My parenting skills have not been needed for some time now, as Leon is 33 and Marc is 30. Both boys are married now and have children of their own, and Sam and I are fortunate enough to have 4 lovely grandchildren.
Leon and his wife recently moved house, and so we thought we’d do the stressed parents a huge favour and take their two girls Sascha, 9, and Caron, 7, off to the seaside for the long May Day weekend that has just passed, and so off we drove to Great Yarmouth last Friday evening; a car journey of about an hour and a half.
No difference between boys and girls there. Within 20 minutes Caron was asking when we were going to be there. I found myself repeating the same phrase that I had told my boys all those years ago; ‘When we get there then we’ll be there, and until then we won’t.’
We had booked a holiday chalet for the weekend. The first thing the girls did was to hang up their clothes, making sure the right coloured top went on a hanger with a matching pair of leggings. This was new to me; my boys would have not even bothered to unpack and would have just thrown their clothes onto the floor if they were looking for something in the case! Caron also insisted that her One Direction duvet cover was put over the one provided, as apparently she could not sleep without it. My boys would have been unaware if there was a duvet cover on their bed at all!
It’s always breezy at Yarmouth; ideal for kite flying. The girls had kites, and so off we went to the beach on Saturday morning to fly them. The wind was whipping Sascha’s hair around her face, and as she pushed her hair back she accidentally let go of the kite, and it descended gracefully in the direction of the sea. This was a major catastrophe and she stood there absolutely stunned. When a similar occurrence had happened 25 years ago (no, not the hair thing, just a clumsy boy thing), Leon had legged it as fast as he could across the sand and brought it back again. Grandad had to do the honours this time, as Nanny was too busy trying to pacify a hysterical Sascha. Caron also joined in with the pacifying, and the kite flying was sadly abandoned.
Next on the agenda was jumping on inflatable bouncy castles and slides. My boys always had limitless energy and would have happily kept this activity up all day, but within an hour the girls were tired. I realised then that we were suggesting activities that had served our boys well, but perhaps were not interesting enough for girls. We had to think again.
Swimming and the cinema seemed to do the trick, as did spending Nanny and Grandad’s money in the amusement arcades. Pounds were haemorrhaging from our pockets, but the girls were happy. Donkey rides were a no-no due to Sascha’s allergies, but a trip to the circus was a definite success. We would not have even thought of this with the boys, as Leon was incapable of sitting still on a seat for even five minutes. Nanny and Grandad had a nice sit-down for 2 hours at the circus, and thanked our lucky stars for two gentle granddaughters to look after at our advanced ages! We even had to wake them up in the mornings (the boys would have been awake by 6am)!
Yes, looking after girls is a whole lot easier than keeping up with boys. What do you think?