Meet the Author
Where to begin? Maybe back in 2000 when I discovered that I was going to be a
grandmother...again. And this grandchild would live 157 paces (I counted them)
from my front door.
At that time, I hadn’t written the Granny-Nanny quiz, but even if I had, I knew
my answer was "yes." I was needed. I had no job. I could still play bridge.
What excuse did I have to say no. There were just the two of us rattling around
That was then, this is now. Now there are still the two of us, but three of
them; and we play revolving cribs. We've converted a utility room into a bedroom,
added on a glassed-in sunroom, and haunted every thrift store within ten miles of us.
I won't lie and say Granny-Nannying is the easiest thing I've ever done. It's not.
But I have a wonderful daughter-in-law who has a gazillion tons of tact. She wangled
a four-day work week out of her employer, so there's a free-day for doctor’s appointments
and the like. My fellow granny, Betty, has stepped in whenever there was an emergency.
In fact, she took care of Tara while I had a hip replacement and my husband had his knee redone.
And then there is Pop-Pop (aka Arthur Benning, Sr.)!
I couldn't have done it without his help. Being retired, he pitched in to help care for
the girls while I was writing The Granny-Nanny and its forth-coming sequel, The
Granny-Nanny Cooks. Of course, he has helped with all ten of my books, one of which
started a whole new genre of child-care books and was cited by the National Institutes
of Child Health and Development as well as the Gesell Institute. (It was, in case
you're curious, How to Bring Up a Child without Spending a Fortune.)
What with that book, my own mothering experience, plus my background as a graduate home
economist from Penn State, I thought I was fully prepared to be a Granny-Nanny. Was I
wrong? You betcha.
Things have changed—not always for the better—since I did my mothering, and some of them
are not easy to adjust to, like the fastening of straps on car seats. That takes the
agility of a gymnast and the determination of an Atlas. I do not mean that caring for
grandchildren is as difficult as rolling a boulder up a mountain, but at times it feels
Which is why I wrote this book: to help clear the way and shoulder some of the burdens
of other Granny-Nannies.
Are there times I regret the Granny-Nannying of my grandchildren? Are you nuts? Of
course there are. But on balance, it's been a good experience. And so say most of the
other Granny-Nannies I consulted about the book.