It’s not just your imagination — there really are more grandparents on Earth now than ever before, and they’re more involved in our kids’ lives than ever, too. So it’s no surprise you’ve bumped into more than a few at playdates, park visits, birthday parties … and then of course, right in your own fam.
And while getting to know the parents of your kids’ friends is always important, finding out just who raised those parents can be both entertaining and eye opening (to say the least).
Here are eight types you’re bound to meet — if you haven’t already.
1. The Fun Ones
Aren’t humans supposed to get more tired and boring when they get old? ‘Cause these grandparents just keep getting more awesome with age — and everybody they meet immediately loves them for it. By the second time they’ve picked up their grandkids from school, they’ve made more friends with the parents there than you have in the past five years of school pick-ups. (Don’t be too jealous.)
2. The Ones Who Forgot What Kids Are Actually Like
Despite having successfully raised their own litter of people pups, these grandparents are the ones most likely to become completely befuddled about the utter frustration of toddler eating habits, the moodiness of teens, and the very basic needs of the average kid. This explains everything you needed to know as to why their own grown-up kids can’t seem to shake the exasperated looks from their faces whenever they’re near. (Or hey, maybe you’re that kid yourself.)
3. The Over-the-Top Spoilers
No matter how inconvenient the journey, these grandparents make it to every occasion – even if it really isn’t all that special. The grandkids are repeatedly referred to as “my babies” while their actual parents take deep, cleansing breaths and brace themselves for whatever six-foot-tall stuffed animal will appear in the playroom this time.
4. The World Travelers
You know these ones — they’re always “just getting back” from some exotic trip and wearing sensible and comfy shoes. And you can always count on these grandparents to have a smattering of capital city snow globes and hand-me-down Rosetta Stone CDs in their car. Don’t be surprised if you overhear the parents asking them to babysit the kids months in advance: it’s their only hope of booking them before their travel agent does!
5. The Straight-Up Adorable Ones
These grandparents give you the warm and fuzzies. They greet both kids and adults with happy smiles and fistfuls of Werther’s hard candies (THE BEST), and you kind of want to hug them just because. If there’s one thing you can count on, it’s that at some point they’re going to sit down over there to rest their eyelids for juuuuust a quick minute.
6. The Tech-Savvy Facetimers
If you’ve got one of these parents yourself, then you know your phone is constantly blowing up with yet another Facetime call from Nana and Pop-Pop. They like to check in at least twice a day, usually during the most inconvenient times — and no, not answering them isn’t an option. They’ll just keep calling and calling and calling, hopping from iPhone to iPad to iPhone again. Enjoy chatting up their lower chins when they start asking who else is in the room, while waiting for the kids to come say their hellos (AGAIN).
7. The Teenagers in Love
Dapper and adorable, these two lovebirds have been together since not long after they hit puberty, and still hold hands like newlyweds. Get ready to swoon, for even a hint of music in the air will send them into one another’s arms for a dance. Each time you see them, you’ll text your spouse sweet nothings and hope you can be just like them in 40 years.
8. The “I Got This”-ers (That’s a thing, right?)
No matter how capable and involved a kids’ parents might be, these grandparents are always one step ahead of ’em. They’re handling diaper changes, babysitting for long weekends, and taking control of the logistics of parenthood with one “I got it!” at a time. No surprise, you’ll never, ever, EVER hear a peep of complaint about this fact from the parents — even they know they’ve got it good.
So tell us: Which ones have you got in your fam?