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Tuesday, 11 April 2017

Reasons why Fran is playing more children's games these days

A month ago, to see my grandchildren, I had to go on one of these all the way from Leamington to Richmond in South-west London.


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Now that they have moved to within ten minutes' walk of our house in Leamington, I just have to go on one of these.





Correction. Two of these.


Correction: The legs above were my dream legs, not my real legs. 





Correction: These aren't my real legs either. They're someone else's. For my legs, think, 'Somewhere between Picture 2 and Picture 3.' 


It's taking some getting used to, knowing that just by putting one leg in front of another (never my favourite activity) I can be at my son's house, playing Snap or Snakes and Ladders with a 3 year old and a 4 year old, or watching a Peppa Pig DVD, or answering a litany of questions from a curious Elijah, who's just started school and wants to know the answer to Every Awkward Question Ever. 

I took them both to see their Great-Great-Granny in her care home. She's my mother's mother, is nearly ninety-five, and Elijah (nearly 5) was fascinated. He wanted to know 

- what does nearly blind mean?
- what is a walking frame for? 
- why does she need us to shout? 
- why is she old?
- why can't she walk very well?
- what is quite deaf?
- why does she live here?
- where does she have her dinner? 
- who else lives here? 
- why don't her legs work very well?

Sometimes, he asked the same question two or three times, not because he hadn't heard the first time, but because he was so interested, and wanted to hear the information all over again. 

It was ironically not unlike a conversation with my grandmother, the dear old lady in question, only with her it's because she forgets that we ever had that conversation, so we have it twice. Maybe thrice. And again the following day. 

Some might lose patience with this, but I find it oddly calming, and it saves on thinking up new topics. Every time I visit her I can say 'Did I tell you so-and-so had died/is getting married/has moved away?' knowing that I did, but she'll deny all knowledge, and so we can do it all again. She's just as pleased with the news every subsequent time I tell it. I told her about Vera Lynn becoming a hundred years old at least five times, and she relished the information just as enthusiastically on each occasion.

My grandmother is 95 in July. I am 55 at the end of April. Elijah will be 5 in July. 

Out of the three of us, Elijah's legs are definitely the ones with the most potential. My gran's legs are weak and unreliable. Mine are too plump and varicose-veiny. Elijah's got his dad's legs: like a young footballer's, with strong thighs and muscles. 

I feel like breaking into 'The Circle of Life'. To save you the pain of that, here's Elton John singing it instead. 






18 comments:

  1. I'm the impatient sort, I could never put up with all those questions and probably reason #1 why I never became a teacher.
    With constant walking to and from the Grandchildren's home, you'll soon have legs almost as strong as Elijah's.

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    1. Just watch for me running marathons this time next year, then!

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  2. Oh Fran I always love your blog posts. You've (again) made me smile and quietly chuckle to myself. Thanks x

    Incidentally, you have a lot more patience than I have. I hate repeating myself....

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    1. Thanks so much, Mandy. I'm glad to make you smile. As for patience, I may well have developed that by being a teacher for 15 years and having to repeat 'It's written on the board. It's written on the board. Look at the board - it's written on the board.'

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  3. Haha! I would much rather you sing it. I love the account of you and your grand mother and your grand son all communicating in different age-appropriate ways :) Age is a strange old thing, but you have made it smile-worthy. Thank you. Loved this post.

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    1. Thanks so much, Deborah. It's quite sobering, seeing Eli and Granny together. A strange old thing, as you say.

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    1. Thanks! Glad you liked the post :)

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  5. glad you are not walking on 1, it looks a bit prosthetic?

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    1. You're right, it does. Or maybe just airbrushed. Either way, it still looks better than the ones I've got.

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  6. .. hello Fran ..... so relate to this post .. I love it .
    my young g-grandchildren don't have much to do with my Mum who is 100 ... but some of my Grandchildren see her regularly.. and they have so much patience with her...
    Mum is frail with memory problems and uses a walker .. xxx
    It's wonderful to have family close by ... xxxx ... Barb xxx

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    1. Well done, your Mum! 100! I think it's fabulous when the very old and very young spend time together. It does them both a lot of good.

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  7. You've managed to get two generations into every one of mine. My mother is 90, I'm 51 and my daughter is 11. At present I'm stuck in the middle between a care home and a primary school! :-)

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    1. Everyone in our family has their children when they're barely out of their own cots, Philip. That's how we've squeezed so many generations in :) My husband's mother is the same age as my grandmother.

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    2. Ah yes, I guessed there might be some sort of "breeding the master race of Hills to take over the world" policy. We Davieses are much more relaxed about achieving our global domination. ;-)

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    3. This comment made me laugh :)

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  8. I wish all my children were 10 minutes away. Well, even that would be slightly further away than my ideal. My architect daughter is considering putting a message on her phone answering machine saying to any builders who call with queries, "It's on the plans. Try looking at them."

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    1. There was a possibility for a while that they'd be moving into a house next door that was up for rent. I wonder how that would have gone!

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