Virginia Beach Grandparents as Daycare Providers
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What would possibly make a dignified attorney wear a sparkly gold placemat on his head? One thing: a grandbaby girl. Steve Test and his wife, Maggie, along with Elizabeth and Frank Doll, are just two sets of grandparents among a growing wave committed to full-time childcare. Here, the Tests, the Dolls and two other Virginia Beach extended families share the good, the bad and the ugly of keeping it all in the family. Turns out that there really is no bad and ugly, save a dirty diaper every now and again.
Grandparents: Claudia and Joe Cosimano; will share duties with Linda and Richard “Pooch” Palluch when Linda retires
Parents: Katie and John Cosimano
Grandchild: Maggie, 5 months
For new mom and School Activities Coordinator Katie, it was the comfort of the “know, trust, love” factor even more than the financial benefits that sealed the deal for her. “When you learn that you are pregnant, it can be overwhelming.” Knowing that recently retired high school foreign language teachers Claudia and Joe would be caring for Maggie meant that she could relax about the most stressful item on her daunting “to do” list. Adds John, a school improvement specialist, “Being family, they care about Maggie the same way we do.” Plus, he adds, there is “ridiculous, last-minute flexibility.”
For Claudia’s part, though she hadn’t exactly envisioned spending her first year of retirement “in the trenches”—and isn’t going to be able to “come and go as much as one might want”—she wouldn’t have it any other way. Giving Katie and John “peace of mind” was paramount, though the best part will be “developing a relationship with Maggie.”
Joe, who Claudia praises for his diaper-changing and bottle-making skills—noting that they “take turns with all tasks”—has, in these early stages, gotten a kick out of realizing that, though it’s been 30 years “and the procedures, like ‘tummy time,’ have changed,” he’s still “got the touch.” What he describes as “losing a little freedom” and accommodating “baby clutter” has taken a backseat to the benefits.