Tag: babies

Why I didn’t get my grandkids anything for Christmas

Yes, you read that right. I didn’t get the grands anything for Christmas. Not even a candy cane. First year ever. Lack of funds was only one of the reasons — I mean, seriously — there’s nine of ’em and at $20 a piece, that’s a good chunk out of a tight budget.

I worked the numbers every which way I could, $20 for those eight years-old and over, $10 for the younger ones. But then the younger ones’ options were slim at $10 or under. I considered going to the dollar store or the one-step up, Five and Under store, but then thought…why am I throwing even a dollar away for something that’s going to break, tear up, get lost before the end of the day?

Then I started hearing bits and pieces of what the kids were getting from their parents, other grandparents, and that jolly ol’ elf. After spending a chunk of back-breaking time every week day picking up pieces of play castles, toy cars, microscopic swords and tea cups, Barbie shoes and dresses, stuffed animals ranging in size from the hand held to the giant furry things…I decided there wasn’t a darn thing they needed coming from me that would come from a store.

So I decided to give each one, individually, my time.

I know — being with them sometimes 12-hours a day seems they have enough of my time. But honestly, they don’t. They don’t have me. They have grandma the waitress — which I’m quite good at if I do say so myself — I can balance six plates filled with PBJs on both arms and only drop the occasional chip. They have grandma the disciplinarian — which I’m also very good at. I get tickled at people who say they could never spank their precious little grand. Spend the amount of everyday, regular ol’ time with them that I do and see if you change your mind.  They get grandma the diaper changer or bottom wiper or nose wiper or pick me up from school taxi cab.Shaw Photography Group

But they don’t get grandma.

So my gift to them is my uninterrupted time and my full attention. One at a time. One on one. Emma’s looking forward to a mani/pedi, Landon, a movie, Ava, maybe one of those painting dates…whatever they want to do (within reason — yes, I’m still the grandma that puts limits on things). Even the little ones. A picnic at the park sounds good to me. It may take half the year to get these Christmas presents delivered, but I’m looking forward to each one of them.

 

A day at the park

Friday was the last day of summer vacation around here. Kids start back to school tomorrow. So Friday, Nina and I loaded up all the young ones, packed snack bags and juice boxes and headed to the park. Yeah. It takes two vehicles. Five car seats.

But anyway, so we get to the park and unload everyone and the fun begins. Actually it wasn’t that bad with the older ones (Landon, his friend Tyler, Emma, Ava, Paisley) because they don’t need someone to push them on the swings. And even Aiden and Ivy played super well together. No fights. No pouting. A lot of “Iby! Ballo me!” from Aiden and “A – come hera naw!” We’re pretty sure Ivy gets that Cajun accent from her PawPaw David who spent part of his childhood in Cajun country. Of course David doesn’t speak with a Cajun accent and Ivy doesn’t watch Swamp People so who knows.

At one point Aiden grabs my hand and excitedly tells me to come watch. He leads me to the BIG slide. You know the one three stories high encased in a bending, twisting tube? Yeah, that one. Of course my natural thought is that he’s going to slide and I’m going to have a heart attack. But noooo. He climbs up on the end of it and climbs up the slide like a monkey, disappearing inside the tube thingy and then popping out at the top. Yeah. I might have clapped. I’m not sure. You lose thought processing ability after holding your breath so long.

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Fun for All playground at Hagan Stone Park

So, this playground is massive and steel grid-like walkways connect one play station to another. Of course because of the angle of the slides, the walkways angle upwards—slightly. Our poor little Ireland must have thought it was something like 180 degree angle because she was terrified to walk on them. She held onto the handrail until her pudgy little knuckles were white. Bright white. While holding on to the handrail with a death grip, she shuffled her little feet along at a pace similar to a snail’s. Only slower. She was, however, very happy grounded so her day at the park wasn’t a total traumatizing event.

Back to the grid-like walkways. Remember, this playground is massive. There are three walkways that intersect and the center actually forms a triangle. You’re not supposed to play in the triangle. I mean, I didn’t see a sign or anything saying “Stay Out” and apparently neither did Casey.

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Yes. You are seeing right. Casey going where no man has gone before.

So I’m trying to inch Ireland along on the walkway and look over and Casey’s in the center of the triangle. And won’t come out. Nina’s on the side trying to coax him over to the side where she can grab him. He’s having fun running in circles. Nina’s running alongside the outside yelling for him to come to her. He’s running around having fun. I think, I’m not sure, Nina may have dropped to her hands and knees and tried wedging herself under the walkway like her son did. I’m kinda laughing. Okay, I’m about to pee in my hands. And then…I think Nina and I spotted it at the same time…the empty, shriveled up CapriSun on the ground. With the straw sticking out. With random germs  all over it.

Imagine those old slow motion videos where people move at about the same pace as Ireland on an elevated walkway. The outstretched hand, mouth slowly opening shouting “NOOOOOOOOOOOooooooooo”

Casey had his mouth washed out with soap before he can even talk.

 

Number Nine is a horder

Granddaughter Ireland (number nine, the baby, the last one – thank God!) has some…strange habits. One being she likes to carry stuff. I’m not talking about the way babies insist on having a cookie for each hand. This goes beyond that.

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Note the wallet and bear in her right hand…

Ireland not only wants a cookie for each hand, she’ll also try and carry a necklace, a bracelet, a shoe, a doll, a toy car, her blanket, Casey’s blanket, a pack of fruit snacks, and her or Ivy’s juice cup (depending on which one actually has juice). Sometimes she’ll add the remote and perhaps a book to the collection.

Of course the simple solution would be to help her put everything in her neat little Dora the Explorer backpack. Not. Either one of two things will happen. 1) she gets this wide-eyed look of sheer horror on her face because you’re taking her stuff, or 2) she carries the backpack in her hand rather than on her back and continues to gather stuff in the other hand like a squirrel storing nuts for the winter.

IrelandBW

Sweet little horder Ireland

Every once in a while Casey will toddle over and take a peek at what all she has in her hands. Again with the look of sheer horror. She can’t defend herself against an oncoming attempt at thievery —both hands are full. Why she’d have to put something down to protect her stuff and she sure as shootin’ ain’t going to do that!

And don’t even try to take the remote from her if it’s her remote holding day. Just suck it up and try to find enjoyment in Team Umizommi or Max & Rudy. Or get up and manually change the channel.  She won’t mind. She has no interest in the function of the remote. She just wants to carry it around.

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