This grandma goes back to work next week. Maternity leave comes to an end for the new mom and I will return to Miss G, and now Miss C as well.
I will admit that I have a bit of apprehension about this. Not because there is baby care involved. Miss G and I did very well when she was handed over to me after three months and Miss C is pretty laid back when it comes to things like diaper changes and such.
My concern comes in the fact that it was waaayyy back in 1988 that I had the great privilege to have my own toddler plus a new baby to care for. Let’s do the math here – I think we’re looking at about 27 years since I’ve had to manage two little people at once.
I had the opportunity to grow into Miss G and her toddler/preschool self. We actually grew up together so to speak, but the focus was on her solely. I love Miss G. I love the little girl she is growing into, but Miss G has always had Grandma to herself. Every day when I arrived at her house, after hugs and good mornings, the first thing she would say was, “Let’s go play!” And we played, and played, and played. We did other things as well, but the point is that she never had to share me, no matter what the activity was. Now she has a sister.
I know that Miss G has had to practice some adjustments with her parents since her sister arrived, but even now, when I visit her home, it is quite clear that Miss G sees my purpose as one thing only: her playmate.
I’ve tried lately, when I visit, to make sure that baby sister is close by, or actually somewhere in the action with us. I have also tried to encourage more self-play and activity when she visits me, encouraging she play near me, but not necessarily always with me.
We are now just in another stage of learning. I think she’s done pretty well learning to share her parents. Now we need to work on learning to share Grandma. I don’t want to disappoint her. And I won’t be a grandma that hands her some electronic device or turns on a movie so that I can give Miss C the attention she needs as well. We will find our way, I have no doubt, and I think that Miss G would agree with me that it will be a glorious day when her sister is able to build forts, or play dress-up, or take on the role of Anna or Elsa and run with capes streaming out behind, freezing each other in an imaginary ice palace.