The Kids

Grandparents, Quit Stealing Our Thunder!

by Lauren Hartmann

Photograph by Twenty20

One of the very best things about being a parent is seeing the world anew through the eyes of a little person. Suddenly, all of the mundane things you took for granted seem extra amazing. Little things, like seeing twinkle lights for the first time or having a first taste of birthday cake, are enough to completely blow kids' little minds and it's the absolute sweetest.

I'll never forget the first time we took my oldest daughter to Disneyland and she met Minnie Mouse for the first time. She gave her the longest and most heartfelt hug and then kissed her right on the nose and it was the most precious thing to witness. It's definitely a favorite parenting memory for me.

It's those special firsts that give us parents life. In the midst of all of the rinse and repeat of parenthood, it's these magical one-time-only moments that make it really worth it.

As much as parents love soaking up those first experiences, I've learned that grandparents love them too. So, what happens when someone else (*ahem* a grandparent) steals your thunder and takes one of those special firsts from you? Well, let's just say, it's not awesome.

One of our favorite family firsts is taking our kids to see their first movie. My husband and I LOVE movies, so it's kind of a big deal for us. With our first, we took her to see "Inside Out" but I remember my parents wanting to take her to a movie long before that. We waited until she was 3 because we wanted her to enjoy it more, but my parents kept bugging us to hurry up and take her so they could start taking her to see movies themselves. Once we took her, the grandparents were thrilled for all their newfound movie dates with her.

They're more than welcome to join us during these milestones, but to do them without us is not OK.

Then our son was born and we all began looking forward to his first movie, as well. The grandparents started pressing us to take him to a movie, but we felt like he was still a bit young and wanted to wait a bit longer. One weekend, they offered to have the kids overnight, so my husband and I jumped at the chance. We had a great time and the kids seemed to have fun, too, but the following week, my daughter kept talking about "Zootopia"—a movie we hadn't seen. When I pressed her about it, she spilled the beans and told me that the grandparents had taken them to see it.

I was beyond upset. I know it's "just a movie," but it was sort of the principle of the matter—it felt like they had completely disregarded our wishes. I did end up talking to them about it and letting them know how upset I was, but I never ended up telling my husband, so the experience wouldn't be ruined for him too. I just pretended like it was the first time, when we did eventually take our son to see a movie.

While I'm so appreciative to have parents and in-laws who love and adore our children and want to give them special memories, stealing my thunder on things like first experiences is where I draw the line. They're more than welcome to join us during these milestones, but to do them without us is not OK.

So, grandparents, we love you and all, but you already get to be the fun ones way more often, so please don't take away our rare opportunities to actually be the first ones to do cool things with our kids.

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