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Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Grandma is a saint

Once the girl started talking the husband decided to teach her how to parrot back certain words or phrases that he thought were funny. He'd say "What's daddy's secret?", she'd say "Ninja". (As if he is a ninja, ha). He'd say "What's soylent green made out of?", she'd say "People". (You have to be into science fiction to get that one). The best of all the tricks he taught her though was to say "Grandma is a saint".

Grandma is a saint. Not in the dead martyr kind of way, but in the kind of way where we would be lost without her. We look forward to her monthly visits with excitement and anticipation. We quickly move out of her way when she sweeps into the house with her coolers full of food and takes over to restore order to the chaos that has developed since she was last here. She does our laundry, organizes the kids rooms (okay, ours too) and helps us get a handle on all the house maintenance that we ignore the rest of the time.

In case you only think I await her visits because of her work ethic, not so! My mother-in-law also comes prepared to lavish these kids with attention and love. As soon as she is in the door the girl is asking her "Grandma, did you bring me a book?". Ha! She doesn't bring just one. She brings a bag full of books and activities to keep the girl amused and buy the husband and I some quiet time. For months the girl thought "an idea" was something fun that came from the closet in the kitchen. Once the girl figured out where Grandma's stash was hidden she would stand by it and look eager as she asked "Grandma, do you have an idea?".

What I really love is how much joy Grandma takes in the kids. She marvels as the boy's standing and his chatting. She takes pleasure in reading to the girl and learning about the new things the girl can do. This past visit she laughed at the girl's excited exclamation of "look, I see pig poo" during out trip to the Canadian Agricultural Museum and shared in her excitement of the horses. Grandma stayed calm and helped me figure out what do when the boy threw up all over himself and his car seat while we were out for a drive down a busy street. The boy must love Grandma too because he kindly refrained from vomiting onto her upholstery.

Grandma leaves tomorrow and I am sad. The help she has given us these last ten months (ten months today!) since the boy was born have been so indispensable. If you had asked us before the girl was born we would have said "no problem, we can do this kid thing on our own". If you had asked us before the boy was born we would have said "um, yeah, we kind of, sometimes need some help". If you asked us now we would tell you that we can't do it without Grandma.

To quote another phrase the husband has taught the girl, "yay Grandma!".


  1. We dream of having a Grandma like yours. Our grandmas live far away and when we do see them, they are busy cooking and cleaning and rarely have time to play with the kids. I think some brave mommy entrepreneur should start a program here in Ottawa called "Adopt a Granny" in which older people with no grandkids can sign up and be paired with local kids whose grandparents live far away...and maybe wonderful playtime will ensue!

    I'm just jealous of yours :).

    My husband also thinks it's totally hilarious to teach the children to say movie quotes that they don't understand. I'll have to keep him away from your blog...if he hears about the Soylent Green thing, he will get working with Little Miss Sunshine for sure.

  2. I totally agree about Adopt A Grandma! I have thought of that too. Maybe that can be my job when I am old enough to be a Grandma.

    Our Grandma lives five hours away, which is just close enough for her to make these visits. And we are so thankful.It is hard to make it work with just a nuclear family.

  3. yay Grandma! Nothing better than that, huh?