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Why a Day with Grandparents Is Like a Day at Disneyland

For two years, I have struggled with juggling work and motherhood as a cheapskate thrifty work-at-home mom who doesn't pay for childcare.

I have also resisted having my in-laws take her for the day—despite how impossible it is to get a goddamn thing done with a two-year-old attached to your leg—because I have been neurotic about her sleep schedule and I am a control freak and also I was pretty sure I would experience separation anxiety. Not her. Me.

But this past week, I finally allowed it to happen. Em's grandparents came over in the afternoon, after she had taken her nap, and whisked her away for the next four hours.

And once she was out of the house, out of the driveway, out of sight, I was not as distraught as I had expected.

RELATED: Let the Grandparents Spoil the Kids

Still, my heart couldn't help breaking just a little when, upon her return home, in response to "Did you miss your mommy?" Em's response was an immediate, cavalier "No."

How am I supposed to compete with the at-home equivalent of Disneyland?

What a Normal Day Is Like at Home

Us staring at our laptops for eight hours straight while Em snatches from us the few moments of attention she can.

What I Imagine a Normal Day Is Like at Nana and Papa's House

Non-stop attention and adulation.

What Em Eats at Home

Well, she's pretty picky these days, so if she merely gnaws on a hunk of bread, I'll allow it. But dessert is a clementine (or strawberries,or a banana) and her beverage choices are milk or water.

What I Imagine She Eats at Nana and Papa's House

Ice pops and ice cream cake and cookies and iced tea and brownies and Snickers bars and s'mores and...

What Em Plays with at Home

I've been pretty restrained when it comes to the toys I buy Em. I don't think it's necessary for her to have a billion, trillion pricey toys. A billion trillion books on the other hand...

What I Imagine Em Plays with at Nana and Papa's House

My in-laws have more toys in their living room than I have in my entire house, including a giant teddy bear three times Em's size.

What Our Backyard Looks Like

When we bought our house, there was no backyard. We've since bought more land behind our house, and landscapers are preparing it for Em's new swing set and sandbox. But at the moment, it's a giant dirt pit.

What Nana and Papa's Backyard Looks Like

Whereas our sandbox is not yet set up, Em's grandparents already have one out that she can play with, filled to the brim with toys. They also have an in-ground swimming pool with a plethora of floating devices, purchased just for Em, and an expansive lawn littered with balls and play houses and anything else she could possibly want.

RELATED: Here's to All the Grandparents Give and Give

What Em Is Like at the End of the Day at Home...

... because I keep her to a strict nap schedule.

What Em Is Like at the End of the Day When She's Been at Nana and Papa's House...

i.e. overtired.

Life at Nana and Papa's House, Basically:

Who could compete?!

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