A relaxing weekend with the grandson... would be lovely

Lynne's pic

Lynne's pic - Credit: Archant

Now our grandson is walking we can no longer call him baby George.

Little George, boy George (absolutely not), young George, perhaps. He stayed the night, last weekend.

Do the manufacturers of dining room tables take the average height of a toddler as their yardstick for calculating optimum height? Within seconds of arriving, 21-month-old George has run into the corner of the table. But a bruise isn’t going to stop him being extremely busy.

First he has to inspect my make-up basket, take out my face powder brush and lick it before patting it on his cheeks. Then he has to make a new attempt to pull out the drawers in the coffee table. Happily, he still can’t manage it but it’s only a matter of time. Then he laughs at grandpa’s new beard and gives it a rub before negotiating the step down into the garden to refill the bird feeders. He has a spoon but prefers to use his fingers. In this way he can select the meal worms. Grandpa told him birds like worms so he picks them out, one at a time, and drops them into the feeders. It takes a while.

Using his own watering can, he waters the heads of the two stone lions we have in the herbaceous borders and growls. He saves a few drops for the plastic gnome our best friends Jane and Richard gave us for Christmas one year and which still refuses to disintegrate.

Grandpa cleans out the birdbath and fills it and George dabbles his fingers in it. I am on standby with a packet of handwipes.

Hide and seek brings him (George not grandpa) the kind of anticipatory, shoulder-hunching, squeal-inducing glee small children adore. He is “hiding” in the passageway behind the wheelie bin. We pretend we don’t know for ages

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Back indoors George rummages through the large cardboard box where his toys are stored.

“He’s very musical,” observes grandpa with pride as his grandson give it some welly on the xylophone and then uses the sticks to play the fire surround, the vase of roses and the brass hearth set. We stop him before he gets to the patio doors. Then George finds the maracas which no doubt indicates his interest in the World Cup.

“I think he’s going to be good at football,” says grandpa, proudly.

Having strewn his toys over the floor he sets about the small library of books, one of which has been confiscated due to bad grammar. I can’t have my grandson exposed to grammatical inexactitude at this impressionable age. I once again read him the the gripping story of Bizzy Bear and the public transport he uses in order to reach his holiday destination.

Even George looks a bit bored and he slides off the sofa to play with the keys left at the bottom of the stairs. He posts the big door key through the letter box, from inside to out and attempts to lock the front door with my Ford Ka key. He manages to turn the barrel of the lock so I can’t get the door key, which I have now rescued from the path outside, into the lock. I fetch a screwdriver and fiddle with the barrel until it’s back in position. George then throws a wobbly because I have taken away the car key.

I give him four grapes. Bribery and distraction can be useful.

Like most small beings, George loves animals and so our special treat for him, on this visit, is to visit a large pet store where the guinea pigs have nowhere to go. Auntie Ruth and Uncle Kev have two guinea pigs, Penfold and Kenny. They only have to sense George is nearby to scurry for cover. George would dearly like to hug them but his mode of approach (he yells at them and jumps up and down) is ill-judged. He has only ever caught a fleeting glimpse of a retreating guinea pig’s rear end.

In the pet shop, he is rapt. It is small animal heaven for a little boy destined to be a concert pianist, naturalist, physicist, actor and Turner Prize winning artist. Did I mention he can count to three?

After an undisturbed night I awake to the sound of ducks.

“There’s a duck in the garden.” I said, prodding my husband awake at 7.10am.

“It’s not in the garden,” he yawns.

George is in his cot talking duck to his knitted tiger, elephant and giraffe.

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