I learn such a lot from my grandchildren. Every bit as much, I sometimes suspect, as they learn from me.
From Jack, the eldest grandson, I have learnt all manner of Matters
Technological, including how to download apps onto the Us-Pad like GarageBand which will almost certainly add enormously to my street cred. From Eleanor, the Fourth in Line, I have learnt the names of all the principal characters in The Hunger Games so that
I can speak about them with a certain level of knowledge and understanding but without ever having to actually read the books or watch the films. I know, I know, lots of people tell me I am missing out but I honestly can't bring myself to handle story-lines
in which children are forced to kill each other. I'm strange like that. Katie and Hazel have introduced me to the concept of Looking Beautiful at All Times, including the judicious use of make-up. Though they don't need to apply the lippy to look heart-breakingly
beautiful and I, who do, have never mastered the art of make-up and have to rely on the Middle of the Darling Daughters to beautify me on the most special of occasions.
Tala, aka Dora the Explorer, has taught
me that there are more ways than one to get across a room. If you can't walk, or crawl, then there is always rolling. I have yet to put this into practice but give me time. Tala's twin sister, the delectable Lilia, has shown me over and over again the Power
of the Beaming Smile. This I have been putting into practice. It does occasionally earn me strange looks from the other passengers on the Pulse bus - I would probably fare better if I, like Lilia, was a babe in arms but, let's face it, it's a bit late now.
To Sam, the eldest of the (Not So) Little Welsh Boys, I owe an extensive knowledge of the Animal Kingdom, from the humble shield bug to the King of the Jungle; to his younger brother, James, a clear and uncompromising
view about names needing to match the person / animal / object concerned. This is why, in James's book, a floppy toy dog will always be called Floppy and a toy monkey will go by the name of, you guessed it, Monkey. I love the simplicity of this approach though
it is possibly fortunate that I was not aware of it when it came to naming my own off-spring all those years ago. The youngest of the three LWBs, aka The Duracell Bunny, has taught me the importance of never, ever slowing down, lest someone catches up with
you. A valuable Lesson in Life for anyone, like me, approaching A Great Age.
For sheer cunning, however, you have to hand it to Young Faris, aka The Rampaging Rascal. Several times a day, I understand, Master
Faris is instructed to take himself off to the Naughty Corner. The other day when he was out at the park with Oliver, his friend and Partner in Crime, his Mamma (the Middle of the Darling Daughters) had to resort to sending him to the Naughty Tree. It makes
a change, don't you think, from the Naughty Corner / Step.
Recently the M of the DDs noticed that her commands to go to the Naughty Corner at home were not being met by the usual level of resistance. In fact
the Rampaging One seemed quite happy to trot off as directed. That was when she realised that the cunning lad had secreted a number of his favourite toy cars in the Naughty Corner against the almost certain expectation of Time Out. Where did he learn such
cunning? And is there any application to my own life? In the interests of learning, you understand.
You may be wondering if I have a Naughty Corner (or even a Tree) in my house for when the Rampaging Rascal
comes to play. The answer is no, I don't. This is not because I disagree with the principle - children (like adults) have to learn. In my house there are a number of rules which visiting grandchildren are expected to know and obey, in the interests of Peace,
Harmony and Excellent Behaviour.
However, as all of them have either learnt, or are beginning to learn, in my house anyone infringing the rules will always be loved and forgiven in the usual way.
That's just the way it is.