Friday, July 1, 2011

A week of granddaughters

My twin granddaughters will be 11 on Sunday, and they've been visiting since Monday. Here's what we've done:

1. Grandma set up and enforced a screen time of two hours a day. Mary and Malayne kept meticulous records of their time on the refrigerator whiteboard.

2. Grandma borrowed a pair of jeans from a small neighbor and they fit Mary. The weather is cooler than Mary expected when she packed several pairs of shorts.

3. On Monday, Grandma sat at the picnic table and read while Mary and Malayne ran and shrieked with the neighbor kids. At dusk, Grandma and Mary and Malayne and neighbor kids Kaela and Jesse went to the city park for a "walk in the forest".

4. On Tuesday, Grandma and Papa John (ex husband, who brought the girls up on the train) took Mary and Malayne to the library and each girl checked out eight books - cartoon books, a few chapter books and a few "how to draw" books. Papa John commented on the ethnic diversity in the library - quite different from small town Oregon where they live.

5. On Wednesday, Grandma and Papa John took Mary and Malayne to downtown Seattle where they explored the Pacific Science Center for three hours.

6. On Thursday, Grandma took Mary to the eye doctor for her first appointment ever. Mary is farsighted, it turns out, and has to work hard to focus when she's reading or drawing or at the computer. Mary's new glasses will be ready in 7 to 10 business days and will be shipped to her dad's house in Oregon. Mary chose black frames, which are apparently very cool these days.

7. On Thursday, Grandma sat on metal bleachers for an hour and a half at the Lynnwood Recreation Center pool while Mary and Malayne mastered the water slides, river and diving board.

8. On Friday, Grandma, Mary and Malayne took Larisa the Designer Cat to the vet for her annual rabies shot. After four days, Larisa is no longer hiding.

9. On Friday, Grandma, Mary and Malayne got their hair cut. All three of them have wavy or curly hair and Grandma's hairdresser is very, very good at cutting it. Grandma called Rebekah, the girls' mom, to make sure that would be okay.

10. Grandpa Art (current husband) cooked corn on the cob with dinner every night.

And here's what Grandma learned: that 11 year old girls are growing up and can have conversations; that Mary is allergic to pollen and loves to put calamine lotion on itchy legs; that both girls get up around 8 for breakfast but don't want to talk until after 10 (like Grandma!); that 11 year old girls still don't want to go to bed and have mastered the stall tactic around showers and brushing teeth; that Grandma has not lost the art of going about her business even with lots of noise in the house (she raised a number of children, after all); that Grandpa Art really prefers to be a silent presence rather than an active participant, except for cooking (which Grandma already knew but somehow hoped would be different this time). And most of all, that girls can have a good time even if Grandma isn't a crafty person and doesn't bake cookies.

We all leave tomorrow for Oregon. We'll take the twins home and then spend the 4th with friends. Grandma will probably take some naps.

19 comments:

Dr. Kathy McCoy said...

Oh, wow, Linda! That sounds like a very full, fun and exhausting week! How lovely that you could spend time with your granddaughters when they still have a bit of childhood left. I had to laugh at the stalling at showering and brushing their teeth! How soon that will all change as they spend hours in the bathroom! I bet they'll remember their visit forever. To this day, I have very fond memories of visits to my Grandparents' farm and weekends with my Aunt Molly. These times may be meaningful to the girls in ways you'll never know.

Teresa Evangeline said...

What great memories you're making for your granddaughters. It sounds fun. and it sounds like you've been able to remain friends with an ex, if I'm reading this correctly. That's always good.

Deere Driver said...

Good for you for taking the time to enjoy and observe the twins. I bet the new glasses will open up new worlds, as well as her 11 year old eyes.

Enjoy the 4th!

Olga said...

I also had a girls' week with one grand daughter. I was amazed at how much she still wanted to play with me.

Grandmother said...

What a great time you fashioned with your granddaughters. What a gift to them and what fun for you!

MerCyn said...

Grandkids are wonderful but exhausting; no wonder we don't have kids in our later years...you deserve R&R. Enjoy the holiday weekend!

Retired English Teacher said...

From your great list, I've learned that you are a very practical grandma who knows how to make sure the kids have a good time while also knowing there are some boundaries in place. I'm glad you've all had a great time.

DJan said...

Wow! What a lot of things you accomplished in such a short time. Are the twins identical? I wonder why one would be farsighted but not the other one. I do know some identical twin girls that look exactly alike, but one had a genetic abnormality in her bladder, but the other one didn't. I find all this fascinating.

But most of all, have a GREAT Fourth and I look forward to hearing more of your adventures. Going skydiving tomorrow, but you will be out of town. Next time, maybe! :-)

Rita said...

What a great time! The nighttime walk in the forest must have gone over big time! Love that they took out a variety of books and even how to draw books! Cool! The Science Center had to be fascinating. Girl's going to the beauty shop, swimming, new glasses (who would have ever thought black frames would come back!), the vet's, and good food. Wow! Good they are coming now before they hit the teenage years where they want to spend all their time with their friends, right? LOL! Rest!! Nap!! :)

Lynilu said...

Oh, grandchild time is wonderful, isn't it? Yes, it can be exhausting, too, for even if we've raised several of our own, it has been a while, and we tend to fall out of practice, don't we?

I enjoyed some similar time with my grands recently, and it was so great!

I'm glad you had this time with the girls. So sweet!

SmitoniusAndSonata said...

You're obviously a brilliant grandmother . Building good memories is the greatest gift of all .
Now you've earned the right to lie down with a good book and a cake or two ! Till next time .

Cheryl said...

Happy birthday to your grand daughters! Sounds as if you've had a great week. I'm very jealous - sadly my grandchildren all hop away fairly quickly when I come near as all were born wild!

#1Nana said...

I can't wait until my granddaughters are old enough to fly to Oregon to stay with us. I'm heading back to Texas on Saturday for several weeks so I can take the granddaughters to swimming lessons for two weeks. I have a suitcase full of simple craft projects, most purchased at the dollar store!

Arkansas Patti said...

I'll be back after I take a nap:)) Goodness, what a busy time. Everyone found time to do what the wanted and you even balanced ex'es.
Have a great 4th then take some time to recupe.

wheels4me said...

You are a wonderful grandma! Wise choice on breaking up the grandkids into small numbers for some great quality time together. My grandmother was a strong anchor of serenity in my childhood. The twins are blessed to be a part of your family.

Linda Reeder said...

It sounds like you all had a great time. Being Grandma can be so much fun! And exhausting too.

Deb Shucka said...

What a wonderful grandma you are. I hope you enjoy your well-deserved naps. I'm sure the twins will remember their time with you as some of the best summers of their life.

Jenn Flynn-Shon said...

It sounds like Grandma truly deserves a whole pile of naps after such a busy and fun week! Glad you all had a great time together and hopefully your 4th was a great time together as well!

Midlife Jobhunter said...

I want you to be my grandma. Of course, chances of me being 11 are rather remote.

The girls will never forget their visits. How lucky they are.