Grandparenting 101, cont.

Day One (Friday, May 9)

A four-hour drive to Brooklyn that included a 10-mile backup in CT on Rte. 95 to visit son, Koji, Maiga (my DIL), and grandson, Sean, now 16 months old already.  After a Mother’s Day lunch, we took Sean to the park so he could run off some steam.  And me, too.

Après naps, off to an indoor playground before meeting Dad at the commuter ferry.  Here’s a photo of me cramping Sean’s style.  (Don’t forget to click on photos for the full effect.)

Sean and me (alias "Gummy") at the indoor playground

Sean and me (alias “Gummy”) at the indoor playground

On the way home, Koji took us out for a lovely Mother’s Day dinner!  🙂







Day Two (Saturday, May 10)

Koji and Sean - breakfast time

Koji and Sean – breakfast time

I left Brooklyn after breakfast, and what do you know…someone had stolen the GPS out of my car…with no trace of a break-in. Luckily I know the way and made it to Long Island easily to visit my other two grandchildren, Max (age 5) and Zoe (2 1/2).

I took care of the chicklets while their Mom (Nicole) was off doing volunteer work, literally helping to build a playground.  The kids and I first played in the back yard while I pushed them on the swing.  Zoe laughed and laughed when I pulled her legs and let her go.

We discovered huge puddles of water left over from a recent rain storm on a walk around the block.  Zoe started to step in them gingerly.  It wasn’t too long before both kids were running and splashing through the water, saturating their shoes and Max, his pant legs.  In no time, shoes discarded, they were running barefoot through the puddles.  After repeated invitations, I joined in.

When it came time to walk home, we started out sans shoes.  The kids’ feet were so tender, they ended up putting their shoes back on.  I told them about how I used to run around in bare feet when I was a kid all summer, which toughened them up.  They were mildly impressed that I could walk home without shoes.

After lunch, Zoe napped, and Max and I opened his birthday presents together.  (He turns 5 on Monday.)  Before opening them, he said he hoped they wouldn’t be boring.  (He cracks me up.)

One was a build-your-own bird house, which we did.  Except Max didn’t want me to put glue on the nails before pounding them in.  “No glue,” he said.  He was adamant.  So, I left the almost-finished project for his Mom or Dad to add the glue later, otherwise it won’t be sturdy enough.  I hope they finish it and put it outside and that some day the kids can enjoy watching a little bird move in.

Another was a scratch art set, which he had already played with at his other Grandma’s; but, luckily, he was fascinated with it.  We hung each design on various windows throughout the house, and they looked so decorative with the sun shining through.

Phooey, I wish I had taken photos of the finished projects.

Since I only see the kids every 6-8 weeks, I can particularly notice changes as they are growing up.  On this visit, Max used the word “basically” in just about every sentence; I melt when this precious, munchkin expresses himself in such grown-up words.

I sleep with Max when I visit.  I love talking with him as we fall asleep together.  I also love watching him wake up.  He waits quietly for me at the top of the stairs in the darkness of the 6 a.m. morning while I get dressed, and we walk downstairs together.  We then sit in silence on the couch with my arm around him, as he wakes up slowly.

Day Three:  (Sunday, May 11, Mother’s Day)

When I fixed my morning coffee, I noticed ants all over the kitchen counter.  As if this weren’t enough, Max’s cup leaked a strawberry-milk circle the size of a basketball on the living room couch.

The kids were painting and playing so nicely after breakfast while I finished making them Rapunzel-inspired wigs out of yarn.  Nicole (their Mom) came down and was horrified to discover that Max was playing with an ant cup in his paint water.  And here I thought I had been constantly checking on what they were up to.  (Would I be fired as a babysitter?)

(The day before, Zoe had spilled milk on the cable box, and so the TV didn’t work.  Actually, I enjoyed the kids more without it.  Please note that this particular debacle wasn’t under my watch.)   😉

We made plans for the day.  I waited until Nicole had finished her coffee before mentioning that there were ants all over the kitchen counter.

“Happy Mother’s Day!” I said.

It took some extra time for her to deal with this situation before we left for our outing. (BTW, the ants were gone upon our return.  Max commented that his Mom was a genius when it came to getting rid of them.)

Our outing for the day was a trip to a local farm.  The kids happily checked out the chickens.  Zoe was disappointed she wasn’t allowed to climb over the fenced-in area to join them.

Max and Zoe at the farm playground

Max and Zoe at the farm playground

Painting at the farm

Painting at the farm


Max prefers wearing his shirts backwards.











The kids were their usual active selves as we tried to savor Mother’s Day lobster sandwiches (mac & cheese for the kids) at a nearby Panera for lunch.  When we finished, I asked Nicole if she was able to taste her food.

Later in the afternoon, Nicole went shopping for Max’s upcoming birthday party.  I stayed home with the kids while they played with their Rapunzel wigs.  (Originally, I was only going to make one just for Zoe, but Nicole said that if Zoe liked hers, Max would want one, too.)  I had hoped to get a photo of both of them all dressed up together, but, alas, Zoe would have no part of that.  Max sensed how upset I was that my photo shoot plans were thwarted and tried to comfort me.  I told him not to worry and that all was well.


Zoe likes her Rapunzel wig.

Zoe likes her Rapunzel wig.

Max's wig has more masculine colors...

Max’s wig has more masculine colors…










Nicole came home to Max and Zoe eating dinner to music blaring from a CD I brought with me, Laurie Berkner’s, Whaddaya Think of That.  Zoe was transfixed.  I wish I had taken a photo of the expression on her face as she sat for an hour and a half, requesting certain songs over and over.  She even started to pick up the lyrics.  I hadn’t realized she was so passionate over music.  We made a new connection.

Nicole cooked a delectable lima bean/brown rice dish full of veggies for dinner.  Seasoned perfectly.  Another one of her pressure cooker masterpieces.  She bought me the book, Pressure Perfect, by Lorna Sass for Mother’s Day.  Yes!

Monday, May 11

Time to drive home after breakfast.  The kids were asking when I was coming again.  I told Max that he was invited to visit me any time.  He told his parents, “Grandmummy said we can visit her any time.  She welcomed us!”

It was such a delight crossing the Throgs Neck Bridge in gridlock traffic because the Whitestone was closed from a truck fire.  It was also a delight buying a Dunkin’ Donuts ice coffee (which was DELICIOSO) at a road stop and for the first time in my life, benefiting from a senior discount the cashier gave me, without my even asking for it.

I came home to a Mother’s Day plant of pink roses from Koji that now sits out on my deck and are enjoyed by us all when we are relaxing in the living room.  It’s awfully quiet back home, though…

Yours in aging with class,
Jane (alias “Gummy“)

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6 Responses to Grandparenting 101, cont.

  1. Rebel Nana says:

    Looks like you all had a splendid time – LOL its funny when they get stuck on new words – I remember one of my kids attaching “predominately” to every answer.

  2. Kathy says:

    What a fabulous weekend! You are definitely aging with class, Janie.


  3. Linda Hubbard says:

    LOVE those expressions! They are eternal and precious. I love snuggling with my grand-twins –
    one on one or both at the same time. And I even snuggle with my 21 year old grandson who is
    6 feet 5 inches of pure love for his grandma who took care of him when he was a little fellow.
    God bless! Keep posting those memories!

  4. Hi, Linda. Thanks so much for commenting. It must be an amazing feeling to have grand-twins on either side of you. Wow! Glad to hear this about your 21-yr-old grandson. You are such a loving person, and I can see why your grandchildren adore you. I will feel sad when Max gets to the age when he doesn’t want to sleep with his Grandmummy. For now, he always asks, “Will you sleep with me?” It melts my heart… 🙂

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