When our kids were in school, especially the lower grades, each child in their class got a chance at some point in the school year to be "Person of the Week." I don't remember exactly what that involved, but they were the spotlighted student for that week.
Here "Person of the Week" is the "Super Star" and Bri has been counting the weeks until she can be the super star. This involves a display of some sort focusing on her, getting to lead the class into the room in the morning, and having both Mom and Dad come and give presentations about their jobs.
Laurel was working on the display this afternoon and we were invited to come and help around 5. Laurel is incredibly talented artistically, so she didn't need much help in that line from me.
The help we were needed for was to keep the girls occupied, which was right up our alley. I went to watch Lacie in her bedroom. This girl, at 2-1/2, is amazing. One of her favorite things to do is to take her clothes out of her drawers and arrange them on the floor.
She is meticulous, straightening things out, making sure the sleeves all go off to the side and then, when they are all arranged to her liking, telling me about which colors matched which other colors. It's really quite a thing to see.
But we later moved to the kitchen with Mommy and Lacie wanted to play snakes. This involves matching colors of snake bodies, making a long snake across the floor as we play. There's that operative word: "floor" To play this game it was clear I was going to have to actually get down on the floor, which I have not done in years. But it's what Grandmas do, so goddammit, I did it.
As difficult as it was to get down, and as painful as it was to be on the floor, getting up was the worst. I can't kneel on either knee. Tom tried to help me but I was determined to do it by myself, which I did, but I think it's fair to say I won't be a "play with me on the floor" grandma. However, Tom did say I was a good sport, which I considered high praise.
In the meantime, Walt was out playing baseball with Brianna, with discussion about the rules.
Judging by how long the game went on and how tired Walt was when it was over, it's a good thing we didn't get to their house earlier; he might be dead by now.
When it was time for the girls to have dinner, we sat with them and Tom. Lacie was interested in learning how to cut, so Tom showed her how to hold her knife and fork so she could cut her pieces of chicken.
Eventually, she figured what she really wanted to cut were her beans and eat them with a knife.
In the meantime, Bri was trying to negotiate how much spinach she had to eat before she could have a cookie.
The girls went for baths while Tom, Walt and I ate the fajitas Tom cooked. Then Lacie gave us hugs and went off to bed so Mommy could read her a story. In the meantime, Tom suggested I read Bri a story, but she wanted me to tell her a story, so I told her about the time we went camping in Yosemite when Tom was younger than Bri and a bear sniffed around our tent and I was terrified because Tom had stepped on a roasted marshmallow and I was afraid the bear would come through the tent looking for it, but he eventually went away and when we woke up in the morning, the bear was in a truck at the campsite across from ours. Bri thought it was a good story (and Tom verified that it was true).
When the story was finished it was time to go off to bed and Bri gave me a big hug and kiss without trying to get out of it, which was a HUGE breakthrough.
In fact, this whole weekend, or at least the last two days have been the best I have spent with Bri in a very long time. We actually enjoyed each other, she let me brush her teeth and read her a story and tonight she talked with me the way she usually does to other people and was not reluctant to hug and kiss me good night either last night or tonight. I am leaving her this time feeling very good about our time here.
She is now reading at a 1st grade level and it is my plan to start writing to her every week or two, simple letters she can read by herself. That can only help improve things, I hope. I am already in a sticker chain letter with her. As far as I know the others in the chain are both 6 years old! Being a grandma can be very challenging if you live at a distance!