Childish Voices

1. A few weekends ago The Most Adorable Granddaughter#5, aged two and a half, asked me to read her a book. Not just any book but a big book written in te reo Māori. Now, this is usually her sister's trick (embarrass Nana who should be able to read in te reo since she is an early childhood teacher in a bicultural country) but I suspect there was no guile involved when she brought the book to me. Painstakingly I sounded out the words (there were lots) and eventually managed to read the whole story.

As soon as I had finished The Most Adorable Granddaughter#5 took the book from my hands and took it to her mother. "Read it, mummy. Nana can't read," and she glared at me as if to ask, "Call yourself a teacher? You deserve to lose your registration!"

We laughed but a few minutes later (after her Mummy had fluently read the book without having to sound out any words) I thought I would get my own back at DH who had laughed loudly and so I suggested to The Most Adorable Granddaughter#5 that Grandpa read the story. Dutifully she took the book to Grandpa (who I knew would embarrass himself even more than yours truly if he attempted to read te reo Māori) and he proceeded to talk about the pictures. In English! And apparently that was fine with The Most Adorable Granddaughter#5!!!

What is it, that Grandpa doesn't have to change their nappies, wipe their noses, read in te reo Māori, yet whatever he does is still oh-so-right? He just has to be.

Case in point: I took The Most Adorable Granddaughters#4 and #5 to the park on Friday afternoon and we were having a lovely time: running through the water, giggling, playing in the castle and in the boat. Grandpa turns up partway through and the happiness meter goes up several notches and they throw their arms around him and plant wet sloppy kisses on his face. Excuse me, but who was it that took you to the park in the first place??? Where are my kisses?

2. The Most Adorable Grandduaghters#1 and #2 were '"doing" my hair when they were here the other night. As The Most Adorable Granddaughter#1 combed and braided my hair, The Most Adorable Granddaughter#2, aged five and three quarters, asked, "Nana, do you know you have grey hairs all over the place?" Her sister spoke her name warningly several times, but undeterred The Most Adorable Granddaughter#2 repeated her words (obviously she thought that in my old age my sight is such that I cannot see those grey hairs "all over the place"). A little while later I asked her why she thought I had grey hairs. "I can't say," she replied. (Ah, she has heeded her sister's warning.) "Is it because you think Nana's old?" I asked, remembering when I was five and anyone over twenty seemed ancient. "How did you know I was going to say that?" she smiled sweetly. Ah, children.

3. I enjoyed lovely cuddles and smiles and coos with The Most Adorable Granddaughter#6 yesterday who is now over a month old! (Where did that time go?). Now if I could only discover the secret of being the favourite grandparent while she still thinks I'm wonderful and incredible ...

(And no, I didn't make her cry. She was starving despite looking so well nourished.)


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