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Planning Retirement Online

Grannies with attitude

by Helen Franks (former features editor of laterlife)

Helen Franks

Grannies with attitude  

Helen Franks offers a lighthearted guide to the trials and joys of modern grandmothering

The world is full of grannies and they are not all little old ladies busy knitting booties. Grannies come in a large range of ages, and they also have a large range of occupations and preoccupations. Some want to be hands-on, others resist a total takeover. Here’s how to fight your corner.

Four ways to ensure being a hands-on granny

  • Keep the family home, or get a bigger one

  • Buy a seaside or country cottage

  • Stock up on secondhand cots, highchairs, pushchairs, & toys

  • Take up weight-training

Five worries if it`s your daughter who is the new mother     

  • She’ll get post-natal depression

  • She`ll get exhausted because of those disturbed nights

  • She won’t bond with the baby

  • She’ll immerse herself in the baby

  • The father doesn’t help her enough

Three worries if it`s your son who is the new father  

  • He’ll be woken up at night by the baby

  • He’ll be neglected because of the baby

  • She expects him to do too much  

Several things both grannies will disapprove of   Amazon Book - The Nanas and the Papas  

  • The baby sleeps in their bed

  • The baby is too old still to be breast fed

  • She puts the children to bed too early

  • She puts the children to bed too late

  • When is she going to stop the night feed?

  • All she ever gives them to eat is tuna sandwiches and pasta

  • She’s going back to work too soon

Hazards of grannying

  • Fingers caught in pushchairs, unable to fold/unfold buggies, hamfisted with disposable nappies, etc (if in trouble, approach any young women in street for assistance)

  • Hurting your back trying to wedge a two-year-old into the car seat

  • Hurting your back getting a hefty two-year-old out of the car seat

  • Mistaking people such as nanny, mother, childminder for other grannies at the playcentre

  • Catching every new virus after the grandchildren sneeze all over you

  • Being presented with a snotty fingertip following a nosepicking session

  • Boring friends when you bring out the photos and tell the irresistible anecdotes

Grannies on a guilt trip - things you don`t tell the loving parents

1. The longeurs of baby sitting

  • You fell asleep in front of the television and didn’t hear the baby cry

  • You gave him only half a bottle and put him back in his cot  and then ignored further cries

  • You’ve been clock-watching and dozing on the sofa since 11 pm and are desperate to go home  -but greet the parents with a big smile and say ‘no problem’ when they appear at 2 am

2. Other untrue confessions

  • ‘Yes they had their milk and fruit’ (omit to mention the fact that they insisted on biscuits, sweets, iced cakes, fizzy drinks, ice cream, cusps first)

  • ‘No, they didn’t watch much television’ (only a two-hour video)

  • ‘They played beautifully together’ (using their toys as missiles)

  • ‘That bump on his head? He fell over in the garden’ (actually it was in the park on the swings when you looked away for one brief second)

  • ‘No tantrums or problems’ (apart from the moment her finger got stuck in the video socket)   

On second thoughts admit the truth, before the children tell on you  

Amazon Book - The Little Big Book for Grandmothers

Granny`s biggest challenge  

How to create a hands-on grandpa

Six ways to avoid being a hands-on granny   

  • Sell the family home as quickly as possible

  • Buy a one-bedroom studio apartment several miles from any grandchild

  • Avoid seaside, countryside or villas abroad - choose a main road with heavy traffic, no garden

  • Smoke and drink alcohol with abandonment, have wild parties. Consider hard drugs

  • Cultivate unsuitable pets - rotweiller?  alligator?

  • Acquire a series of lovers

NB None of these may discourage the grandchildren, but their parents might have doubts  



laterlife interest

The above article is part of the features section of called laterlife interest. laterlife interest contains a variety of articles of interest for visitors to written by a number of experienced and new journalists.

It includes both one off articles and also regular columns of a more specialist nature such as healthwise, reports from the REACH files, and a beauty section called looking good in later life.

Also don't forget to take a look at our regular IT question and answer section called YoucandoIT by IT trainer and author Jackie Sherman.

To view the latest articles and indexes to previous articles click on laterlife interest here or above. 





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