Kathleen Norton

Grandma fever strikes with a vengeance

Posted on: September 7, 2010

Im a genius...just ask my Grandma!

The little toddler with the crop of dark curls slipped out of my arms, out of her diaper and ran across the room.

Before anyone could say, “Holy Terrible Two’s Batman!”  She managed to “christen” the carpet in our upstairs hall. But it wasn’t just any carpet.

The carpet was so brand new the check had barely cleared. And what happened next seemed to defy logic.

I ran after her, scooped her up, cuddled her and declared:

“Isn’t that just the cutest little thing you ever saw? Why she knew exactly where the new carpet was. That child is a genius I tell you! A real genius!”

It was like an out-of-body experience. I could hardly believe that I, the infamous Queen of Clean, was making light of a new carpet stain and even tickling the offender?

And nobody else could believe it either.

“Where is our real mother and what have you done with her?’’  my grown children demanded to know.

They knew me as the woman who hugged kids with one arm and ran a Dust Buster on their backsides with the other.

They knew me as the woman who could zone in on household messes like a heat-seeking missile.

Yet, there I was. Oohing and aahing over the little person who “christened’’ my new carpet.

There was one only explanation – Grandma Fever has taken over my soul.

If you’re not familiar with this ailment, let me explain.

It begins when your grown child comes to visit and places that lil’ darlin’ in your arms.

In the early stages, you refill the house with copies of “Good Night Moon,’’ bright boxes of animal crackers and bottles of “No More Tears.’’

“Didn’t we just get rid of all that crap?’’ your husband grumbles.

The  answer is “yes’’ but you shush him anyway.

As the disease progresses, you barely mind getting up to help with those 3 a.m. feedings.

You don’t blink when spit-up ruins your best silk blouse.

You browse in fancy-schmancy toy stores where you’d never buy anything when your kids were little.

But this time around you  must be stopped from plunking down a share of your 401k for an obscenely expensive dollhouse.

You look at every baby that passes by in the mall and secretly say to yourself:  Nope, not as cute as our cutie pie. Oh, not that one either.  And Lord, look at those ears!

And when the fever is at its worst, you wave the grandkids goodbye, kick up your feet and then admire the mess left behind, a reminder that your grandchild is the most adorable and smartest child on earth.

Which is exactly what I am doing right now – staring at that “christening’’ stain and thinking of how cute and smart the little girl is who made it.

But as you know, I can’t help myself because I am sick.

Burning up with Grandma Fever.


14 Responses to "Grandma fever strikes with a vengeance"

I love this one! And that is so true! I have seen the grandma fever up close and personal.

Thanks! It has gripped me completely. Can’t wait to see the Doodle.

Such fun Kathleen, it is nice to know I am not the only one with “the fever”


It appears to be an epidemic.

I also have Grandma Fever BAD!!!! Our Samanthas are just too cute for words……even though she is driving her parents crazy now that she’s in her twos!!
Keep your funny articles coming!!


Thanks for writing! The terrible twos are a lot more fun when you are a Grandma!

I have it, too! And as you know I have the cutest and the smartest granddaughter there is! Just having returned from visiting her, I’m flying high! Everyone at work has seen all of the new pictures already.

I knew you would like this one. Send me a picture! We did Skype the other night and she looked at the screen and said: “Oh, Hi!” like a grownup.

Well, I’ll jump on the bandwagon as a crazy grandma who refuses to wipe the little fingerprints off anything the boy has touched for at least a few days after he goes home!!!
This also coming from a neat freak.
Today I heard the clothes dryer banging and checked inside to find two rocks-they were the boy’s-he insists on carrying rocks around like they are a treasure-and they found their way into Poppop’s pocket this weekend-guess he has the fever too!!!


When my kids were little, my mom used to steal their baby undershirts so she could smell them when they went home. Now I understand.


Great idea! Wish I thought of that when I left Gracie in St Louis.
I am having withdrawals and need to see that child. Thank God they will be here in 2 weeks!!!!

We prize the Spiderman refrigerator magnet our oldest grandson generously let us have, keep the crib perpetually ready for the baby and gave over the guest room closet to seasonal clothes for three small and ever-growing boys. Give me fever!


It’s the best thing ever, this Grandma Fever! No. 2 due in March!

Gee, that is what my mother says about her grandchildren.

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