A lot of people cream for the Grandparent role. Being a more suspicious type I have played a wait and see . In fact while the others rushed in bearing gifts, trinkets and unconditional love I thought I saw a role as the other grandparent. The grumpy one. So I became grumpa. So far so good.
This weekend had us on full duty. Not the odd hour or afternoon but 36 hour straight. There is little I dont know about the playgounds of Leaders Gardens and Wandsworth Park(Putney), Kew Gardens, Bishops Park(Fulham) and the children zoo at Battersea Park. Have grand daughter will travel.
At one point Octavia Rose (nearly three) is standing underneath a slide at Kew. She has already had her face painted pink butterfly style(£4)
She asks, What do you want? In many ways the major philosophical question we ask ourselves everyday without ever giving a satisfactory answer. I play for time. My child bride has it . She is playing cafes and she knows what you want to eat.
It’s a sunny day,I’m playing along. I’ll have egg on toast and a cup of tea. Octavia pretends to punch her waitress’ consul and then hangs from a beam.
Are you making my breakfast. Yes silly. How ? Through my arms ,she gives me the look that those with good A levels always give the rest of the population. She puts out her hand and say here is your tea. She’s not yet three so I play along. Then I ask, where is my egg on toast. She shakes her head as if to say, why are you so impatient. She then hands me a twig on a leaf which is in symbolic abstract terms a pretty good approximation.
I move away as if to eat my breakfast. She asks do I want anything else. Not wanting to risk indigestion and or an intellectual break down I say no.
WE then go on Kew’s tree climb. At 200 feet among the highest branches she insists on paying Ring a ring a rises, we all fall down. I get extreme vertigo.
We descend, she has to go to the toilet(again). Grandmother Thompson says, “Its because she is so excited.” Thats not grumpa’s problem.