Thursday, March 22, 2012

Reading a Book on Skype

We were Skyping with the 14-month-old the other day and even though she was in kind of a grouchy mood, she still wanted to wave and say hi to us.  One of her favorite things to do is read books, and even when she's in the worst mood, a book will cheer her up.  Her mom asked her to go get Goodnight Gorilla.  She went and got it, and turned the pages to look at each page with us.  Then she tried to hand it to me to read to her. 

I love that she feels like we're close enough on the computer to read a book to her.  Unfortunately, she's big on turning the pages herself, so grabbing one of our books and reading it to her over Skype probably isn't going to work at this point. 

Remember when we imagined TV phones?  To our grandkids, it's simple reality.  Good times.

Monday, March 12, 2012

The Power of Grandparenting features another outtake from Anne Lamott's new book about her grandson (note to self: I must read more Anne Lamott books!), this one about her little grandson being in the ER, while she waited at home for news about how he was doing.  This is such a familiar story to most of us grandparents: we sometimes feel so powerless to help the people we love so much. 

Her story about how she trusted God in this situation was so inspiring, and it made me think about the ways we can truly have an effect on our grandkids' lives.  Yesterday, our 6-year-old got to read out of her Bible during children's church (Matthew 28:19-20), and she was so glad she brought her Bible with her, and that she could read it well.  What a joy to have bought that Bible for her this past Christmas, and to have worked with her on her reading over the years.  We're not with her every day to encourage her to read it, but buying a really interesting and age-appropriate Bible has helped her to enjoy it more.

We're the influencers in our grandkids' lives, not the decision-makers that we were with our own kids.  This may seem like a pretty powerless situation for us, but don't underestimate the long-term effects.  We won't truly know how much we affected our grandkids until they're grown, but I believe the influencing is worth the effort.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Sharp Objects

A good question today in, how old do kids need to be before they help with the cooking, and more importantly, with the sharp knives?  We had some friends who home-schooled while our kids were growing up, and their older two kids were making full meals for the family by the time they were 10.  My kids can now make full meals, at 28 and 26, but I don't think they could when they were 10. 

The grandkids, however, really want to learn how to do things around our house, and both older girls helped make a pizza last week, adding flour to the mixer for the pizza dough (with many reminders about keeping fingers away from the moving bread hook), and of course, adding the ingredients to the pizza itself. 

The oldest has been working on a puzzle with Papa, and they had glued it together a few weeks ago, getting it ready to hang on the wall.  She decided that it was time to add the yardstick to the back so that she could get it hung up in her room at her Mom's.  She and Papa went outside, found a yardstick, and set to work cutting the end off to make it fit on the back of the puzzle.  I was only slightly surprised to see that Papa had let her use a hand saw, with a lot of supervision, to do the cutting.  He was holding the yardstick on one end, had positioned her hands appropriately for holding the wood and the saw, and was making sure she cut very carefully.  She was one proud kid when it was done, and I'm sure the puzzle will look great on her wall.  I would like to point out that she is a very careful 6-year-old, nearly 7, and there's absolutely no way I would let the 4-year-old even close to a hand saw. 

It is nice for kids to learn to do things they didn't think they could do, and the feeling of pride they get when they've accomplished something new is really wonderful.  What do you think?  How soon did you let your kids/grandkids use kitchen knives or other scary items?