Tommy and LJ love ‘Play Valley’ and a trip there instigates almost mass hysteria. Never underestimate the pull of brightly coloured plastic!
It occurred to me yesterday that there are pearls of wisdom ( tongue firmly in cheek) I can pass on to Rookie grandparents
- Footwear – never wear shoes that have laces or are difficult to get on and off. By ‘difficult’ I mean you must be able to just step out of them at a seconds notice to race after your charges. I know you will usually take them off when you get there but the same rules apply – no 2 year old is going to sit and wait patiently whilst you untie your laces!
- Clothes – nothing ‘posh’ nothing restricting – it may be years since you climbed to the top of a huge slide but once your grandchild runs up those squashy stairs and totters at the top – you will have no option but to scramble after them.
- Ball pools – may look empty BUT always assume there is a child hidden under the balls (99% of the time there is) so do not allow your grandchild to dive in head first
- Do not assume you can sit at the side sipping your latte in a leisurely fashion – get that fitbit on and realise the only way to cope is to get in the middle of the melee and follow your grandchild within grabbing distance.
- Food – you are usually not allowed to take your own food but there will be an enticing ‘bag’ option. Do not even think about trying to steer toddlers into the healthier option, pick your battles – they are never going to go for a banana when there is the option of chocolate. Give in gracefully and eat half of it yourself.
- Don’t underestimate the fearlessness, agility or speed of your grandchildren. I am still cringing as LJ (who is 19months) pushed a 5 year old down the slide yesterday as she was sitting at the top too scared to move and was in her way!
- Change their nappies before you go – they will create such a fuss if you try to take them away from the coloured plastic for something as mundane as a nappy change.
- The machines that require money for a ride are always ‘broken’ well that’s what I always tell my two – having once made the error of saying one ride only each …
- Always smile encouragingly and sympathetically at a grandparent who is trying to coax their toddler to leave – it won’t make a difference but hopefully someone will return the favour and smile in sympathy with you when it’s your turn to leave.
- Take your phone or a compact camera – the smiles and joy are worth all the aches and pains you will have tonight – and reliving it over a glass of wine in the evening will make you smile.