Nothing can go wrong when ‘I Am the Grandma!' - WTRF 7 News Sports Weather - Wheeling Steubenville

Nothing can go wrong when ‘I Am the Grandma!'

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Lynne D. Schwabe Lynne D. Schwabe

Lynne D. Schwabe was owner of Schwabe-May of Charleston, ran her own marketing consulting firm and is a nationally recognized motivational speaker. She has been featured in The New York Times, The Washington Post, Women's Wear Daily, and has appeared on CNBC's Power Lunch. She is now director of development for the National Youth Science Foundation. She can be reached at

If your baby is beautiful and perfect, never cries or fusses, sleeps on schedule, burps on demand, and is an angel all the time, you're the grandma. 

I am the grandma! My three-and-a-half-year-old granddaughter just left after a five-day visit. I fear I won't be able to remember her developmental achievements, as they are coming so rapidly; I can barely keep up with the height measurements on the door jamb!

During this visit, we discovered that she loves Broadway show tunes. This will especially delight her father, who is a life coach but who plays in a rock band as a hobby. He HATES Broadway musicals! I noticed that Be was listening particularly closely to the radio as stars belted out their big numbers. Her mother didn't think it was a big deal until seven hours later when Be started warbling, "I Feel Pretty, I Feel Pretty," and each time she got in the car, she said, "Please play music." The Broadway show tunes alternated with our own version of "Old McDonald Had a Farm," which I sang probably only 165 times. The good news is that I only had to watch "Lady and the Tramp" once. 

One day we were playing with a pizza puzzle: a little wooden pizza with attach-at-will slices of wooden pepperoni, peppers and mushrooms. I was the sous chef. For greater ease in getting at the various pieces, Be requested that I dump them all on the carpet. We played happily for a while, cutting the pizza with the wooden pizza cutter, pretending to eat pizza and drink tea. Then, she wanted to play with something else; so I said, "Let's get this mess cleaned up first." Be skewered me with a look and said, "It's YOUR mess!" She's either extremely literal or thinks very quickly! I am the grandma!

Be went with me to my mailbox just once. The following day, out of the blue, she said, "You live at 101." She has an amazing aptitude for numbers, and I am her grandma!

Eating is a consummate challenge for a child who is allergic to just about everything: dairy, shellfish, nuts, gluten, grains. However, she does love rice, and I was some impressed when she spotted a tiny jar of saffron that I'd scored at Homegoods for $8 and asked for "yellow rice."  How many three-year-olds do you know that know what saffron is for? I guess if you can only eat meat and veggies and rice, it narrows the fields of choice hugely. In the food department, she also knows that steaks from Nebraska are the best (Not Omaha steaks, but steaks specially cut for me by a butcher in Omaha. They keep the best meat in Nebraska for Nebraskans. I qualify, having been born in Omaha!). Bacon from Kinder's in Durbin, W.Va., and maple syrup was also a big hit.

Playing with the cat, Martha Wehrle, was on-going entertainment. While Martha is a gentle, loving cat, her natural instincts are activated when anyone drags a string around the house for her to chase. This is alternately scary and exhilarating for a three-year-old, as the cat pounces in fits and starts and occasionally runs like a maniac around the room in excitement. Whenever I heard gales of giggles, I knew they were at it again: Be dragging and Martha pouncing.

One day, my daughter said to the tiny one, "Your ears must be tired because you are not listening." Without hesitation, Be responded, "No, they're not tired. I think the batteries died." When we asked her to put on shorts for the playground, she said, "I don't want to wear shorts. I want to wear my long-sleeved pants."

After five days of total chaos, all is back to normal now. The counters are no longer sticky, the toys are mostly picked up, the Mardi Gras beads are back in the jewelry box and the tracings of Be and her mother in chalk on my driveway have washed away. I understand why we have children while we're young. I'm exhausted, but how boring and dull everything seems! 

I am the grandma, and I'm pining for my little one!

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