Saturday was “Fun with the Grandchildren Day!” (I would have said “Grandkids,” but my mother always told me kids were goats.) Their parents and grandfather went to a Christian leadership conference in Indianapolis, two hours away, and I volunteered to keep them since childcare was not offered. We had a great time!
I admit that getting to their house at 5:45 a.m. was not exactly fun, but the time with them was. I took my Bible, prayer list, etc., and had just finished my devo time, around 6:30, when Finn, age 6, peeped around the corner.
His face fell. “Namma! I thought you were my daddy!” he said with deep disappointment. Stephen had been gone all week and had arrived home the night before after Finn was in bed. So I pulled him into my lap and got to cuddle a bit before getting him some breakfast.
Landry, 15 months old, awoke soon afterwards and then we really had a party!
Finn had a soccer game at 9, so we started getting ready about 8:10, knowing getting on his shin guards and socks could take awhile. When he put on his cleats, he said, “Will you please tie my shoes?” I teased him about being in kindergarten and not knowing how to tie his shoes. I assured him that we’d remedy that later. And we did!
Landry didn’t have a lot of interest in the game, but Finn got to play goalie for the first time and he was thrilled. He blocked one and let one get by, but his team won 3-2, which made him happy. The zipped bag of popcorn, some gummies, and a juice packet he got from the parent in charge of snacks also enhanced his good spirit. Landry cheered up when he shared his popcorn with her.
When we got home, I asked if I could throw away the few pieces of popcorn left in the bag. “Just throw away the popcorn, Namma,” Finn said. “We can use the bag again.” And he carefully placed it in the plastic bag drawer.
While Landry took her morning nap, Finn was playing and I checked Words with Friends. Finn wanted to know how it worked and I showed him. He was hooked! “Let’s do another word,” he said. I explained that we had to wait for that person to play. “Aw, man!” he said.
So I suggested we go to Scrabble and see if Uncle John had played. He had, so we got to put in another word. Finn was so disappointed at having to wait again that I pulled up a game to play against the computer. He loved that! He even noticed a word possibility that I’d overlooked and we made 24 points with it. For the second time that day, his team won as we beat the computer. It was interesting to me that even though he would think of a word, he wanted me to find one with more points, if possible. Wanting to win trumped feeling possessive of his word.
Then we had our shoe-tying lesson and he did great. Immediately, he wanted me to video it to send to his parents. On their lunch break, they returned a video saying how proud they were of him.
After lunch we went to Big Lots to buy a couple of items for children to bid on at our Central Mission Auction the next day. When I told him what we were going to do, he said, “Shopping is not how I want to spend my day off!” But he went along with it, especially when he picked out things he’d want his parents to bid on for him.
Finn is bright and curious and a great conversationalist. We had interesting conversations at home and in the car. He mentioned twin girls in his class that he could never tell apart. I used the word “identical” and he was interested in all the ways it could be used. We talked about the difference in “prison” and “jail,” a difference I’d never considered until I’d been editing a book for a man who is in prison. When we were playing Scrabble, I saw the word “sex” in our letters and asked him if he knew that word. He didn’t. I told him sometimes forms have the word and you have to check if you’re male or female. ‘Nuff said.
At the park, they enjoyed swings and slides. As usual, he was very solicitous of his little sister. Landry liked the swing but got tired of it quickly. Back to the slide. As we were leaving, I asked if he’d rather go home or to my house to wrap the gifts we’d bought. He wanted to wrap the gifts, which pleased me. One less thing to do before tomorrow morning.
We weren’t there long, because Landry was ready for her afternoon nap in her own bed. While she napped, I cut up snow peas, broccoli, and mushrooms for the pasta salad I was making for the potluck before the auction. Finn played with Kaylie, his sweet neighbor, outside. When they came in, we played “Old Maid,” and of course Finn was delighted when I ended up with the Old Maid card. I’m afraid it’s too late for me to be an old maid!
So going to a soccer game, talking, reading books, playing Scrabble and Old Maid, playing at home and at a playground, wrapping gifts, tying shoes, and eating were all great activities to do together. The next time, maybe Landry will be verbal enough to be a part of our conversations. She participated as much as possible and was a good observer!
Grandparents are proud of their grandchildren, just as children are proud of their parents. Proverbs 17:6, Good News Translation