Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Mary Poppins vs. Tiger Woman

Mary Poppins opens the door and meets Tiger Woman! TW approaches the nanny, head down, stalking ready to attack. Stealthfully, she circles the umbrella toting woman. She waits. She waits for one mistake, then she will destroy her prey. Poppins is not intimidated. This woman has dealt with children who would make Tiger Woman look like a pussy cat. Silently, she thinks, "Bring it on you feisty feline. Bring it on."

No, I'm not Mary Poppins, but sometimes I feel like I carry her great big carpet bag reaching in to find the tools I need to be a proper grannanny. Yesterday was one of those days. Armed with patience and a secret sense of humor, I whispered, "Bring it on."

A small knock at the door.

"Hi, Grammy."

"Hi, Gabby." A big, juicy kiss greets me.

"Good morning, Sweetie," I said as Sydney, wrapped in a blanket, still in her pajamas walks past me. "Hm," I thought. "It's going to be one of those days."

Sometimes the kids are quiet because they have been pulled out of bed and are still in waking up mode. I sit between them on the sofa. Gabby lays her head against me and snuggles. Tiger Woman, disguised as Syd, sits waiting for me to make a mistake. Ah, tweens.

I remember when I was a preteen wanting a reason to strike out. It wasn't as if I had a reason. No, the knot in my chest just wanted to bite someone. It didn't have name. Didn't even have a purpose. It was just there waiting to cry out.

With my daughter, I made the same mistake as had my mother. I was the parent. I had the power. Result: Fights that rivaled those of Mohammad Ali. Words that should have been left unsaid. Battles that had no winners, only casualties.

So now I'm Grandma Poppins. I do have a bag of tricks. Better yet, I have all the time in the world to dedicate to helping these girls through those rough years of roaring feelings.

Breakfast was served. Gabby began her daily chatter with unbound energy. Princess Syd still sat wrapped in her blanket refusing to have anything to do with me. I've never walked on fire, but I do think that dealing with an angry tween is close to it. After attempts at non-invasive dialogue, I decided to step away from the child. She needed her space. Hard to find in a house with people. So I gave her back her tension and stepped away from it continuing my role as Mary Poppins, grannanny at large.

By lunch time, I had convinced her that she needed to get dressed. My strategy was to get us all out of the house. After a prolonged time of whining and challenging, she begrudgingly dressed. Ah, a small step for Tiger Woman, a big step for Poppins. We were headed to the deli for their favorite sandwiches.

"I don't want to go that far. Why can't we just stay here?" This had all the makings of a very long day.

"I just thought we all needed to get out of the house for awhile, and I'm hungry." Of course, Gabby was still chatting away driving her sister crazy, and I was still not playing Syd's game.

Tiger Woman ate her lunch beginning to liven up and turn into my granddaughter once more. She was even kind to her sister. I didn't gloat. Mary Poppins doesn't, you know.

We came home and played school. The girls took turns entertaining me on the piano. I reflected on the good day we had. I learn a great deal with each of these battles between Tiger Woman and Poppins. I learn about myself and ways to encourage instead of challenge. I learn to respect my granddaughters and their feeling.

I'm no Mary Poppins. I can't fly beneath an umbrella or jump into a chalk drawing. But life with my grandchildren is just as exciting.....and much more rewarding. I get to stay here and not fly away.

'Just a spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down'....this grandma's creed.

Visit www.neffroad.blogspot.com today for a visit with Uncle Wiggily.

1 comment:

  1. This is quite refreshing and brings a smile to my face whether I read it morning, noon or night. From one grammy to another, you rock, Pam.