Grandparenting is a glorious thing. There are so many wonderful aspects to this role in life that it is difficult to capture my thoughts in writing. My husband and I are astounded by the plethora of deep emotions we experience as grandparents. On a macro-level, the circle of life archetype is astounding. Bearing witness to our children parenting their children, and taking such joy in doing so, makes our hearts overflow with joy. Watching our kids dote on their nieces sometimes brings tears to our eyes. Having little people around allows everyone to see the world through fresh eyes. The constant barrage of questions, the wonder displayed at the smallest of discoveries, the belly laughs, and the silliness all smooth out the rough edges of this wild and crazy world. Since these two munchkins currently live out of state, we’ve tried to combine the equipment we already own with a few strategic purchases to make their visits more comfortable for everyone.
Our family crib is still in good shape and meets safety standards. A new mattress pad and a few new sheets, and we were ready to accommodate little sleepers in a comfortable way. The matching high chair purchased over 32 years ago sits in the dining room corner ready for action. The straps are long gone, so we use a TotSeat to keep the babies from sliding out. Don’t underestimate the magnetic attraction of measuring cups, pots, pans and plastic kitchen utensils as playtime objects and bathtub toys. Old step stools are present at the two bathroom sinks to help little hand washers reach the faucet, and a diaper changing station is set up on each floor. The coffee table is moved out of the family room when little ones come to call. It opens the room up for more play space on the floor and prevents falls against the hard edges.
The treasure trove in the basement finally came in handy as we unearthed a large set of wooden blocks, a Little Tikes dollhouse with people to populate it, one fairly complete Brio train set and board, Legos of various shapes and sizes, puzzles, and hundreds of children’s books. Old Halloween costumes and dance recital garb make a fun dress-up collection. My leftover stash of school supplies fill a well-equipped art box.
A few purchases were made to outfit our home for the grands. We invested in a good car seat when Amelia was born and bought another one when Caroline came along. Our children have thanked us for the carseats more than once. They are difficult to lug around and check through the airport. It makes traveling with kids just a bit easier not to have to worry about the seats, and we know we’ll use them for years to come.
We bought a a baby swing, a potty seat, and a bedrail.
In addition to the toys we brought up from the basement, just a few purchases have been made. Stacking blocks, musical instruments, a small tent, a tricycle, and a castle for reading are big winners with our littles.
Huge kudos, of course, to the parents who are raising these two children to respect and tend to the spaces of other people. They make our job as hosts very easy.
What equipment have you found to be essential when your grandchildren come to visit?