Days With Grandma Returns

Watch out! This Grandma’s back in business. The antics will continue with the newest baby in the family. Stay tuned.

January 14, 2017

Life Reset

It’s been a while since I’ve written. I had believed that my days with my grandson would last until he went off to school.  I had four or five good years, I thought.  Then I found out that he was about to become a big brother and my heart exploded.  My contract was sure to be extended!

Instead, “Days With Grandma” stopped; moved away.

Days are now visits, some longer than others but, all of them, short. Happiness fills those visits but I’m constantly reminded that it’s a visit.  It will end. So, I’ve struggled with writing about the joy that truly fills me each time. Visits are different.  I’m a guest…a special guest for sure, but none the less a brief diversion from the new routine. And so I watch as he shows me his new skills; running, climbing, building.  I see that he has embraced other little people as well;  thrilled to have others his size to run and climb and build with too.  He talks and sings now. Words spill freely from his consciousness. How did he learn all of that?  Laughter erupts often as he shares his unique view of the world.  One day, he described his throat as a drain which was super cute and logical so why did it surprise me when he also said that he had a “poop drain”?  Logical, lovable, growing up connections.

He’s now a big brother.  He has a little sister.  I enjoy my minutes with her but I have to admit, I don’t know her as well. I haven’t watched her every movement from the day she was born.  Our relationship has been a Facetime connection.  Every time I visit, she looks at me, initially, as a stranger.  During the visit, I hold her, rock her, play with her, and love her.  But, I don’t have stories to write about her. Her brother commands more attention.  She, quietly, observes his antics and throws out big beautiful smiles when we remember that she’s there too.  I am determined to visit often so she knows me, truly know me. But, I know it will always be different.

Days With Grandma Returns

Life goes on.  Right?  Time changes things.  I adjust.

And then, I learn there’s a new baby on the way.  This baby lives three blocks from me. I’m about to be a Grandma again!   Can I help with childcare?  Are you kidding me?

Yes.  Yes.  Yes. 

My Grandma duty started this week!  This time, I tell myself, “Just remember…

Enjoy the moment…the moment.

I Will Always Carry You

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In the beginning,
I didn’t know
just how much I’d love
watching you grow?

In the beginning
I just knew
I wanted you to know me
and me to know you.

So, in the beginning
I carried you and danced around, wild and free.
And then one day, my heart skipped a beat
because, you…you smiled up at me.

Well, time goes by so fast,and every day, you just grew and grew
First you crawled and then you walked.
I had to hurry to keep up with you.

You talk so much now
and you try to be a big boy too
but when you grow tired and reach up to me.
I can’t resist, when you say, “Carry you.”

The words are not quite right yet
Which makes it all so dear.
I just reach down and pick you up.
My heart melts as I hold you near.

Now you have a baby sister;
someone new for me to carry when she cries.
Even though it’s been just a few days,
she looks right at me with trusting eyes.

A little boy and now a baby girl;
I can feel my heart expand.
It just so happens, apparently,
I have plenty of love on hand.

I want to rock and sing to this new baby girl
and, with you, I want to play and play.
But time is passing and my eyes tear up.
Grandma’s visit will end soon. I now live far away.

But there’s a special place
for my little man and now his baby sister too.
It’s this great big place inside my heart,
Where I will always carry you.

Edges Of A Day

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My job, right now, is to take the sharpness off the edges of each day.

That’s what I wrote in my journal this morning.

Grandma’s job, when a new baby is born, is to be there; to just be there.

I try to remember back when my second child was born.  Who helped me?  My mom had died earlier that year.  Still, I would not have reached out to her for help.  She told me with my first “I raised my kids.  I don’t want to raise your’s.”  I am a different kind of grandma.

I am here…

This grandma learned, early on, that she needed to stay physically fit to keep up with growing baby number one. And, now that baby is two years old and we play together in bouncy houses and he challenges me to races in the hallway. “Run, grandma, run.  Hop, grandma, hop. Roll, grandma, roll”.  I get quite a workout from my little trainer.

I am here… to keep him busy while mama cares of the new baby.

The new baby had a need for doctor visits.  Something’s not right.  Mama and daddy are emotional and stressed.

I am here… to listen and encourage.  “Trust that everything will be ok.  Trust.”

Big brother doesn’t understand why things are different now.  “Daddy, play!”  Daddy is busy trying to help mama.  Big brother gets louder and louder.

I am here… to give him another option besides screaming.

I try to remember how I did it when my two girls were little.  How did I cope with the crying, the noise, the needs of two babies, and mountains of cloth diapers?  How did I do it alone?

This grandma raised her children but has more to give.

I am here… to take the sharpness off the edges of the day.

Sweet Memories

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Runny nose,
Running feet.
Little boy.
So,
So,
Sweet.

Pushing trucks,
Playing in sand.
Fingerprints left by
His
Little
Hand.

Happy chatter,
Singing songs.
Happy boy,
All
Day
Long.

Home filled.
So much noise!
Watch your step!
So
Many
Toys!

New baby!
Little sister.
Gentle touch.
Softly,
Kiss
Her.

Sun sets.
Another day.
Tears fall.
No
Daddy.
Play!

Sweet Moments
Flying by.
Cherished memories.
Make
Me
Cry!

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Sensory Play Gone Wild

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It started out perfect

A great way to play.

Daddy thought you’d like pushing your tractors

Through some rice in a tray.

It was  kind of fun.

You were enjoying this play

But then somehow…

Some of the rice got away!

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“It’s ok,” Grandma said,

“it won’t hurt a thing.”

And with that you gathered up some more

And gave it a good FLING!

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“No, No, No!” Grandma shrieked

That’s not what we do.

And just like that, you reached for

Handful, number two!

Well, Grandma put a stop

To this thing called “sensory play”

Then got out the broom and dustpan

And made you sweep the mess away.

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Well, later that day

Grandma had a change of heart

She got out the tray again and thought

We’ll give this “sensory play” thing another start.

But once again, within seconds

Or maybe a wee bit more

Handfuls of rice starting

Bouncing off the floor!

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This time, Grandma just studied

This act of simple joy.

The bouncing beads of rice

Seemed to be better than any toy!

You, finally, stood up

It seemed you were done with this explore.

But, oh no,  you weren’t satisfied

Until every last bit was on the floor.

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In fact, it seemed like all that rice

Had just been in your way.

What you really wanted was

To crawl inside that tray!

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Strawberry Fields, Forever!

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We’re going for a ride on a wagon, Little Man!

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I don’t want to go for a ride on a wagon.  I want to walk!

IMG_8585Look, there’s a tractor.  Remember the Barefoot Books song?  “Riding my tractor down a bumpy road.  In the trailer, there’s a heavy load…”  Remember that song?

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Yes, and the farmer goes over a bump and all the animals fall out!  I remember!

Don’t worry Little Man, we’ll hold on tight.

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And just like that, we’re here.  Look, there are strawberries everywhere!

You can help pick them and put them in our baskets.

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Yea, but look!  There goes another tractor!

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Ok, now what am I supposed to do?

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Hmmm, these taste just like the strawberries we have at home.

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Actually…they might be just a little bit better.

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I LOVE these strawberries!

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Ok, now what was I supposed to do?  I’m full.

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You’re supposed to stay here and help us pick berries to take home.

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Alright, but just for a little while, ok?

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There, that looks like enough.  See you later.

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Hey, where are you guys?

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Ah, there you are.

What?  We have to pick more?

I’m getting kind of tired you know.

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Well, finally!  You can carry the berries, ok?  I’ll just walk on ahead.

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Umm, excuse me!  You’re in my way!

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Nice shirt, though!

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Did you have a good time, little man?

Yea, but mom, I don’t want to ride on that wagon!

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But remember the tractor?

I remember the tractor!

Can’t we just walk?

Adventures Right Outside My Door

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The sun is out.  It’s a beautiful day.  Who says that a day’s event has to cost money?  Instead, you look at me and make the back up sound of a construction vehicle.  It’s “beep-beep-beep” but you make the sound with your mouth closed.

“Oh, you want to go to the construction site today?”  You nod, “Yes”.  It’s your favorite place right now; so many things to point to. So, that’s a plan.

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It’s a busy place this morning.  Lots of action.

“That’s a forklift, little man.  See how easy it is to lift things that are heavy?”

IMG_8408“Look at how high it can go!”

Oops!  Distracted by a siren…

IMG_8409Ambulance going by.

Now, back to the business of construction.

IMG_8410“Do you see those men way up high?  Hmmm, can’t tell what they’re doing but it must be important otherwise why would they be in that bucket?”

“Let’s go to the other side of the project and see what we can see.”

IMG_8411 You have the cutest little gasp!  You see a digger just like your’s!  Oh my gosh!

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And then a cement truck and another forklift.

Every machine is busy. AND LOUD!

You add to the noise by making your own motor sounds and that back up “Beep-Beep-Beep”.

As long as they kept busy, you were entertained.IMG_8415 IMG_8417

Placing a steel beam…welding…and then more heavy lifting…so much to look at…so much to see.

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It was hard to see through the fence and around the posts.

Sometimes, that frustrated you!

But pretty soon you could see the forklift carry away the heaviest load of all.

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And then you waved good-bye as it drove away.

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Time to head home, but with lots of stops to say good-bye for the day.

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One more look at the men up high.  Now, they’re doing something but we still can’t tell what.

Then we counted the number of floors so far.

And then we headed home.

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But not before we stopped to look at the motorcycle.

The best yet, though was when we walked up to a restaurant and you made the sign for “eat”.

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Now, that’s impressive.  “Mama and Daddy take you this restaurant, don’t they?”  And…you’re probably hungry.

Before we leave, we have to stop and see the fountain and touch the evergreens – it’s tradition.

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Then we turned the corner, the last stretch till we reach home, and what do we see?

IMG_8443IMG_8440 Window Washers!

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Well, what a day!

So, first we watched them from the outside…

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And then….we got to watch them from the inside!

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I mean, really!  Days with Grandma are full of adventure.  One would have thought I planned all of this.

Going To The Zoo, Zoo, Zoo

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It’s Auntie Friday and she wants to take you to the zoo.  Luckily, I got to tag along. Now, this is how a 20 month old takes on the zoo.

IMG_8264  First of all, you wanted out of your stroller. So, it was time to zip up the jacket.  It was a little chilly.  And then…

IMG_8265 IMG_8266 IMG_8268  You were off!  Like an uncaged animal.  🙂

So you had to be corralled.

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Ahh…that’s better.

Man, you look so big!  When did that happen?

Now, the zoo is full of animals but, truthfully, you were more interested in walking and climbing and taking on that big steering wheel.

IMG_8275 IMG_8276 IMG_8277  Who needs animals?

But, then there was a bird show and Auntie E knew that the show included an owl (hoo-hoo).  You would like that, right?

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You did, indeed, like the owl but there were sooooo many other birds…I mean, the show lasted a whole 15 minutes!  Really?  That was way too long to sit. So, luckily, Auntie E had brought along a snack.  With a few small outbursts and consuming most of your lunch, you made it through the show.

Now, it was time to actually check out the big animals, but you were already getting tired.  Still, we tried.

IMG_8304 IMG_8308 IMG_8307 Partly, you were trying to see and partly you were more interested in sleeping. Still, we made it to the giraffes.

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And that was that.  You were done.  It had been an hour after all!  Time to call it a day.

IMG_8311Maybe next time, we’ll actually make it into a building.  Oh little man, don’t grow up too fast.  We can take our time.

Time To Get Dirty!

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Time to plant some flowers, little man.

You can help.

At least, that’s the plan.

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I can dig, Grandma,

just like you.

You have a shovel

and I have one too.

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Oh, wait, this is a little path

that must be meant for me.

I can walk right through it.

Check this out Grandma.  Can you see?

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Do you see this fence

on the other side?

It doesn’t come down.

Trust me, I tried!

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Wait, I hear something.

What’s that going by?

That’s a helicopter, little man.

Wow, I wish I could fly.

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Ok, Grandma, I’m done with the dirt

and I’m getting kinda hot.

But, we have to water the flowers first.

Actually we have to water them a lot!

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Oh-oh, Grandma,

I don’t think I understood.

But, my  watering can is empty now.

Is that good?

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Can we be done now, Grandma

or is there more to do?

Here, I picked up this dirt

for you.