Dear Toddler, here's what you need to know before visiting Grandma's house: make sure you scream when we leave, demand lots of cookies, and don't bother napping.
Humor Parenting

The Toddler’s Guide to Visiting Grandma’s House

Dear Toddler, here's what you need to know before visiting Grandma's house: make sure you scream when we leave, demand lots of cookies, and don't bother napping.

By Shawna Gove of That Mom Lady

It’s time. You’re ready. Mom and dad need a break from you, and more importantly, you need a break from them. You need a break from rules, bedtimes, and healthy eating. So get ready, tiny tot; soon you’ll be off to visit Grandma’s house! Here’s what you need to know to make the most of your visit:


Get a large bag or suitcase – hahaha! Just kidding! Your mom will do all that boring packing stuff. You will need to supervise, though, to make sure mom packs the following: 8 stuffed toys, your swimsuit, your snow boots, seasons 1-8 of Dora the Explorer, dad’s iPad, finger-paints, mom’s makeup bag, pack of 20 juice boxes, the piece of string on the floor, 14 board books, plastic Tupperware, and the cat. If she forgets any of these things, then just make sure you grab them right before you leave and put them in your bag. Feel free to unpack your toothbrush; you won’t need that.


When you arrive at Grandma’s house, it’s important that you act like your parents are abandoning you in the forest with the wolves. Cling to your mother, bring out those tears. The bigger, the better. The goal here is to make Grandma work extra, super hard for your affection in the coming days. Bonus points if you bang on the window, sobbing as your parent drives away. 


After that performance, you may be a little tired, so it’s a good thing Grandma has been preparing for your arrival by turning her kitchen into an Amish bakery. There will be none of those silly fruits and veggies here. Say goodbye to broccoli, lima beans, pears, and blueberries (unless they’re covered in sugar and baked in a pie). Here come the cookies, and brownies, and fudge – Oh, yum! And in her quest to calm you down and win your love, you might be presented with a warm, oversized chocolate chip cookie the very second your parents walk out the door. Don’t be afraid to ask for a second one as you clumsily wipe your tears and snotty nose on Grandma’s pant leg.


The toys at Grandma’s house will probably be the same toys your parents played with 30 years ago. They’re likely choking hazards, so be sure to put them in your mouth. Grandma probably won’t be concerned that they’re filled with lead, cadmium, and arsenic, either. Her kids played with them, and they’re fine. Right? 


Unnecessary waste of time. Don’t bother.


Forget whole wheat, organic nonsense. Breakfast, lunch, and dinner at Grandma’s house will consist of white bread sandwiches, processed nitrate-filled deli meats, globs of peanut butter, potato chips, and maybe some fruit doused in sugar and whipped cream. Grandma will be your personal meal servant. Not since you were a fetus in utero did you receive such round-the-clock care and comfort. Take advantage. Grandma would be happy to make your special food requests.    


There’s no actual soap or cleaning involved here. Just splashing. Lots of naked splashing!

Phone Call from Mom or Dad:

You’re busy. Ignore this.


Bedtime is a negotiation. Bargain hard. Don’t be afraid to insist that Grandma give you three cookies with your evening sippy cup of milk. Maintain that Mommy always reads you 14 books each night and Daddy lets you fall asleep while watching cartoons. Fun bedtime activities can also include: jumping on the bed, yelling really loud, crawling under the bed, or sneaking the rest of the cookies into bed with you.


When your parent arrives to pick you up from Grandma’s house, now is the time to break out the tears and cling to Grandma. Don’t let Mom or Dad take you from your new favorite person. Your parent may see through this charade, but your Grandma will remember. Any dishes you broke or hardwood floors you finger-painted on will be forgotten, and you will most certainly be invited back to visit again soon.

Don’t believe me? Just wait, wink-wink, and you’ll see.


About the Author

Shawna Gove is the working mom to a sweet and wild little Calvin (complete with his own stuffed tiger). She has blogged previously about her experience as a young adult with breast cancer, and she now blogs at That Mom Lady and occasionally tweets @thatmomladyblog. She has been published at Scary Mommy, The Mighty, and Mamalode.