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Kathy Tofflemire, Published May 26 2009

Parenting Perspectives: Grandma a spoiling machine

“I’m hungry,” my grandson announced as he left the park playground – not an unusual announcement from this growing 6-year-old.

“What are you hungry for?” I asked.

“Something dessert,” he said.

I advised him that the best place for that was the shop next to his mother’s store but that it was closed on Sundays.

“There’s always Dairy Queen,” he replied, adding, however, that he really wasn’t interested (stumbling over that word) in ice cream.

“What are you interested in?” I asked.

Doughnuts, he replied, taking the opportunity to lament the closure of Krispy Kreme, his favorite.

So, after some discussion, we’re off to the nearest grocery store, where we buy two glazed doughnuts – and a package of pop-flavored Jelly Bellies.

As I make the trip, I think to myself, “Would I have done this for my daughter at that age?” Probably not.

Earlier in the day I had forked over $10 at the Minn-Kota cat show for three cat lapel pins that my grandson wanted. The wisdom of this purchase was later questioned by the boy’s mother, a not-very subtle reminder of our “need, not want” spending vow.

I did get a return on that investment though. His older brother bought one of the pins – for $1 and six Oreos – and presented it to me as a Mother’s Day gift.

I appreciated the thought but felt bad that I had broken up the set. And I later wondered about the elder grandson’s “ownership” of the cookies that allowed for their use as a medium of exchange.

The day before I had taken both boys to the Toppers car show, where I let them pick out several toy cars. My older grandson did use some of his own money for the purchase.

But even I have to admit this expense wasn’t necessary. These boys have more miniature cars between the two of them than Carter has little pills. (And if you recognize that product, you’re dating yourself.)

I can hold to the spending vow when it concerns me. Well, most of the time. But, it is not so easy to say no to “my boys.”

I even spoil my “granddog.” I bought him a treat jar with his name on it for Christmas. If only Cosmo could read.

As the saying goes: Grandma’s my name; spoiling’s my game.


Kathy Tofflemire is a copy editor at The Forum. Readers can reach her at (701) 241-5514 or ktofflemire@forumcom.com