Dear Grandparenting: My four grandkids in California are used to living large. They didn’t want for much until my son-in-law was laid off 11 months ago.
They decided to sell their five-bedroom house and move into a rental with two bathrooms. The parents have theirs and the kids must share the other.
This situation has led to what the parents call the Great Bathroom Wars. Every day at least one grandkid is ticked off and on the warpath. It gets really bad mornings and weekend nights when the older ones pretty themselves up.
My parents and us five kids shared one bathroom growing up and we did just fine. Wouldn’t you think my grandkids would have got this squared away by now? Tessa W. Smith, West Lake Stevens, Washington
Dear Tessa: Doesn’t it sometimes seem like the only time the world beats a path to your door is when you’re in the bathroom, where two’s a crowd and you can forget about four.
Smallish though they are, bathrooms are temples of privacy in the hubbub of modern life. Bathrooms are the only room that can be locked in a great many homes, whereupon the length of a few minutes depends on which side of the bathroom door you happen to be on.
But we do see a silver lining here. Your grandchildren will figure it out. The sound and fury will decrease. By sharing space and shampoo, your grandchildren will learn to negotiate and respect the wants and needs of others. Do unto others as you would have them do unto you — the golden rule. Good bathroom management matters.
Grand remark of the week
Nancy Dane and her daughter Blue from Columbus, Ohio were running errands when Nancy’s little grandson Joey asked his mother to explain “male” and “female”.
After explaining the difference, Blue tested Joey. “Now tell me which one your daddy is, and which one your mommy is.”
Joey passed with flying colors. “Good,” said his mother. “Now what is your grandma?”
Joey giggled. “Oh, she’s the boss!”
Blue says her mother “loves giving a word-by-word description of that magic moment in her life.”
Dee and Tom, married more than 50 years, have eight grandchildren. Together with Key, they welcome questions, suggestions and Grand Remarks of the Week. Send to P.O. Box 27454, Towson, MD, 21285. Call 410-963-4426.