Thursday, May 31, 2012

Grandparenting: It's the Little Things

New grandmothers would do well to practice this mantra: I will maintain self-control. I will maintain self-control. Where did all this new-fangled baby stuff come from and why didn't I think of inventing baby wipes? Or a wipes warmer? Or the dishwasher basket? Or the baby monitor? My baby monitor was my two little feet sleep walking down the hall, cracking the door, and hoping that my little night owl didn't see her mama peeking in on her. Shopping for a new grand baby especially the first, is quite a lesson in all things new and needful. It's easy to see how some dear soul steps to the counter at the Gazillions of Baby Things store and says, "I'll have one of everything, please." With all of the gizmos, toys, clothes, and matching accessories out there I have instead found that the best grand baby things at our house are the little, unexpected pleasures. Like the little books. Little hands love tiny books. And little boxes. We received a corporate gift in a lovely little wooden box that has become a grandchild treasure. That little box with the sliding lid holds a treasured collection. Mardi Gras beads. A matching box contains another highly valued grandmother tool. Plastic lizards.
A 99 cent sack of plastic lizards provides enormous entertainment, especially when you can get Daddy or Pop to play along. One of my grandboys who is known for a particular level of anxiety over suspenseful or awkward situations was talked into placing one of said plastic lizards on his father's dinner plate. The yellow lizard blended in well with the saffron rice and once the suspense button was pushed there was no turning back. His daddy played it to the hilt taking that lizard in with one bite and allowing the tail to hang out the side of his mouth. Grandson nearly came unglued and never was such a good laugh experienced with one little yellow lizard.

Little cups, saucers and plates are such fun for pouring from the little bottles of juice that are kept at toddler height in the cabinet. The messes that grandchildren can make with a bottle of juice or a little box of raisins are not half the mess that children made with the same weapons of mass destruction. So stock that cabinet with single serving size plastic bottles and let those young'uns fiddle with the cap themselves.
While you're out and around you may come across unusual or just plain ol' fun things like this little colored spoon. I think I  found it at Bed Bath and Beyond. It's just out of the ordinary and one of the little boys likes to eat Lucky Charms with it. Yes, the bowl of the spoon is way too large for his little mouth, but that's why it's such fun. BTW, make sure you've have a supply of some of those food stuffs that are contraband at your grandchild's home. I'm a firm believer in honoring my children's parenting choices and they've been really lenient with my grand mothering principles. What's a little bit more sugar?
Speaking of sugar. Three of my favorite little peeps and their parents gave me this turtle for Mother's Day. See, after a while the kids all start picking out items that just look like fun in a box at Grammy's house. Did you notice this turtle's cute little tail?
It's actually a spoon which I figured was going to be an excellent powdered sugar serving piece. Everyone needs turtle sugar on their French toast. And be sure to let Junior do the sprinkling.
Speaking of sprinkling. Salt and pepper are much more fun to sprinkle from beehive shakers. Just be on the lookout. Pottery Barn usually has lots of fun little things for little people.
Who said they have to know just yet that these are salt cellars and not sprinkle dishes?  Snow flakes and colored sugar sprinkles with a little salt spoon add pizazz to pancakes, ice cream (in little containers), and buttered toast. My pantry is sprinkle heaven.
Be prepared for unlikely affections and attachments to develop. Somehow we all fell in love with little jointed animals. I found these at World Market on the Easter clearance for $1.25. You don't have to spend much money to have a fun time. Remember, maintain self-control. It's the little things that are fun and memorable. Create at-home memories that are not dependent on big ticket items and exotic destinations.
We love little things. Like these seven little things.

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