A visit from the grandparents is great fun for the kids, but for parents it can be an emotional roller coaster. Here are the 15 stages of the grandparent visit, in GIFs.
1. Grandma and grandpa say they are going to visit.
Oh, how nice! It will be good for them to play with the grandchildren. Family is important, and this might get you out of stuffing your whole family into the back of a van and driving to their place at Thanksgiving.
2. Grandma and grandpa say they would like to stay with you.
Oh ... how nice. There is definitely room in your very small apartment for a few more adult-sized neat freaks. Well, you can't fault them for wanting to save money.
3. Grandma and grandpa describe their new diet.
Don't worry, cooking for grandma and grandpa will be a piece of cake. And you will be cooking, because they adamantly do not want to be a bother and will refuse to allow you to spend money by ordering delivery. Also, they have gone gluten-free. (Be ready for this: They will say they are just gluten free and it is not really any different than being not gluten free, but by the time they arrive they will also have given up dairy, sugar, and any plants related to the tomato. Just buy Gwyneth Paltrow's cookbook now.)
4. The grandparents will not confirm their travel dates.
You want to go to a comic book convention and get your cosplay on, but all your weekends are spoken for until the grandparents confirm whether or not they are actually coming. Your kids' grandparents are probably the kinds of people who really like throwing surprise parties.
5. The grandparents are coming today!
You did not know it was possible for a person to book a same-day flight without getting flagged by homeland security, but somehow they did it. You will discover this when you get a call saying, "So I guess you couldn't be there to pick us up."
6. Your partner promises to do all the cleaning.
Don't worry about it! You just put your feet up and relax while this baby pulls your hair and screams like you are torturing it because you will not let it eat batteries. Your partner will do all the cleaning and you don't have to think about a thing.
7. Your partner comes down with a debilitating illness.
Immediately after folding six socks, your partner comes down with boneitis or some other debilitating disease and must retreat to a warm bathtub for six hours to moan and read comic books on the iPad. This illness is very serious, so your partner cannot be disturbed. You must keep the baby, because it would not be safe to expose the baby to boneitis.
Click here to see the rest of the stages of preparing for a visit from the grandparents.
8. Clean everything.
You know from experience that grandma looks under the toilet, in the silverware drawer, and under all the frozen dinners to make sure things are sanitary, and she makes fun of you if they are not. Scrub in, under, and around every surface of the house, while wearing the baby because she will not deal with being physically separate from you right now. It is polite to leave one garbage can half-full so grandma can have something to complain about when she arrives.
9. Remember you do not own anything for overnight guests.
Your plan of avoiding overnight guests by having no place for them to sleep and no towels, blankets, or pillows has suddenly backfired. You must stuff the screaming baby into the stroller and go to the store to buy all these things and an air mattress. It will cost $400. Carry all those things back without tipping the stroller into the street. As a bonus, you will get a lot of sympathy from people seeing you walk down the street like this. Enjoy it their sympathetic smiles. This is the most anybody is going to care about your problems for the next ten years.
10. Your partner has gotten over the debilitating illness.
When you arrive home, your partner will have made a full recovery. You will find your partner dancing naked to Taylor Swift videos in the living room. The bathroom will now be filthy.
11. Locate every gift the grandparents have given you.
Head to your storage locker, because you're going to need to bring out every birthday, holiday, and "just because" gift the grandparents have ever given, even the creepy stuffed clown that gives the baby nightmares. Anything that has been destroyed or shuffled off this mortal coil must be replaced with a last-minute run to Target or the pet store. For future reference, do not leave goldfish in the storage locker.
12. Don't forget to wash the baby.
Oh god, you almost forgot to wash the baby! Give the baby a bath. By the way, your baby just developed a deep fear of the bathtub, which you will discover now.
13. The grandparents ask to take the baby to the park.
Someone is taking the baby away for a couple hours? Whatever will you do? Netflix marathon? Manicures? Champagne? The world is your oyster, and your oyster is full of pearls and champagne. (If you cannot find a nail salon that also serves champagne in your town, just fill a travel coffee mug with Veuve. You've got two hours, and this might not happen again for a year. Multitasking is key.)
14. The grandparents offer to watch the baby while you and your partner go out for the night.
Holy crap, you will get to see a movie in a theater! You can put on a shirt that needs to be dry-cleaned and wear red lipstick without leaving big scary marks all over the baby. For the first time since the baby was born you can wear your hair down and not need a ponytail holder, but bring one along anyway, because wearing your hair down for the first time feels weird.
15. The grandparents are going home.
Nooooooooo! The grandparents must stay forever. You don't care that it's a one-bedroom apartment. The grandparents can have the bed, you will sleep in the closet. You'll give up gluten. You'll bathe the baby every day. Just don't let them leave!