Wednesday, 8 July 2009

Life with Little Stuff

I honestly don't know how you young mothers find time to write a blog while dealing with kids, household and all the other bits of stuff and fluff that are needed to keep a family going. And hold down a job, many of you. I have had one six year old for ten days and I am a wreck. Not only that, I did not put finger to keyboard for the whole ten days, other than to write (at Little Stuff's dictation) emails to her parents detailing what frogs she had caught each day, what she had painted/made/baked, and how far she was with the latest jig saw puzzle. We went through two 500+ piece jig saws.

It would have been easier if it had not rained just about every blessed day. We did get out a bit between rain showers, mostly to the beaver pond or the marsh to collect the latest in the frog study. We had promised her the beach and a fishing trip in the big boat and neither of these treats happened. 'I guess we aren't going to the beach today Grama, are we?' she would say, small nose pressed to the rain washed window. Luckily the birds were not deterred by the wet and we had a hummingbird show every day on the screen porch. We also reduced the chipmunk population by live trapping the little wretches that were tunnelling in the septic tile bed and releasing them far, far away.

Grama is tired. Grama is tired, mostly, because Little Stuff usually spends 8:30 to 5:30 five days a week in either school or daycare. Her parents try to make her weekends fun to make up to her for lack of time during the week and what this boils down to is that she expects to be entertained or provided with things to do. 'What can I do now, Grama?' was heard a lot chez G this last while. Words to strike terror into the heart of any grandmother trying to make the visit fun so that the parents can relax and know their child will be happy while they are away. I will say for her that, given a craft or toy, she has good concentration and a long attention span. Grandpa taught her to play 'Doe, a deer' etc. on his keyboard and she practised it for hours. She worked at the jigsaws for up to an hour at a time, if someone was doing it with her.

Someone, meaning me or Grandpa. More often, me. I have created a couple of games that are ongoing, one being Spider and the other being a similar pretend game with two china birds that sit on the windowsill near the kitchen table. Spider appears at bath time and at tea parties, the china bird game is requested for each snack time and sometimes the birds join Roo and Spider at the tea parties. I get very tired of them and struggle to come up with new jokes and scripts but Little Stuff loves the game and I am not hopeful that she will tire of it soon. Spider is now almost two years old and the bird game has gone on almost as long.

Grandpa takes her out in the punt we keep on the beaver pond. They got a bullfrog into the punt but it escaped before they could tie down the screen over the top of the old drywall pail that was being used as a holding pen. He comes back wiped out, staggering into the house preceded by a pink cheeked, bright eyed Little Stuff full of stories about their adventures. They were not able to catch a garter snake either. I am thankful for small mercies. Two tree frogs, a leopard frog, a pickerel frog and assorted dragonflies and moths were quite enough.

We also took her to a local conservation area where there are a lot of showy lady slippers in bloom. I loved watching her; in between photographing the flowers she regularly peered under the board walk in search of amphibians and any other goodies that might be present. Looking, in her sundress and straw hat, like something out of a Victorian drawing. You've got to give her credit for perseverance anyway.

I now have two events for the Seniors' group I belong to; preparing and working in a booth to explain our programs and helping organize games at a picnic. One is on Sunday, one on Tuesday. Rain, of course, is forecast. After I get these two obligations out of the way, I may sit down and write something sensible for a change. And there are all of you, with all you do, writing thoughtful and wonderfully funny and fascinating stuff. But if anyone mentions a frog in the next little while, I may scream.


  1. Well, now I want to go out to our "intermittent waterway" (which has been full quite a lot, due to all the rain) and look for frogs. It sounds wonderful and you are certainly fulfilling your goals for enriching childcare.

    We had a young visitor earlier this week who plays violin but sat right down at the keyboard and made very pleasant sounds. Perhaps I'll try again to instruct my children, although I don't know how to play either.

    My son wants to play pretend every waking hour. I am always asked, "Who in Radiator Springs/ Land Before Time/ Magic School Bus are you?" That IS exhausting. It's much easier to be me.

  2. This is why I have two kids! They play with each other, leaving me to clean, or type, or whatever.

  3. So, you've been to Purdon, eh?

    Anyway, ten days is a heckuva long time. I prescribe an equivalent length of complete bed rest. :)

  4. oh, she is precious in that hat!

    i've said it before, but it bears repeating... that little stuff is pretty lucky to have such a great gramma!