Sunday, 5 July 2009

MM - What happens at Grandma's stays at Grandma's

OK. Not so much. I have to laud our visit on Monday Morning.
There are guests - and there is family. We had so much fun as a family! I had forgotten about the joys of a simple thing like a phone cord. MTM is quiet.

We are so grateful to have had our daughter (AKA - 'Mom') and granddaughter visit for 5 days. (We call her Mom because she is much tidier than I am. When she would come home on co-op placements she would reorganize the Tupperware drawer and when she leaves the cottage it is always much cleaner than when she found it!)

Then, our granddaughter was with us for two days while her parents went out to play with their friends. They went to a friend's wedding in another city. Such lovely young people, who share their dating, engagement, wedding, pregnancy and baby passages, as well as their baby clothes and toys!

Josephine, 18 months, loves to tidy, too. She helped me hang up yawny (laundry), and handed me the clothes pins, one after another. Then she counted them as she put them on the deck, and that was fun, too.

Her day care provider has taught her meh mou (thank you), and her MaMa taught her peas (please). She always pairs the sign for it, and uses it faithfully. We have a sign she uses for moh? (more?), which makes life easier, especially for those unfamiliar with baby talk or for the hard of hearing!

At this point, she cannot say /R/, or /L/, nor can she manage the more complicated /TH/, or /ST/ sounds. It makes life so much fun. Today, I walk into a room and see her kayon (crayon) and papuh (paper), or look out the door and hear her say 'sigh? (Can we go outside? peas, peas, and then attempt to put on her shoes.) I should tidy up, but it is lovely to see the artifacts of a great visit.

She is managing some two-word (telegraphic) sentences, Gampa, come! I had totally forgotten all this. After three children, and a B.A. in ECE, I certainly heard it, and studied speech and language development. I had made a cassette tape of my daughter's vocalizations as she grew up. Unfortunately, it was overdubbed and lost.

My husband said, "No wonder people have babies at an early age."

I am so tired. We played puzzles, and school bus -both purchased from local artisans at the Gravenhurst Market. Josephine named one passenger a 'man', another a 'lady', a baby was on board, too.

I had forgotten about diapers that seem to duplicate themselves in the dark. And the constant supervision. We have bugs, cats, stuff everywhere and a place suited to adults, not children. We were vigilant.

We took several walks 'side to see ducks, boats, trains. We spotted a hummer (hummingbird), and many bees (any and all bugs).

We found fower (flowers), sticks and a hatched spring peeper. I showed her the peeper tadpoles down in the frog pond. Their little arms and legs are so cute as they develop. She wanted to swim in the pond, I dissuaded her! (Both cold and muddy!)

The train (over and beyond in the forest) was out of sight. But she was pretending to pull the whistle, "Woo-woo!", recognizing the sound.

By the end of the 5 days she learned to name the cats: Manee (Mitzi), Say-ee (Sady), and Awiveuh (Oliver). Oliver accompanied us into our trip in the back in the garage. (He is always hopeful for food.)

What is really great is that MaMa and PaPa had taught Josephine the concept of PARTY! She could process this concept, since they had actually attended a party. They had had a block party the week before, and they taught her to raise her arms and shake her hands and say, "Party!" When Josephine asked where her MaMa was (at 11:00 p.m., 3:00 a.m. and 6:15!)) I raised my hands and said, "Party!"

It was so funny but it really worked. She was having bad dreams, methinks, and wanting MaMa. What a precious girl. It is so good for parents to have adult & couple time. They have regular dates.

I had a few stickers, but also had a large Canada Post roll of tape with our Canadian flag. They make lovely 'stickers' and were really cheap. We put them on her arms, sleep toys and GR & GR's arms, too.

The car ride was fun. It was two hours and she emptied her diaper bag, Grandma put a diaper on her head, we told her she was going home, and all was well with the world. We read her books, played peek with my scarf, counted fingers and toes ( 1 - 2 - fwee - fibe - seben!) and ate a muffin, drank water from the sippy cup and ate more Arrowroot cookies than she should have. BUT SHE WAS SOOOOO HAPPY! (What happens at GR - stays at GR! Our car still counts)

We all met at noon. We drove her to a meeting spot south, since home is east and had a fun lunch.

But I am so tired. I should have been prepared. I have a B.Ed., and an M.Ed. in Curriculum but, like the pains of childbirth, memories and lessons fade in a middle-aged brain.

In the meantime...there are lessons:
Be prepared.
Buy a few essential things. The dollar store is a great spot.
Babyproof the joint - you don't want to spend your visit saying, "No, don't touch!"
Be vigilant. There is much danger and kids can drown in a few cm of water. The land is uneven, with roots and rocks and weeds that get caught in baby sandals! (I twisted my ankle last week!)

Shopping list:

  • Age appropriate puzzles. Mine were not, but it is fun playing with the pieces.
  • A pretend phone
  • A great MANY stickers. REALLY! They love them. Or Post-its. Easy to remove, cheap and fun!

  • Baby cereal
  • Bananas
  • Blocks or get some leftover wood and sand it well.
  • Bug bite medication for children.
  • Baby aspirin. (Caitlin had packed these in the diaper bag!)
  • Books

  • CDs with kid songs
  • Cookies
  • Cooler with snacks for the car
  • Crayons and pads of paper
  • Crackers

The sounds and sights of Muskoka from a fresh and young point of view!

Dancing with grandma


Cloudia said...

a delight!!


Comfort Spiral

George said...

It sounds as if you had a wonderful visit from your granddaughter, but isn't it nice that they go home and let us 'senior citizens' catch our breath?

Jenn Jilks said...

Oh, George. So true! I am exhausted! I had forgotten how hard it is to be 'on alert' all day. You hear a bang and wonder what happened.

Barrie said...

Looks as though a great, albeit tiring!, time was had! I remember crawling (literally!) around the house, trying to see what needed to be babyproofed from that vantage point.

Jenn Jilks said...

Barrie, I never thought of that - crawling around at kid level! We certainly played on the floor a lot, and it was so much fun. Good idea.

An Unconventional Mummy said...

She's sooooo cute....but doesn't look exhausting. Can appearances be deceiving ?
I'm looking forward to becoming a g-ma in about a month. :)