Just over two and half years ago I became the grandmother of a baby girl. She is my daughter and son in law’s child and I am privileged and delighted to care for her while her parents continue with their careers.
Every night when I say goodnight to C I thank her for a wonderful day and for sharing it with me.
I obviously have a huge responsibility and influence in rearing C since I am with her five days a week. The difference between being a mother and grandmother is that being a grandmother gives me the opportunity to be a more patient and understanding caregiver because I have the time to spend with C and the wisdom gained over the years.
I strive to support C in all areas of her development patiently, considerately, kindly, lovingly and respectfully and provide her with an enriched multicultural life with our family and friends.
C is an absolute joy to me and responds positively to the environment and the activities I create for her. C expresses herself through playing with blocks, dolls, teddies, dollhouse, dress up and imaginative play. She has a special teddy, Warm Buddy, and a ‘Mackie’, which is her word for her blanket. This, by the way, is now in shreds and every now and then there is an absolute panic when it is misplaced. Fortunately, we have never lost it. It is the remnants of an Australian swaddling cloth, one of three in a set, which C received as a gift. Because we were down to the last one I asked my friend to bring some more from Australia on her visit to her parents, which she kindly did. Obviously, the new ones are not old, worn, shredded and soft and are just not acceptable to C. We will cross the bridge when it comes if and when it finally wears away or is lost forever.
C’s father is French and has spoken and read to her in his language since the day she was born which she understands and now translates the French words to me in English. The other day she said, “Nana, this is a camion and you say truck”.
I take her to a French preschool on Mondays for her to experience a French speaking environment. It is a drop-in preschool setting for one to six year olds. The children attending have at least one Francophone parent. C enjoys playing with the play dough, puzzles, water table, painting at the easel and gluing and colouring. We have attended three classes this term and she recognizes and observes the children and she is happy to play alongside them. I support her in sharing the toys. She is attentive at the circle time and can understand the stories and lesson. She is shy about getting up to put something on the felt board and it is still early days. She is confident to get up and choose her own musical instruments because she has the experience from the music class we attend.
The teacher provides a healthy organic snack and afterwards the children can play outside before they go home. We have left early because we have had lunch dates with friends. I hope that we can develop and foster a friendship with a child from the preschool whose parents Charlotte can understand and respond to in French.
We enjoy several activities during the week together and I look forward to sharing these with you in future weeks.
Also, we enjoy friends and family from different backgrounds and cultures with whom we are treated as family and share and enjoy their lives. I also look forward to sharing these special times with you.