Gransnet forums


Having the grandchildren to stay

(23 Posts)
LucyGransnet (GNHQ) Thu 12-Dec-13 10:07:19

Pipped to the post slightly by the newsletter, but here is the thread for one of this week's two blogs folks. Joel Rickett lays out the golden rules of having your favourite little people to stay...and then encourages you to break them grin

What's your take on having the grandchildren to stay - are you a rule-breaker, or is it ALWAYS safer to stick to instructions?

janerowena Thu 12-Dec-13 10:25:57

Teehee - a rule breaker. But then the little wotsits snitch on you and you are in deepest darkest poo. 'Grandma let me have cinnamon grahams for breakfast instead of muesli! ' being my latest crime. I never would have dreamt of inspecting the contents of my mother's cupboards and fridge the way my daughter does, but I just think it's funny and hide away anything that might cause discussion. Agree to everything and then adapt it to suit you is my motto, otherwise it will be miserable and stressful for all and you won't want to do it again. And surely children need to learn to be flexible and adaptable?

LucyGransnet (GNHQ) Thu 12-Dec-13 10:48:40

janerowena grin

We also have three copies of Joel's (very funny) book H is for Hummus: A Modern Parent's ABC to give away to people who comment here tchsmile

Gally Thu 12-Dec-13 11:22:47

Very funny but sadly only too true. I think many parents bring their children up like this. If the GCs stay with me they eat what they are given, sleep when they are tired, play like children, i.e. put on the wellies, play in the garden or on the beach and have fun; if we go out everything they need is in a small bag (nappy, wipes, water, nibbles, favourite toy,) and they walk or if too small they are pushed in a 3rd hand buggy - For heavens sake they are children not trophies - what is the world coming to? tchconfused

Galen Thu 12-Dec-13 11:28:44

Hilarious! Please let me have one. I might be able to cope with dd insisting I put yacht safety netting on the landing in case DGD falls through. (I've inspected it, the gap is big enough for a reasonable sized cat. I never realised that the older DGD is microcephalic. Her head looks normal size to me?tchhmm

whenim64 Thu 12-Dec-13 11:30:04

Ha ha!! Love that blog - it describes my children to a T, but they also send themselves up about it, like Joel. 'iPaddy' - a perfect description. When I give my grandsons their tea after school on Mondays, my rule is no iPads until you've finished your meal. They are allowed to keep sight of them on the window ledge. 'But, nanaaaaaaaa.....!!' doesn't wash with me. They have games apps, but Minecraft and educational apps are very popular. TV is Cbeebies or the odd children's film or DVD, but not on that much. An hour of anything is sufficient, then it's chat, games, bedtime stories, sharing jokes, playing I Spy and learning what words rhyme.

When they are in my car and I have to check behaviour, the chant goes up 'ma car, ma rules!' with much giggling. Apparently, mum says that.

Staying over, I don't get much of the processed food they would like me to - they don't have it at home. I involve them in making wholesome meals, and they love making jellies and flapjacks, grating cheese, working the food mixer (my hands hovering), making bread, pizza and cookies, and winding pasta through the machine. They like the whole breakfast ritual of boiled eggs with cosies on, soldiers with butter on, and turning the shells over to claim they haven't eaten them. At home, they have bowls of mixed cereals from the dozen varieties that take up one cupboard! How did that game start?

I let them stay up an hour later if it's weekend and we have a few treats, but they want to go to bed because the dog lies on the landing wagging her tail at them, and they sneak her in to the bedroom when I go downstairs. It's become a game - the dog's loyalty to me disappears when they arrive.

Staying over is not better or worse, just different. I never expected my grandparents to have lots of toys - there was a kitchen dresser drawer containing cards, dominoes, crayons, balls, marbles and a few bits of things, and we played with her button box, which I now cherish, and her dog. The clothes airer and blankets made garden dens, and we went to the park. My grandchildren enjoy those things, too.

tanith Thu 12-Dec-13 11:30:44

Over the many years I've had my grandchildren to stay and the oldest is 27 so its a few years, my children have happily handed them over to me and know that they will be happily and safely played with, entertained, fed, washed, sung to, read and anything else that needed to be done in any way that I choose. They know that I will do what is necessary to look after their precious children and wouldn't knowingly do anything that would bring them to harm. I don't need instructions all they need is my love.

gillybob Thu 12-Dec-13 11:35:18

Well here goes...............

I for one certainly won't be using any of Joel Ricketts Tips for a "smooth weekend" (isn't that a radio show?).

My recipe for a weekend at grandmas.............

1) Make sure the fridge and cupboards are well stocked with everything they are not allowed (or mum and dad never buy). Things like little sausages, Babybells, milkybar puddings, hula hoops and posh ice lollies go down very well with my three. Make lovely "grandma-y" meals like mince and dumplings and all sit around the table eating and chatting loudly. Cheer when anyone eats everything on their plate and put a star on the "housepoint chart" (made by the girls). Incidentally stars are awarded for almost anything!

2) Weekend bed times should never be confused with weekday bedtimes they are VERY different. At the weekend grandma and grandad are tucked nicely into bed long before the three monkeys settle down for the night. Yes they might be "in bed" but they are by no means ready for sleep. After a non routine of sorts (involving much splashing, soaking of bathroom floor and walls) the girls put on their PJ's and the little one streaks around the house being chased by his sisters and grandad. This resembles a Benny Hill sketch and is the cause of much hilarity all round. Eventually trapped and caught he is "jumped" into his pyjamas with cries of "jump me higher grandad" from his sisters. We then enter the bedroom where the fun really starts..... Now I should point out that we only have 2 large bedrooms and the three monkeys share a room. I have one set of bunks and a pull out trundle bed (supposed to be for the little one). Now here the housepoint chart comes in very handy again. We have a colour code system for who slept in which bed last time and who chose the story and who had which bear/doll/monkey to cuddle and woe betide grandad if he cocks up gets it wrong..... There will be repercussions! Eventually after "raising of voices" a bit of cheeky chatter and bed swapping the three monkeys settle down and grandma and grandad smile adoringly then fall into bed.

3) Entertainment consists of masses of paper, pens, glue and the dreaded glitter. Cards are made for almost any occasion. Chitty Chitty Bang Bang is the hot favourite DVD at the minute and we all sing along "Toot Sweets" anyone? Much laughing when the little one sings "shitty shitty bang bang we love you". The "Hi-Pad" does come out occasionally but it by no means takes preference over the bikes or scooters or a trip to the beach or park to feed the seagulls ducks. We dress up as kings and queens, disney princesses and buzz lightyear. We play shops, libraries (a new one) and the dreaded schools (when did a 5 year old become so bossy?)

4) Leaving the house is essential. Can you imagine keeping three wild animals caged for 12 hours and then opening the door? Whooping, screaming, jumping and running around like headless chickens. My grandchildren are outdoor creatures they "need" fresh air and open spaces. They need to eat the stale bread meant for the ducks and fall into the sea fully clothed. They need pop (sugar free of course) and savaloy sausages, they need to bomb down the hill on their bikes and find beetles under stones. They need to have fun and laugh at rude words.

They never want to go home..........What am I doing wrong? smile

whenim64 Thu 12-Dec-13 11:40:05

Perfect, gillybob! grin

Flowerofthewest Thu 12-Dec-13 13:31:30

Can I be you grandchild Gillybob Pleeeeeaaasssse!!!!!! it sounds such fun.

janerowena Thu 12-Dec-13 13:41:31

It sounds to me as if we all go pretty much our own, sensible way. With DD's first I did more or less as she wanted until the day she brought DGS to stay with his new potty, and I realised that I was to be the lucky person to trial potty training. As a fair amount of bribery and corruption was needed, all previous rules were null and void in my opinion. I never went back. She is a lot more laid back now, though. In some ways I am stricter than her, as I will never give them crisps but her own craving for them was her downfall in the end. As we never have them in the house she has to bring a supply with her. And after all the fuss about blackout blinds, they have now changed rooms and sleep just as well with thin pale yellow blinds. I really hope she doesn't have any more, it has just started to get easier. No more 'only one bedtime story for Luca, or he will make me read him four or five when we get home.' I love reading bedtime stories. grin

whenim64 Thu 12-Dec-13 14:23:21

I love doing bedtime stories, too (also have a Luca) and one is never enough. As I live where my rooms are not overlooked, I don't close the bedroom curtains. There's not much light, except from the moon, anyway. My daughter suggested bringing a blackout curtain to hang - it didn't come out of the bag. I'm busy enough without hanging blackouts, and the children didn't notice any difference. They were more interested in listening out for foxes and owls as they fell asleep.

Nelliemoser Thu 12-Dec-13 15:09:28

Re Galen's comment about safety netting on the stairs, my co-inlaw (Sil's mum) got into trouble when Sil heard that DGS's two doting grans had allowed him to play with pebbles in her garden. He was just engrossed for ages in putting them in and out of a bucket of water, just as little ones do.

Sil was worried that his DS might have choked on them!
DGS had his two grans sitting right over him at the time. Both of us have successfully raised two children without major mishap and Sil seemed to think we didn't understand the dangers.

I even have a picture of my DD doing the same thing at the seaside at the same age.
How do our "grown up" children think they survived these hazards.
For most mums I think that sort of "what might s/he do next" thought is instinctive.

Argghh! was my response at the time.

Riverwalk Thu 12-Dec-13 15:19:01

'Yacht safety netting' grin

When my grandson was a baby DS informed me that I must only use baby bath bubbles that had a low pH.

Must have thought I was planning to use Matey on the new born!

bikergran Thu 12-Dec-13 15:38:21

well! this morning I asked GS of 7 yrs would he like to stay (saves his mum getting him up and out before she goes to work) GS said "only if we can get the LEGO out" !! guess what I'm doing tonight..grin

bikergran Thu 12-Dec-13 15:38:47

which brings me to another topic where I will make a new post.

annodomini Thu 12-Dec-13 15:46:05

Just don't walk in bare feet, biker. Those tiny bits of Lego can be rather painful!

bikergran Thu 12-Dec-13 16:01:19

yes lol annodomini have learned by the experience lol ouch
just a tip for any other budding builders!!! the Battery operated lights from cheapy shops are great for sticking lights round Lego buidings!! we made brill garage few weeks ago , complete with orange lights on the forcourt smile

janerowena Thu 12-Dec-13 18:10:00

Brilliant, we have a whole room full of lego. Lighting would be good.

GillieB Thu 12-Dec-13 19:04:45

We love having almost 3 yo Jacob to stay over: my DD is quite laid back so it's quite a relaxed time. I do notice that with 6 mo Jessica, though, DD is even more easy going - guess it's a good job they intend to stop with two!

CariGransnet (GNHQ) Wed 18-Dec-13 09:39:54

The three names drawn out of santa's hat are...


Congratulations all - copy of the book on its way to you asap. It IS very funny

Galen Wed 18-Dec-13 10:31:23

Ooh! Thanks, look forward to that!

maryburrows Wed 08-Jan-14 16:22:38

I wouldlove to read this as sounds very funny and observant about modern life from balance bikes to mumsnet ...