Friday, 18 July 2014

2nd Childhood? I hope not.

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Last week I spent two days at my daughter's house as a favor, looking after my 6 year-old grandson and his little sister, 3, so that my daughter could enjoy a well-deserved short break away with her husband.  Did I forget to mention the deal also included their bouncy, mouthy,  six-month-old American staffie?  Suffice it to say that by lunchtime of the second day I was pretty tired.  At one point, while the children charged around one of those play areas, so thoughtfully provided by family restaurants, featuring wooden structures to hang/climb on as well as the usual swings and slide and while I gratefully sipped my mega-cappucino, I chatted to the repair man, busy replacing the large nylon net. He told me that its not actually the children who damage the equipment - it is their parents, or more accurately the dads,  who after a few beers and a good meal, get all silly, go outside and launch themselves down the plastic slide and generally lark about on things that were never intended to take their weight. The gentleman told me that once, exasperated, he had asked the security guard to take a photo of this happening, which the owner of the restaurant eventually received via e-mail. Not that he did anything: business is business. More interestingly, when the children's energy was not yet exhausted, we went from here to another (expensive) indoor play area, equipped with very big jumping castles and sundry other things.  There was a coffee shop and toddler play area adjacent, so I sat with another coffee and to alleviate boredom, I picked up one of the books provided for the littlies.  It was a big, cardboard one - each page a gorgeously bright primary color, each filled with all kinds of things/animals of that color. Each page asked one to find e.g. 3 green peppers,  4 cup cakes, 5 monkeys etc. I thought this would be a breeze but was very surprised to find how long it took me to complete.  I was almost defeated on the red page - couldn't find "1 red parrot".  It took me ages until I sat back, took a more global view and realised it was staring me in the face - the biggest thing on the page. All the objects were different sizes.  I see that my granddaughter was much quicker than me:  maybe it's all about one's preconceptions and frame of reference. She didn't have any.   Back at the house, I managed to persuade both children to play snakes and ladders. But not for long: M was soon back to his video games and the little one - into my make-up.


  1. I am still trying to recover my rested self after a trip with grandchildren. We are good to our daughters!

  2. I must confess ignorance, what is a

    "their bouncy, mouthy, six-month-old American staffie?"

    I am not taking a patriotic interest here, I just don't know what you are talking about.

    There is a danger in giving your daughter and her husband a well deserved break. They tend to do things together which may result in further bundles of joy for you to take care of in the future. Or is that part of the plan? The grand ulterior motives of grandmothers?