Forget the gym memberships and yoga, we recently spent time with our adult children and grandchildren. During our time together we told stories, made silly faces and sounds for several days in a row in the same space, day and night. Not only did we make memories with our children and grand babies but my husband and I survived our first real Grandma and Papa Bootcamp. Unlike other bootcamps ours was relieved within a week; which is a good thing because we felt like we had worked every muscle we have ever had.
How does one tone and strengthen during a grandparent boot camp? With laughter, tears, great reflexes, stretching, brut strength, super human hearing and eyes in the back of your head(where did you think your mom got those eyes ?— from her parents). You must be able to squat, kneel, and bend for long periods of time as you address the needs of little noses and hinny’s. If you are looking for more of the yoga stretching techinics then you need more than one grandchild and in a squatting or crossed leg position on a tile or wood floor with a 16 pound baby in one hand all the while leaning forward to catch the highly active toddler 3 feet in front of you who is toddler gating across the room with the giant breakable doodad that he isn’t suppose to be able to reach…. keeping your balance and comfort going in your left hand the 16 pound five month old who now has put your arm to sleep.
Airplane planking is a must for all grandparents. If you aren’t aware of this weight strengthening program all that is needed are two important people and a floor; grandma and a grandchild. Grandma lies on her back (any hard surface will do) and brings grandma legs up to a 45 degree angle while grand children are raised in the air by the enourmous strength and unbelievable grace as her grandchild takes flight into the airplane mode (don’t forget giggling and nosies — beware of slobber that sometimes uncontrollably flows from your newby airplaine plankers). Granted some Grandparents aren’t as flexible and haven’t had adequate training… so send the grand children to PAPA — -AKA human jungle gym.
Contorting your body as little ones are straddled between your legs and older ones are navigating the fridge for more chocolate milk you must be able to stretch with the strength of spiderman to shut, catch or pour for the needs of these children. Super Hearing and Code detecting skills are a must for all grandparents during any boot camp. Enevitably your 3 or 4 year old grand child will stand before you stating and restating the same sentence 45 times until you realize you will never understand or perhaps just can’t hear it and must respond — respond with laughter and hugs and I love you — this should appease this little one for a short time. Rocking is crucial for all ages whether it is standing up or in a chair and or both and will last for hours, sometimes days, with the same baby or several little ones in one day or throughout the week. The muscles you will use will be felt between your shoulder blades for days after the camp is complete. No need for areobics as you will end up chasing down the quickest of the quick at a rate of the speed of light any grand baby in danger. Your oldest grandchild will challenge you to a dance off… and of course it will be a marathon of laughter, funny faces, and moves you didn’t know you possessed anymore. Thus you have reached your target heart rate.
Diet will consist of pretty much anything; from cheerios to prime rib. You get what you get like at any boot camp. Your children and grandchildren will eat at the rate of a military boot camp and before the dishes are done will require snacks and or night time milk. Licking any left over drippings are permitted to maintain strength. Wine or adult beverage is needed at the end of the day as not to feel the throbbing pains bubbling up between your joints.
The most important part of Grandma and Papa boot Camp is what you learn from your experience and what you take away from the experience. This is the most recommended boot camp for all grandparents. We learned not only did we love every minute and that we enjoyed our time with our adult children and every grandbaby… we like them — from the tiniest bootcampie to the oldest…we loved our time together and most of all — these were some amazing people whom we call family.