It’s been almost a week since we bid a sad farewell to Gran Ann* as Elena and I dropped her off at the airport after her ten day visit. While here, she helped us so much and had a wonderful time with Elena. After she left, things have been just as busy, even though my class was over and I didn’t have to go in to school as much, so my apologies for the lack of recent posts.
When someone else takes care of Elena for an extended period of time, I give them some notes about her schedule and routines, but always say that they can do whatever they want with her–nothing is set in stone. More and more I realize that each person has their own way of interacting with a baby, and they should do what they want and not try to follow our schedule too much. Elena is such an easygoing baby, and I think she benefits from a variety of routines, as long as she gets her food at approximately the right times. She’s so easygoing that sometimes I worry that she won’t demand food when she’s hungry. All of this is just to say that I’m glad that Granny and Elena found their own happy schedule.
Almost every morning, Elena and Gran Ann went for a walk around our neighborhood. Elena got to sit up in her stroller and look around at the birds and flowers. When she got tired, she sometimes dropped off to sleep and let grandma sit and read. Even though grandma did a good job of shielding Elena from the direct sun, she got a lot of natural light and I think the highlights in Elena’s hair have come out more.
Some other highlights of their time together included: fun times with friends at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, swimming at a Relief Society social (Jenny was there too, of course), and a trip to see the bats. They gave us quite a show because they flew out when it was still light. On the last day of her visit, Granny took Elena swimming one more time, in the pool at our apartment complex. Elena had a good time in the deep water and even played with some older kids. They would dive under the water, then surface and say “peek-a-boo” for her.
Jenny and I have many things for which we’d like to thank my mom, above and beyond the excellent care she provided for Elena. She made cookies and bought ice cream. She introduced us to spinach mini-quiches from the South Beach diet and made a batch of granola. Even though she had lots of work to do, she found time to wash dishes and mop our kitchen floor. Fulfilling her role as kin-keeper, she managed family affairs back home and helped me do a better job of keeping in touch with the rest of my family. Finally, she and Jenny spent quality time together and got to know each other better.
In case I haven’t made it abundantly clear yet, we’re so grateful that Gran Ann visited us, even though she had to sleep on our creaky futon and put up with Jewel’s early-morning meows. She told me that she was happy to get to know to Elena–since we don’t know how to thank her, my only idea is to make sure that they have more opportunities to spend time together in the future.
*She’s still trying to find the right nickname, but says that we’re the only people who will play along with her–everyone else just calls her grandma. The leading candidates are Granny Annie and Gran Ann, or possibly just Gran.