Saturday, May 1, 2010

Minding Grandchildren 101 - The Sleepover

Today's post title should be accompanied by music - dramatic music - the sort of music you might hear in the introduction of a very scary movie. The sound of the music would fill you with dread even before you knew what would follow.

Last weekend was the Chimera and DH's anniversary. It was a special one and they decided to have a second honeymoon at the place where they spent their first honeymoon. No one takes the kids on a honeymoon, do they? That is what grandparents are for.

This would be great - three whole days AND NIGHTS with Cheetah and Little Bear under the same roof.
Yes, THREE NIGHTS!  Cheetah has slept at the Dragonlady Grotto many times in the past and regarded his mother's old bedroom as his room because he spent so much time here.  It had his toys, his quilt, his spare clothes, his dresser.  Sleeping here was never a problem for Cheetah.

But Little Bear has only slept here once before.  She missed her house.  She missed her own bed. She missed her mummy and daddy. She couldn't fall asleep.  She tried the bed in Cheetah's room, but it wasn't her familiar bed.  She was up and down like a yo-yo, in and out of the bedroom, wanting a tissue to blow her nose, a drink of water, a cuddle, a book - anything to avoid sleep.

Cheetah was patient, but he was overtired too.  Mr Sunshine was being patient, but he was getting tired.  Grannysaurus was patient in a "biting-my-tongue-and-counting-to-ten" kind of way.  Little Bear is only two and she was trying to be reasonable in a two-year-old kind of way.  It is amazing how long a really tired child can stave off sleep even though bigger, older and tougher individuals are buckling at the knees, drooping at the eyelids and ready to collapse.  Little Bear's mother taught me that. . . oh, about 30 years ago. 

Eventually, I folded my quilt into quarters to improvise a mattress on the floor in my own bedroom and put Little Bear there and I stayed in the room and reassured her that I would be sleeping there all night.  It didn't work instantly, but it did work and for the next three nights, that was where Little Bear slept.  On the third night we had Little Bear and Cheetah on the floor in our bedroom - no honeymoon for us ;)

Three days with the children gave me a generous number of photo opportunities.  The collage gives a bit of insight into Little Bear's charming personality.  I deliberately left the blurriest one in the middle because that is what we mostly saw of Little Bear - a blur whizzing by.  She is the proverbial blow fly, never sitting still for longer than a few seconds.  Getting an unblurry photo of her was almost as big a challenge as getting her to sleep.

Cheetah is not a blowfly. I could have taken hundreds of crisp shots of his back dramatically silhouetted against the light of my computer screen.  He does like playing computer games (which I was constantly monitoring for suitability).  But I didn't take any photos like that, just a few when he emerged occasionally.

I forgot to mention that with Cheetah and Little Bear came Jo Jo, the cockatiel.  Jo Jo has learnt that whistling gets attention and sometimes buys him a few minutes of freedom.  He whistled a lot.  That feathery little bonnet at a rakish angle on Little Bear's head is Jo Jo - not his best angle.

Finally a Sunday afternoon picnic tea at the Strand got everyone out of the house and some valuable cousin-bonding time with the McTavish clan.  Note the bags under the eyes on Little Bear in the bottom pic.  Her mummy told me that she crashed when she finally got home to her own bed.
Can you see the gleam of idol worship in the way Lion looks at Cheetah?  I'm glad that he is a worthy role model.
They are a gorgeous bunch of grandkids and I'm not the least bit biased.

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  1. "Eventually, I folded my quilt into quarters to improvise a mattress on the floor in my own bedroom and put Little Bear there and I stayed in the room and reassured her that I would be sleeping there all night. It didn't work instantly, but it did work...." It worked because about 30 seconds after lying down to keep Little Bear company, Grannysaurus was snoring away while Little Bear happily played until she was too exhausted to keep herself awake any longer.
    Mr Sunshine

  2. Dear Anonymous (AKA Mr Sunshine) I think that was night two, or maybe it was every night. Funny how the memory goes fuzzy when sleep deprived :)

  3. I remember years ago when my youngest son hounded me for a particular game I wasn't crazy about but was assured it was not that bad. As the clerk went to hand it to me he announced because of the violent content he had to give a full disclosure of the game as per the store policy. By the time he was done my hair was standing on end, my son was gravely disappointed and the clerk was putting it back. I told him in the car later I didn't care if it was just a game, something that managed to neatly offend and stereotype every nationality and sex was not coming into our home.


Granny's tunes

Mr. Sunshine & Grannysaurus

Mr. Sunshine & Grannysaurus


About Me

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Townsville, Queensland, Australia
I have worked as a Biology lab assistant, Pathology lab assistant, geochem lab assistant, land tenure researcher, hospital and prison chaplain, parish care coordinator and part owner of a small business. I have studied some science (no degrees) and have a theology and a chaplaincy certificate. I still love science of all types and enjoy studying theology. Science and theology belong together. At present I am a work-at-home Grannysaurus.

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