17 different women, 36 crazy children, 0 babies in utero
Adventures, Advice and Questions from a group of Mormon women who met in Queens, NY and have now scattered all over the place.

Thursday, February 16, 2006

The Difference Between Moms and Grandmas.

I recently left Princess with Grandma for a few days while I searched around Southern CA for a place for to live. One day while driving home from the grocery store they passed a house that had a small pasture full of ponies. They were those really cute, really little ones. I think the tallest was no more than 4ft high to the top of his head. Princess, upon seeing these uber-cute, shrunken horses (who aside from not being pink with lavender hair look very similar to her beloved “My Little Pony” collection) immediately proposed that they stop to feed the ponies.

Now, if it had been mom driving the car, this is how this story would have ended:

Princess: Mom, can we stop to feed the ponies?
Mom: That sounds like a fun idea Princess, but we can’t.
Princess: Why?
Mom: Because we can’t feed ponies that are not ours.
Princess: Why?
Mom: Because they are not ours.
Princess: Why?
Mom: Just because.
Princess: We need to get our own pony.
Mom: That’s nice honey.

Then we would arrive at home. I would put away the groceries, lay the baby down for a nap, do a load of laundry and resume a normal day.

Here is what actually happened--because Grandma was driving the car:

Princess: Grandma, can we stop to feed the ponies?
Grandma: Okay.

They proceeded to drive up to the house where the ponies’ owner lived and knocked on the door to ask permission (please keep in mind my mom had no idea who lived in the house or who owned the ponies). A sweet old grandma answered and happily escorted them to the pony field behind the house where they spent the next 45 minutes feeding the ponies, petting the ponies, and learning all the ponies’ names. Princess even got to ride on one of the little guys. It was a magical afternoon and a memory made with her Grandma that she will cherish.

I need to take a page from Grandma’s book once in a while. I need to look for more opportunities to have spontaneous fun with my kids, to make more memories (that don’t cost nearly as much as Disneyland) because groceries, laundry and cranky babies can almost always wait.


  • LOVE this story. It reminds me of how fun my grandmas are and how lucky I am to have them.
    I really like that philosophy. Your kids are lucky to have an insightful mother who is fun and loving and can still find time to get the laundry done...as opposed to a mom who gets mad at grandma for all the reasons that story could have turned out differently.
    The Princess and the Pony...do you have room in the backyard of your So. Cal home??
    posted by Blogger Melissa at 2/16/2006 04:48:00 PM  

  • Ditto to Melissa's comments. Is this really a Mom/Grandma difference? Or a personality thing? Would your mom ever have let you feed the ponies when you were a little girl? Or do you think she does this now for a treat for her grandkids? What a great story.
    posted by Blogger Beth at 2/16/2006 07:58:00 PM  

  • Grandmas are wonderful. Most of my most warm and special childhood memories are with my grandmas, who took care of me while my mom worked.
    posted by Blogger mom on a wire at 2/16/2006 08:33:00 PM  

  • I've got to agree with Carrie that it's a Mom/Grandma thing. I'm sure there are many spots along the mom/grandma spectrum that are determined by personality, but in general, becoming a g-ma is different than being a mom. I love my mom, she was a great, fun mom to me, but it's nothing compared to who she is as a Grandma. After living with her for 4 months this summer, I would be willing to swear to that under oath. We're talking popsicles at 9am, incapable of putting him to bed because he "doesn't want to", letting him stand on top of the wood stove "because it looked fun" kind of grandma. She's lost her mind.
    posted by Blogger marian at 2/17/2006 05:05:00 AM  

  • Gotta agree with marian and carrie...my mother, the strict queen (I love her so much, though!) she was with me, her oldest, now spoils the heck out of my kids.

    BTW --Carrie's mom is one of the most loving and amazing women I know. And even though she has 36 grandkids and 12 great grandkids, all of us feel like we're the most important one in her life...
    posted by Blogger Cheryl at 2/17/2006 06:41:00 AM  

  • I lvoe this story too. A good grandma is such a gem.
    posted by Blogger chloe at 2/17/2006 01:26:00 PM  

  • So sweet! And dang, those ponies ARE cute! My Mom is brave like yours--will approach a complete stranger about anything. Her philosophy is it never hurts to ask. Sure didn't that time! What a great memory.
    posted by Blogger Katie at 2/17/2006 01:47:00 PM  

  • This is definitely a mom/grandma issue. I can echo what so many of you have said about their mothers: mine never allowed sugar cereals in the house when we were young (that's what the Easter Bunny brought). Now grandma's house is the place where there are always candy dishes within the reach of children of all sizes!
    posted by Blogger sunny at 2/17/2006 03:24:00 PM  

  • Great post!! And I think you may be able to fit a miniature in your back yardCarrie, they really are like dogs.
    posted by Blogger Zinone at 2/17/2006 04:27:00 PM  

  • I too love grandmas, however i wonder if i stopped and did ALL the things that my kids wanted me to do....what would grandma have left that would make a magical experience for the two of them? So, i try not to give in too much so i dont make grandma look too boring and also look forward to the day when i myself will be grandma and can do whatever i want!
    popcorn and diet coke little one?? (and yes...this is what grandma feeds 9month olds. GRRRR!)
    posted by Blogger ksl at 2/17/2006 05:25:00 PM  

  • And I think it isn't just about Grandmas wanting to spoil their grandchildren with treats and indulgences, but also about not having to worry about small kids on a regular basis. I wouldn't have stopped to let my daughter feed the ponies, because I would be worried about making sure I got home in time to get baby into bed for a nap, picking up the groceries I needed for dinner, etc etc. I am very much driven by our schedule. If naps, meals, etc are off, meltdowns happen, and I let shape what we do (and what I think we can do) in a day. Grandmas don't have those same frantic "I have to get all these things done in a day or my family (and little kids) will suffer." Not to say that they aren't busy, but just in different ways.
    posted by Blogger Michelle at 2/17/2006 05:29:00 PM  

  • In my case, I think my mother spoils my children because she knows I will endure great suffering to "deprogram" them from eating cookies for breakfast and being rocked to sleep every night, etc. etc. when we are back home.

    I really think she has all of this repressed anger at me for all of the hell I put her through as a child and teenager and she found a way to get back at me.

    She really is a great mom and grandma, but I think I'm right about the anger.
    posted by Blogger Jen at 2/17/2006 06:00:00 PM  

  • I echo what everyone has said and will only add that this applies to Grandpas, too. My dad has become this laidback, patient man who is at his grandchilren's beck and call!

    I'm always telling my parents I wish I'd had parents as good as they are as grandparents. They just laugh, as they do about everything related to grandchildren. The question is (to paraphrase Bill Cosby), what have they done with MY parents?
    posted by Blogger newmom at 2/18/2006 07:07:00 AM  

  • This almost made me cry because the "mom dialogue" was almost verbatim what would have occured in my life with my kids. I'll remember to make time for Grandma Moments instead of always being about the schedule!
    posted by Blogger meems at 2/19/2006 06:40:00 AM  

  • Thanks Carrie. Reminds me to live in the moment and make time for memories.
    posted by Blogger Brandolyn at 2/20/2006 09:01:00 PM  

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