do things forgotten.

Not me. I don't see my time as Gramma being a do-over for my time as Mom. I've already had the headache, hassle, heartache of being a parent. I'm happy now to enjoy my time with my grandchildren without feeling the need to make good on all the things I neglected, all the ways I screwed up with my children. For one thing, there's no way to make up for what was—with those kids or with the kids of those kids.

If it were, though, if being a grandparent really did provide an opportunity for do-overs, here are a few things I'd do better the second time around:

Mac and Ritz.JPG

• Go on more family bike rides.

• Complete a doll house for the girls. Boys, too, if they wanted one.

• Be more adamant about flossing.

• Allow them to order dessert now and then when dining out. Or an appetizer, instead of saying the budget's too tight for either.

• Teach them to sew, regardless of their gender.

• Not allow them to quit musical instruction, be it band, choir, guitar lessons.

• Not allow them to quit sports mid-season, either.

• On the other hand, I'd be more adamant about them quitting bad relationships sooner.

• Take them camping as teens, even if they didn't want to go. Once they got out in the boonies, they'd surely appreciate the s'mores, stories, and sky of endless stars regardless of their protests from home.

• Go on more picnics. And Sunday drives, with no particular destination, agenda, goal.

• Buy them each a camera at a younger age. (A far easier consideration now that the cost of developing photos is no longer a factor.)

• Allow more slumber parties. Though not co-ed, as seems currently in fashion.

• Sing more.

• Hug more.

• Remember more.

Today's question:

What would you do differently if given parenting do-overs?

Four 'fun' parental duties I didn't find so fun

Tooth Fairy duty. Tuesday's question about Tooth Fairy rates reminded me how much I didn't like playing Tooth Fairy when my daughters were young. I didn't like it at all. Not because I didn't want to reward my girls for having lost a tooth but because playing Tooth Fairy scared the <cuss> out of me. Seriously. Every time one of the girls went to sleep with high hopes of finding a dollar under her pillow upon awaking (yes, our rate was $1 per tooth), I dreaded having to sneak into the room, stealthily remove a tooth wadded up in tissue from under the pillow, and replace it with a buck. I just knew I'd be midway through the task, with my hand under a sleepy head while feeling for a papery wad, when the little girl's head would slowly turn my way and her eyes would pop right open and stare at me like a crazed Chucky-type doll.

Considering such scenarios scared me to no end. In fact, it scared me so much I sometimes accidentally on purpose forgot one of my children had gone to bed with high hopes of a dollar magically appearing in the night. 'Twas so much easier and less anxiety producing—for me, at least—to apologize come morning for the Tooth Fairy's poor scheduling then pretend she (or he?) had shown up and made the tooth/dollar trade while the girls were at school. Or, to out of guilt give my daughters their proper due, I'd just steel myself all day for the task, then come nightfall get the stupid duty over as quickly as possible. Which is why the Tooth Fairy would sometimes forget; a day or two preparing myself helped. Get in, grab the tooth, drop the dollar, get out. As quickly as possible! And don't look at her face while doing it!

Oh, the lengths we moms go to in order to convince our kids it's okay to allow charming characters with tooth fetishes into their rooms at night.

Bath time. Yes, bath time for many is a lovely and peaceful nightly ritual shared by mother and child. Not when you have three children to bathe at one time. Bath nights were hell, I mean, <cuss> in our household when the girls were little. At least for me. Thirty minutes of three little girls complaining the others were taking all the space...or all the bubbles...or all the water—yes, all the water!—was not fun. Thirty minutes of repeating, Look up! Look up! Look up! as I shampooed and rinsed and listened to at least one of the girls—sometimes all three of them—crying that they had soap in their eyes was not fun. Even the Rub-A-Dub Doggie with the swivel head wasn't distraction enough to make for fun and frivolous tub time. For any of us.

Sure, it would have been smart to bathe one girl at a time. But with a husband working three jobs, thus gone during bath time, who the heck would have watched the other two (remember, the girls are consecutive ages—16 months between the first two, 19 months between the second two) while I joyfully splished, splashed, and shampooed one at a time? Wasn't happening. I was quite thankful when Brianna became old enough to shower instead of being one of the bathers.

Interesting aside: As a grandma, I still dread bath time...at least when I have to bathe both Bubby and Mac at the same time. When I bathe them separately, it truly is one of the most enjoyable of all grandma duties. When they're together, not so enjoyable. So we opt for individual bath times—as long as there's someone else to entertain the non-bather while the bather and I splish, splash, and enjoy the moment.

Slumber parties. As a mother to three daughters, you'd think I'd be a pro at slumber parties. The girls had a lot of them growing up. Heck, I threw a few of my own accord, as I was a Girl Scout leader for many years and slumber parties were a great bonding experience for the troop. At least that was the original intention.

Just like the slumber parties thrown for my daughters' birthdays and more, though, good intentions at the outset of a slumber party flew out the window sometime soon after midnight when the cattiness of tired and cranky girls brought out the worst in everyone. Including me. By 2 a.m. I was usually gritting my teeth and saying to myself, "I wish they would just go home!" Funny thing is, that was often about the same time whichever daughter of mine was hosting the event would creep up the stairs and into my room to say exactly the same thing: "I wish they would Just. Go. Home."

Of course, we'd all forget about how very un-fun slumber parties were come time to consider having another...and another...and another.

Mall shopping. Being mother to three daughters also meant I was supposed to love clothes shopping with my girls. Seems having my kids at a very early age led to me missing that memo, that lesson in the parenting preparedness classes, for I didn't simply dislike shopping at the mall, I hated it. So much so that I did all I could to avoid it.

Back-to-school shopping was particularly dreadful, at the mall or anywhere else. Reason being, for the most part, because money was always tight, and trying to please three fashion-conscious girls on a limited budget was impossible. Which resulted in many tears—and not just from them. Even when we did manage to have enough money for a planned purchase, there were still tears, especially from one particularly difficult shopper we won't name or point out that she's my middle child and mother to my grandsons.

Ironically, Megan loved shopping most of all, was the one most distressed by my aversion to shopping. Strolling the mall together was supposedly the ultimate mother/daughter activity, the best way for girlie-girls to bond with their mamas. Only, I wasn't the girlie-girl kind of mom Megan longed for. Add my hate for shopping to the long list of other girlie things I didn't do—paint my nails, accessorize correctly (or at all), chat endlessly on the phone for no reason—and it's clear why Megan thought for many years that she had surely been adopted.

As a mom, I was supposed to have fun doing all those things above. I didn't. Maybe you feel the same.

Fortunately my list of things I did have fun doing as a parent is longer. Simply remove from the job description the four duties above and all that's left is what I had fun doing.

Well, for the most part.

Dropping a child off at college wasn't all that fun. Saying goodbye as they packed up the last of their closets and left the nest for good wasn't so much fun either.

Maybe you feel the same.

photos: stock.xchng (click photos for details)

Today's question:

What supposedly fun parental duties did you find not so fun?

To each his own

 

Saturday is Baby Mac's first birthday party. You know, the party I won't be going to. Well, yesterday I mailed the birthday gift from PawDad and me to our youngest grandson. Megan called while I was preparing the package for mailing, and I felt compelled to tell her that I was not including something for Bubby in the box.

I realized it was an issue we'd not yet addressed, the even-steven-if-one-gets-something-the-other-gets-something-too conversation, because Bubby had been the one and only child up until his little brother came along nearly a year ago.

"The package is only for Baby Mac," I said. "It's his birthday, not Bubby's, and I won't be including a small gift for Bubby just because Baby Mac gets something."

"That's fine, Mom," she assured me. "That's not how our family rolls."

I was glad to hear that, as that's not the way our family ever rolled, either, when my daughters—Megan included—were young. As is often the case when a young family and new parents (like Megan and Preston) figure out what traditions and practices they will and will not use from their childhood when raising their own kids, I didn't want to assume Megan would do as we did, not as Preston's family did.

I don't know that Preston's family followed the even-steven-amongst-siblings rule. I'm guessing they didn't. But Megan and Preston may have a different philosophy than either of their families of origin, and I thought it important to let Megan know this grandma still doesn't roll that way and doesn't plan on reversing her rolling motion, regardless.

Baby Mac's birthday will be the first occasion that he receives gifts and Bubby doesn't—unlike Christmas and Valentine's Day and Easter. As Megan says, the event "will be interesting" as Bubby gets an important lesson in not being center stage, not being the primary recipient of all the spoils.

Though some might think it harsh, I wasn't willing to give Bubby any spoils on Baby Mac's birthday. Hence the sole gift in the package to the desert family being just for Baby Mac.

Bubby is usually an empathetic little boy, and Baby Mac's party will be his opportunity to realize that empathy includes not only when you feel bad for another, but when you feel good for them, too. Just as I wanted my daughters to empathize with others—especially their sisters—during good times and bad, I want my grandson to learn the same. I want him to be happy for others when good fortune comes their way, to delight in good things happening to those he loves, even when it's something he would oh-so-much love to happen to himself, too.

Jealousy, bitterness, envy, schadenfreude are all such easily learned feelings, attitudes, behaviors. They come naturally, it seems. No one has to teach little boys and girls such concepts, they just simply happen—even if those boys and girls don't know how to define them, what word to attach to them (or how to spell those words, such as schadenfreude, which I still have to look up).

The opposite of such things, though, seemingly must be taught, require lessons. Things such as compassion, goodwill, and sincere delight in another's good fortune.

Sometimes those lessons are learned the hard way.

Sometimes those lessons are learned the easy way—at least incrementally.

And sometimes those lessons are learned by not receiving a gift from Gramma or anyone else when your brother gets one.

It's a new lesson for Bubby, one I hope he accepts, appreciates, and takes to heart without making things too "interesting" for Megan.

I have faith in Bubby and expect it to not be too difficult a lesson for him. Because at his core, Bubby is a kind-hearted kiddo who usually does consider the feelings of others and willingly takes a backseat when necessary.

And because his birthday is just a couple weeks after Baby Mac's. He'll surely take comfort in knowing that Baby Mac will soon get that very same lesson—and at a far younger age than Bubby did.

Today's question:

Was the even-steven-amongst-siblings rule practiced in your family when you were young? What about with your own children? With your grandchildren?

Batteries included: Childproofing Grandma's house

During the days I served as sole caretaker of Bubby and Baby Mac a few weeks ago, Baby Mac's favorite thing to get into was the television cabinet. He loved nabbing the Wii remotes hidden within and walking around with one in each hand. If he didn't feel like going through the hassle of wrangling the Wii remotes out of the cabinet, he simply grabbed the universal remote for the television, which was usually nearby on the recliner or ottoman.

The kid likes remotes. No big deal.

Turns out it is a big deal, though—a big dangerous deal, thanks to the easily accessible and potentially fatal batteries inside the clickers he covets.

Because of Baby Mac's obsession with remote controls, the following news story struck quite a chord when I happened upon it Monday evening:

Scary, huh!?

Then, the very next day I received an email from the Battery Controlled campaign from Energizer and Safe Kids Worldwide. It offered stats from the American Academy of Pediatrics plus additional information on the dangers of lithium batteries, including a link to this video:

As grandparents who often have little visitors, we've childproofed our homes, just like the parents of our grandchildren have done. We've covered outlets, wrapped up window cords, secured screens on windows, bought baby gates and bathtub mats and hidden our medications and more in cabinets where little ones can't reach them. But did any of us—parents included—consider the dangers of remote controls, key fobs, hearing aids, greeting cards, bathroom scales, iPods, iPads and more?

I sure didn't.

That's no longer the case, though. Not only will I have an eye on every remote and other button battery-operated gadget next time Baby Mac and Bubby visit my house, I've shared the videos with Megan and encouraged her to do the same battery-proofing at her house.

I encourage you to do the same, too: Share the warnings with the parents of your grandchildren, and heed the warnings in your own home.

Today's question:

What's your guesstimate of how many button battery-operated gadgets you might have around your house?

 

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Grandma guilt strikes again

Through the 20+ years I spent raising my three daughters, guilt was an emotion I wore reluctantly yet often. Daily, in fact. Obsessively. The list of things I—and other mothers, surely—had to feel guilty about was endless.

Did I nurse long enough? Too long? Eat correctly to make the best breastmilk I could? Oh, I should not have had that beer...or the second one. Did I start them in school too early? Too late? Help them enough with their homework? Or too much? And the clothes, the cool and expensive clothes I couldn't afford! I surely damaaged their self esteem making them wear hand-me-downs. Or rag rollers—that made such adorable hairstyles!—the night before special occasions. Or homemade Halloween costumes instead of the fancy store-bought kind donned by their friends. And I didn't sign up often enough as class party mom. And I made them stop trick-or-treating before their friends did...well, at least poor Brianna, the one we practiced parenting on. Sheesh, the ways we messed up that girl. Well, all the girls because we had them so close together...and we were so broke...and I was so strict. But they did get to have pagers. But it wasn't cell phones...or iPads or even computers. MAN! We didn't have a computer until they were in junior high, and then I rarely let them on it without demanding they spend time with Mavis Beacon to practice their typing before they were allowed to play VidGrid. VidGrid? Oh, yeah, I surely warped them letting them watch music videos. Well, in the later years, that is, because I had the parental lock on MTV when they were younger. Was that right to do? And was it right to make them be home for dinner every single night? Go out for at least one sport per school year? Get a job at 16? But not be allowed to work on Sundays because they had to go to church and be there for Sunday dinner? We made them pay for their car insurance, but we didn't pay for driving lessons. Oh, I just KNOW it warped them in some way for me to teach them to drive for the first time in the cemetery. But at least they couldn't kill anyone there. How horrible of me to say that...in front of them. And how horrible to demand they go to college for AT LEAST one semester before deciding if college was or was not for them. Maybe they weren't cut out for college? Maybe the student loan debt was too much for them. Maybe I was too much for them.

I know the guilt was too much for me. Patience and energy and money are all easily exhausted for parents, but guilt? Guilt continues to grow and multiply and take over one's days. At least a mom's days—and nights, feeling guilty about all those things we may have forgotten to feel guilty about during the day.

Thankfully those guilt-ridden mommy days and nights are over for me. And, fortunately, guilt-ridden isn't a defining trait of the grandma gig. That's not to say it's non-existent, though. The past couple weeks I've been faced with a bit of grandma guilt, an especially nagging grandma guilt when it comes to Baby Mac, my second grandson.

Baby Mac will celebrate his first birthday in a couple weeks. The creative invitation designed like a ticket to a baseball game came in the mail over the weekend. Megan has told me of all the bits and pieces going into the baseball-themed affair, and it sounds like it'll be a home run for pleasing ball-loving Baby Mac and entertaining all in attendance.

Thing is, I won't be attending. And I feel horribly guilty about that. Yes, I'm a long-distance grandma so such absences are to be expected. But I was (and am) a long-distance grandma with Bubby, too, and I managed to attend every single one of his birthday celebrations. There have been only three so far, but I was there for them all. Photographed them all. Sang "Happy Birthday" to my grandson at all.

But I won't be doing that for Baby Mac. Because he—and his brother—will be visiting my house for an extended stay just a few weeks after his birthday. So it's silly to pay the money to fly 815 miles to the desert to sing Happy Birthday, eat some cake, take some photos. We'll just have a second party at Gramma and PawDad's when the boys arrive for their visit.

Actually, we'll have two birthday parties when the boys visit in June, because Bubby's birthday is mere days before the boys come to the mountains, so we'll have one for him, too. We have a fun activities planned: one will include a dinosaur museum visit; one will feature a visit to my sister's ranch so the boys can ride Shetland ponies. Aunt B and Aunt Andie will get to attend. It will be awesome.

But I still feel guilty. For not attending my second grandson's very first birthday party. Well, and for not attending my first grandson's fourth birthday party. Their real parties. The ones Mom has planned for both boys. At their own home, with their own friends.

Grandma guilt. There's nothing worse.

Except, of course, mommy guilt.

Today's question:

How does grandma guilt compare to mommy guilt in your life?

15 mommy things grandmas may have forgotten

Until the past week, I'd forgotten all of this:

1. How often drinks spill.

2. If you think you have 20 minutes before the kids wake up, take the shower right then—without dawdling—for you really only have 10.

3. Ponytails are a mom's best friend.

4. Dishes and dusting CAN wait...and usually do. Along with answering email, reading, and going to the bathroom when you have to.

5. The shape a sandwich is cut into and whether the crusts are left on or not really do make or break lunch time.

6. You WILL need to nap when they do. Sometimes even when they don't.

7. Two in the tub is NOT double the fun, it's double the stress...and double the screaming when soap gets in eyes, double the resisting when it's time to get out.

8. Poopy diapers inevitably happen the instant bath time is over and the kid's dried, lotioned up, diapered and pajama-ed. (But don't complain—it's better than those horrendous times it happens before bath time is over.)

9. Go-to distractors for a little one determined to do a variety of dangerous deeds: "Look," "What's that?" and "Where's your toy (or nose or the dog or—in dire situations—Mommy)?"

10. Telling a kid "No" only means he or she will say "Yes" to trying to do it again...and again...and again. (I should have remembered that one from my daughters' teen years.)

11. Kids don't care how good—or bad—you sing.

12. They also don't care if you wear makeup. (Good news, considering No. 4).

13. Dinnertime through bedtime is the most challenging part of the day.

14. Heart-stopping screams are rarely indicators of death and destruction; more often, they're a barometer of delight.

15. Everything's better with ketchup on it. Or ranch dressing. Or syrup. But not mustard—ever.

Today's question:

What else would you add to the list?

Missing the ordinary everydayness

Now that my kids are long grown and long gone, I occasionally miss the little things about having kids in our midst. Like watching them fully engaged in and enjoying ordinary, everyday activities. No posing or posturing, just playing.

Fortunately I have Megan to text me photos of ordinary everyday moments that, to a grandmother, are not that ordinary at all anymore and are truly something special to see.

To wit, scenes from a recent playdate—an afternoon hosted by Bubby and Baby Mac, featuring a car wash, snack time, and play pals:

So cool to see Baby Mac hanging with the big kids. And Bubby, too, obviously relishing his role as king of festivities.

Today's question:

What ordinary everydayness do you miss from your childrearing years?

Bad grandma

I've always fancied myself a pretty darn good grandma, one who goes out of her way to spread love and joy and special acts of kindness and self-sacrifice all for the sake of her grandsons.

A conversation I had with Megan over the weekend made it clear my delusions of grandmotherly grandeur and goodness may be exactly that—delusions. I'm not all that good. And not all that self-sacrificing. At least not all the time.

I'm scheduled to soon babysit Bubby and Baby Mac for the longest duration I have yet. It's a stint of nearly 10 days on my own—no Megan, no Preston, just me and the boys at their place. Such a stint feeds into my "I'm a good grandma" belief.

Well, Megan and I were discussing this and that over the weekend, and she just so happened to mention that Bubby has started pooping his pants. On a fairly regular basis. This is a kid who's been potty trained for, gosh, well over a year.

Sure, potty-training regression is to be expected when there's been a big change in a little one's life. But Bubby's big change happened nearly a year ago when Baby Mac came along. And several months ago when they moved into a new house. No poopy pants at the time of either of those events.

Now, though, Megan reports that at least once a day Bubby will traipse off to a corner where he thinks he's hidden and do the dirty deed in his big boy undies...then wait quite some time before telling Mommy about it.

Megan's perplexed. And I'm concerned only for myself.

"Yuck! You sure as heck better have that all figured out before I get there," was my instant, unfiltered response. "That's definitely not something I want to deal with."

Yep, I'm a bad grandma. A bad grandma who has no problem whatsoever changing poopy diapers of newborns, infants, even young toddlers who've not yet been potty trained. But big butts of big boys who have fairly big poops is, like I said, definitely not something I want to deal with.

Megan's researched solutions and is working fervently to bring success.

I'm crossing my fingers that success comes sooner rather than later. Only 16 days til I head to the desert. And only 17 days til I get really unhappy if I have to clean up poopy pants on a boy who's nearly four years old.

Today's question:

When did you last change a poopy kid—diapered or otherwise?