Tuesday, February 2, 2010
Another opportunity to act like a grand pa
Jeanne was suppose to post about the grand kids and their visit to great grandmother a few Sundays ago but she got busy, the Vikings lost and she hasn't had the time to post anything since. It is hard to post stuff when you come home, eat and fall a sleep watching TV.
Our weekends have been full of lots of activities. Our neighbor (and tenant) is a singe mom and she asked me if I could babysit her three kids on a no-school Friday. I said yes and planned a full day with the three of them. On the appointed Friday, her youngest boy (Gavin) was sick so the two girls and I went off to the Mall of America to use the rest of the points Mike and my grandsons had left after their trip. On the way to the Mall, we stopped at the Walker's Outdoor Minneapolis Sculpture Garden. The kids had seen the "Spoon and the Cherry" from the road but they had never seen it close enough to touch it. It was fun watching them have the experience of appreciating art from a 9 or 11 year old perspective. From the Garden we went off to the Minneapolis Institute of Art.
I have been to this museum many time but I don't remember enjoying it as much as I did seeing the art work through the eyes of young girls. Olivia kept saying some of the paintings had eyes that followed her and that was spooky. They used words like "weired", "spooky" and "scary" to describe some of the art in the museum. They were fascinated with the African exhibits, especially the masks. One had a 12 foot hat on it and that got their attention. We spent over an hour at the museum before I pulled the plug and said we had to go to the Mall for a few rides.
When I agreed to babysit I had the impression that only our school district had the day off. Boy! was I wrong. There had to be over a thousand kids at the Nickelodeon universe park. Seems half the twin cities had the day-off from school. I told the girls that they could pick any rides they wanted to but they had to alternate their choices. I raised three boys and, as a aged male, had the impression girls were dainty, gentle, lady like creatures who would be too scared to go on the fast, high, spin and puke rides. Well, I either never got it or just missed that part of parenting. These girls went on every ride with the exception of one and if there was time, they would have repeated the most spinning, hair-raising rides over and over again. We spent a few hours at the park and then had to head home. Another thing about girls I didn't know. They eat as much as boys do, at least in the snack department. On the way home they lamented that they were hungry and had to have snacks when we got home.
When your grand kids are miles and miles away, it is great to act like a grand parent even if the children are not yours. I fully enjoyed myself and I am looking forward to babysitting the kids anytime mom needs the coverage. Surrogate grand parenting is a lot better than just having your kids miles and miles away. You see old things with new eyes and that makes them so much more exciting.