This just in: No one likes your kids as much as you do—even your parents. Strange, right? Here you were thinking all grandparents were exactly like Marian Robinson, the Obama girls' grandmother. But, no, as it turns out some grandparents are different. People not being completely homogeneous: Who would have thought? Well, that's why the NY Times exists: to exaggerate long-standing, common sense differences into preposterous trend stories:
Thoroughly modern grandmothers, so-called glam-mas, “feel they’ve put in their time,” Ms. Barash said. “They were devoted to children to the exclusion of their own freedom, and they’re not looking to repeat the mothering process with their grandchildren.”
In other words, it may take a village to raise a child, but these days the village may be more heavily populated with nannies than nanas.
More like La-Z-mas, am I right? Grandparents can have lives when they're dead—right now you need them to babysit. After all, if your grandmother's not going to mother your kids who will?
I realize that the Styles section of the NY Times is basically E-Z Rage In A Can, and for that I am grateful, but these are maybe the most infuriating sentences I've ever read. Just knowing that the word "Glam-ma" has been willed into existence by the NY Times is giving me a glam-ache.
But what makes a Glam-ma different from a grandma, besides an ear-grating portmanteau? So, so many things:
As for Catherine Connors, before she had her first child, Emilia, three years ago, “My mother put me on notice,” she said. “She told me she was not interested in baby-sitting. She said she’d come to visit but that she didn’t like newborns.”
True to her word, Judy Connors flew to Toronto from her home in British Columbia a week after her granddaughter’s birth. “It was clear she was bored,” her daughter said. “There was a lot of sitting in the living room while I struggled to figure out how to nurse. She said, ‘I don’t know why you don’t just give her a bottle,’ and then repaired to the veranda for a cigarette.”
That Judy Connors sure has moxie. Not everyone can make the sentiment, "I find your children boring," with such panache. She's clearly starring in her own personal Clark Gable film, and why not?
But there are more complaints, from still other whiny mothers:
Her parents, who are healthy and retired, live a mile away but keep their distance. “I’ll see three generations of families on vacation or at Splish Splash,” the Long Island water park, “and I’m amazed,” this woman said. “I’m in awe that there are grandparents there with the grandchildren, because it hasn’t been my experience.”
…When her family visits them, “They’re completely hands-off,” said Ms. Sachs, 38, who has a son in kindergarten and a toddler daughter. “They never changed a diaper. They’ve made no effort to introduce our children to the children in their neighborhood. Nothing special is planned for them. My mother-in-law goes about her business. It’s like my children are a TV show in the background.”
To recap: "Glam-mas" find newborns dull; they don't want to babysit for free; they don't change diapers; they don't throw a special party every time a child enters a room; and they don't want to spend an afternoon corralling kids in wet bathing suits while baking in the sun at Splish Splash water park. Apart from the whole being a mother or grandmother part, I think I am a Glam-ma.
But like so many Times trend pieces, this one is incomplete. They're completely ignoring other long-standing grandparent types with made-up names. What about the "Paw-Pawns" (grandfathers who use their adorable grandkids as pawns in their many colorful con schemes), or the "No-No-Nonnas" (grandmothers who over use the phrase "That's a no-no!"), or the "Grandmoneys" (grandparents who shower their grandkids with greeting cards, each containing $5-$10)?