This article brings two analytic perspectives to bear on temporal aspects of relations to children's children. The first, which we call processual time, is the long-term, ‘experience-distant’, view of household developmental cycles over a historical period. Beginning with this approach, we describe the arrangements of family and marriage that provide the framework for people's relations to the children of their sons and of their daughters in Bunyole County, eastern Uganda. Household survey material collected over thirty years in one village shows an increase in the number of grandchildren being cared for, as expected in an era when parents are dying of AIDS. However, it also qualifies the hegemonic historical narrative of AIDS by showing that other factors have been and still are at work in influencing the patterns of caring for grandchildren. The second analytical perspective is that of the intersubjective time of shared biographies and common experience. The emphasis here is on the ‘experience-near’ qualities and practice of relatedness as they are lived and talked about in the lifeworlds of social actors. They are evident in the dyadic relations between grandparents and grandchildren and also in the ways that these relations are embedded in other connections to children and in-laws. When grandparents take on the care of a daughter's children, they are mindful of the past, present and future of her relation to her husband and his family. The concept of ‘intersubjective time’ points to the intertwining of the lives of three generations and provides a rich complement to the more abstract concern with developmental cycles and historical processes.