I arrived at my daughter’s house on Friday at 5pm, the time she said she’d be at home. As I arrived she called to let me know her watch stopped and she was working to an earlier time, therefore she’d be 20 minutes late.
Although I don’t have a key, the neighbour does and he also had my granddaughter as he picked her up along with his kids from school. So I got the spare set of keys and my granddaughter and I made myself at home until my daughter arrived with my grandson who was a child care.
Before I go on with my story I need to point out that my daughter is a highly strung perfectionist, with the emphasis on highly strung. She has little patience and doesn’t like deviating from her organised plan when it comes to the kids.
My granddaughter Matilda and I were chatting about her weekly routine of school, dancing and swimming when her mother arrived home with Charlie. Charlie, who’s three, held out his arms for a big hug and kiss which is always welcoming and not always expected from my emotional little man. My daughter’s greeting consisted of a quick ‘hi’ whereby she immediately launched into organising dinner.
Unlike my three kids who ate almost everything, never ever turned back a meal unless they were sick, Charlie is something else. It’s a meal time battle ground every night, or at least every night I’m around. Charlie won’t eat anything other than chicken wings and rice and of course chocolate and lollies which he doesn’t get often so essentially he almost doesn’t eat, something that frustrates me no end.
Therefore, mealtimes at my daughters end up in a yelling match with Charlie who refuses to eat and after 15 minutes of crying, yelling and sending him to his room he finally and begrudgingly ends up at the dinner table picking what he likes from his plate all the while pulling a face like it’s going to poison him. In the meantime, my daughter is cranky and explains her mood started the minute she picked up a naughty Charlie from child care and of course her mood only exacerbated with the food battle.
Not to inflame the situation, I sat quietly at dinner while the food battle was raging. It would only take a single word to blow my daughter right out of the ball park but my daughter knows that my silence indicates that I’m holding back my opinion, which I was but decided to shut well and truly up.
To alleviate the situation, after dinner I bathed and dressed the kids which gave my daughter some time to relax and calm down – but not for long.
It was Friday night and the kids are allowed to stay up a little later to watch a DVD, and to my pleasant surprise it was Mary Poppins. I loved this movie when I was little and was happy to share the experience with my Grand children.
I should also mention that earlier in the evening, prior to the food battle, Matilda talked me into letting her to sleep with me. I’m not too keen on the idea as I love to sleep on my own but she looks at me with her big wide expecting blue eyes so how can I say no.
As the movie neared to an end my daughter reminded the kids their bedtime was looming. Matilda announced she was sleeping with me. Now forgive me for thinking I should be applauded for being a loving Nanni who gives in to such requests but on the contrary I got myself a dressing down for allowing such a thing and the reasons given included:
- What about Charlie?
- I shouldn’t upset Matilda’s sleeping routine.
Firstly I’d already made a pack with Charlie that he could sleep with me next time but the little bugger played up none-the-less citing the unfairness of not being able to sleep with me which of course added fuel to my daughter’s wonderful mood – I just can’t win sometimes and this was certainly one of those times.