Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Time with Kids is Well Spent

by Christina VanGinkel

My grandson is turning two this coming month. His party is scheduled for this upcoming holiday weekend as that is when my daughter and her family will be home. The food is decided upon, decorations purchased, and the cake is ordered. Sounds like I am all finished. Wait! My husband and I do not have a present for him yet. I have had some ideas, and I am always good at suggesting gifts for others to buy their kids and grandkids, yet I honestly do not have a clue as to what to give him.

Early on this year, we had decided, with my daughter's input, to purchase him a big boy bed. We will sometime in the coming months get him one, but they are only going to be at their house for a few days this month. Travel for work takes them all over the United States, and while our grandson is not yet in school, she travels with him as much as she can. Because they travel so much also, we want to get him something that he can take with him, something that will travel well. In the past, we have given him a Doodle Board, a My First LeapPad, and numerous books. We did buy him, I almost forgot, a set of four Mighty Movers board books on Diggers and Dumpers, Cars, Farm equipment, and Emergency vehicles. We still want to get him something besides the books though and we are undecided.

My daughter has suggested clothing, and we will purchase him needed jeans and his newly favorite big boy underwear. She also suggested that instead of getting one more thing to clog up his toy box, that we just spend time with him. Smart daughter we have raised! Therefore, time is it. We will forgo any big gift, and spend as much time with him over the extended weekend as we can. Grandpa can give him rides on the bike and me, well, as grandma; I am always set to spend some quality time snuggling with this miniature love in my life reading the very books we already purchased. A trip to the lake is also an idea, as my daughter has informed us he has taken to the water like a fish. Whether fishing or swimming, he loves being by and in the water.

Since he was very little, his grandpa and him have created their very own ritual also. In addition, I am sure that will be a part of their time together. They lie on the living room floor, beneath the ceiling fan, and pretend to throw grandpas hat into the 'cyclone'. I remember telling my husband that he should not be throwing things into the fan, that it was dangerous...I am the family worrier...until he pointedly demonstrated that they never come near the fan. It is simply a grandpa and a grandson, flat on their backs, side by sides, pretending. When they last visited about six weeks ago, the first thing he did when coming into the living room was to lie down on the floor and holler for grandpa to give him his hat! They learn so much when they are this little. We want him to learn how very much we love him!

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