Filipino culture is never without extended family. And one of the most important people in that extended family is Lola. For the kids, growing up with grandma around is even more fun! They get to listen to Lola’s stories (which are probably about you growing up), they have another adult to ask their unending questions to satisfy their curiosity, and they get to have a backup support system for when things get a little rough. Most importantly, the kids get an extra dose of love from Lola.
Parenting with grandma around isn’t all gloom and doom. It means having someone around to care for your kiddo when you are at work, or having someone to consult when you need another mom’s opinion on health care or whatnot. Sure, you have some off days with your mom (Who doesn’t?), but you are thankful that she still gets to relive her youth through your child.
You can’t blame your child when he chooses you over your mom, because you secretly love her, too. Here’s how to tell if your child is “laki sa lola”:
1. Your child asks you, “Can we visit grandma?” every weekend. When sometimes you’d rather stay in, you drag yourself out of bed because he won’t stop bugging you about it. He’ll sulk the whole day in his room if you don’t take him.
2. When you visit your parents, your child has a special dish already prepared just for her. That or she would ask her Lola to cook her favorite ulam, and she will gladly oblige -- even if it means taking a trip to the palengke.
3. His favorite babysitter is Lola because he knows he can get unlimited TV time. Your child can watch anything he wants, even until way past his bedtime. He might even get away with eating on the bed. (You give in, of course, because: me-time!)
4. Your child would rather sleep beside his grandmother when she sleeps over. She tells better stories, maybe true stories about you, or about her golden days. She doesn’t mind if the kiddo hogs the blanket and all the pillows. And have we mentioned bedtime?
5. “Lola, can we buy this?” You hear your son ask her while at the mall or the supermarket. Guess what? She almost always says yes. Even when you already bought something for him, he’d still want another one from Lola.
6. He volunteers to accompany his grandmother to her doctor for checkups. He doesn’t mind holding Lola's hand while walking, or maybe spilling her not-so-healthy ways to her doc. But one thing is for sure: he knows they will definitely stop by McDonald's afterwards.
7. When your tot gets a boo-boo, he cries for Lola instead of you. Maybe her touch is truly more comforting? Or maybe your child knows Lola will go the extra mile to make him feel better. (Ice cream, anyone?)
8. Your child calls Lola whenever he can’t get what he wants from you. As the old saying goes, grandparents are made to spoil your kids, leaving you to keep them in line. It’s a head-shaking and head-scratching fact, but that doesn’t mean you can’t peacefully co-exist with her, right?