Sunday, October 12, 2008

hangin' with audrey

For the past couple of weeks, Jack and I have been given the opportunity to spend more time than ever before with little Audrey. Stu and Shi have a part time gig at a local theatre, which means they need a sitter, and I finally got up the nerve to ask if we could have Audrey at our house after work or on Saturdays during this production run. Shi's mom seems to be available all of the time and Shi and Audrey enjoy time with her, so I've been hesitant to mess with that, but I really wanted more time with Audrey, so I asked and they said, okay.

It has been so great seeing Audrey for several hours a couple of evenings each week and on Saturdays. We also see her on Sundays with her parents. As you may suspect, I think Audrey is a smart, lively, curious, adorable, sweet, talkative cupie doll of a girl. I love her so much.

Time with a grandbaby without her parents is a whole different experience. We get to see her with our grandparent eyes--the eyes that love unconditionally, the eyes that adore her, the eyes that allow her to choose, most of the time, what she wants or needs to do. I know it's difficult to be that person with your own child, because as the parent, you're responsible for all kinds of stuff that grandparents don't have to deal with. Truly, being the grandparent is the best role of all.

These are some moments from yesterday--

1. I have a white board on the wall in my laundry room/hallway between the kitchen and bedrooms. Audrey (and every other kid who knows about the white board) loves to draw wtih the dry erase markers. "Color" is an often-heard word, in addition to "chair" because, duh, you need a chair to color on the white board.

2. Audrey discovered a pink, purse-sized hairbrush on the bathroom counter yesterday. She loved brushing my "harr" and her "harr" and "bopa's harr" and was very concerned when she couldn't find the "harr" (hairbrush) among all of the toys we were playing with.

3. I don't have recent experience with little boys, but apparently, little girls love their babies. And a wee plastic baby with a crib or basinet that is small enough to fit in the palm of my hand that I found at a yard sale for $1 (and washed before sharing with the girlies) is highly desireable.

4. Then there's the "baath." Audrey loves to take baths, with a bit of baby wash for bubbles, some foam letters that stick to the side of the tub, a "quack-quack" (because what is a bath without a rubber duckie, especially a tiny one that has a #8 on it...), and of course, a baby.

5. After the baath, we look at booooks together, while snuggled up with her blankie. She constantly amazes me at how bright she is, how many words she is learning, how quickly she repeats everything I say, and how delightful reading time with her is to me.

6. Don't forget the "baa," the stuffed sheep that is about the same size as a live beagle that we bought for Jessie when she was a little girl. It is the perfect size for Audrey to climb up on to go for a ride, or lay on, or drag around.

7. Last night, Jack went to the freezer downstairs and brought up some Haagen Daas ice cream bars (the ones with the yummy vanilla ice cream inside with a thick layer of chocolate and a sprinkling of nuts on the outside) that he and I were going to eat. Audrey was playing on the floor with some puzzles (the animals on the farm, the shapes, and the tools that boppa has) while Jack and I began eating our ice cream bars. About halfway through the bars, Audrey looked up at Jack, and I watched as the lightbulb of recognition went off in her mind. "Keem, Keem?" she said as she stood up, leaned up against his chair and his leg, with her arms behind her back and her cutest, most dimpliest smile aimed directly at him. When he didn't immediately respond, she looked at me and noticed I had one too. She knew I'd share in a heartbeat, which I did. Which she loved. Especially when I let her have the stick with the last bits of chocolate and ice cream.

8. These are some of Audrey's favorite, oft-repeated words:

dog (or puppy)
cat (or kitty)
street (Sesame)
wauterrr (drinking, playing, on tv, in the hot tub. also used when she spotted a girls' swimsuit i picked up on sale at k-mart that is her size.)

9. Yesterday was a real treat because not only was Audrey at our house, but Jessie, Cory, Breanne and Janey stopped by on their way to a wedding reception. The three adorable girls are almost exactly one year apart, so we have a 2 1/2 year old, a 1 1/2 year old and a six-month old. Breanne and Audrey have played together outside before, but yesterday was the first time that I've seen them play together inside. It was hilarious. Breanne is becoming more and more willing to share, just as Audrey is heading into the "MINE" stage. Janey loves to sit and watch the other two.

They all headed into the TV room to play with "mama's toys" and that is when the first funny thing happened. Breanne entered the room and much to her dismay, discovered that there were baaath foam letters that belong in the baathroom and puzzle pieces mixed with other puzzle pieces and even books mixed in. I had not realized how much Breanne likes things in order until yesterday. She busied herself by setting things in order, while Audrey and Janey watched, and then, only then, asked me to get out the doll house and the babies. The girls played for a few minutes with the dollhouse, and then Breanne remembered how much fun it is to run with somebody, so she tried to get Audrey to run with her through the house, which is what you do when you are almost three. But it is not what you do when you are not almost three. Yes, you might run through mama's bedroom into the closet one time, but after that, if your cousin encourages you to run, you might go a few steps, but then, if you are Audrey, you run back to mama, crying out, "Maamaa?, Maamaa?, Maamaaa?, while Breanne runs after you, begging you to come play, come play, over and over. Breanne continued to beg, offering to hold Audrey's hand, grabbed at her hands, pulled at her hands and her clothes, until she collapsed, nearly in tears because Audrey didn't understand yet how much fun they could have together. I predict that next time they are here together, the running will go a bit better.

And the best part of the cousin thing was when Breanne was leaving, and I suggested that they give each other a hug. Both girls lit up, turned toward each other, and ran together. For those few moments, before I could say anything more than, "Uhhhh" they ran towards each other, and then collided with each other in an embrace. Luckily Breanne has a fairly good sense of balance or they might have both bonked heads and fallen to the floor in tears. I'm pretty sure that would have affected not only the future of cousin hugging, but would have definitely slowed the cousin running too.

I am so glad for the gift of grandbabies and time spent with them.


Jessie said...

I really loved the descriptions of Breanne trying to get Audrey to run with her--so accurate, and so funny. And the hug, too. I was also very concerned when they took off running at each other, but they seemed to work things out, I guess... :)

Oh, and I also love the "sheep the size of a live beagle" in #6... as opposed to a dead beagle on the side of the road... (please tell me you remember what I'm referring to and don't just think I'm some crazy weirdo...)

You are a great grandma.

gilian said...

oh, yes, I remember the dead beagle. I don't remember how that got started, but to clarify to other readers, there was NO dead beagle. Somehow any phrase that included "dead beagle" became hysterically funny in our minivan. It was like adding, "in France" or "in pants" in a sentence. Again, to all beagles, beagle lovers, and dead beagles, it may sound like we were all crazy weirdos, but it was really one of those things that you just had to be there to understand. And it was hilarious...

Jessie said...

I believe it all began with an out of control game of "I spy"... in which no one actually spotted what they were thinking about...

Amelia said...

Loved this fun story... cousins are special things!