Grandma Smokes and Parties With My Two-Year-Old

And I wholeheartedly approve

Kendra Sparkles
The Wind Phone
Published in
3 min readApr 6, 2024


baby with a bow looking up toward the sky
Photo by Omar Lopez on Unsplash

“Right there, right there! Silly!” Kelsey said, pointing into the darkness. For the third time that month, I’d assured my two-year-old that the empty corner of the room was not in fact “silly” and was even less silly so early in the morning.

As I placed my hand on the doorknob to stumble back into my room, I noticed something that alarmed my tired brain. The room smelled of cigarettes. It made no sense considering my husband and I aren’t smokers.

Had my toddler developed a secret smoking habit?

By the fifth early wake-up call, I was over all the silliness and secret smoking. It became an exhausting morning routine. Just before 4 am, the screen on the baby monitor would glow as Kelsey called for me to look at the nothingness in the empty corner that made her giggle.

In that ungodly hour, the smokey smell, which was never there at any other time, would resurface. I’d stopped checking under Kelsey’s pillow for a hidden pack of Marlboros when it finally hit me what was really going on.

For the past eight months, my husband, myself, and our two young daughters have been staying at my in-laws’ house. My husband was relocated back to his hometown…