My two-year old granddaughter enjoys eating popsicles while sitting on an old wooden table in my yard.  Our mini-tradition of lounging outdoors, while eating frozen sticks of goodness, started to avoid getting sticky popsicle juice all over my kitchen chairs, the table, the floor, and yes, the rest of the house.  She likes to get up and move around, not quite understanding that she is dripping stuff everywhere!  However, she does understand that I want popsicles eaten outside.

She likes me to sit on the wooden table with her while she attacks her frozen treat. As she licks and slurps away, we talk.  This is the best part.  She asks me what different sounds are.  I have to listen carefully because I take all these noises in stride and they don’t even register with me anymore.  I live on a moderately busy street, close to the beach, with noisy trucks, airplanes flying overhead and loud chipping birds.  She lives in a wooded area that is much quieter, so my “city” sounds are interesting to her.

‘What’s that noise?’, she asks.  ‘A motorcycle”, I respond.  ‘A motorcycle’, she repeats.  ‘What’s that noise? ‘, she asks again. ‘That is a cooing pigeon.  Do you see it up on the wire?’, I point to where it is perched.  She searches until she finds it and then repeats, ‘that’s a pigeon’.  Then I turn the tables on her and ask her the questions.  ‘What’s that noise?’ I question, as a loud truck bumps past.  ‘A truck!’, she answers, as she beams up at me with a huge grin. We go back and forth like this until she gets the very last bit from the popsicle stick.  Then we are done, the moment passes and she is off to her next activity.

I look forward to these outdoor sessions and I think she does too.  It gives us a slice of time, when both of us are just hanging out together. Our focus is on identifying the noises and discussing the world around us.  It is a great teaching time and a great bonding time.

I always make sure I have a stock of popsicles ready in the freezer….just in case.

How do you spend special time with your grandchild?