How Soon Before You Ditch The Plan?

Entry #3 of Grandma In Charge. It is now Monday (Memorial Day), the beginning of our third All Home All Day stint. As I have shared in the first two posts regarding this visit with my 7 and 5 year old grandchildren, I have moved through anxiety…on to organization…and now I’m ready to submit. Let me share the adventures of the last two days.

Planning is Great Until…

I’m a planner. I like to know what we’re going to do with our time. That way I can organize and step through the day with a sense of focus. So we started by working together, the kids and I, to develop a list of all things fun to do while Grandma was here. The list included places to go (restaurants mostly) and activities that sounded like fun.

We’ve made it to three of the five restaurants in two days. That speaks to how much I don’t like to cook and how much we really needed to get out of the house! Two of the restaurants were free meals for the kids from places that had a great marketing technique: Give the kids a free meal. Make the deal good for only three days. Believe that the adult(s) who bring them will feel obligated to buy a meal and a drink (probably alcohol). This is one of Stephen Covey’s 7 Habits – Win Win.

So, first place was a pizza place and second place a pasta place. Both times the kids ordered pizza. I scrapped some vegetables off my salad so I could say they had vegetables with their meal and at one place they got a little teeny tiny cup of cut up melon and pineapple which they put on their pizza for that tropical effect. So I can say they also had fruit with a vacation theme.

Who Says Screen Time Is Bad?

We shot through the first day’s activities in less than an hour so that meant I needed to improvise or steal activities from day two. At a certain point, I just gave up and said, “Please just get your IPAD!

Still, feeling a bit like I’d lost the Limit Screen Time battle, I decided we just needed more supplies. We marched through Michael’s on a mission to find just the right paints, paint brushes, and paper. We even added some STEM activity kits that were on sale. This ought to inspire creativity and get their minds buzzing!

When we got home, I located a giant drop cloth and got everything ready for the next day. I was impressing myself with my renewed planning and organization. The kids finished their baths and came down to see the “art table” and wanted to get started right away…that night. I thought I had hit a homerun. Look at this! This is amazing! They are going to love this tomorrow.

Well, the next day, the “art table” sat unused…like a “been there, done that” station. It sat abandoned most of the day. I had to think quick. Oh, wait! Those cardboard boxes! We need to make a clubhouse or something out of those!

I’m sure mom and dad will be super impressed with how we took over the front entrance.

This lasted a solid 30 minutes, I think! We didn’t make it to lunch time with good quality creativity. I was defeated…but then…

“If You Build It, They Will Come”

Remember that line from the movie Field of Dreams? I just needed to believe. I just needed to step back and let boredom set in. It was then that they rediscovered the “Art Table”. And tah-dah!

The Chef Hat was a nice extra!
Detail started to pour out from the 7 year old.
And the comic book emerged
Turns out that Toot is Grandma!!!!

All Well Laid Plans Need To Flex!

I have learned or relearned a simple thing. I can put a ton of time and effort into coming up with great plans. I have to learn to not be disappointed when the plans don’t go as I’d thought. Instead, I need step back, relax, and let things just happen. I’ve laid out the options. Now I need to just watch as they exercise their brains.

So, this morning, the 7 year old says, “Grandma, what should we do today?” And now I say, “I don’t know. You tell me.”