GRANDAD’S BLOG – EXTREME GRANDPARENTING
Grandparenting is a very committed profession and not for lightweights. On Tuesday Mamma and me started a marathon session of child minding starting at 1.00pm, Tuesday afternoon and ending at 6.00pm Wednesday evening. Yes, 30 whole hours, nonstop.
Our daughter, who lives at Newark and is a school teacher, had her school’s parents’ evening on Tuesday evening. As things always the case, our son in law was away on a three week course for work. So we stepped in to chid mind grandchildren, Freya aged 5 and George aged 21 months.
However, those who regularly read George’s Blog know only too well it is not a case of us child minding, more Freya and George grandparent minding.
As usual with childminding there were complications. On Tuesdays from 1.00pm we look after our other daughter and son in law’s children Ewan aged 3 years old, all afternoon and 5 year old Rory from when he comes home from school until mum, but usually dad gets home from work.
An additional problem is I am not allowed to drive due to a stroke I had 12 years ago which took half my eye sight.
So Mamma drove to Newark to pick up Freya from school and George from nursery whilst the boys, granddad minded me until their dad came home.
I then had a two and a half hour journey walking and by train getting to Newark just before 9.00pm.
Freya was ultra excited that Mamma and Grandad were having a sleep over at her house. She was so frustrated, though, that Grandad was taking so long to get to her house. Mamma let her stay up until I got there. Not that she would have slept if she’d have gone to bed, anyway.
Mamma kept a watchful eye as an over excited Freya ran down the pavement in pyjamas and slippers to meet me.
I was to sleep on the settee all night and Freya made a pact with me that whichever one of us woke first should tiptoe and quietly wake the other.
At 6.30am next morning I was awoken by a very excited little girl whispering in my ear “Grandad, wake up.”
So far George has not come up in this saga, but that’s because he likes to tell his own story in his blog.
Myself and Freya had this major Granddaughter/Grandad project going on. We had made a scrapbook of photographs from her mum’s phone all about what she had done in her half term holiday. The book was for ‘Show and Tell’ at school. But on ‘Show and Tell’ Day it snowed and there was a Snow Day, so ‘Show and Tell’ was postponed until this coming Friday.
Freya wanted to add photographs of her Snow Day to her scrapbook. She chose the photos from mum’s phone. Mum sent them to me. Apparently it is more economical to use Grandad’s printer, ink, paper and time.
There were 87 photographs. I edited them down to 60.
We worked tirelessly from 7.00am cutting out photos and sticking them in the scrapbook, until Freya exhausted, said “ Grandad, you’ve printed far too many photographs.”
I felt duly reprimanded and shipped her and Mamma off to school.
I went to fetch her back from school at the end of the day. It was an event that left me overjoyed that I had not lost the capability of being told off by the teacher.
“I’m picking up Freya.” I told the teacher.
She said something and pointed inside the classroom. I did not hear what she said. I am very deaf and only had one hearing aid working.
I assumed Freya wanted to show me her classroom. I excitedly rushed into school behind the teacher.
The teacher turned on her heel and assertively said:
“No! No! Freya’s gone to the toilet. You must wait outside for her!”
Yes Miss! Sorry Miss!
In those few words she wiped 60 odd years from my life. I was 5 years old again with a face glowing red with embarrassment.
Walking home from school is always a real adventure topped with:
“Can we go to the shop, Grandad?”
Of course. You see, I am Freya’s Grandad, the granter of wishes. Freya knows exactly what she wants: sweets, a packet of Snaps for her and one for George and a Mr Maker comic, or as she corrects me a Mr Maker magazine. The weather is obviously still extremely cold as that is normally topped with an ice cream. But not today.
Mum reported back that night that Freya said her extreme tiredness was due to Grandad tiring her out and that Grandad was her best friend.
No, that must be true, there was no way I bought her friendship!