We spent last week with our four young grandchildren and since this blog is about ‘all things grandma’ this particular post is devoted to them. Some would say that in my eyes they can do no wrong. That’s not to say I don’t see their faults; it’s just that I forgive them their trespasses and love them just the same.
We set off to Dorset where a holiday home has been sold. The contents required sorting, packing and shipping into storage. Kate, the second of our daughters to have recently masterminded similar processes, was in charge of logistics whilst their Grandpa and I were responsible for the children.
And, weren’t we thankful that the weather was fair! I can’t imagine how we would have entertained the three boys if it had been wet. If you’re wondering, Matilda is quite happy to ‘craft and colour’ all the livelong day.
The beach was our destination of choice on Day 1. Even beach-phobic William got his feet wet and enjoyed an ice-cream whilst the three youngest ones were happy shell-seeking and in other pursuits. Sausage and mash – requested by Matilda – was devoured at break-neck speed by ravenous beach-hungry children.
Once the removal men had completed their tasks on Day 2, we packed the children in the cars and made for Christchurch Priory. It seems ridiculous that we’d passed the signs for the Priory on numerous occasions but until now hadn’t explored this ancient part of town. Our late lunch in the Priory tea rooms kept the wolf from the door and solved the problem of minimal tableware.
I should explain that throughout the two older boys, sometimes with Matilda in tow, happily hunted Pokemon Go whenever possible.
The removal team arrived very early on Thursday morning. Poor William, entering into his teenage years doesn’t ‘do’ early mornings but it’s ‘as early as you like’ for the little ones. After a coffeeshop breakfast – I discovered that COSTA does a decent round of brown toast and marmite – we walked to Boscombe Pier and back taking in the children’s favourite climbing tree – scaring the living daylights out of their grandfather. Given their four-plus mile walk, I was surprised that they had time for family wrestling in the now empty dining area. Kate tells me that wrestling is an important part of the sibling relationship and I must say that despite the age and size difference there were very few or no tears. I don’t like to attribute particular behaviours to gender but it was no surprise that Matilda wrote the agreed rules for future reference. Translation: no bumping heads please.
Our final day was a special one – Grandpa’s birthday. The weather was perfect and setting ourselves a deadline of 10.00am to lock up and wave a fond farewell to a lovely beach house, we made our way to Swanage via the Sandbanks ferry. You should have seen our cars – in neither was there room for one single thing more.
First stop on our itinerary was Chococo – mainly for Grandpa’s birthday but the children had treats too. We caught the steam (actually diesel) train to Corfe where we had lunch and visited Corfe Castle before returning by steam to our starting point. The children had a fantastic time playing hide-and-seek around the ruins although the little ones are so quick and fearless that we spent most of the time asking each other/William and James, ‘Have you seen Matilda/Louis?”
It was 8.00pm when we arrived back home. We were exhausted but in a good way. The children had been fantastic and although Grandpa uses his shouty voice and waggles his dark eyebrows on occasion, even he agreed that they were ‘mostly good’. Praise indeed!