There is a special world near to where I live. It is a world which exists before and after school on Tuesdays and Wednesdays and sometimes all day in the school holidays. It is a world I know very little about, but I believe it has a freezer full of ice creams, the ‘right’ food for tea, access to whatever you want to watch on telly, hairstyles mummy doesn’t know how to do and wouldn’t let you have anyway and a computer with a printer that works. With coloured ink.
This is Grandma World.
Genuinely, I know very little of what happens when my kids are with my mum and dad. They have their own little routines they have settled into over many years, which I am not a part of. But I do know they are very happy together.
Because there are two of them and they don’t work, my mum and dad have so much more time for my kids than I do. The time they spend together is a relaxed and happy one, dictated largely by the kids.
It’s fish and chips on Tuesday, unless they’ve had school dinners, in which case it’s a cheese baguette It’s pizza and waffles on Wednesday. And there is big trouble if Mummy has failed to stock the freezer properly. There’s always ice cream for pudding if they want it. Which my daughter always does.
My dad has a lovely bond and endless patience with all of the kids. Listening to him chatting with my daughter is priceless. They obviously understand each other so well. He is the only person who has pthe time or the commitment to help my eldest build an Airfix model or my younger son build something complicated with Lego. The other day he was happy to kick a pine cone all the way up a long road and back again with my younger son – just because my son wanted to. If the pine cone got lost in the stinging nettles, they just got it out again and carried on. This is the sort of thing that makes my son so happy. And it’s the sort of thing I don’t have the patience to do as I’m always too busy with other stuff. I would do it for a few minutes and then get distracted by one of the other kids.
And if the kids have a meltdown when they are at home with Mummy and Daddy, Grandma and Grandpa can usually calm them down.
Grandma and Grandpa don’t spoil the kids, but Grandma World offers them something different to us – a slower pace of life and a little bit more attention than a working mum trying to split herself three ways.
We are so lucky that they get to spend so much time with Grandma and Grandpa and I am so grateful to them for their support over the years. I didn’t get to spend as much time with my own grandparents, but the kids and I really value the time they spend in Grandma World.