A grandmother is a little bit parent, a little bit teacher, and a little bit best friend. ~Author Unknown
Date night itself can be an unreachable dream for many moms. So when I suggested a date weekend with my husband, he thought I was crazy. I had the perfect plan. We would send our two children, ages 3 and 8 years old, to grandma’s house.
My husband’s mother really wanted to have the children come over to her house, but my mother lives closer. Also, I had revamped her entire home into a kid-friendly pleasure palace.
Be Aware of Sleeping Children
The first pieces of furniture I helped my mom choose for the children were beds. It’s been nearly three decades since children slept at my mother’s home, and my old childhood furniture was long gone. I researched for high quality beds that would last for many years, and I found a Captain’s Bed that suited our tastes perfectly.
I liked the easy assembly and the fine-grained wood, while my mother was impressed by all the storage space the beds provided. These beds are full sized bed with drawers underneath for toys, linens or anything you need to store.
It doesn’t scream child’s bed, so it can be used throughout the teenage years. Adult guests can also sleep in the beds comfortably without knowing they were for children.
At first I planned on buying the bed only for my son, but when my daughter saw his full Captain’s bed, she wanted the same exact bed. Their room at my mother’s house has both beds, each against an opposite wall. The full size allows for this space convenience. Each child has two drawers, one for clothes and one for toys and books, so the items live permanently at Grandma’s house.
Once we found these beds, everything else fitted into place like a breeze. We framed one picture from each child to hang in their new room, and we placed duplicate copies of their favorite bedtime books at my mother’s house. The first time the kids stayed over, they brought along their favorite toys and their pajamas.
I let my mom pick out adorable sheets for the children. For our son, she found sheets with a space theme, while our daughter uses one with delicate flowers. For chilly nights, my mother handmade special quilts with fabric from the children’s very first baby blankets.
My mother uses the other drawers in the Captain’s Beds for extra pillows, linens and yarns she has. She is an avid knitter and stores her multitude of yarns by color in the drawers of these two beds.
The rest of the room was left alone. It already had shutters which blocks out sunlight when our daughter naps in the room, and we added one matching desk for our son to work on school projects and homework.
Safety at Grandma’s
When my son began crawling, I baby proofed my mother’s home thoroughly. She allowed us to install cabinet locks to all the lower kitchen and bathroom cabinets. I also added toilet locks to prevent him from opening the toilet lids.
My mother’s house has a swimming pool that our children love, but I was worried about its dangers. We installed door alarms at each door and window that led to the pool.
We bought a pool cover as another safety precaution, which we feel is safer than a fence. Children can push lawn chairs and tables to climb over the pool fences, and pool gates can be accidentally left open. A cover is either on or off, and my mom is good about using it when we come over.
I added a hearth guard around the fireplace, and I removed any breakable objects that were at our children’s height. My mother barely recognized her home after we were through with it, but she understood the importance of being safe.
Likes and Dislikes
Our children are easy going but they can be picky. It comes in waves. One month, my daughter only wanted to eat orange colored food. Then another month, my son didn’t want to wear socks. It’s humorous at times, but it can be pain as well.
My mother believes it all comes down to parenting, while we believe personality types come into play too. I had to really convince her on this issue. She tends to think traditional child-rearing practices are better than modern parenting styles, like “attachment parenting.” We allow our children to have a say in their meals and clothes, and she thinks it is overindulgent.
We finally agreed that we could disagree on childcare philosophies, and we are all much happier. I let her grandparent as she sees fit when the children are with her, and we try not to step on her toes when we are in her home. She steps back and does not complain if we do something she does not approve of.
After we dropped off the children at Grandma’s, my husband and I barely knew what to do. We drove to the coast impromptu and watched the waves hit the cliffs at sunset. My husband and I laughed when we didn’t need to cut up any child’s food at dinner. We enjoyed our adult only time, but we did call the kids after two hours of leaving them with Grandma.
About the Author
A marketing and sales entrepreneur, Christobel Edwards lives in London, England. Last year, she proudly became a grandmother. Like all doting grandmothers, she buys everything her grandchild wants. She recently purchased a bunk bed with trundle and stairs.