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Is taking my grand-daughter to the library a MUST when I babysit?

(33 Posts)
Newlife101 Sun 05-Feb-12 23:55:33

This is my first posting, so please be gentle!!! My relationship with my daughter and her family is, I think, really good especially since I moved 150 miles last year to be close to them. However, when I do my weekly babysitting for my grand-daughter, my daughter objects that I do not take her to the library.... GD has just turned four, and we plant bulbs, make paper crafts, do pre-school learning and lots of other things, but for some reason - not deliberate - the library has not ever been included. It is not specifically left out, it just has not featured on my To Do list.
I am aware that my own mother made a special thing out of bringing my daughter to the library, but I am beginning to feel penalised for this ommission. Is it me???

harrigran Mon 06-Feb-12 00:51:15

Welcome Newlife101 smile
You should not feel under pressure to take GD to library. You are doing other activities at home which is fine. We should just be able to enjoy our GD without having to occupy them all the time.

bagitha Mon 06-Feb-12 06:23:31

Welcome to gransnet, newlife. smile The only reason your daughter could have for pressurising you for not taking your grandchild to the library would be if she was paying you to do it and you didn't. If you are babysitting for free, then she has no right to complain or put pressure on you. It's your choice.

Perhaps you could gently try to set some ground rules about you choosing what you do when you're in charge and reminding her that you are not your mother. It sounds as if your grand-daughter has a lovely time with you. Good luck.

glassortwo Mon 06-Feb-12 07:52:35

New you appear to be doing lots of activities with your GD, (not sure if you have GD once a week or for a full week) and if you only have GD once a week there is only so much you can fit into a day without taking the enjoyment out of spending time together.

I have my GC all week and before GD started Nursery we would spend one morning a week at the Song Time at the library (we both love books), singing and choosing books a time we both enjoyed, but now she has started Nursery we dont have the time for a visit to the library but use the book loan service at the Nursery, but this was only a very small part of our week.

I dont agree with filling every possible minute with organised activities, a little free play I feel is essential, I think your doing a great job, welcome to GN.

Butternut Mon 06-Feb-12 08:05:14

Hi Newlife.

No, I am absolutely sure it isn't you! It seems to me that you are doing a grand job having your grand-daughter once a week. Is it possible to chat to your daughter about this? A occasional visit to the library sounds lovely, but what a pity it is in danger of becoming a bone of contention between you both. Is the Library open at weekends? - which I am sure it is, at least on a Saturday, so it does beg the question why your daughter does not take her then.

Carol Mon 06-Feb-12 08:12:36

I think the significant bit of your posting is that you say your own mother took your daughter to the library when she was a child, and I wonder if this is one of those magic memories of childhood that she wants to recreate for her daughter, because it meant so much to her? Why don't you check it out with her? These memories do get amplified over time, and it may be that your mother only took her two or three times but they have become very special.

You might be able to do something similar every now and again, but I agree with others - it isn't compulsory and would become a chore if you felt you had to do it every week, but in the spring a trip to the library on a nice day, combined with something like the swings in the park, would be enjoyable and an equally special memory for your grandaughter.

Hunt Mon 06-Feb-12 09:50:02

Carol, the same thought occured to me ,that your DD so treasured the library visits with her DG that she wants her DD to experience the same. It seems to me that you are creating your own ''special memories ''for you DG. Maybe you could mention this to your DD?

absentgrana Mon 06-Feb-12 09:54:27

Hello Newlife Sounds like you and your granddaughter have a lovely time together and there's no reason why on some occasions this lovely time shouldn't include a trip to the library. Equally, it's hardly compulsory. Your daughter's objection sounds strange and I think you might be wise to have a chat to uncover why she has such strong feelings about this.

susiecb Mon 06-Feb-12 13:41:46

I'd take her to the pub and the bingo that would shut your DIL up ungrateful personsmile

gracesmum Mon 06-Feb-12 13:57:05

Or just go to the pub/bingo youself.grin
Seriously it does sound as if going to the library was something special she remembers -how about a compromise and go 1 in 4 visits? Talk to her about it, it may be that Saturdays are too busy or that it is to do with the GD/Granny relationship. Sounds like quite an unenergetic option to me and not unpleasant!
I do find that in my case DD has higher principles about what activities DGC should follow than I ever had when she was a tot - a bit of Bagpuss and a cup of coffee for me was about the sum of it.

syberia Mon 06-Feb-12 15:00:44

Yes, I agree. Your daughter has special memories of the trips to the library with her gran, and would seem to want to create similar memories for her own child. It is a very special memory for her and I don't think it is a criticism of your own activities.

JessM Mon 06-Feb-12 15:08:01

I agree with Carol, Syberia et al
Maybe ask her to talk about her memories of going to the library and what made it so special.

Newlife101 Mon 06-Feb-12 16:25:15

Gosh - what a lovely positive start to Gransnet! Thank you all for your thoughts, especially the ones that made me smile - it put some perspective on it!
Best wishes, Newlife101

Carol Mon 06-Feb-12 17:07:23

Hang on just one moment Newlife101! Didn't you say on another thread you were forced to retire, have arthritis and have had 3 new hips?!!! I think your daughter is lucky you are in any fit state to mind your grandaughter. I hope she recognises that thanks

Ariadne Mon 06-Feb-12 17:31:59

They are right,*Newlife101*! My DD remembers all sorts of things that she and my mum did - including mum buying her a Babycham when she was 12,

JessM Mon 06-Feb-12 17:57:19

Brilliant ariadne
Mine gave me far too many sweets and helped to wreck my teeth.
the other one used to smoke in the house. (shock horror timewarp moment!)

Ariadne Mon 06-Feb-12 18:33:11

She (mum) got told off in the pub, though!

Amber Tue 07-Feb-12 11:38:29

I agree it's probably much more to do with fond memories with her own Gran, than a need for you to go to the library with your GD.
My son has wonderful memories of caravan holidays with his grandparents, so much so, he talked us into taking his boys away in a caravan last year, we all had a great time, but it back fired on him! because this year when he told them they were going to disney land they said they would rather go away in a caravan again with nan and grandad instead!

glammanana Tue 07-Feb-12 12:39:30

newlife I agree with glass on this one children can have too much of a structured time when they are being cared for and they have to be left to play as well as doing organised activities,your DGD will have plenty of time for organised activities when she statrs school full time,if your DD is so concerned with her not going to the library let her take her on a Saturday morning or let her go with her daddy and they can then have some quality time together choosing some books.Welcome to GN smile

artygran Wed 08-Feb-12 19:20:21

I agree with the other GNers. You sound as if you are doing very well for your granddaughter and your daughter ought to thank you on her knees. We used to take our grandson to the junior library occasionally but he didn't like it much, especially if it was busy and there were lots of tinies around. He has always had plenty of exposure to books at home (and whenever I go to the library, I take out books to read to him when he comes here). Now he is at school and racing ahead with his reading, so not spending time at the library has not hindered him in the least. I have a similar problem to yours in that my daughter has a bee in her bonnet about TV. We use the TV as a respite when we have run ourselves ragged at the park, the woods, the swimming pool, cleaned up after baking, painting, gluing or picking up a thousand pieces of lego, but I feel irrationally guilty every time we put the TV on for him, in case he goes over his "quota", but it is nice just to have an excuse to put your sixty five year old feet up for half an hour!

Learnergran Thu 09-Feb-12 15:03:15

Had to laugh, Artygran. My DD is also very disapproving of the TV, to the extent that if her 6-month old twins are even in the same room as a turned-on telly the volume is turned down to almost mute and the babies are turned round so their backs are towards it! When I think of the all the pleasure she used to get from Postman Pat........... smilesmile

artygran Thu 09-Feb-12 16:12:53

You said it Learner! DD recently bought a Bagpuss DVD. "Is that for GS?" I enquired. "Oh no," she said, "its for me!" He is allowed half an hour of TV a day, so if he has had his half hour by the time we get hold of him, that's it! When he was younger, we could get away with all sorts, but NOW HE TELLS HER exactly what we have been doing during the day! But when he pleads, I am putty in his pudgy little hands! I have to say that our children these days are driven by different forces in bringing up their little ones, but really, as you say, it never did them any harm.

Carol Thu 09-Feb-12 16:19:13

My 3 year old grandsons were watching Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory when I got to their house at bathtime the other day - they were so enthralled, they were allowed to watch it all, as long as they went straight to bed immediately after, at 7.45 pm. There was not a murmur - they tired themselves out having the bath and the DVD, and trotted off up the stairs like a dream. On other days, they will not look at the TV. I see no harm in allowing children to relax and enjoy TV programmes that are fun, age appropriate and sometimes educational, too, as long as the TV is not a baby sitter, and they don't lose out on other playtime.

Learnergran Thu 09-Feb-12 17:41:46

My DD, who is trying so hard to be a perfect mum, doesn't want the babies' brains "stimulated" by the TV screen - they have to have tummy time, gym time, lots of textures to stroke, mashed swede before their breast milk....I applaud her (but am looking forward to seeing what happens when she has a couple more as well!!) In the meantime I know I shouldn't find it funny when their little heads swivel round trying to see the lights and colours flickering on that strange box behind them.

JessM Thu 09-Feb-12 18:05:18

I went to see Prof Susan Greenfield talking the other day. About the future of the brain. An entertaining and accessible speaker. She said that all the media we use will inevitably shape brains of the future, in many as yet unpredictable ways. She was not pessimistic about this.
Bless the mums really. They are so earnest and task focussed.