We often say that one dog year equals seven human years. Although it’s a bit simplified, a dog’s life averages out this way. It got me thinking about how you calculate your age in grandma years.
The question came to me while I was chasing my one-year old granddaughter, Sophia, around my non-child-proofed living room. It’s been eight years since I’ve had a crawling baby in my house. I’d totally forgotten how quickly toddlers can grab things, hit their head on sharp coffee table corners or stick their finger in a light socket—not that any of these incidents actually happened on my watch!
I’d also forgotten how exhausting it is to keep up with a one-year old’s short attention span. I was so out of touch I’d forgotten to bring down some baby toys from the attic. So I climbed up and got some after she arrived. The little castle block set that brought lots of pleasure to my two older granddaughters, now 12 and 8 years old, seemed to occupy Sophia’s attention for short bursts.
But after awhile, she wanted to do what all one-year olds want to do: explore the new territory. Sophia grabbed the books on our coffee table, the photos on the credenza and the ceramic figures on the little antique side table. And this was just in the first hour of her visit. She was here to celebrate her first birthday at a four-generation family dinner at my mother’s retirement community.
I noticed I had a lot less energy for my newest granddaughter than I had for her two cousins when they were infants. I realize it’s because I’m eight years older. And even though my mind and spirit feel the same as they did eight years ago, my body definitely feels older — especially when I lifted Sophia in and out of her car seat and in and out of her stroller.
Eight years is a long time in grandma years. But how much is one grandma year? I couldn’t find any charts or tables on the Internet but I did find a hilarious post on how to calculate your age in mom years. “Mommy Shorts” blogger Ilana, lists two dozen life experiences that can contribute to adding or subtracting years to the real age. For example, in mom years having more than three kids adds 20 years to your life. But if one of those kids is old enough to take care of the other two, subtract 15 years. Another of her examples says that if you can’t remember the last time you slept in past 8 am, add 25 years to your age.
Inspired by Ilana’s post, I began to think about the things that add and subtract years from a grandma’s age. Here are a few and I’d love to hear your ideas to add to the list.
Experiences that subtract from your real age and make you feel younger:
- having a grandchild spend the night without her parents—subtract 1 year
- taking a trip with your grandchild without his parents—subtract 2 years
- babysitting your grandchild, but not everyday—subtract 2 years
- getting a thank you note for a gift you sent your grandchild—subtract 2 years
- getting handmade birthday cards for your birthday—subtract 1 year
- Skyping with your grandchild every week—subtract 3 years
- having your grandchild look in your eyes and say she’ll love you forever—subtract 3 years
Experiences that add to your real age and make you feel older:
- having more than 3 grandchildren—add 2 years
- having your grandchild pull on your chin and ask why it’s so saggy–add 1 year
- having your grandchild ask how your hair got so gray—add 1 year
- having your grandchild grab your cell phone and download the app for “Temple Run”—add 1 year
- having your grandchild show up at your house coughing, sneezing and feverish—add 3 years
- taking your grandchild to a museum where he goes missing and you have to call security—add 4 years
- having your grandchild’s mother admonish you for ______________ (fill in the blank)—add 3 years
- having to get on a plane to visit your grandchild—add 3 years
I’m sure there are a lot more experiences that contribute to increasing or decreasing our real age, but right now I’m too tired to think of any after my day at the playground with my one-year old granddaughter!
Obviously, there are many serious events that take a toll on us as grandmas but I chose to keep this post on the lighter side.
Now get out your calculators and tell us your grandma age in the “Comments” section.