My awesome family

It’s that time of year when it’s my official duty as a grandmother to attend end of year dance concerts.  This year was the first concert for  Mr 5yo Charlie and for Miss Tildy (aka Matilda) this was her 6th concert – not bad for a 7 1/2 yo.

Calling it an ‘official duty’ may imply my attendance at these events is under sufferance and now that I’m years into attending these events it’s safe to say on the most part it is under sufferance because to see my grandchildren perform, and don’t get me wrong I love to see them on the stage, one must sit through endless dances of the other children.

This year I had the pleasure of suffering through 2 dance concerts. First up was Mr Charlie.  Charlie, although very much a little macho man, enjoyed dancing in the background at his sister’s dance lessons since he was old enough to sway his little hips. He even joined her dance company as soon as he was old enough – around 3.  However, it wasn’t long before he decided dancing was for girls and refused to go.  We suspect he was teased at day care and was shamed out of it – at least this is the most likely reason we could think of because this was the only interaction Charlie had with other children other than his mothers friends’ children and his seven girl cousins. And although Charlie’s dad Rhys is very much a beer and sport’s man, he could see the benefits of Charlie learning ballet – balance and coordination would certainly help Charlie’s future soccer career.  So Charlie’s sudden refusal to go wasn’t from his Dad.

Fast forward to the beginning of this year (2015)

My daughter Kristy heard of a boys only dance class at another dance academy near their home. In actual fact it’s a 5 minute walk between Tildy’s dance academy and Charlies such is the popularity of dancing in the area.  So Charlie joined the all-boy class and hasn’t looked back.

I love the idea of my grandson dancing and to see him on stage performing was a hoot. He truly took on the character of his two dance routines. He made damn sure he was front and centre on stage and he also make sure his face reflected the character he was performing.

Maybe there’s an element of truth that my birth uncle was an actor!

Tildy on the other hand performed in 6 dance routines reflecting the 6 different styles of dance she learns. Next year she wants to do another dance style to bring her grand total to 7 different  classes. We were trying to encourage her to take on a team sport such as soccer and for a time she was rather keen but she’s had a change of heart and is insistent on doing another dance which incorporated gymnastic routines.

Given my and her mother’s inability to do a simple floor tumble with it being an accident, I dare say the genetics are against my little Tildy but I”m confident her determination will break through that genetic disability.

Which brings me to the point of my story

It’s always at events like these that I really miss my Mum and wish she was enjoying the moment with me. I reminisce back to Kristy’s first dance concert when she was 3yo and Mum proudly watched her granddaughter performing two dances, one in a little monkey outfit and the other dressed in an old fashion swimming costume.  From those thoughts I imagine my birthmother watching her great grandchildren – surely she’d be proud of her heritage as I am.

I don’t think she’ll ever meet me let alone her grandchildren or great-grandchildren and that’s sad because she’s missed out on meeting some pretty amazing people. And that goes for my sons Josh and Ty and Josh’s soon-to-be new addition to the family – a daughter due in March 2016.  And Josh’s partner Lauren, who comes from a talented dance background, will ensure in years to come I’ll be sitting in the audience suffering through endless dance routines of other children to see my little granddaughter dance into my heart.

I might not find my birth mother alive but I certainly hope that one day I’ll find half-siblings or close cousins and possibly aunties and uncles.  Regardless of who I meet, I want them to see how wonderful my family is – their blood. How pretty OK I’ve turned out and how lucky they would have been to have had us in their lives.

Adoption isn’t just about finding a birthmother or birthfather, son or daughter, it’s much bigger than that. It’s family traits, gifts and talents. It’s heritage, it’s genes, it’s bloodline. It’s a blossoming branch on the ancestral tree.  It’s a story of a families evolution.

I can only hope that one day I’ll find my little family’s place on our rightful ancestral tree, know our heritage, our genes and our bloodline and I also hope that one day I can share my awesome family with the family I wasn’t given the chance to know.


Nanni day and night care – NO!

I had my lovely grand children over on the weekend which happened to be one week before Easter 2012. I love having them but I also like seeing them go after a day and night of entertaining their busy little minds and bodies.  I’d love to have them longer but unfortunately I have a day job that pretty much exhausts me after a long week.  So I like to think I’m helping out my daughter and son-in-law with a much needed night off from the kids. I know I loved it when my Mum had the kids overnight. And more power to her too, she was much older than me and I had three kids to drop off.  I didn’t give my Mum enough credit for it – miss you Mum!

The weekend starting off with an Easter egg hunt near my place. Unfortunately my daughter was a couple of minutes late so we turned up just as 100s of kids where running around madly looking for Easter eggs.  Mind you, the eggs hunt was conducted on a cricket ground so the eggs weren’t hard to find and because the venue wasn’t clearly marked we also missed out on getting a balloon and an egg basket.  So poor little Matilda (3 years old) managed to find one broken egg. Poor little Charlie missed out all together.  However, we did notice some kids with overflowing egg baskets. My daughter noticed one mother with an overflowing basket, she also noticed this women and her kids resembled the overstuffed fat family you see on “Save my family” – the show where an expert shows them how to change their eating ways.

Oh well, back home to my place where we’d enjoy a nice morning tea of baby cappuccinos and soon after my daughter left us to get on with Nanni night and day care.

PS:  Sometimes having my daughter over with the kids just adds to the kiddy tally.

After morning tea I set the kids up for a morning of craft. Matilda loves loves loves her craft. And I love love love it too – it keeps her occupied for ages.  Charlie on the other hand is good for one or two paintings then he’s done. He moves on to blocks, trucks or generally wondering from one game to another.  We just need to ensure he doesn’t jump off the 9th floor balcony.

I’ve noticed as the kids get older they’re developing their communication skills, they have opinions and on many occasions opposing ones to ours. It’s the later that causes the most stand-offs and this weekend’s standoff – the dummy!

Me:  Charlie – you can’t have your dummy until you go to bed.

Charlie:  Yes I can.

Me:  No you can’t.

Charlie: Yes and he beings to cry.

You just can’t reason with a little boy who cries, they know it and I know it.

Me:  Ok, he’s your dummy then,  but you can only have it for 5 minutes.

Meanwhile after 15 minutes of peace of quiet and no arguments with a 2 year old the whole matter is forgotten and Charlie’s busy sucking on his dummy.

Charlie 2nd, Nanni 3rd – but 1st place goes to peace and quiet!

Doting, loving, babysitter extraordinaire – Nanni

My daughter had been married for over a year to a wonderful man who she had been with for over 6 years when she announced she was pregnant. My initial reaction was one of shock followed quickly by dazed delight followed on by a selfish realization that I may not be so high up on my daughter’s care factor ladder once the baby was born. And let’s not forget that I’m way too young to be a granny,  after all many women are still having babies at my age.

My selfishness lasted a couple of weeks but at the same time I was happy that my daughter didn’t have any problems falling pregnant and their life plans were coming together perfectly. I’m not sure why I thought she’d have issues falling pregnant given I had four pregnancies, albeit one ending in miscarriage, and three pregnancies occurring while using some form of contraception including one pregnancy after a tubectomy – go figure!

Although I was delighted for my daughter and son-in-law, I was still worried about how the new additional was going to affect my relationship with my daughter.  We were very close even withstanding a surprise announcement after they returned from a trip to the UK.

Guess what Mum, we’re married”.

She thought I’d be delighted to hear this news. “Think of all the money saved”, of which she was certainly right on that point. But I had enough big secret revelations in my life so I was considerably pissed that she didn’t tell me about their impending marriage before they went away.  I questioned our relationship as I really thought we were too close for secrets that big and given it was only a year since the announcement I was still feeling a little dejected so I guess it was a reasonable concern about how a baby would impact our relationship even though she promised me that she would never keep anything a secret again.  And she kept her word as I was the first person they told of the pending birth and at 20 weeks I was over the moon with finding out first (after them of course) that “it’s a girl!”

As promised I let them off the hook for the elopement with the news they were having a girl.  The very next day I raced off to a boutique in Sydney CBD, where I was working at the time, to buy the best pink baby outfits money could buy.  I’d been eyeing them off for a while and I was over the moon to be able to actually purchase them.

As the big day loomed my daughter and I had spent almost every Saturday shopping for baby furniture and clothes.  I wasn’t worried about our relationship post baby anymore, I knew that I would play a very important role in my daughter’s and son-in-law’s life – that of a loving, doting nanni, providing support whenever needed, and giving them advice when asked and of course babysitter extraordinaire.

Well maybe I’ll give them advice even when they don’t ask!

On the 29th May 2008 around 7.30am, I got the phone call – “I’m in labor”.

OMG, this is it, I’m going to meet my granddaughter today. 

My daughter and son-in-law, still feeling guilty from the elopement episode (or so I like to think) had asked me to be present at the birth and there was no way I’d say no.  So after I received the call I had waited months for, I set off for the hospital.

One of the hardest things a mother has to deal with is when one of her own is in pain, and giving birth is twice the concern with two lives at risk, albeit a small risk.  Then, after what seemed hours (in fact is was 5 hours), my beautiful granddaughter Matilda was born and I fell instantly in love. Not only was she beautiful, just like her grandmother (or so I like to think) she had the cutest little web toes just like her mother and just like me.  It was a perfect moment looking down and seeing those precious little web toes.  You see web toes are hereditary and it was my toes that set me apart from the rest of the family I was bought up in as no one else had them.  To look down and realize my little family tree which starts with me is growing, and the toes reminded me of the biological link that I had with the four most precious people in my life – my children and now my granddaughter.

Immediately after the birth Matilda, being a quick delivery, was slow to arouse and cry so she was taken to neonatal care unit.  My daughter herself had some issues so she and my son-in-law were busy with Drs and Nurses fussing over her so I went to the neonatal unit with Matilda. I couldn’t bare the thought that she would be in a big room on her own for the first few hours on earth.

I watched the nurse hook her up to monitors, they assured me it was routine and nothing to worry about and I wasn’t, I could see she was perfect. When the nurse left I sat next to my tiny Matilda and couldn’t believe what just happened – here she is, finally, my granddaughter and I had her to myself for a few hours.  And there it began, my life as a loving, doting Nanni with my first babysitting gig.

Nanni needs a drink!

I’ve just recently negotiated a four day working week. My initial intention was to dedicate this time to writing my blog and working on a few other sites for relatives.  What has transpired is that I spend the time with my daughter Kristy and my grand-kids Matilda and Charlie. I love spending time with the grand-kids and my second Friday off was going to be a repeat of my first Friday where I ended up on a sun lounge watching the kids play – well that’s what I thought.

The Friday in question went something like this….

6:45am – I set off to my daughter’s place early. Firstly to miss the Sydney’s morning traffic nightmare, secondly to have breakfast with them and thirdly to be with my daughter when she took Matilda for an ultrasound on her foot, which thankfully turned out to be nothing to worry about.

8:00am – While sitting in the waiting room at the health centre I was keeping Charlie amused by reading him a story. All was quiet until Kristy and Matilda were called in for the scan. Charlie thought it was certainly something he should be party too so proceeded to follow.  This resulted in a pissed off little fellow trying to dodge Nanni’s pursuits to stop his progress. After one of his dashes resulted in him almost escaping out the front door into the busy street, I thought it was time for us to go for a walk.

8:30am – Thankfully the scan didn’t take long and we were back in the car heading off for a morning coffee – this would be my first coffee for the day. Baby chinos and cup cakes for the kids as Matilda was a very good girl while getting her foot scanned and Charlie was rewarded for just being cute or more importantly so he wouldn’t annoy our coffee time.

8:45am –  While waiting for our coffees, chinos and little green cup cakes,  we settled down on a comfy lounge. Charlie was intrigued by the display full of colourful cakes and biscuits and various arrays of loaves – carrot, banana, walnut and apple, raspberry and the like.  One’s never to relax when a 19 month old boy is on the loose and it wasn’t long before I was dashing after him as he finally got bored with the window display and found the exit.  Thankfully his cake arrived and Charlie was happy to sit on my lap and eat – ahhhh 5 minutes relaxation and a coffee.

9:30am – After morning tea we arrived back at Kristy’s place where the kids settled down for 30 minutes to watch Play School or as I call it, the memorising babysitter.

10:00am – Kristy ducked off for an hour or so to a training session so the kids and I headed outside. I needed fresh air and was hoping the cool morning was turning into a warm day, unfortunately this was not to be the case but decided a run around the yard would warm me up.

We began with a game of soccer using a small plastic ball. The game didn’t last long as Matilda kept picking the ball up while shouting instructions to Charlie and me – she’s like her bossy-boots Mother.  Needless to say both Charlie and I got bored and moved on to the next game – running races.

For the next 10 minutes we were darting back and forth across the yard. For the first part of the game Charlie’s little legs were running along with us. Of course he never won but thankfully he’s too young to understand winning and losing and every time he finished at either end we’d do a victory lap with our arms in the air – he’s so cute.  When he got tired he insisted we run the race while I carry him.

10:20am – Feeling tired, I decided to fetch an outdoor chair and have a little break. At this time Matilda found a hula-hoop.  I think I managed a 2 minute rest before Matilda insisted I show her how to use it. Thankfully Matilda picked up the knack quickly.  Once she bored with this idea we started to roll the hoop to each other but when my roll didn’t go in the general direction of Matilda instructed me to go to the naughty corner.  Wow, she really is like her mother.

10:30am – I returned to the chair for a rest and watched on as Matilda and Charlie climbed their plastic castle which included a ladder on one end and slippy-dip on the other – all being less than 1 metre high. No sooner did I sit down when Charlie fell off the ladder – and there put an end to the yard games. Time for morning tea.

11:15 am – My daughter returns home. Thank goodness for that, I’m knackered.

12:00am – Lunch time.  Kristy and I and Matilda ate a decent lunch, Charlie on the other hand wants nothing that’s on his plate.  Oh well, I guess 1 cup cake, 1/2 soggy biscuits and some fruit is enough to keep a little boy active.

12:30pm – Off to the shops to look for suitable bed linen for Kristy’s newly renovated bedroom.

12:50pm – We arrived at the shops and put the kids in the twin pram, of which I’m not big fan as it’s wider than most isles can handle.  No sooner did we enter the shop when Matilda and Charlie spotted the mini ride which consisted of two ducks and a swan. We quickly diverted them into the nearest clothes store.  After about five minutes Kristy and I selected the same top, different colours, and while my daughter queued to pay I took the kids to the ride they noticed earlier – after all we had to navigate around it to get to the other shops.

1:30pm – After the ride, Kristy and I browsed in a couple of dress shops in which Matilda rejected and Charlie just shook his head in defiance to entering another one.  Then we headed to Adairs the Manchester store which is opposite a kids’ playground which we wanted to avoid. Unfortunately Matilda saw it but thankfully Charlie didn’t so we bribed Matilda so as not to bring Charlies attending to it. This was skillfully done with the bribe of a baby chino and cup cake, the second for the day was the bribe resorted too.

1:35pm – As we entered Adairs Matilda, who isn’t tied into the pram quickly jumped out and started to wonder around the shop.  Needless to say Charlie wanted to follow suit so I let him out but decided to carry him around until my arms gave way and finally I put him down.  He was happy to have a little wonder around until he saw Matilda and decided to run after her. Matilda joining in on the game did what most little girls do when being chased – screamed. The more I chastised, the more they both screamed.

I desperately need a coffee!

They finally stopped screaming when Charlie spotted the outside kiddy playground, then he was off.  Luckily I still have some life left and I managed to catch him at the door.  Meanwhile Matilda found a floor display of quilts and began to build a very comfortable lounge. If only it was bigger, I’d have certainly given it a try.

While Charlie was back to being carried he noticed a picture of a dog so we wandered over to have a closer look. He then wanted to demonstrate his love for dogs and wriggled and squirmed until I let him down. He proceeded to crawl on all fours pretending to be a dog complete with poking his tongue in and out, licking the floor and smelling the floor level Manchester.  I was too tired to laugh, I just stared at him with bemused bewilderment.

I really truly need a coffee now.

2:00pm – Coffee time! Yahoo!  Kristy refused me a cake so I resorted to waiting to finish Charlies. Alas, Kristy grabbed it from my mouth and threw it in the bin.  I should have smacked her there and then.

2.30pm – Home time and thank bloody goodness because I am fucked.  As we ascended the flat escalators Matilda decided to hop out of the stroller just before the escalator floor disappeared. As Kristy and I were stuck behind the stroller all we could do was yell at her to turn around. Lucky she did just before the top but she fell over. The momentum of the escalator meant we had no where to go but clear over Matilda who of course screamed. Thankfully she wasn’t hurt.

3:00pm – Home. No sooner were we in the door than my son-in-law returned home from work.  Thank Goodness we have support from additional troops.

By this time I was sitting on the lounge comatosed.

4:00pm – Still on the lounge thinking about whether I’ll go home or stay for more torture. I decided I couldn’t move, so the decision was made.  I stayed but OMG I need a drink!

Nanni night care – cut version

I was charged with the task of babysitting my two gorgeous Grand-kids last Saturday night. My daughter prefers if I stay over so the kids don’t get out of routine. My daughter is a routine freak, read Nanni Day Care . Little did I know that by the end of the night I would be babysitting one unsettled baby, one drunken father and one partying mummy.

I was charged with the task of babysitting my two gorgeous Grand-kids last Saturday night. My daughter prefers if I stay over so the kids don’t get out of routine.  My daughter is a routine freak.  Little did I know that by the end of the night I would be babysitting one unsettled  baby, one drunken father and one partying mummy.

The night started out like most other babysitting nights where I’m screaming at my daughter and son-in-law to get the hell out of the house before Charlie starts crying because they’re leaving. To be fair to my son-in-law, it’s never his fault there’s a dramatic exit, after all my daughter is a drama teacher and she lives and breathes her work.

Once the parents were gone the kids settled down with 150 books for me to read, or at least attempt to read, and a glass of milk.  Charlie goes through the process of selecting a book, handing it to me and climbs on my lap for me to read.  Once he’s on board the Nanni lap we get to around page two and he’s sliding down my leg, off to select another book.  In between Charlie’s trips to and from the book case, I manage to read a book to Matilda.

When there was a break in the book readings, I managed to pour my Nanni night care potion – on this occasion it was a lovely Margaret River Red.

Charlie was showing all the signs of sleepiness so I put him down to bed and lo and behold, he went down without a whimper. One down and one to go!

Not long after Charlie went to bed, Matilda announced she too would like to go to bed. And off we went. I didn’t believe for one second she’d drift off to sleep after I read the obligatory book or two. And my hunch was right.  So Matilda and I snuggled on the lounge and watched TV.

Now here lies the problem.  My son-in-law is a sports fan (or should I say sport freak) so if I was at all interested in watching the football, horse racing, soccer or frigging tiddlywinks,  I would be in TV heaven.  Unfortunately for me, I’m not.  As part of his pay TV package he gets all the sports channels and only the basic channels of anything else.  Meaning, there’s fuck all to watch on TV. 

Luckily for me but unlucky for them this Saturday night’s Movie selection was good, so I ordered two movies – both charged to their account. Just desserts I say. Anyway, after a time I carried a sleeping Matilda to bed then settled in for an easy night of Movies and wine. Ahhh sweet relief but not for long!

Around 9.30 I heard Charlie coughing which on my daughter’s instructions, I ignored. After another while the coughing was accompanied by some crying, which I didn’t ignore so I snuck into his room and bought him out for a cuddle.  After 30 minutes he went back to sleep and I put him back to bed. Not long after putting little Charlie to bed, I noticed the front porch light turned on and thought I heard someone rustling outside and figured it was my daughter and son-in-law.  However, no one came through the door so I figured the light was tricked by a bird or passer-by and I went back to the movie.

Another 20 minutes passed and I heard another rustling, this time at the back door, right next to where I was watching TV. I figured they were home and waited for them to tap on the door so I could let them in. After a minute or two the rustling continued but no one came to the door. Being rather brave, I stuck my head out through a slightly ajar door and ask who was there.  My son-in-law said it was him, so I let him in.  Immediately I could see he was drunk.  He gets this funny look on his face where his eyes are transfixed on the ground approximately 1.5 meters in front of him and his upper body tilts wildly to one side. He made it to the lounge, sat down and proceeded to sleep.  Not before I asked where my daughter was, which he replied that he didn’t know. I might add, his lovely white shirt that my daughter insisted I tell him looked good earlier, was now dirtied with what appeared to be grass stains. 

Where the hell had he been I wondered?

If only the son-in-law would go to bed so I didn’t have to arrange myself another comfy spot on the lounge. Ok, I resettled myself and got back to the movie! Ten minutes passed and Charlie was crying again.   This time his crying was a little more intense and it was clear he wasn’t going to settle. So I got him up.  He was pleased when he saw his father but when his father didn’t respond to his attempts at a cuddle, Charlie wasn’t happy and made it very clear. I don’t normally text my daughter with any news other than the kids have gone to bed.  I do this to prove to my doubting daughter that I’m more than capable of getting the kids to bed before midnight. On the contrary, they are usually in bed or asleep before 7.30pm. But on this occasion I sent a text asking how long she was going to be?  The reply was she was heading off to the pub.

While I was trying to re-settle Charlie, my son-in-law got up off the lounge and headed out the back door.  “Where are you going?” I asked.  To that he told me he needed to go outside.Ten minutes passed and still no son-in-law. It was quite cold and I was worried he’d get hypothermia. I would have gone outside to check on him but I thought what the hell,  it was too cold.

So armed with an unsettled baby and a lost son-in-law I decided mummy (daughter) better come home – Nanni night care was over and out.

Did I see both movies you ask? Besides the commercials interrupting my viewing so to was one unsettled baby, one drunken son-in-law and one partying mummy, but funnily enough I managed to drink half-a-bottle of wine and watch two movies.

Ahhh sweet relief!

PS:  To keep the peace with my favourite son-in-law, some facts have been deliberately left out but if you ask me next time you see me, I’ll fill you in on the details.

Nanni Day Care – no rules day

I’ll start by saying that I think my daughter and son-in-law are exceptional parents and they have blessed me with two wonderful grand-kids even though I don’t feel old enough to be a Nanni. Well that is until I’ve minded the two said grand-kids over a period of a day and night, then I do start feeling like a Nanni who’s been wrung out to dry. Not because they’re naughty, on the contrary they are very good, but when one has reached an age when one doesn’t have children around then one becomes rather selfish, and I do enjoy being selfish. I think I’ve deserved the right to be selfish just like my daughter and son-in-law will deserve the same right one day.

Although minding the grand-kids take its toll, I’m not too old to remember how I raised my kids: how I fed them, how I got them to sleep and how I entertained them.  However, I think these points have certainly been forgotten by my daughter. And I’ll tell you why…

The first time I minded my granddaughter Matilda was when she was around 12 months, she wasn’t too long off the breast but had adjusted nicely to her drinking cup. Which reminds me, what happened to the good old bottle? They seem to be out of vogue these days – go figure. Anyway, my daughter arrived at my place with all but the kitchen sink – I must add here that I had a fully equipped baby’s room setup at my home. Along with all but the kitchen sink was a two page list of things I must do, complete with the time of day to do them.

The handover took approximately 1 hour because it seems that my daughter has also forgotten that I’m capable of reading, so she proceeded to go over each item on the list. There were approximately 20 items on the ‘to do’ list. Needless to say my eyes glazed over at about point 9 where I drifted off to a faraway place where one’s mind wonders when someone is reading a long list of ‘to dos’. I must say at this point, she’d forgotten to include Matilda in the handover, because she had other ideas.

Long story short, the first night went very well. We all survived. However, I’m sure my daughter secretly wished it didn’t go so well because she felt, as all new mothers do, that she has an insight into raring babies that has clearly been missed by me and all the parents that have preceded me.  All I can say is – see I can do it!

By the way, I followed the list up until point 9 for obvious reasons.

My latest adventure in what I like to refer to as ‘Nanni day care’ went down last weekend, only it didn’t stop at one day. It consisted of a trip to Lithgow and an overnight stay with my two Aunts, one whom was turning 80. This was the real test – two babies, Matilda now 3, and my grandson Charlie who is 15 months.

Needless to say Charlie was the fly in the ointment of making this weekend a relaxing time. He’s a typical boy, he won’t sit and read, or play, or do needlepoint, but would rather see how many times his head can hit the corner of the kitchen table, or whether he has mastered the art of pulling a tablecloth out from under all the tableware, and on one occasion, a nice hot pot of tea, without making a mess.

Funnily enough Charlie didn’t succeed with the tablecloth trick but his head found the edge of the table on numerous occasions and he also found many things to touch that we didn’t quite agree on. But having said that, all is forgiven when he looks at me and smiles and then say’s ‘Nan Nan’.  I can’t resist that, even when I’m  about to collapse in a screaming heap and feel like I can’t possible get up again to rescue him from certain injury.

Of course this weekend started with a list of ‘to dos’ from my daughter. Thankfully she doesn’t bother writing a list anymore, she realizes now that it’ll be misplaced, not intentionally mind you. But I seem to recall a list of demands as follows:

  • Give Charlie an early lunch then leave for Lithgow at around 11.30am. This will be the time he will be due for his nap. (BTW she packed a little packed lunch of sultanas, yogurt, ham and cheese).
  • Dinner around 5pm, followed by a bath for both kids.
  • Give them both a cup of milk before bed (approx 5.45pm)
  • Charlie is to go to bed at 6pm sharp.
  • Matilda can stay up until around 7pm.
  • Charlie will wake up around 5am. Offer him some milk then put him back into the cot and walk out. Don’t turn the light on. Let him cry, he’ll go back to sleep.
  • Charlie will wake up around 7.30am. Matilda around the same time.

 This is where the list ended because my daughter and son-in-law would be arriving around 10.30am. So I guess she figured I would play it by ear between 7.30am and 10.30am.

No worries love!

We left for Lithgow around 10.30am. Charlie and Matilda ate lunch in the car after Charlie woke up at around 12pm – I hate stopping on the side of the road but thanks for the lunch box, next time pack a bit more food as it didn’t go all around. We ate dinner around 5.30pm followed by a bath and a weak attempt to get Charlie to drink his milk; after all he got his dairy intake from the ice-cream. Charlie went down to sleep at 6.30pm – first attempt. Charlie finally got to sleep around 7pm – nice work Uppy (aka Poppy) and Nanni. Matilda went down to sleep after 3 stories, a snack of biscuits and milk and threats of throwing her dummies in the bin – which would make it around 8.30pm.

Charlie woke up at 5am, or so I thought, not one clock in the house showed the same time. I attempted to give him some milk but he wasn’t interested. This was done with the light on because Charlie’s ear and mouth looked very similar in the dark. We then snuggled down together until he finally went to sleep. This may have taken 5 minutes or 2 hours, I have no idea as it was dark. Sometime later Matilda woke us both up. Charlie, Matilda, Uppy and I had breakfast after which we whittled the time away until my daughter and son-in-law arrived.

Sweet relief!

Now I did say at the beginning of this story that I haven’t forgotten how to raise children, and I haven’t. After all, my daughter is very much like me and her child raising techniques reflect mine to some degree. But as my parents did before me, we Grandparents have a big responsibility and that is to let the grand-kids do what they want as long we get peace and quiet in the meantime.