The bliss of grandparents
I'm quite sure my parents think my two boys are the best behaved children on the planet? Why? Well because everytime we take to the kids to my parents' house, the kids don't yell, run around the house, attack each other, refuse to eat foods they have loved their entire lives or break things. My wife and I recently dropped off the boys for the night at Grandma and Grandpa's so the two of us could go on a well-deserved date. Dinner without having to deal with a 2-year-old and 5-year-old sounded heavenly. Instead of barely surviving 30 minutes of burp jokes, placemats being thrown on the floor and "I don't like that!" we instead spent more than two hours letting someone else wait on us. We ate too much, but we didn't want to leave the bliss of having someone else doing all the work while we actually had an adult conversation.
But I digress. We learned the next day that our kids were angels; they didn't get in any trouble, ate all of their dinner and went to bed with no problem. They woke up happy the next day, ate the breakfast that Grandma prepared and didn't cause a lick of trouble the entire time. Now, either my parents are child care geniuses or my boys are playing by two sets of rules. Probably because they know that sleeping at Grandma's is a special treat they have conspired to make sure they get invited back again. My mother says "Anytime!" every time we thank her for watching the kids and she means exactly that. Meanwhile, the moment we get the boys home to our house, all hell breaks loose and my wife and I shift from intelligent adults into headache-prone parents.
I remember that I acted the same way growing up. I behaved better when my grandparents were around, probably because I knew that they couldn't take the abuse I tossed around like a rag doll at home. I also knew I got more special treats - things I didn't get at home - when I was at my grandparents'. I didn't want to ruin that.
I guess this is the way it has to be. If the boys didn't behave at their grandparents, they would never get invited back. And then I have to actually pay a babysitter to watch the little rascals. We can't have that!