Grandpa and Grandma, along with seven grandchildren.

Grandpa and Grandma have four children, each of whom is married with children of their own. While my household consists of just one child, the others have two kids each, making a total of seven in our extended family.

Everyone in our families, including myself, seems to have a fondness for children, perhaps inherited from Grandpa and Grandma. Currently, despite the grandchildren not living with them, they seem to get along well with Grandpa and Grandma, with one exception that I’ll mention later. Interestingly, Grandma’s grandchildren tend to be more attached to Grandpa, which is a somewhat unfortunate habit for Grandma.

I’ve come up with a hypothesis to explain this phenomenon. In my childhood home, where the atmosphere of the Showa era lingers, about 95% of household chores are Grandma’s responsibility, creating a situation where Grandpa naturally has more time to spend with the grandchildren and holds authority in that space as the head of the household. He becomes a privileged class, able to play with the grandchildren whenever they want.

Furthermore, unlike Grandma, who doesn’t have a driver’s license, Grandpa can drive. This gives him access to charming items like small trucks, plows, and combines that young children love.

In the eyes of children, Grandpa is the fun and skillful old man who plays with amazing tools. On the other hand, Grandma is quite literally the “cooking granny.” Even in my memories, this was evident with 2-1 (Second Son’s child), and my sister’s first daughter 4-1 (the same age as 2-1).

Other grandchildren also tend to be more attached to Grandpa first and then grow fond of Grandma as they go through their “Grandpa phase.” This was particularly noticeable with my sister’s eldest son, 4-2. According to my wife, “4-2 was incredibly happy just shouting ‘Grandpa!’ It made me wonder if he liked him that much (laughs).”

As for whether Grandma is disliked by her grandchildren, it’s not that simple. She is still liked to a certain extent. However, it’s a fact that, when the grandchildren were younger, Grandpa was more dominant than Grandma. According to Second Son’s wife, “It’s really pitiful that Grandpa is more liked than Grandma, who works so hard.”

By the way, my elder brother’s second daughter, 1-2, for some reason, strongly dislikes Grandpa. It seems like a situation where she is settling the score for the favoritism Grandpa received from the other grandchildren.

After all, as soon as Grandpa enters her field of vision, she runs away, wiping her tears. Even from a short distance, you can tell from her facial expressions, “Oh, she spotted Grandpa,” (laughs). Grandpa is making efforts to bond with 1-2, but so far, there doesn’t seem to be a breakthrough.