Sometimes I Think Before I Speak

The boys headed off to stay with their Nina, their paternal grandma, this weekend while my husband enjoyed 36 hours of childfree bliss.

We lazed around the house a bit. We shopped — with no whining. We ate meals while they were still hot. We drank coffee — while it was still hot. We listened to inappropriate rap music. We laughed so hard we cried. We slept the peaceful sleep of adults not being woken up by a little face right next to the bed, not-so-stage-whispering, “Mommy… Mommy! Can I have breakfast? I AM STARVING!” We were still somehow almost late for church, which maybe leads me to believe it might be our fault and not theirs but the jury is still out on that one. We enjoyed our time together.

Our 36 hours of dating has come to an end. We're off to get the boys. @cfd46 is impersonating Booey.

Really, the weekend was a much needed little bit of respite. I like spending time with my husband. I do!

Someone asked me what I did this weekend, and so I briefly shared the truth. “Oh, my mother-in-law watched the boys and we had a Date Day, Night, Morning and Afternoon.”

The Someone snort-smirked. “Must be nice,” The Someone hissed.

I just kind of blinked.

Well, yeah. It was nice. That was kind of the point of it.

I didn’t respond right away. I mean, what do you say to someone who is seemingly mad at you for living your life? I apparently raised an eyebrow which was an obvious cue for The Someone to launch into a tirade.

“Well, I just don’t understand why couples think they can just pawn their kids off on the grandparents all the time and go out and party and do God knows what. Why have kids?”



What now?

I could have gotten all defensive and told The Someone that my mother-in-law hadn’t had the kids since before her surgery in November. I could have called a spade a spade and called The Someone a Jelly Face. I could have told The Someone to shut its pie hole, but my husband and I have disagreed on whether or not Jesus would actually say that, so I am trying to refrain just in case he wouldn’t.

I could have said any number of things and, really, no one would have blamed me for getting on my soapbox and laying into this Someone. But I had one of those moments in which I pause and think before I speak, which is a rarity, I know. I then, in that moment, had a flash of a saying, pinned often and in various forms. “Be kinder than necessary for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.” Though I kind of like the one that goes, “Everyone is fighting their own battles; try not to be a ____.” (I don’t write that word here. Fill it with your own. Jackwagon works nicely.) I kind of sighed a little, not because I was all that angst and woe about what had just been said to me but because I couldn’t get on my soapbox. Everyone needs a good soapbox on a Monday.

“Well, our kids are just so lucky to have grandparents that argue over who gets to have them next!” I forced a smile across my face, the tone of my voice much sweeter than usual. Saccharine like; very un-Jenna. “Well, we have to finish this errand! Have a nice day!” And I walked away, pushing the cart and pulling my children along behind me. Because, oh yeah, they got to witness that unnecessary exchange as well.

I bought expensive dog food and treats, dragged my children into the grocery for my new weakness, mint and chocolate cocoa, and then made my way home where I made dinner, cleaned the house and played Go Fish and War with my boys.

Getting schooled at Go Fish. #punny

As I was getting them ready for bed, BigBrother asked, “Mommy, are we not supposed to go to Nina’s house?”

I forced myself to take a breath so I didn’t yell my answer. Obviously I wasn’t mad at my son, but the anger I felt toward some random semi-not-really acquaintance was really starting to cramp my style.

“Buddy, that’s not it at all. And listen, I want you to take each and every moment you have with your grandparents and cherish them. Remember them. Make the most of them. Grandparents are something really, really special. Don’t you forget that. Now go get in the shower.”

I maintain that the relationship between grandparents and grandkids is something special, something to be cherished and nurtured. I am thankful, especially so after this exchange, that my children are blessed with grandparents who not only want their grandkids’ presence but actively seek it.

And since Someone asked, I had children in hopes that they might grow up to bring more good to the world than bad. You know, unlike that Special Monday exchange I had with Someone. So shut your pie hole. Please. And that’s what Jenna would say — if she didn’t think first. Ahem.


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13 Replies to “Sometimes I Think Before I Speak”

  1. Your children are blessed to have grandparents in their lives and you and Fire Dad are blessed to have regular dates. I have no animosity toward you for this or your post about it, but I am deeply depressed that my children do not have this and my husband and I do not have this. It is very sad how some families turn out. In fact, I’ll be honest and tell you I have some anger issues about it too. I am glad you were kind to this person, even though you were angry at her comment. But I think she was probably just angry at her parents and her husband’s parents and took it out on you.

  2. Good for you for enjoying a weekend with your husband. Absence makes the heart grow fonder. It’s win win. You get to recharge as husband and wife and your children get quality time with their grandparents. My mom is the only grandparent that lives near us. I wish she would spend more time with my children, but she doesn’t. It makes me sad for them because it’s a much different relationship from what I remember with my grandparents growing up. They beg to go with her, and they are denied most of the time. I would love it if someone offered to take them for 36 hours, not because I don’t want to take them or spend time with them, but because I want someone to WANT to be that active with them. *ahem* Apparently that was MY Monday soapbox :P

    Anyways, good for you for biting your tongue. Shows that Someone who the bigger person was. Shame on them for doing that in front of your boys!

  3. You are so very, very lucky to have these loving and involved grandparents in your lives. Distance was a big factor in our children growing up with minimal contact with either set of grandparents – my husbands job kept us away from both sets, sadly. But – and this bothers me still – my MIL could never even spell our daughter’s name correctly on the few birthday cards and gifts that were sent. These grandparents had ONE granddaughter and ONE grandson – our children. We would have loved to have more involvement, but neither set of grandparents really ever made the effort to come to us, we had to do all the travelling to see them. Yes, your sons should definitely cherish the times that they get to spend with their grandparents – and the grandparents sound like wonderful people!! Lucky family!

  4. For the record, I don’t think pie was something Jesus had available to eat, so he wouldn’t have said shut your pie-hole. Someone feel free to look it up and correct me :)

    This person sounded like she was very stressed and her rude comment probably had nothing to do with you. You took the high road and your kids learned something from the whole exchange. I have told you before how envious I am of my husband for having three grandparents he grew up to know well into his adulthood. Grandparents are so special and if you have two sets that want to love them up, let them!

  5. Some of my fondest childhood memories were spent on my grandparents’ front porch or around their kitchen table, and I believe, if they were alive today, they would say that those were some of their fondest memories as well. Now, after 15 years of living far from grandparents, my kids finally have my parents living 0.2 miles away, and my parents finally have grandkids nearby. My point is, it’s not only you and the kids benefitting from these relationships. The grandparents get love and memories from it, too.

  6. Yay for thinking first! it is a rarity for me too. The Someone shouldn’t have been snarky but maybe they had a bad day, were jealous, tired or who knows what.

    My parents shipped my sister and me off to our grandparents during the summer for 4 weeks. We each had 1 week alone with both sets of grandparents and 1 week together with both sets. I remember those times as some of the best summers ever. Our grandparents weren’t super close but only about 3-4 hours drive 1 way.

    As for being childfree once in awhile – yay! At a certain point your marriage relationship takes priority over your children. Maintaining your relationship with your spouse creates a better family, better example for your kids, and makes everyone happier in the long run.

    You, as usual, are doing the right thing!

  7. Congratulations on responding so well – both to the rude acquaintance and to your son. I recall spending lots of precious time with my grandparents, and I will always cherish those memories.

    As for answering the question “why have kids if you’re going to pawn them off on the grandparents?”, I just have to tell you that since I became a grandparent a few years ago, I often tell people that I now realize the reason I had kids was to someday have grandchildren! Just joking of course :) Mostly anyway!

  8. There is nothing quite like the love from grandparents. I am glad that your boys have great ones. Some of my best weekends as a child were spent with my Nana while my parents went out of town. They had fun, we had fun, and my Nana would get her kid fix.

    Win, win, win!

  9. 1. I *wish* we had parents who lived close by who could take the kids from time to time. My cousins took them for a weekend, and oh…. so blissful…. because…
    2. Everyone needs alone time, without the kids sometimes.
    3. I have friends who *do* have parents who live close by and take their kids, and, while I am extremely jealous, I have never once dissed them or even thought that they were pawning their kids off too much.
    4. I loved spending the night at my grandparents’ house. We would eat these great crackers with jam for breakfast. And their house smelled so clean.
    Anyway, the point is, you’re right and the other person is wrong. So there.

  10. Good on you! It sounds like you had the kind of weekend that feeds relationships. And I am a jelly face, so I’m going to stop there. :)

  11. Jackwagon is a good word for Someone like this. I like to say “they need a high five, in the face, with a chair”. My MOST memorable time with my grandparents was when my parents went to Hawaii for 3 weeks and left me and my two siblings with them. We seriously had the time of our lives while they did as well. My grandparents all lived far away and we didn’t have the luxury of seeing them often. Oh how I would have loved weekends with them. She obviously has some grandparent issue to be so snarky and judgmental.

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