In Loco Parentis

As you know Hubby and I were lucky enough to get away on a tropical vacation last week. Other than the travel gods trying to keep us from getting our vacation started (a 14 hour delay in the airport with a 3 year-old in tow) and getting sunburned the first day (darn that Caribbean sun) we had an absolutely fantastic time. It was amazing. But as good of a time as we had, I’m pretty sure our daughter had an even better time.

Kiki stayed with Hubby’s parents and her 6 year-old cousin (whom she adores) in The South and she had a ball. Meme and Papa spoiled the girls rotten. Chocolate cereal for breakfast, chocolate milk with lunch, and a milkshake with a side of marshmallows for an afternoon snack. And Kiki, who is normally asleep by 8, stayed up til 9:30 or later playing with her cousin. It’s no wonder that whenever we called to check in, she had no interest in talking to us. She had a good thing going.

Thanks to our wonderful parents, Hubby and I have been fortunate enough to have gotten a weekend away once or twice a year since we had our daughter. While I trust all of Kiki’s grandparents implicitly, I still worry about her when she’s with them for long periods of time. Is she eating right? Is she watching too much tv? And I am all about the bedtime routine so…are they reading her 3 books at bedtime? Are they remembering to put on her white noise machine?

I’ve gotten much better about the “instructions” that I leave for the grandparents when we go away.  When Kiki was a baby I was ridiculously uptight. I would actually print a schedule that literally outlined her whole day…when she woke, what and how much to feed her, when and how long she could nap, what songs to sing her at bedtime, etc. They all laughed at me and reminded me that they had cared for children before. It was comical. In my defense though, it was not a reflection of my faith in their abilities to care for my child. It was evidence of the fact that I was just treading water in this whole new motherhood gig. Sticking to some kind of a “schedule” was the only way I felt like I could keep my head above water.

I’ve gained more confidence in my mothering abilities, so I’ve been able to relax about my directions for Kiki’s care. I’ve also learned that a few days of throwing the routine out the window are not that big of a deal. Besides, I want Kiki to be excited to spend time with her grandparents and I want her grandparents to be excited to spend time with Kiki. If this means cupcakes in the bath (ahem Nana) then so be it.

Hubby and I are genuinely grateful any time our parents watch our daughter. We are lucky to have parents who can and want to babysit. Recently my dad kept Kiki for us when he was visiting so that Hubby and I could go out to a movie. We got home and my dad sheepishly admitted that Kiki was so cuddly that he let her watch 5 tv shows (yikes! But I guarantee that Kiki will be all for Grandpa babysitting now). We thanked my dad for babysitting and he grinned and said, “it’s a dirty job but somebody’s got to do it.”

To which I replied, “you’re right. Hubby and I have to do it. And so we are grateful when someone else volunteers to do it for us!”

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One thought on “In Loco Parentis

  1. I am totally the same way in terms of how anal I was with schedules and what is allowed what is not. I am still that way since I am a planner/schedule person. Having the second kids has forced me to be more fiexible haha Glad you had a great time!

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