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August 04, 2005



We have a very similar situation with my father-in-law. While very much present in his children's lives, he never changed a diaper, made a meal or catered to his children's whims. Just wasn't what his generation did, I guess. There is an enormous amount of respect for him among all of his kids and kids-in-law, but a bit of fear, too. Recently,we phoned my mother-in-law to see if she could watch Isabelle for a few hours when we both had late obligations at work. Her golf schedule could not be interrupted (that's another story...)but GASP f-i-l volnteered! We were all a little anxious - he had to pick her up form daycare, get her fed, entertain her...but it all went very smoothly! He even took her to McDonalds for a happy meal at her request. (We're not sure he'd ever been in a McDonalds before!!!) They played and did puzzles, went for a walk and she convinced him to carry her back...Needless to say, it was a momentous occasion. His daughter and two other granddaughters were a bit jealous, I think. He's supported their interests and hobbies financially for years, but I doubt the girls ever spent that much time alone with grandpa. The best part of the entire experience for me came a few weeks later at a gathering of my father-in-laws' extended family. He not only showed off the photos he had snapped during their time together, he also pulled me aside to tell me what a pleasure it was to watch her. He commented on how well she listened and how funny she was. It was the proudest moment of my parenting career thus far!


I love watching my dad with my girls! Truthfully, I was never sure that my offspring would measure up to his expectations, and I have been thrilled to see how much he enjoys them.

But like you, I wish he had not introduced Tacy to Cheez-Its and bacon. Hey Dad, how about force-feeding her some celery, like you did to me?


Thanks for the comments on my first post! I am so glad to be able to join the fabulous group of writers who contribute to DotMoms!

In terms of grandparents, maybe it just takes them that long to really appreciate what is important in life? I know it took my Dad many years to realize that family and friends mattered above all else. I hope as I raise my son I can keep that in mind and teach him that lesson from a very early age!

Robin P

My step-father has been in our lives for 15 years so he has always been Lillianna's Papa. He is rough and tough and as my Mom says,"Old school Italian." He didn't have a snuggly,cuddly relationship with his kids growing up. They all kept their distance out of fear.

He is a pile of mush with Lillianna. She rules his world. He calls her his little princess and she truly is.
There isn't anything he wouldn't do for her.
I don't understand this phenomenon,no one does,but everyone is happy,so why waste time trying to figure it out? His eyes sparkle whenever Lillianna is with him and she adores him. I guess that's the grandparent mystery!


What a great story. It reminded me of that Bill Cosby routine where he talks about the way his parents were with his kids. He said he didn't even recognize them -- that they must be a couple of old people trying to get to heaven. :-) I've had a similar experience with my mother. It is great to see my 2 boys with her.


were you raised by my dad?

i am constantly amazed at how my father is so patient and loving with my kids (7 and 5). my daughter especially can't get enough of grandpa. when we call him, she goes in the pantry and closes the door and proceeds to talk to him for at least 20 minutes.

my kids love for him has made me appreciate him more.


Hee, hee. Great post. My Dad took an active role when I grew up-- but my father-in-law invloved in my husband's younger years? Sounds very much like your father--and now, he's rolling on the floor playing mountain for Thomas the Tank Engine. :-)

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