The wife just called from work to inform me that her folks will be arriving in about an hour. I've known this was coming for several weeks. Just as I've known that my folks will be here before the end of the month. In the past having relatives visit (both sides) has been a bit of a pain. Anymore they come and hardly bother Mrs Ispa or myself. Seldom do they even speak beyond "hello" and "goodbye". Once you answer the first question "where are my grand kids" and they make contact, the parents role in the visit is over, unless a clean up of the carpet or other emergency remodel project is required.
Those of you who have reproduced know what I mean. We are no longer important to our parents. Our only function in their eyes, is to provide a house and other living arrangements for the grandchildren. That way when they come and feed them sugar and candy, then let them watch "Cars" roughly 14.6 times a day, followed by not going to bed on time (odd, bed time was important when I was a kid, it must be less vital in modern times) they can leave the little buggers in good hands, while they take off to recuperate. Another mystery to me is discipline. My two year old can do things and get away with them that I never could. For example: I remember playing with dad's tools and leaving them in the yard, in the rain to rust. I remember this because the beating I received for my misdeed healed up just in time for me to sit through my collage graduation ceremony. However, when my son does the same thing, my dad just laughs and says, "kids just do that". Near death beatings must be less vital now too.
It must be true: Grandparents and grand kids get along so well because they have a common enemy.
The reason for this visit is that its Res Jr's birthday next week. This is the first year he has been able to look forward to it. He has too. He has mastered most of the words to "happy birthday" and says things like, "birthday pie with whipped cream". I think he is getting cake next week and a pie when my folks come. I think he'll suffer through the disappointment just fine. We are ok with celebrating birthdays a couple or three times to make sure everyone gets to participate. At least that's the way both sets of my grandparents and the great grandparents did it for me growing up. Add that to the list of things that make you go "hummm".