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Napier Courier - 2021-05-05

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Oldies still goodies for holiday fun

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Brenda Vowden brenda.vowden@nzme.co.nz

The school holidays may be over, but the mere mention can send shivers up the spine of parents. Juggling care for their children while they work can be a nightmare, but for the grandparents able to step in and lend a hand, it can be a dream come true. I was lucky enough to have my three grandsons for a day in the first week — all at such a great age to have some fun. With nappies, daytime sleeps and mushed up food now a thing of the past, the possibilities were endless. My inner school mam kicked in when the boys came leaping through the back door. It was time to get organised. They were quite familiar with our planning meetings, so I whipped out a sheet of paper and a pen and the meeting began. We sat on the floor around a table and the rules were called out. They listened intently, nodding eagerly. One person speaks at a time, all ideas will be written down, no butting in. Hands shot up, perhaps still in school mode. I rapidly scribbled down all suggestions as they enthusiastically spilled out — everyone was heard, nobody yelled over the other, nobody butted in. Eldest grandson favoured a stroll in the bush, a visit to the aquarium, a trip to his favourite book shop and, a no-brainer here, a stop at the bakery. Middle child suggested a play on the beach, a play at a playground, a trip to Birdwood’s lolly shop and a bit of ‘acting out’ an online game — innovative. Youngest and recently started school boy chipped in with Anderson Park playground, a visit to the crystal shop — left field — and lastly, a stop at the gaming lounge — why not! Nanny’s sensible list included a movie at home, making a hut, a shopping spree (groceries) and a visit to the library. That’s why I’m the grandmother. Now the crucial part of the meeting — time to vote. Each idea was read out and up went the hands — or not. I ticked each vote next to the idea on the list and anything with three ticks was added to our ‘itinerary’ for the day. They were all invested in the unfolding programme and waited with bated breath as I read out today’s schedule. And first on the list — off to the linen cupboard I went and fished out a few large sheets — the lounge was about to become one large ‘hut’. Sometimes the oldies are indeed the goodies.

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