I don’t know how he does it, but there is some kind of magic to being Papa. My dad is gaga over these granddaughters of his, in fact I think the sentiment is mutual.
The last several days my girls have been away on a trip to Michigan, we affectionately call, “Camp PapaNana.” They climbed sand dunes, ate yummy foods, explored lighthouses, and sailed on a 4-mast schooner. Fun–absolutely. I’m even a little jealous. Next time, I think they need to take Jim and I on a trip up north, while we leave the girls home!
But papa is more than a “clip board of fun.” Before the girls were taken away on their expedition, Papa and Nana asked me for a list of things that they could “work with the girls on.” Being the dutiful mom and daughter I am, I wrote out a list for both kids and presented it to them. It went something like this:
- Learn address
- Learn phone number
- Practice telling “real” stories (ie NO lying)
- Use manners
- Work on walking on own (No carrying)
- Practice saying “good-bye” to her friend, the pacifer
- Use manners
- Try “new” foods
Kate proudly recited her phone number to us when she returned. In fact, we heard it briefly over the phone, too. But it was much more impressive at home in person. She and my dad mailed a post card from a coastal Michigan town with our address on it–she now knows her house number, street name, and that it costs money to mail things. She “came clean” today after telling (ahem, lying) that she played on the playground at summer camp, “Mom, I hate to tell you…I was wrong. We didn’t play on the playground today.” Oh, and one more–“More chocolate milk, please.” Please?! Did I just hear the word “please?!” coming from my Sassy Demand-O-Matic? Wow….
And for little Kelly…well, this tiny girl of 30 lbs climbed many, many feet to the top of some of Michigan’s sandunes on her own. Nana was in charge of this feat (or is it feet?!) Even though Kelly sweetly complained, “My legs are tired.” Nana just replied with, “So are mine. Maybe if we crawl, it will be easier?” We have pictures. Cute. On nights when Kelly was so sleepy (from those sandunes, perhaps?), she would ask for her paci, but fell asleep before anyone could retrive it. She even tried new foods…fresh Bing cheeries and strawberries (wouldn’t touch them previously). When she came home, Kelly said, “Guess what, mom? No more paci!” One night at home and one nap down, I am proud to announce that we are paci-free at our house. Whoo hoo!!
When the girls get a little feisty I ask,“Would you act like that with Papa and Nana?” They immediately stop what they are doing and straighten up. Nice.
I don’t know how they do it, but the power of PapaNana prevails.