Thursday, April 1, 2010

Baboo and Nana in charge?

Stella, left, and Charlie share “tea.”
Staying with grandchildren on their home turf provides a welcomed opportunity to see their development firsthand, individually and as siblings. During our three days alone with our Columbus, GA, four, we were thrilled with how well the brothers and sisters played together and with the boys’ accomplishments in school, Charlie’s enthusiasm and progress in dance and Stella’s expanding vocabulary. The days were filled with laughter, fun and, yes, some challenges.

We learned, for example, that the reports from parents Walt and Sarah about 22-month-old Stella’s occasional outbursts were not exaggerated. A brief “get-out-of-the-house” jaunt had wound up at the Columbus River Walk, a beautiful 15-mile park along the Chattahoochee River. The older kids were engaged in collecting rocks and tossing them into the river with the intensity of big league pitchers.

Nate displays his pitching form.

Luke goes for the big splash.

Stella was soon following her siblings’ example. She kept my husband Walter, also known as Baboo, busy supplying her with rocks. She carefully eased each rock between fence railings and chunked it into the river.
Stella practices her rock toss.

When a sudden shower ended the river-walk visit, Baboo and I failed to recognize an even stronger storm headed our way. We had overlooked the fact that Stella was determined to negotiate an extensive flight of curved steps up to street level. When Baboo scooped her up to make a quick trip up the steps, the wails and “no, no, no” indicated a totally broken heart, hers and mine. Eventually happiness and quiet were restored.
Stella and Charlie give Baboo “quality” time.

We also learned that the boys’ parents had good reason for the limits they set on the time that Luke, seven, and Nate, five, could spend on Nintendo DS, their hand-held game systems. When our relaxed approach allowed them extended playing time, emotional circuits overloaded. By the end of our visit, we had worked out a balance that largely avoided the game-induced frustration and crankiness that the boys – and Baboo and Nana – had experienced earlier.

We left Monday evening, taking with us memories that make us laugh. We also left with an ever-growing appreciation of the results of our son and daughter-in-law’s parenting efforts.

1 comment:

  1. What a lovely tribute to your family and their nurturing. Grandkids can be a challenge but so wonderful to be a part of their lives.
    Wishing you a Happy and Blessed Easter.