I was thinking the other day of a question Grandma Lisa used to ask when she hosted Grilled Grandmas. What is one thing you wish you had learned earlier as a grandparent? I had answered “That the housework will wait”.
Well, I have definitely learned something new and I wanted to share it.
Lesson Learned: Never assume that just because you the Grandma think something would be a fabulous idea, that your grandchild will see it the same way.
My blog buddy Debra over at THE HOMESPUN had emailed me a link with a note that said, “I saw this on the net and immediately thought that it might be something that you and Grampy might like to do with Amara.” It was a link to The Fairfield House and her Cinderella Carriage, a beautiful carriage for Cinderella made from a pumpkin and using small white gourds for the wheels. Her’s is a work of art! I was sure this would be the best thing we ever did! I told Amara about it and showed her the pictures and she seemed OK with the idea. Not thrilled but I didn’t really notice because I was so excited!
Another friend had told me about an awesome Pumpkin Patch with lots of bouncy houses and lots of pumpkins. I thought this would be fun and so a few weeks ago we went, played, and found the perfect orange pumpkin and four beautiful little white gourds for wheels!
A few days later I was moving the pumpkins until we needed them and realized one of the wheels was rotten. Ewwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww This was the first sign that this was not going to be the perfect bonding/crafting experience that I had planned but I figured either we would get another gourd or we would improvise. I couldn’t find another one anywhere so I decided we would improvise. I’ll come back to this!
The day to create our carriage was approaching and Jenna and I headed to Michael’s to get all of the rest of the supplies we were going to need. Things did not go well. I couldn’t find the scrapbooking frames we needed to make the windows and the doors. I found one metal one and some sparkly tape – we would improvise some more.
Grampy found his drill and bits and I was trying to feel positive about it all. It wouldn’t be the one in the picture but it would be great!
The idea had been for Amara to spend the night, have dinner, watch a movie and we would make the carriage on Sunday morning – right after getting donuts! We hadn’t done that in months! When I put her to bed Saturday night, she asked me if we “could bake something together in the morning?” I reminded her that we were going to make the carriage in the morning and she responded with a very disappointed “Oh, right. We just haven’t baked anything together in a really long time Grandma.” Still I didn’t get it.
Sunday morning after devouring our donuts, coffee and milk, we began our project. Drilling the holes was difficult, regular glue wouldn’t work, and Amara and I were getting frustrated, both with the project and with each other. She wanted to use the hot glue gun and Grandma was having no part of it! I should have realized from other blogger’s frustrations that this might be challenging and maybe I should have realized it wasn’t age appropriate. Amara was bored watching and just wanted to go out and play on the swing set.
Our substitute wheel was a water glass lid that I had glued a photo of one of the gourds on to – after having scanned one of the gourds on my scanner! The things we Grandmas do! We never were able to get the harness for the pumpkin quite right. Grampy says we needed to shorten the dowels but by that time, both Amara and I were DONE! It wasn’t perfect or nearly as beautiful as the original but it was finished! It would look beautiful sitting on Grandma’s dining room table for a few days. Amara even brought two of her little unicorns to put in front of it to pull the carriage. You will notice they are very small in comparison to our pumpkins but unicorns are magical and can pull things much larger and much heavier than you would ever think!
The moral of the story: I realized last weekend that Amara isn’t always going to like what I like so we made a new plan. I suggested the next time she comes and spends the night that she should decide, in advance, what we should do! She liked that idea and she was pretty sure she wanted to bake so I told her she had to decide on what so that I could have all the supplies on hand. I think we are ready and tonight is that night! We are going to bake a cake. Amara and her Mommy and Daddy are going to a BBQ tomorrow afternoon and Amara is going to bring the dessert this time instead of her Mommy!
This post has been linked to the GRAND Social blogging event at Grandmas Briefs.