Tuesday, June 22, 2010

How to entertain a grandaughter for a week...

Due to a death in the family of one of my son in laws grandfather, rearranging children for camp took place a couple of days ago.  With that rearrangement, one grandaughter was going to be very alone while others were at camp or a funeral, so we were given the privilege of having Madison for the week. 

Madison is my photogenic grandaughter - the camera loves her!  However, she also loves the camera!  She's the one brunette out of 8 grandchildren - all the rest are various shades of blonde.  She's also the spitting image of her Dad's side of the family with one exception - her height.  She's going to be a petite little thing like her mom and aunt.  Melody calls her "my creamy middle", like the inside of an Oreo cookie - except the blondes are on the outside and the brunette's in the middle!

Being a middle child has it's challenges, I'm sure.  Being the baby of my family I don't know, other than having a middle child of my own.  But he was the oldest boy as well, so that had it's own advantages.  Madison is one of  3 sisters and is smack dab in the middle.  Her "little" sister, Miranda, is basically the same height and size as Madison and McKenzie, the oldest, towers over her (and her mother!)  We're all just praying that Miranda doesn't pass her clothes down to Madison - that would kill her!

So as you can see, being "special" and the only one with us this week is going to be really good for Madison.  She gets all the attention without having to share it with 5 others - we usually have all 6 together, giving their parents a break.  It also piles the entertainment factor all into one week, rather than spreading it out over the summer.

I guess times  are changing though...this week Maddy, and in a few weeks we'll probably have a couple of others and then 3 others later on in the summer.  It also breaks up the cost as well...we tend to go out and "do" stuff with them...and that costs money of course. 

When you have grandchildren you want them to have happy memories of you playing with them, so you do things with them that you didn't do with your own children, mainly because you were busy supplying all the necessities of life for them.  That's a parents job.  But it's not a grandparents job.  Our job is to play with them!  And we try to do our darndest, that's for sure! 

So far, per Madison's request, I've taught her to knit and she's made 2 headbands and plans on making another tonight.  She wants to learn to play the drums and since I was a drummer for 8 yrs., that's on the agenda this week (teaching her how to bounce the sticks and do a "roll".)  I'm also a quilter and she wants to learn how to use the sewing machine, so I'm working on something for her to sew.

Tomorrow we curl hair, get pedicures and go get "glamour shots" at Walmart.  She looks great in hats and brought a cute little fedora to wear that's going to look awesome in pictures. 

Right now she's with her Poppy at the campground right down the road that is more kid friendly than the one we're in.  It's Yogi Bear's Jellystone Park and they have hay rides, Candy Bar Bingo, Indoor and Outdoor swimming pools, Lazer Tag, Crafts, a Bouncing Pillow, Rocket Launches and gosh, I don't know what all...panning for gold...stuff!  She's having a ball.  If she's not too tired we'll go eat Chinese Food and take in Toys Story 3 in 3 D, but if not, we'll grill burgers and crash.  (That sounds wonderful to me!)

I know a lot of grandparents that don't do much with their grandkids and I find that sad.  I understand that they get tired - so do it...but I tell myself "it's just for a week..."  I can do anything for a week!  But we give them their alone time too - that's why we have the Disney channel on the satellite TV!  Cartoons are great!  Kids don't ahve to be entertained all the time, don't get me wrong.  But when they  visit you once or twice a year, you want to make the most of that time and it gives them some times to remember, rather than just sitting around all the time.

Our puppy Jack and cat Barney also help out in the entertainment department.  Lots of rocking takes place with the requiste tickling of course.  They'd think we didn't love them if we didn't tickle them...

But the best part of having your grandchildren with you is having the opportunity to share your heart with them.  We tell them what's important to us and we talk about life in general and how to treat people and what God expects from us.  We want them to know their heritage and the family stories, so they can pass them on to their children as well.  My grandparents didn't share any of these things with us and  that's why it's important that we share with our grandkids. 

So to all the grandparents out there, we say, "Embrace their youth" won't regret it!  Do it like us -  in an RV!  We've had all 6 for 1 week in the RV and it was great.  And I even set up my sewing machine and made panchos for the 5 girls and a scarf for our grandson!  Cramped?  Nah!  It's called CAMPING!  Two were on a pallet at the foot of our bed, 2 on the hide a bed couch and 2 in the recliners.  They all fought over who's turn it was to sleep in a recliner!  It's not the norm and kids love adventure!  They can sleep in a bed anytime!  Also, an RV is in a campground and there are trails to hike, bikes to ride and hamburgers to grill, campfires to build and marshmellows to roast! 

See ya'll down the road...with Jack of course!

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