The Cool Gang


Growing up I only really knew one set of my grandparents. But I wasn’t too close to them. It was nothing dramatic, it just happened to be a different time and place. My mum was a seamstress and worked from home so she was always there for us and we didn’t need the childcare that my parents offer us today. As much fun and loving my parents were they pushed us hard through education. Always wanting us to succeed, to get good grades, to be good and behave well.

An entire generation on, my own parents have graduated to become grandparents and very kindly offer us free childcare on all the days I’m working. Its an elaborate logistical game first thing in the morning which involves driving to another town to drop him off and then onwards to either an office I need to be in or creeping upstairs with all the stealth of a milk tray man with a laptop bag and handbag.

It works most of the time except for the odd occasion when Little Z runs down the corridor screaming with delight from being chased by my mum or dad. As assuring as it is to hear your child having fun it can sometimes put you on edge especially when you need to make phone calls and sound professional.

Having said that, Little Z seems to have an envious social life as he accompanies Nana and Nani on all their daily errands. There are trips to the supermarket and helping with throwing groceries into the trolley. There are trips to park and walks to the shop, usually to buy some sweeties and chat to the shopkeeper that has been there since I was about 5 years old and is probably about 100 years old himself. There are walks around the block in the area where I grew up and cycled through the streets with my own friends until the street lights went on. And there are trips to “Other Nanas” house to simply visit them or to admire their fish tanks.

When not out and about then pottering about Nana’s house is fun too. Or that is what I hear from the bedroom at least. Like when the garden hose is on and he gets to water numerous plants and wash the patio. Or when he asks to feed the birds oranges because they have apparently said they’d like to eat oranges. Or to simply sit outside and soak up a bit of sun and kick a football about.

My brothers and I watch on curiously, amused at how the parents that forever encouraged us to behave well have regressed back to almost children themselves anytime their grand kids appear at the door. Running, screaming, playing constantly, fun lunches, naughty treats, dancing, piggy backs. Nothing is out of bounds and everything is noisy. To the max.

As I walk in the door, returning from work, you can usually hear my 30 year old brother trying to calm everyone down as he sighs “they’ve been like this all day long”.

Barbie Bieber and Beyond


  1. Mummy Says May 12, 2014 / 6:38 am

    Fantastic! Lovely image of your parents. What an amazing bond they will all have. My parents have offered to do the same when I return to work and I think it is so generous and wonderful. I feel like my children are so lucky. It’s amazing actually how many people I know whose parents take on at least some childcare. It says a lot about inflexible working and childcare costs…. xx
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  2. Sarah MumofThree World May 12, 2014 / 8:18 am

    Ha ha, love it! It’s pretty much the same with my parents – I reckon in a lot of ways my dad knows my kids better than he knew us as kids. He always worked long hours and didn’t spend much time with us, but he has endless patience and time for my kids.
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  3. Nikki Thomas May 12, 2014 / 9:40 am

    That sounds lovely and how lucky you are that your parents help out like that. I love the relationship that my children have with their grandparents, it is a really special one.
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  4. Ting Dalton May 12, 2014 / 9:58 am

    What a lovely post – and you are so on the money. My parents are exactly the same! They have definitely regressed. It’s like they want to do all the naughty, fun things which, as parents, they couldn’t do so much, as they don’t have to deal with the repercussions! πŸ™‚ ie: all the sugar that they give out freely in the form of chocolate and cakes!

  5. Chrissie May 12, 2014 / 11:04 am

    I think it’s quite a common thing. My nana worked all the time & was fairly serious and religeous with my mum but a total ‘silly bugger’ with me. My friends mum nagged her a lot and was often quite grumpy but was a total softy with her grankids. Maybe when people dont have the stress of jobs or have lived a lot they mellow out and think ‘Oh, sod it!’ Haha!
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  6. mummymakescakes May 12, 2014 / 11:18 am

    I think that as soon as they don’t have to deal with the consequences of spoiling the kiddies grandparents decide they’re going to do all the stuff they refused to let their own kids (us) do. My two are always hyper after a day with the grandparents too xx

  7. Jenny May 12, 2014 / 1:33 pm

    Ahh sounds like they have an amazing bond with your parents. That’s awesome. I didn’t have grandparents growing up they had all passed away sadly when I was very young. And I get sad that my parents live so far away to have this with my own children but I am lucky enough to have Mr P’s parents around to give my kids some family memories. It’s a great extra bond and love to have in a child’s life. This is such a lovely post. #magicmoments
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    • Jenny May 14, 2014 / 11:14 pm

      Thank you so much for linking up to Share With Me I loved this post its a great one to share!!! #sharewithme
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  8. Izzie Anderton May 12, 2014 / 1:46 pm

    How fabulous that little Z gets to spend so much quality time with his grandparents. I bet they need a napby the time he goes home.
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  9. Hannah May 12, 2014 / 2:28 pm

    I love the age of your brother as the grown up! Great that they’re all so close!

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  10. Louisa May 12, 2014 / 3:03 pm

    It sounds like they have a whale of a time together. My kids grandparents are exactly the same, doing things that they would never have allowed us to do! I’m sure we will be the same when we are grandparents ourselves #magicmoments

  11. suzanne3childrenandit May 12, 2014 / 4:22 pm

    Ha ha I thing being a grandparent must be truly awesome….all of the fun with none of the nagging. I can’t wait! How lucky Little Z is to have Grandparents like this πŸ™‚
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  12. Coombemill May 12, 2014 / 7:31 pm

    It’s a grandparents privilege to spoil grandchildren and play and not be responsible for all the boring things like manners! I’m looking forward to reaching that stage one day myself and hope I will be a jolly grandparent and helpful as yours are
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  13. The Reading Residence May 12, 2014 / 8:10 pm

    Ha ha – love the idea of your brother sighing over them! The things my parents and in-laws let my kids get away with is ridiculous, and the treats they buy for them. Definitely regression!
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  14. shahnaz May 12, 2014 / 9:39 pm

    What a lovely post,It so important to have those close bonds with grandparents x
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  15. Mel May 12, 2014 / 9:50 pm

    This is so lovely! Great for children to bond like that with their grandparents. You are also probably feeling less guilty to be going to work leaving Little Z with his grandparents rather than a childminder… win win! Mel #MagicMoments
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  16. LearnerMother May 12, 2014 / 10:16 pm

    It is indeed amazing how grandparental behaviour regresses and the strictness and ‘be seen and not heard’ rules of our own childhood seem to have been forgotten completely, ha! But how lovely for you all that they help you out πŸ™‚
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  17. KidGLloves May 13, 2014 / 9:37 am

    Lucas says – This is exactly like my Nanny & Dad Dah. The Mother is always saying I get away with loads with them – he he! #magicmoments
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  18. Merlinda Little (@pixiedusk) May 13, 2014 / 9:49 am

    I think that grandparents is lettig it go because they dont have the responsibility to discipline kids… its our parents =P I am so in love with this post. This is my dream for my son to play with my parents. We havent visited home for the longest time and I know that my parents miss my son so much. They will probably spoil him to bits! #magicmoments
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  19. TheBoyandMe May 13, 2014 / 10:59 am

    That’s beautiful Tas, really so lovely to read as I see my own parents in that description. I think when they become grandparents they aren’t the ones who need to discipline so therefore they can get away with just enjoying their grandchildren, aided by not needing to worry about household chores etc? I love that they take him out to all the different places that they took you, how lovely for him to enjoy the same things as you did.

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  20. Helen May 13, 2014 / 11:16 am

    It’s super that you have grandparents so close and able to be so fully involved. What wonderful memories for them and for Little Z. I hope that one day my grandchildren will keep me young and I won’t be forking out on miracle face creams that only work on Jane Fonda!
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  21. Honest Mum May 13, 2014 / 9:38 pm

    Gorgeous post and one I relate to hugely as my parents help with my childcare, looking after Alexander 3 days a week, the bond they have with my children is wonderful to witness and they, like yours find so much joy in caring for them! I suppose giving them back at the end of the day makes it different to when they raised us! Thanks for sharing this lovely post x
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  22. Nicola Young May 14, 2014 / 10:56 am

    You are lucky to have childcare support from your parents. I remember spending the holidays with my grandparents and I have fond memories of that time. It’s great for your own child to be able to form those memories too.
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  23. Mum of One May 14, 2014 / 2:46 pm

    Such a lovely post and how wonderful for your kids to have their grandparents so close by. And you are totally right about them being so different with them than they were with us! Thanks so much for sharing with the Monday #pinitparty. Have pinned πŸ™‚
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  24. older mum in a muddle May 14, 2014 / 7:21 pm

    Lovely, lovely post…. what a great relationship Little Z has with his grandparents, really gorgeous. I love how our parents are reduced to children with our kids – seems unfair at the same time, but it is the privilege of being a grandparent – all the fun without the sleep deprivation. X
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  25. Complicated Gorgeousness May 15, 2014 / 1:55 pm

    I can’t wait to be a grandparent and do this too. I reckon you have more energy and imagination then. Lovely post – can I send my kids around soon πŸ˜‰ x #sharewithme
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  26. Sara (@mumturnedmom) May 16, 2014 / 3:09 am

    The relationship with grandparents is so special. My kids absolutely love my mum, Granny is the best! And my husbands parents, who don’t see them as much, do pretty well too. Lovely post, it’s wonderful that they have such a fabulous time together x #MagicMoments
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  27. Nickie May 16, 2014 / 11:43 am

    Loving your description of this – and speaking as a Nana, the reason we get so involved is because we have the freedom to be playful knowing that the parents have or are putting the discipline in place and we know we can give them back all hyped up and then go for a lie down *wink*
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  28. Muma Leary May 16, 2014 / 8:13 pm

    There is a similar story here! My mum looks after the girls on a Tuesday and it is so lovely to hear them chattering and playing whilst I am ‘at work’…actually upstairs in the office. It gives my mum such pleasure too. Fabulous bonds. πŸ™‚
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  29. Kerrie McGiveron May 16, 2014 / 8:57 pm

    Aww this sounds like a lovely set-up. Very similar to ours actually, my husband’s parents take care of ours some of the days we work, and they are so close to the children. It seems strange to me because I was never that close to my grandparents as a child, but mine are all so close to theirs. I love it like that and I am so grateful that they love their Nan and Grandad so much. I bet they get up to all sorts of mischief while we work! Great post! x
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  30. Jaime Oliver May 17, 2014 / 8:40 pm

    this is so lovely i came from a similar background and i too so love to see the silly side come out with my parents and my children x

    thanks for linking up with #MagicMoments
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  31. Hayley @hayleyfromhome May 18, 2014 / 4:18 pm

    This sounds so lovely, can just imagine all the fun they have! My mum works full time so she only sees our at weekends really but she is just the same, sometimes I have to tell her off for letting him get away with everything! She would never have been like that with me. It’s sweet that Z loves being there and you know he is having so much fun!
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