Sticks and stones may break our bones, but words will never hurt us, right? Well, whoever came up with that phrase probably wasn't a grandparent. As a grandparent, you've been through the gamut of parenting and life experiences and, frankly, you deserve a break.
As if it isn't bad enough getting postcards from funeral homes and special offers from Life Alert, you really don't need people telling you how to discipline your grandkids or asking you if you remember the day the Titanic sank. We asked some of our readers to share what they hate hearing most as grandparents.
Seriously, grandparents are not to be trifled with. Here are five offenses that will not be forgotten... no matter who you are:
1. "Grandma, you look like her (Cruella De Vil singing on stage on the Disney dream cruise)."
This is the older person equivalent of being told you "look tired." Not helpful. Not appreciated. But since kids say the darndest things (and can get away with them), all you can do is sigh and think, "Just wait till you're my age, sweetheart."
2. "Am I going to have that many wrinkles when I'm your age?"
You might as well ask the grandparent what century they were born in. "If things go poorly," you think with a sigh, mourning the southward migration of your once youthful visage.
3. Your grandkids don't have the same interests as you.
Probably the singular worst piece of news you can get as a grandparent. Uttering these words just about bursts every bubble you had of spending afternoons fishing, watching musicals, and bonding over your own favorite pastimes. Plot how to incept your grandkids' idea of fun.
4. "You should really watch that child."
And you should really watch your mouth, you think. This not only implies that your grandchild is some sort of uncontrollable menace, but that you (and your child) are too lax and not doing your jobs properly. Say this, and you will be ever banished from a grandparent's good graces.
And the winner is...
5. "You must be the grandparent."
False. "Rule number one: never assume that older person doting on a toddler is a grandparent. Might be just an older parent. I've done it and it's a pretty bad mistake, ranks with assuming a woman is pregnant," said reader Peter Viles.