I must admit becoming a grandma was not top of my wish list and I entered the new role kicking and screaming. My years of Sunday lunch sex educational talks came shattering around my ankles one eventful Mothering Sunday in March 2011. My daughter wasn’t terribly young (22) and she was in, what could have been described, as an OK relationship (the kind young people seem to have nowadays all text and six packs?) but it just didn’t feel right, I was far too young to be a grandma! Oh, I tried to fight it and negotiate trendy names such as Mamon or Memie but my dear daughter was insistent. So whether I like it or not I am a GRANDMA! And do you know, a year on, I am secretly quite enjoying it.
I was privileged enough to be invited to participate in my grandson’s arrival, with the important and very vital role of chief supplier of energy giving Malteser’s. Witnessing Elliot’s arrival, which in my opinion, my beautiful youngest daughter made look far too easy and stress free than I remember, filled me with pride and suddenly my new acquired title faded into insignificance.
So today, a year and a bit later I am looking forward to another Grandma (and special youngest daughter) day. I am fortunate enough to have Jem living only about 15 mins drive away, so these visits can be as frequent as we all desire, but we usually manage to catch up weekly or near enough. Jem is an excellent mum and Elliot a perfect bundle of joy, who can’t help but bring laughter and happiness into a home. Never complaining about being guided away from the wood burning stove, low shelving, tippy-up coffee tables and numerous other baby hazards. We are armed with sheds full of suitable baby attire brought out upon arrival. high chair, pushchair, playpen, travel cot, toys, dogcart, walkers etc all easily put out of sight again as the home is quickly retuned back to a baby free zone. Being a Grandma is like having all the good bits of having a baby, minus most of the hard work. Jem appreciate’s the break and Grandpa and I get some quality play time.
Times have changed, so it’s sometimes hard to keep up with the latest advice and trends for baby rearing, but the good old stalwarts (is that a real word?) remain. A bath in the washing up bowl with lots of bubbles, sitting in the garden with a tray full of Rice Krispies to throw, eat squash and added to ice-cream, paint with. Washing line, kitchen utensil mobiles and saucepan drums. This baby navigates the modern world of FaceTime iPad screens as we wave goodnight from our separate locations with traditional family values and perhaps, rather antiquated entertainment solutions, with ease. My lovely daughter has succumb to the realisation that expensive brand new plastic gadgets and toys do not equate to being the yummiest mummy in town and that there is no substitute for mummy or indeed grandma and grandpa TIME. The most precious, scarce and undervalued ( in my humble opinion) resource of all.
We were lucky enough to have Jem and Elliot live with us for a few weeks, providing great learning and bonding experiences and a new found respect for each other. Ooh she rightly worries about the rusty nail on the dogcart, and that eating grass and climbing the wrong way down from the sofa may be a little hazardous but this young chap is building up resilience as he discovers the challenges of his external environment, so far with very few disastrous consequences that haven’t been easily solved with a warm wet flannel and a hidden milky bar (whoops sorry all avid blog reading health visitor colleagues).
So today will be fun, steroids should keep tiredness at bay and with good planning the wood burning Rayburn should cook an excellent family roast. With a bit of luck the weather will allow for a short country dog / baby walking stroll and you never know I think we may be privileged enough today to witness Elliot take his first steps so watch this space for breaking news.
PS. Somehow yesterday I missed out on the fact that it was World Cancer Day, however I do think my blog was most appropriate for that. To find out more please go to: http://www.worldcancerday.org/