Upon learning that he was about to become a grandpa, Milligan went through the period of adjustment common to most grandparents. He had planned to stay young forever! He spent a sleepless night thinking of his own grandfather, "a loveable old man who wore a little hat with a feather and plaid Bermuda shorts with calf-high dark socks." Was this his future?
Then he had to adjust to the changes in his wife, a cell phone-hater who suddenly started wearing a beeper. He wondered if his child would be like other modern parents, who seemed to "name their children after too many Jägermeisters." Then there was the matter of his grandfather name to consider, adjusting finally to the fact that his name would be chosen by "a creature whose greatest achievement has been sleeping through the night without pooping." Milligan's fears are proven sound when he ends up with Buh-Buh, a name that might resonate with the NASCAR crowd but which was distinctly not what he had had in mind.
Adjusting to Grandparenthood
- Realizing that your children discipline their children differently from how they were disciplined
- Understanding that grandparenting requires the exact same muscles as parenting, but that those muscles are pitifully out of shape
- Finding out that, as much as you love to babysit, the experience is going to leave you and your wife feeling like Wile E. Coyote after an encounter with the Road Runner--flattened, in other words.
Reaping the Benefits
Considering that the subtitle of Milligan's book calls grandfatherhood "the world's greatest job," sooner or later Milligan has to turn his attention to the perks of the position. For one, a grandpa can tell his grandchildren the most unbelievable stretchers, and they'll believe him. For another, a grandpa may just be able to get away with wearing comfort clothing, as long as he eschews a fanny pack.