Like, I suspect, every grandmother who has ever dandled a littl’un on her knee (and isn’t dandled just such a special word?) I hate to disappoint my grandchildren.
Unfortunately in this Year of the Pandemic, it has been difficult to maintain the usual standard of she-Nanni-gans to which my Tremendous Ten grandchildren have grown accustomed. There have been no precious Nanna Visits to
see my (Not So Very Little) Welsh Boys in Cardiff - and now with the city in Lockdown the chances of reintroducing those happy days seem even further out of reach. There has been no opportunity for me to visit granddaughter Eleanor in neighbouring Brighton
(so near, yet so far) so we have had to put on indefinite hold the next OMO (Obscure Museums Outing). Hazel Bagel still yearns for me to visit her in Chiswick, to see the flat where she lives, to enjoy a cuppa with her in one of her favourite coffee shops,
for her to point out to me where Ant and Dec live. I’ve been given a virtual tour around our eldest granddaughter Katie’s new house - but how I’d love to be shown around for real.
The Rascally Trio arrived for a visit yesterday, combining a short stop at ours to see their Grandad with a trip to Clip and Climb with me in tow. Lilia (younger of the Twins by one important minute) is still adamant
that her parents need to move to a new house - next door to us. I fear both she and I are headed for disappointment. Just for the fun of it, I did discuss with Mr B how this would be. We would have a gate in the fence between our two back gardens so that the
Trio could come and go at will. Every day (maybe every other day? suggested Mr B who is always more realistic than I) they would come home from school and call to see us, when I would make them mugs of hot chocolate and rounds of buttered toast and we would
watch a film together, all cuddled up on the sofa.
Mr B thinks better than to point out what would actually happen - how the three of them would riot through the
house, creating merry mayhem; use up all my printer paper on various works of art (most of them depicting Christmas trees - the Twins are obsessed with Christmas); and raid the biscuit tin, leaving it completely empty as I would discover next time I felt like
a ginger nut...
On their long drive down to ours, the Trio apparently discussed, as always, what outfit the Giant Penguin would be wearing. Regular readers will
remember that, ever since the first of the grandchildren came to visit, the Giant Penguin has always been there on the doorstep, all dressed up and waiting for them. Trying to ensure that he wears something different on every visit is just one more of the
many rods for my own back I have made since becoming a grandmother. The one lone voice against this particular tradition is animal lover Sam, eldest of the Welsh Boys, who always tells me the Giant Penguin should remain as nature intended him.
Yesterday I felt I surpassed myself by draping a white tablecloth over the Giant Penguin and attaching two black eyes and a ghoulish mouth with strategically placed safety
pins. Though I say so myself as shouldn’t (as my dear Mum would say), in this respect at least I did not disappoint. I am not a fan of Hallowe’en myself, far preferring Guy Fawkes Night - but there’s no doubt that few disguises are easier
to magic up than that of a ghost. Indeed for a minute or two, the Trio didn’t recognise the Penguin.
There was time for a quick game of Pin the Fangs on
the Bat - the Hallowe’en version of Pin the Tail on the Donkey - which was notable for a certain amount of peeking from behind the cardboard blindfold before their Grandad adjudicated that they were all winners and we headed off for the activity centre.
Dropping me off at home afterwards, before they drove home, the Trio gave me my orders. Next time, they said, could we play Pin the Tail on the Donkey? Plus, they had had
some very good ideas for possible prizes, given that they would almost certainly continue their winning streak....
I shall try my very best not to disappoint...