FUN! It really is. I remember hearing other people talk about their grandchildren and often thinking that there was nothing else they could talk about (sorry too judgmental for words) but I am now the same. Since the arrival of my granddaughter, Reign Aurora on 19th February 2019 (and wow what a lovely number combination too 19-2-19), I have definitely joined the club and it is so different from when I became a parent myself.
I had a little think about why this is. What is the difference? Well first of all I think responsibility. Becoming a parent changes your life completely and you become responsible for a small baby and you want to do the very best you can, protect them all the time and give them the very best of everything, often putting yourself totally in second place. Do you agree? (Well, those of you who are parents too).
But being a grandparent is different. First of all, the idea that your baby, now grown up is becoming a parent too. So, you have a lot to share about things before the baby is actually born, but the moment they arrive you no longer have that same huge feeling of responsibility. You are intensely proud of your own child and their offspring so, that is not the main issue.
One of my friends described ‘grandparenting’ very well and that is: you can have so much fun with them all and every day and do all sorts of exciting different things but at the end of said day, you hand them back to the parents and then collapse into a chair for a snooze after a busy, non-stop day. Is that true? How many people can relate to that?
Well with the arrival of Reign, I decided that one of the things I would do was to talk to her in English. At the age of 2, she is totally fluent and can switch from Dutch to English. It is quite amazing! When she is here, we do fun things like drawing. She loves it and I have to attempt to draw the things she asks me to, like the cat, a windmill, a butterfly and the latest is a frog. For weeks she has been telling me that when it’s her birthday she will be 4! (no not two but four) and to be honest you would almost believe it. She is jolly smart. But I think children of today are.
This week I was teaching her to count in English up to 5 and she got it straightaway. And then the magic. She is two! Happy Birthday!
Another thing she loves is building towers of bricks and we do it brick by brick until it starts to tumble and she then says: ‘oh no!’ and laughs. Begin again and repeat until she loses interest.
Top favorite is a magical castle which belongs to Princess Penny and her friends. All of whom say little sentences, which she has no trouble whatsoever copying. Everything is ‘so exciting’, and she knows exactly which little, tiny switch activates the battery to make them talk. Now only Princess Penny herself is permitted to ride the magic unicorn, which then makes several tottering steps forward. This is a whole set by Vtech called: ‘Happy Friends’.
Her big present for her birthday has been a bike. And she was thrilled. Not a bike with pedals, but a sort of bike that you walk with, sitting on the saddle. I cannot for the life of me think of the proper name, but its great if you are out, she can ride along but is not afraid to fall, because her feet are on the ground all the time. She is walking on the bike! Sounds a bit weird but it’s true.
Later today, (and would you believe it was a week ago now as I publish this blog), we are going for cake to see her bunting and balloons, all of which she had already told me on Facetime are lovely. My present is a butterfly made like a puzzle out of special wood. Grimm’s, a Germany based company make lovely things for the children of today to entice them to make other shapes with the pieces. It will fit in nicely with something else she has a sort of tower or tunnel from the same toy maker.
Her favorite book is about a caterpillar who munched his way through an enormous amount of food and then morphed into a cocoon, eventually flying out to become the most beautiful butterfly. I have loads in my garden which she sees in the summer.
I can conclude being a grandparent is just full-on fun. Seeing them grow up and become their own little person, with all their cute and sometimes exasperating characteristics. Reign has a definite will of her own and if she does not want to do something, believe me she does not! Her favorite words are : ‘mine’ and ‘no’ which is typical for what is often referred to as the ‘terrible two’s’ but I cannot agree. Two is such a charming time, where they change every time you see them. Just that little bit further forward with a new word, which then becomes a sentence and she already has her own favorite little boyfriend at daycare. So sweet.
For those of you who are reading this and are a grandparent too, then you will be able to relate to what I am saying. One of the lovely stories about her is that she goes every Thursday with her Dad to the dairy farm to collect eggs, milk and cheese. The young calves outside are fascinating and she was so pleased to see them. We have a spontaneous video of her waving and saying – ‘hayyo (hello) koeien’ (cows in Dutch) and the saying to her Dad ‘mooi he?’ which means ‘nice aren’t they?’
And that is exactly what I mean, full-on fun each and every day. So, finishing off now as she is about to arrive and no doubt, we will be playing in the garden on this lovely Spring afternoon. An added bonus in February. Our star child !