DOWN TO EARTH SIMPLE LIVING FORUMS

DOWN TO EARTH SIMPLE LIVING FORUMS
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20 June 2012

Opa and grandma's backyard


I had forgotten. Forgotten how full on it is to look after a newly walking toddler. We had a visit from Shane, Sarndra and Alex last week. They stayed for a couple of days so we had enough time to catch up and to see Alex busy himself discovering new places in our home. Shane has a new job in Gladstone and has already flown up there so after they put him on the plane on Saturday, Sarndra and Alex came back for another overnight stay.  Sarndra's friend had her second baby and Sarndra came up to see her and little Rosie. She took Alex on her first hospital visit, then went back the next morning and asked Hanno and I if we'd look after Alex so she could go alone. 

:- )


This was our first solo babysitting of Alex, who at 11 months is walking confidently and running sometimes, just like his father used to do at exactly the same age. It was a bright and warm morning so I got Alex's little shoes, put them on his feet and took him outside in the sunshine. He LOVED it, although he was unsteady and kept falling over on the grass, so I took off his shoes again and he was off like a rocket, much steadier this time with firm feet on solid ground. I put his hat on his head at least a 20 times and he took it off just as often.


It was really lovely to watch him busy himself in our backyard. He watched birds, he stared at the chooks through the fence, he chased our cat Hettie from her usual sitting post on the garden bench. We had no outside toys for him but he didn't need any, he kept busy with what he found. It was such a good start for us.

He found a couple of buckets and walked around with them, he carried around one of my Crocs, he stared at a leaf REALLY close, he pushed the broom, he put a pebble in the bucket and realised it made a noise. He discovered the laundry trolley and pushed that around with one hand on the trolley and one hand holding the bucket firmly. Of course, he found the water in the bird bath and splashed a while. He found every point of interest in that yard and I could almost feel him taking notice and remembering what he was seeing.


We picked an organic orange from the tree, peeled it and he grazed on that for a while. More running around, a nappy change, a sippy cup of water, more running, some homemade toast and Vegemite. Outside again. With the trolley and the bucket. Looking at him, I remembered that toddlers are easy and difficult at the same time. They're difficult in that you have to always watch what they're doing and sometimes rescue a cat from a vice-like grip, but they're easy in that every thing is interesting to them. Teenagers are easy and difficult too, but in a different way.


I love being a grandma and just like Alex and Jamie, I'm exploring this world through new eyes. There are so many things to be remembered and improved upon now that I'm older and wiser. Hanno is enjoying it too. He's talking about putting a sand pit in the backyard for the boys to play in. I can hardly wait until Jamie is back from Korea and is here with Alex. I can see days ahead when it will be the most natural thing in the world to play in opa and grandma's backyard. It's safe here, there is plenty of space to run and where better for little people to learn about chooks, worms and dirt, and how a seed can turn into a tomato.

33 comments:

  1. Beautiful, beautiful post! So full of wonder at this age.
    I have a two year old myself and we spend so much time outside, it is when he is the calmest and happiest.
    Fresh air, warm sun, bare feet, wide open spaces~is there anything better?
    Dawn M

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  2. I can't believe he's walking already....he looks so big!

    I am tired (I spent the day at the zoo with my 3 young children), and read your last sentence as "you can see a cat turn into a tomato"....then I thought it said something like a can tuning into a tomato...it was quite amusing ;D

    ~Melanie in Canada

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  3. what a wonderful time you have had! You don't need a truckload of toys to babysit. The different environment is enough. An empty tissue box works well too lol.

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  4. So lovely it reminds me of when my 4 were toddlers. Can't wait for my grandchildren. But it's a way off!

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  5. Those first two sentences really struck a chord for me. I had forgotten too. I have two teens (the youngest will soon be 14) and last year we adopted a 3 year old. I had to laugh all the way through your descriptions of his busy little adventuring. It sounds very familiar. :) Thank you for sharing.

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  6. What a lovely post! I love the toddler years, I love the clumsy steps and the learning to express themselves, and the ready smiles and hugs.

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  7. My little one is 9.5 months and just started crusing, that couple with his crawling means he is finding all sorts of interesting things to occupy his time.

    We are in Gladstone, hope Shane is enjoying his new job.

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  8. What a lovely post to read to start my day. Alex is so cute. Such a wonderful time you all had. Hugs,

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  9. How lovely for you and Hano, Rhonda. I love being a Nana too but we are just at the beginning crawling stage. This post is like a little preview into our not too distant future :)

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  10. But Grandma - the peg basket was missing from your trolley... There's nothing as mystical as all of the plastic colours (and my mum would say - nothing as good for the waistline as picking them up ;) ).

    I remember the time I spent in my grandfathers garden and his amazing vege patch. The garden hose kept me entertained and, in the heat of summer, I got to hose my grandfather down before he went inside, onto my grandmothers clean floors.

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  11. I'm a grandma of two - a grandson who is 7-years-old and a grandaughter who is six months. I can tell that you enjoy being a grandma immensely, just as I do. Great post.

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  12. What a lovely photo of the family Rhonda. Cherish these moments as they don't last long enough. They do have boundless amounts of energy and it is so lovely to just watch them play with ordinary things and make their own pleasure rather than all these battery assisted things that the kids get now and don't really have to use their imagination with. And the best part (not really) is handing them back to Mum & Dad when you are absolutley spent. Have a wonderful day even though it's a bit chilly for us Queenslanders. Cheers from Sandra in Brisbane.

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  13. Very, very nice. We grandmas all know how this works. If only we could have all our grandbabies live right next door!

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  14. Reminded me of Compostgirl's toddler days :-) Thank you Rhonda for a lovely post. Made me smile to remember her then AND smile at your lovely grandson's exploring as well :-)

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  15. Oh Rhonda,
    Such joy playing in your grandparents backyard. Some of my fondest memories are from my grandparents vegetable garden and playing in their backyard. Such amazing times, the security and wisdom that grandparents give to their grandchildren life's is priceless.
    Oh if I could wish myself back their for the day I would!
    Thank You Rhonda for sharing.
    Lors

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  16. Alex walking around the yard with the laundry trolly reminds me of my son (now 23). When we would take him to visit my parents he would so straight outside and run laps with the laundry trolly and was still pushing it around until he was around 4 years old. :)

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  17. Love this, Rhonda. My little guy is just beginning to walk.... and our oldest is 23 years old! I'm still chasing little ones! :)
    ~julie

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  18. gorgeous post Rhonda! Toddlers are defo hard work but sooo much fun at the same time : ) (( )) x

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  19. Oh this brought back so many memories of my own children and grandchildren at this age. Also memories of me at both sets of grandparents homes. They both enjoyed "the good life' like we do now. Watching them plant seeds in pots to put in the flower beds next season, rescuing a used bird nest to save, watching butterflies,..or ants :) Petting the dogs and feeding the chickens while keeping my eyes out for the rooster! Grandma making cottage cheese or custard or all sorts of yummy things. Grandpa whittling or tinkering with what looked like nothing he would turn into a real treasure. We never had any toys at any of the grandparents homes or the farm relatives homes we stayed at often. Watching the cows get milked and the cats waiting their turn for a squirt, picking berries in the fields and watching for fire flies at night was like Heaven to us. So many wonderful memories and learning experiences. It was just their basic life but a treasure to be a part of. Your two sweet ones will be storing up so many good memories too. They can wear you out but you would not have it any other way... ;) Sarah

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  20. How lovely. Lots of fun.
    Blessings Gail

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  21. I have the same enjoyment in my life. we had both our grandchildren with us over the weekend. It was lovely to see them hiding away behind the bushes - picking and eating cucumbers out of the garden.. etc. Life doesn't get any better than this.

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  22. Toddler minding is a wonderful "waste" of an afternoon :D!

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  23. Lovely, now more on the teenagers are easy and difficult too please!

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  24. Looks like he had a ball. But I have to say, is it just the bald head, or is there an uncanny resemblance with bubby looking alot like Hanno?

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  25. What a lovely post.
    Makes me feel happy just reading it!

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  26. Oh I just love this post about little Alex. What a joy it is to hear your perspective on being a grandparent :)

    Hugs

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  27. That's why I call my little ones Gurus....they teach me so much but most especially about mindful, purposeful living and joy.

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  28. There is nothing like the love and devotion of a grandparent :) You and Hanno will have such fun!

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  29. What could be better than spending time in Opa and Grandma's garden and exploring! How wonderful.

    Deanna

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  30. It is such fun and so special to spend time with little grandchildren. Lovely photos of Alex exploring your garden!

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  31. Oh how gorgeous! What a busy, busy grown up boy! I can't believe he's walking already. At fifteen months, my granddaughter is still choosing not to walk although she has taken her first steps. Alex is beautiful! I'm glad you got to spend time with him.

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  32. I love this post, Rhonda. It is so sweet and charming. I'm sure glad you had such a pleasant visit with your sweet grandson.

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  33. Thanks in favor of sharing such a pleasant thinking, paragraph is pleasant,
    thats why i have read it completely

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