“You aren’t the boss of me,” said my four-year-old granddaughter.
Actually, I am, but I was happy to hear that. I did need to set the record straight, but how different the record is now.
Had I said that when I was four, I would have gotten spanked. That was the norm. My mother rarely spanked, but for absolute defiance... probably. We had more freedom then. It was nothing to play outside all by myself, for hours! Our yard was as safe as our house.
When mine came along I did not feel that security. My daughter has never walked around our block alone. I wouldn’t let her then, she could care less now... There was more info, what can happen, milk carton kids, the world was scary.
When the grands came, life had moved squarely into the fast track. Daycare, so both parents could work. Yes, they wanted to, but in today’s world, it’s also true that if you wanted a stay at home parent, you had to be a whole lot richer, or do without stuff.
I’m her daycare once a week. On that day, I am the boss. But I was delighted to know that she also felt like she was in charge of herself. I just had to let her know it wasn’t absolute, not quite yet.
“I am in charge of you when your parents are not here,” I said, “and I am the adult. I know some things that you are still learning. So, there are times when I will make the decisions. Do you understand?”
“Yes...” she said reluctantly.
“But,” I added, “if we have our sandwiches first, I do believe we can have ice cream for lunch...”
Hey, I may need to be the boss, but I’m still the Grammie!