I stayed last night at Mum’s house as I need to be in this area for work and as it is still the school holidays, Joshua came with me to see his Granny. We drove across in the afternoon and he was very excited as we pulled into the drive. He burst in through the front door and immediately pounced on the piano, banging out a welcome tune with a flourish. I had just five minutes to brief my mum, then I left them to it as I went to my meeting, Granny was cutting up some apple for him as I left.
Joshua was delighted to see me two hours later when I got back and it sounded as though he had been full of beans, there were coasters and cushions scattered on the floor of most downstairs rooms. I sat at the kitchen table drinking my cup of tea, chatting, when we heard footsteps overhead. I went upstairs to find the culprit and Joshua stuck his cheeky head out of the door of the spare room, where he was clearly about to strip the bed. So I brought him back downstairs, where he began sweeping the hall carpet. The only time that he sat still was two enjoy his homemade fish pie – he had seconds! – and then he was busy again.
I decided on an early bath to settle him down, where there was rather a lot of splashing, so we went staright from the bath across the landing to bed and some calming stories. He snuggled down and I lay next to him for a while, and it seemed as though he would fall asleep. I was dozing off myself when I remembered he had not had his bedtime medication, so I crept downstairs to get it. I met a stripey-pyjama clad grinning young man on the stairs, heading back down to say hello to Granny, on my way up, so I managed to turn him around and we went back to bed together. Whether the melatonin did its job or he just admitted defeat, I am not sure but there were no more jumping-out-of-bed incidents and he settled down to sleep…
Well until some time in the midle of the night, it was still dark, when he found me in my single bed and climbed in too. It was quite a squash but we both went back to sleep and he is still there now.
Yesterday I let Joshua have a small lie in but got him up at 9 so that we could drive 2.5 hours across the country to visit both of his Grannies. My mum knew that we were coming and had made us some lunch – not a dozen lasagnes as I had warned her that Joshua seems to have gone off his old favourite meal, so she made him Barbecued chicken instead but he rejected that too! Joshua was delighted to see her and he made her look like a giant as he stood hugging her in the kitchen. But after lunch he was naughty, while we were sitting talking in the lounge, he went into the kitchen on his own; he ran a washing up bowl full of hot water and he dropped her handsfree phone into it. When I came in to see what he was up to, it was too late and the handset had sunk to the bottom of the bowl. I fished it out and removed the batteries and it is drying in the boiler cupboard now, but I suspect he has killed it. He showed no remorse, but for him he was simply playing with two of his favourite things – water and telephones!
We chose then to walk down the road to my Mother in Laws house, who did not know we were coming so she had a big surprise to see us two on the doorstep! We too sat chatting but this time, naughty Joshua dozed off on the settee so he did not get into any mischief.
It is a shame that both sets of grandparents have been 2.5 hours drive from us all of Joshua’s life, so we have only seen each other on weekend visits to each other mainly as he has grown up. He has never been blessed by having grandparents living in the same town as us, as many do have, where Grandparents have played a more active, regular childcare role. But as I was growing up, my gandparents were living much further away with one set in Kent and another in Ireland, while we lived in Scotland! So Joshua has been able to see more of his grandparents growing up than we did of ours.
But Joshua has always been blessed by his substitute Yorkshire Grandma who he sees several times a week after school: tonight she will have his early tea ready and will get him changed ready for Riding for Disabled tonight, so that all I have to do is come home from work and scoop him up at 5.30. As well as her usual after school hours this week, Yorkshire Grandma is also babysitting on Thursday night while we go to a work function together. She calls him her ‘Angel’and says he always behaves well.
Sadly Joshua has no Grandads left alive now, but he is blessed with three Grannies who love him.