Tag Archives: Grandmothers

Grandma Update: Peppa Pig!

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The Pigs Eat Breakfast

My grandson Maze, who will be three in September, introduced me to Peppa Pig. I’m nuts over Peppa! She’s British, and she’s just the sort of friendly, inquisitive, upbeat pig you’d love to have move in next door. Learn more about Peppa on her official website and in this Wiki article.

Peppa

Peppa’s family includes a little brother named George, Mommy and Daddy Pig, and Granny and Grandpa Pig. Peppa’s got loads of friends and a splendid teacher, Madame Gazelle. (You can see Madame Gazelle below, arms stretched wide.) Wiki tells me Madame Gazelle once played in a rock group called “The Rocking Gazelles.” That I didn’t know!

But I do know plenty about Peppa and her world, mostly in the creative and fun ways it intersects with Mazen’s world.

At Firehouse

I love watching him play with the figures. I’m allowed to make them move and talk too, but woe to anyone who messes with the figurines once Maze decides they are set.

A few weeks ago, we visited Charlottesville for more playing with Peppa AND a trip to Toys R Us, our first together. Maze got to choose one toy. He picked the Peppa Pig Camper Van, which, BTW, was a chunk cheaper at Toys R Us than Amazon.

Camper

Toys R Us

We were as happy as Peppa on holiday until the next morning, when Maze, a cough and cold setting in, couldn’t get the Peppa figures to sit how he wanted them to in the camper van. I jumped up to assist.

“GO AWAY GRAMMY!”

That stung.

I was tempted to remind Mazen who paid for the the camper van, but decided to take higher ground. I did remind myself that I’m many times his senior, and therefore know that tempers sometimes flare and loved ones get hurt.

But it still stung, especially since Cliff and I needed to hit the road a few minutes later. I wondered what Peppa’s Granny would say if Peppa treated her that way. I suspect she’d take it calmly as the English seem to do.

I’m learning that I’m not always going to be Grammy the Rescuer or Grammy the Adored. That’s not my job. My job is to love that little boy with all I’ve got, even if he pushes me away with a firm voice.

But I hope Maze lets me play with his Peppa figurines on my next visit. I want to ask Madame Gazelle what it’s like to sing in a rock band.

Madame Gazelle

Grandma Update: He’s Two!

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dollhouse

Mazen turned two in September. Glorious, irascible two!

We get along like Pooh and Piglet, as long as I do exactly what he says. This includes playing trains Mazen’s way, letting Maze pick the stories, and being open to a bedtime ritual that extends indefinitely. This child isn’t spoiled. His mom and dad have him in their parental grips, but when Grammy visits, Grammy is a happy pushover.

We don’t get many do-overs in life, but grandparenting is one of them. I can close my eyes to flashbacks of impatience with my girls at Mazen’s age. I can feel my body clench. Hear my frustrated words. My impatience sometimes haunts me with regret.

But by the time I get impatient with Maze, it’s time to go home. And within a day, I’m REALLY impatient, impatient to go back.

When Mazen sees Cliff and me again, he starts to jump. His feet leave the ground.

My jumping needs work, but my train skills are improving by leaps and bounds.

Photo Above: Maze loves the antique dollhouse at my mom’s apartment in Baltimore. The front porch makes a fine driveway for his cars. The dollhouse, built by my great-great-grandfather, is a replica of their summer home in Mt. Gretna, Pennsylvania.

Photo Below: An enthusiastic artist working at a table that was his mom’s when she was his age.

paint-with-water

 

Rick’s Grandma (and Her White Potato Pudding Recipe!)

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Rick's Grandma

When I began reading essays at Piedmont Community College in Yanceyville, North Carolina, I was struck by the happy place that grandparents, especially grandmothers, play in the lives of the students I meet.

Paper after paper recounts a grandma’s love.  Her energy. Her patience. Her whimsy. Her cooking!

So when my daughter Kath announced that my first grandchild was on the way, I began to wonder (and worry) a bit.

What sort of grandma will I be?  Will I earn someday a staring role in an essay?

A few weeks ago, Rick Stone brought in his paper. I’m  a writing tutor. I have the privilege of looking over essays before the instructor does, with his or her grading pen in hand.

Titled “My Adored Grandmother,” Rick’s essay tells of Anna Gertrude Foster, a “short, little woman with intelligent eyes.”  Born in 1923, as the years went by Anna was “blessed with twelve children.”

Rick put down the paper we were studying and spoke: “When Grandma came into the room, even though she had a quiet voice, everyone stopped talking.”

All eyes and ears focused on Anna.

In time, her grandchildren numbered twenty-four, but when you were with Anna, “It was like you were her favorite grandchild. She treated you so special. Her beautiful smile made you feel loved.”

I’ll never be tiny like Rick’s grandma.

I’m far from soft-spoken.

I’ve got a rather crooked smile.

It was like you were her favorite grandchild. She treated you so special.

But that I can try my very best to do.

Even if I have twenty-four.

Guide me, Anna Gertrude Foster!

Photo Above:  Anna in the yard of her home many years ago.

 

Rick's Grandma in Green Top

Anna in later years.

Rick Stone

Rick holding two drafts of his essay.

Anna could cook!  Rick’s favorite dish was her White Potato or Ash Pudding, served for dessert. He brought in a cupful, piping hot, for me to taste. Yum. Potato magic!

White Potato (or Ash) Pudding

3-4 medium potatoes peeled, boiled until done, and mashed

one stick butter or margarine

one 1/4 cups sugar

2 eggs

2 drops of lemon flavor or a teaspoon of lemon juice

1/4 cup milk

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a mixing bowl, combine all ingredients except the eggs. Beat until smooth.

Beat eggs in a separate bowl. Add to the potato mixture and beat for one minute.

Put into an ovenproof dish and bake for 40-45 minutes or until the pudding is brown on top.

Serve warm.

Store leftover pudding in the refrigerator.

Note: You may need to set your oven on broil after forty minutes to get the pudding to brown.

Thanks to Rick’s mom, Anna Stone, for this recipe, and thanks to Rick for permission to quote from his essay and for the photos.

Grandma Update: Boy Clothes

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Maze on Chair

When Daughter Kath announced she was presenting us with a boy, I was delighted, especially since I didn’t give birth to any baby boys.

But then I remembered:

CLOTHES.

Moms and grandmas shake their heads:  “Boy clothes just aren’t as fun.”

What’s the big deal though?  I’d seen, I thought, lots of cute boy outfits.

For a while, I didn’t venture into the baby sections. My own mom swears that in her day, it was  bad luck to buy baby clothes too soon. No way was I taking chances.  Besides, there would be plenty of time for shopping.

At Kath’s baby shower, I admired the t-shirts with trucks and cars, the striped onesies in blues and greens and reds, the hoodie with a  grinning monkey.  Darling!

Then I went to a shower for a baby girl.

Grandma-to-be  SHUT YOUR EYES!

The clothes were adorable.

Stroll into the girls’ section.  In seconds, you’ll know what I mean.

A month later, Mazen was born.

Whoopee Doo!  Let the baby boy shopping begin!

Maybe girl clothes are still cuter.

Just maybe.

But when you’re having the time of your life shopping for the baby boy of your heart, who cares!

Maze in Snowman Onesie

Top Photo:  A bit of prep from Grammie.

Bottom photo: A snowman onesie.