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Hot Tips for Grandmahood

"Grandmas are really antique little girls," says a plaque on my kitchen wall. Having served an apprenticeship for nearly 20 years, I feel I may be able to help with a few tips on grandmahood -

0 to 5 years

  • Cuddle often.
  • Sit in the sandpit.
  • Make red jelly and patty cakes with 100s and 1000s. (Be prepared to vacuum up the rainbow lollies for the following two weeks.)
  • Perfect your Daddy Bear, Mummy Bear and Baby Bear voices.
  • Try to remember words of nursery rhymes.
  • Hide your blood pressure bills and lipstick.
  • Go for long walks pushing stroller. (If grandchild wishes to push dolly in a little stroller, be prepared to carry last two items home yourself.)
  • Give running commentary on birds, flowers, butterflies and cars.
  • Don't boss Miss Two, she's bossy enough for you both.
  • But bask in the warmth of big blue eyes when they gaze earnestly into yours and a little voice says unexpectedly, "I love loo, Grandma".


5 to 10 years

  • Laugh and giggle for no reason at all.
  • Pretend you love fishing and wish out loud that you could rollerblade.
  • Give lessons on knitting.
  • Be led on walks to secret hideouts.
  • Look at school projects, sporting ribbons and medals, and praise extravagantly.
  • Be passionate about Barbie Doll and her extensive workday, shopping day, sports day, evening wardrobe.
  • Ooh and Aah at each new outfit and help with dressing and undressing, mixing and matching.
  • Listen in raptures to latest poems and songs learnt at school.
  • Play games. (Don't attempt hockey or horse riding. Table-tennis is fine if approached moderately.)



  • Listen sympathetically to pet hates and crazes.
  • Approve of latest haircuts and dress codes.
  • Keep secrets.
  • Don't be a geriatric teenager.
  • Fill the cake tins for boys, and fruit bowls for girls.
  • Don't, and I repeat, don't, keep repeating the adage, "When I was your age". That is really stretching their imagination beyond the pale.

I unfortunately never knew any of my grandparents, and my journey into this state has been mostly trial and error. Initially, I did what came naturally, but my grandchildren have been my teachers, and I'm still learning and hopefully improving.


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