Jun 7, 2013

Mr. B and Umma's Week of (exhausting) FUN!

Mr. B and I have Week 1 under our belt, and we're both still here to talk about it. Whew.

Monday, Day 1, he arrived in the afternoon so we really had only a few hours together. We talked about projects we wanted to do, I put up the Chore Chart for him to earn an allowance, and we talked about foods I'd be cooking.

On Tuesday, we went to the Cincinnati Zoo and had a WONDERFUL day. Mr. B is ripe for learning about animals. I think we spent close to 90 minutes just in the Bug House and another 60 just in the Reptile House. He had his iPod with him and couldn't take photos fast enough. Before we arrived I explained how I expected him to behave (watch out for other people, stay within sight of me, don't walk in the gardens, etc.) and for the most part, he behaved wonderfully. I also explained that because I was older, there would be times that I would want to sit down on a nearby bench for a few minutes and rest, but that I would try and find a bench near animals he could look at while I took a break. I found that when I did sit down for a few minutes, he would sit with me, drink some water, and generally chat about what we'd seen.

Up close and personal with a tiger!
I think one thing that grandparents know but parents haven't come to terms with is that children don't come with automatic knowledge of how to behave. For the most part, if Mr. B knows what "the right thing" to do is, that's what he wants to do. But if he's in a new situation and it hasn't been explained, he's unsure and he'll test the limits to find out what's acceptable and what isn't. It's far easier for me to just explain things to him up front!

On Wednesday we went to the public library and signed up for the Summer Reading Program, and got tickets to a few kids' events they have going on this summer. The more free things I can find to keep him busy, the better!  We also went for a bit of shopping - flip-flops for both of us, some craft supplies we needed for upcoming projects. We did NOT buy toys. Why? Because the Chore Chart has kicked in and he now knows that if there's something he wants, he can earn the money for it. We talked about "pay day" -- that he gets his money on Mondays, and has to wait until then to buy what he wants, and that's what grown ups have to do too -- they may want something, but have to wait until they have the money for it.

We also went grocery shopping at Fresh Market. He was allowed to pick out two fruits (he picked grapes and cherries), two vegetables (green beans and spaghetti squash), and two snacks (peanut butter pretzels and ?? I forget what). We got to talk about "fresh" vs "processed" and why it was better to eat fresh when possible.

By Thursday I was pretty worn out, I confess. Even Mr. B was a bit churlish in the morning, so I knew it was time to get him playing with kids. Since it was raining, we went to what I thought was "Go Bananas" (an inflatable playground), but found it had changed to "Jump n' Jacks". It was wonnnnderful! A four-story, 3000 square feet  indoor playground! B quickly found boys his own age to play with and off he went... Meanwhile, I got to sit at a table and pull out my Kindle (they had wi-fi!) and just sit and relax. We arrived at 10am, ate lunch at their cafe, and came home around 3pm.
Although my EARS were exhausted (300 kids there and at any one time I think 254 of them were screaming), I felt somewhat rejuvinated.

Today is Jeff's day, God bless 'im. He's taken the day off to spend time with Mr. B. They will be doing "man stuff" - some gardening, some home maintenance, and I believe they are going to Bass Pro Shop to buy some fishing things for our upcoming trip to "the vacation house" -- a lakeside house we have rented on and off for the past 5 summers. 

So I survived Week 1 and Mr. B is still alive to talk about it. It was not perfect the entire week. He has some words in his vocabulary that I don't think appropriate for a 7 year old and it's been a bit of a challenge to be patient and issue consequences at the same time. "Inside Voice" is a new term to him and he needs to know I don't care for screaming and/or screeching in the house. Staying out of things that don't belong to him is another issue that we're working on. (He did smell nice, however, after spending a few minutes in Umpa's bathroom and getting into the after shave.)

This week has been 7:30am to 6pm - so loonnnggg days for both of us. Starting next week he won't arrive until around noon, cutting our day in half. I think we'll both be less cranky by the end of the day with less hours. One can hope.

Generally, it's been a great week, full of fun activities, and learning for both of us.

Life is good. And then God makes you a grandmother, and it gets even better.

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