Thursday, 21 April 2011

The Active Grandmother and how to be kept occupied

Becoming accustomed to my present condition is a lumpy and bumpy process. It jerks and lurches. Last week I was starting to feel as though some degree of recovery was possible. But the nature of things is that that wild lurching in all directions happens.

My daughter and granddaughter have been with me, and that has been good. I cared for my granddaughter while her mother went off for a couple of days hard work. I worked hard myself, as it is years since I did a couple of days of child-minding all by myself, and it must be admitted that I am rather out of practice. Living with an elderly husband, whose tolerance for small children not biologically related to him was, shall we say, minimal, did not help. He growled at them.  However, she is a dear little girl and I dote upon her, and she loves me. She loves her pretty dresses, and swirls around in skirts, loves purple and pink, and dress-ups and decorations in general. Eventually I may manage to persuade her that it is not necessary to be a princess or a fairy or to wear pink in order to be feminine. Softly softly catchee monkey.

We went out for coffee and gelato each day (we are now regular customers), and went to the park, and read stories, and she watched TV and DVDs. Intermittently I struggled with the vicissitudes of my present existence, but it was good to abandon them in favour of a rich fantasy life and for some dedicated grandmothering. We played Snap, she became a playful kitten and did a lot of miaowing, drew quite a lot and made things out of plasticine. In fact there are plenty of bits of plasticine here, there and everywhere. The cushions are all over the place, and nothing stayed tidy. She got up before me and helped herself to Coco Pops without milk, and generally managed to get through an astounding quantity of food.

I never really believed that my kids would like anything I had taken a while to get to enjoy myself, but unlike my fussy grandsons, who are carbohydrate junkies, my granddaughter and her brother are remarkably adventurous eaters. My grandson decided from a very young age that if someone else were eating something, it must be good, and he was entitled to his fair share. My granddaughter is pretty good too, and, in addition to sushi, cutlets and chicken legs, polished off large quantities of raw vegetables: carrots, celery, capsicum, snow peas, beans, cucumber, tomatoes, broccoli, although she totally avoids potatoes. I was impressed. Having watched my mother diligently boiling and then mashing vegetables for the successive babies, and never believing that it was in any way palatable, I was a lot less adventurous in what I offered my own children. It has to be said that serving up raw vegetables for the evening meal is a remarkably labour saving method of feeding children.

I read her stories, and we investigated what she has been learning at school, and I am very impressed. She certainly understands what she is doing and learning, and wants to talk about it. She has twouble pwonouncing her Rs, and so I wead her Margaret Atwood's book Rude Ramsay and the Roaring Radishes, and last night we did lots of pwacticing of words starting with R and she wepeated words like red, run, river, rabbit, rodent, rose, radish, ridiculous, rubbish, rifle, racing, and rhubarb weally vewy well. She knows how to do it now, and knows she knows. And her mother and I are teaching her to say So and So and I instead of Me and So and So. Never let a chance go by.

She missed her mother, though, and was very glad to have her back yesterday evening. So was I. They have gone home, but are coming back on Friday and we will have Easter together. That will be nice. Tomorrow I buy Hot Cross Buns. I am a purist. I don't eat Hot Cross buns before Good Friday. Standards must be upheld.


Anonymous said...

That sounds so lovely! I laughed at your paragraph of bad rs. It's good that you were able to practise together without your granddaughter becoming upset, as can happen often with children with speech problems.

I also am looking forward to my first hot cross buns of the year tomorrow. Nothing is better for breakfast on Good Friday.

Pam said...

How lovely! Glad you had something happy in your life. She sounds lovely.

VioletSky said...

the magic of grandchildren!