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Watching grandparents doting over their daughter’s three-year old at a table nearby is a study in itself. A lot of comparisons come into play in my mind; how we were watched over by our own grandmother (s) when we were children, or how my kin’s in-laws took charge of our nieces and nephews when they were able to.

For what it’s worth, the idea that grandparents generally spoil their grandchildren has long been regarded as an absolute surety, not only among pinoy households, but throughout the world’s as well. However, in our case at least, might only hold true in the three generations after ours. When we were growing up, I remember my dad’s mom was drill sergeant to us kids. I thought that role was only true whenever she came to visit us, from her hometown in Bataan. However, when it was our time to vacation there, there wasn’t even a hint of any kind of spoiling, only chores galore. The system of old was (and still is with some), is that household chores are non-negotiable, even for small kids. We had play time of course but all fell under a schedule. No lying about idly, and everyone had things to do.

My take on the whole thing: my dad was an only child and their generation had just survived a world war. Sure as I was the granny discipline had historical backing, how’s World War 2 for background? As an African saying had implied, it’s during the hard times that eventually churn out warriors while easy times make softer men. Even as the likes of our father had handed down a milder version of what her mom gifted us with, that wasn’t the case with his grandchildren. Ice cream every visit was never a reality for us. I used to think, in the back of his mind, he felt compelled to ensure that nothing he endured should ever befall his apos. And so it goes, as we roll deep into the generation rabbit hole, the calmer the waters

At the present time, I am back at the Euro Baker table, admiring the scene before me. the Lolo had said, you want more cake? The young boy nodded and I found myself nodding in unison, as if the invitation was also directed towards me. Embarrassed, I scanned my IG pages and promptly came across this clip from Meraki Motherhood. While it may have been directed at young parents, I see us lolos and lolos as included in its shotgun spray, as well.

“Stop trying to make your kid happy all the time. by changing the meal, offering the iPad during the car ride, pausing your task to play with them, returning from the walk because they are whining about the weather. You are not only telling them they are incapable of coping with discomfort…you are making them incapable of coping with life.”



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