Tag Archives: granddaugther

Wednesday with Granddaddy – Double Treat

Last year, I wrote about how much I enjoy every Wednesday since I get to spend the afternoon with my granddaughter at the Children’s Museum of Memphis (CMOM).  She and I have been going there for a full two semesters now, ever since her parents have been back in school. It is a wonderful routine that she and I have gotten in to and, the few times I have traveled and not been available, we have both sorely missed our time together. Well in May of this year, I got a double treat when my daughter and grandson flew in town for a two-week visit.

It was a very special time to be with them since my daughter and her family live so far away. And with my granddaughter’s parents out of school for the summer, there were lots of time to get together over the two weeks so the two cousins could play with each other, here seen sharing cups of ice at Mimi’s café.

Since it had been almost a year since we had all been together, it also afforded us an opportunity to get some professional photos taken of the grandkids.

With nice spring weather, there were also several chances to have cookouts together…

…and learning to share.

It was definitely an exciting time for all.

But for me, the highlight of the visit was getting to go to the Children’s Museum with two of my three grandchildren along with their parents (sans our son-in-law who was on a business trip) and my wife and fellow grandparent affectionately named, Mimi!

For my granddaughter, having been so many times with me to CMOM, she has almost a routine of what she likes to do once we walk in the door. For my grandson, this was a new experience so starting out with Mimi in a police car seemed an appropriate place to begin the adventure.

In fact since it was a new exploration for my grandson, I spent a part of my time going back and forth between where my grandson was at the time and where my granddaughter was.

With her parents there, my granddaughter also got to do some special things with Mommy and Daddy that my granddaughter and I had not been able to do before.

And throughout our time there, I tried to make sure I spent an equal amount of time with each grandchild wherever they were in the museum so that they did not perceive me as showing favoritism to one or the other.   On the occasion when they were in the same place…

…I never could seem to get them both in the same photo at the same time.

Being interested in cars like me and so also mechanically inclined, my grandson spent some time taking the wheels off the car in for repair…

…before running over to the FEDEX plane and loading up packages for delivery. I think he manually cranked at least 20 packages up the conveyor belt all the while my granddaughter was sliding down the circular slide from the back of the plane, each doing what they thought was the most fun.

We fortunately had about two hours at the museum so the two cousins got to shop together at the little grocery store, cook together in the little kiddie kitchen, and do lots of other fun activities.

I don’t know if anyone noticed the gleam of joy in my eyes getting to watch them both play. It was a real thrill for me, one I would love to have more often. And my keen observation noted that they both made the same tongue motion as they played, a small telling behavior revealing they were related.

At 5:00 when the museum closed and for our grandkids, went “night-night” as we always say, we made our way out to the parking lot. But the fun was not over yet. We drove over to my favorite burger place for a well-earned dinner.

As we talked and waited for our food to arrive, I reflected on the wonderful time I had had at the museum watching my grandkids play. I knew they had had fun too and I hoped my fellow adults had also. But deep down, I knew this was particularly a special treat for me—a double Wednesday treat with two grandkids—one that might not be so easily detected by the casual observer. But a treat it was indeed, one that I hope to get to repeat one day, hopefully with all three of my grandchildren making it a Triple-Treat!

Wednesdays With Granddaddy

Earlier this year, I wrote about how I was all set to perform my granddaddy duties for my in-town granddaughter once her parents had both started back to school. During the fall semester, this included picking her up from Parent’s Day Out on Friday, bringing her home to spend the night with us and then having her spend the day with us on Saturday. My wife and I thoroughly enjoyed having her on these days.

On a couple of these Saturdays when my wife was out of town, I had her all to myself. With nice weather, we could go for a stroll around the neighborhood.

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But once the weather turned colder, we looked for indoor activities, one of which was her first ever ride on a carousel at a local mall.

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Another great discovery was simply taking her to my favorite toy store, Lowe’s, and letting her wander up and down the lumber aisle where there was nothing little hands could break. And on one occasion, we even got to meet a very friendly dog, a pet that my granddaughter seems to be smitten by.

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But by far my favorite granddaddy duty always came on Wednesday afternoon when each week I had her all to myself. With her parents both in school at that time and my wife working, my granddaughter and I developed a regular routine.

Typically, I would feed her lunch and then let her take a nap. As soon as she awoke, we’d jump in the car and head to the Children’s Museum. It wasn’t long after we started these excursions that we would just be waved through the gate without having to even stop as they recognized us (and my car) from previous Wednesdays.

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Our first stop would always be to check out the chickens, and roosters (and occasionally turkeys). At the time, my granddaughter was learning to make different animal sounds and seemed to enjoy hearing the sounds of real chickens and roosters. Then we would hop inside.

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When we first started making these weekly trips, typically we would start off in an area designated for four-year-olds and younger. There she could play in the tree house with its big slide at the bottom…

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…climb on the jungle gym…

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…play with a little doll house…

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…or stuff scarves into the air-pipe system…

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…and watch them make their circuitous journey through the pipe maze and pop out the top to float to the ground.

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Near this area was also a toddler size kitchen with cabinets, back splash, and counter tops nicer than those in most of my previous homes.

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Placing her little hands under the faucet would elicit the sounds of running water and the churning of a garbage disposal, both favorites of my granddaughter.

As the Wednesdays rolled by, we began to venture into the bigger kids area and eventually would spend almost our entire two hours in those areas.

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The model Mississippi river proved particularly attractive as it afforded a splashing opportunity as well as good fishing.

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There was also a time when she decided to play the role of dental hygienist and demonstrate proper brushing technique, having to climb up onto the willing subject to reach his big teeth.

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But one favorite spot each time was the disco room with flashing lights and 1970s music to dance by.

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And over the fall, it was with delight as I watched my granddaughter grow and learn to master new activities.

Like the time when, without even understanding the significance of the “Xs” and “Os”, she won a game of wall tick-tack-toe…

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…or the time, always attracted to anything musical, figuring out how to make sounds emit from the laser harp…

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…and even learning to get on and off the seesaw (designated for five-year-olds and older) driving herself up and down all by herself without even a second child on the other end.

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Our last stop each trip would always be the painted yellow brick road just outside the exit door. With a motion detector high up on the wall sensing my granddaughter walking up, she marveled at how the song “Follow the Yellow Brick Road” would automatically start to play to which my granddaughter would begin to dance. Typically we’d have to hear it play at least five or six times before we would head back to the car. Sometimes, this activity was cut a little short as they began to lock the exit gate.

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It was then a short drive back to her house where her parents who had not seen her all day always greeted her warmly.

It was often with sadness we had to end our time together but joy in knowing that we would get to repeat the experience in just one week for another Wednesday with Granddaddy!

On Becoming a Granddaddy – TWO!

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Yesterday I became a granddaddy for the second time, exactly six months to the day since I became a granddaddy for the first time. So joining my first grandson is my first granddaughter.

Our day on Saturday started out pretty early in the morning with a call at 6:30 from our son that contractions were five to eight minutes apart. Contractions had started at 4:30 AM. My wife, now grandmother for a second time, suggested they quickly get showers and head to the hospital. She and I each quickly got our showers and then headed off too.

Whenever we are together, I typically drive but for this trip, my wife wanted to drive us. She claimed I drive too slowly and methodically and a time like this demanded speed, speed, speed. After running one red light in the interest of speed, we arrived to find them already checked in and in a room. My son obviously had his own ideas about speed.

No sooner had we arrived than my son pulled me aside and said I needed to go back to his apartment to pick up someone left behind, his future daughter’s big brother who had unfortunately been left behind in the mad rush to get out the door.

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So off I raced back to my son’s apartment since I didn’t wanted to miss the birth. I’m sure I drove a little less slow and methodical than normal and within 30 minutes, I had big brother strapped in for the race back to the hospital.

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After about an hour, I was back and ready for the excitement.

I must say that it has been over 25 years since I was in a hospital room for the birth of a child. A lot has changed since then and I was most impressed. The room had everything for the labor and delivery along with a heated crib for the newborn. They never had to leave the room. After a couple of checks by the doctor and nurse, mother was only 20% away from being ready to push. My wife and I, having been at the hospital for about four hours, had time to run for a quick lunch.

When we returned from lunch, it was time to push and we excused ourselves and went to the waiting room. My wife would occasionally text our son to see how it was going but after an hour, it seemed progress had slowed.

While we were waiting, our daughter texted us to say her son—our grandson—was excited about getting to see his new cousin.

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Soon after, a friend of our son’s came in and we began to chat with him. About 30 minutes later, they played a nursery melody over the intercom system. At first I thought it was some sort of clock but when I looked and saw it was about ten minutes after three, that didn’t make sense to me. About fifteen minutes later, our son texted us to say his daughter—our granddaughter had arrived. The melody that had played had been for her.

After the new family had had their bonding time, we were able to go back and see the new mother, father, and baby. And just like last time when we met our grandson for the first time, it was my wife who held her first.

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Four hours later, I finally got my turn.

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I had never held a baby this tiny. She hardly felt like she weighed anything. All three of our kids weighed more and our grandson was already three weeks old before we got to hold him. But it was precious to get to hold her. And it was exciting to think that she would be getting to meet her new cousin for the first time in just a few short weeks when our daughter, son-in-law, and grandson fly in to meet the newest addition to our growing family.

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Happy Birthday to our first Granddaughter!