I am grateful for four-year-olds, not just any four-year-old, but Linden to be specific.
I am currently in British Columbia helping my grandson transition into kindergarten. My daughter is a single mom and we had the resources for me to fly out to help the glacial move from non-kindergarten to kindergarten. As I drove Linden to school for an hour one day and two hours another day I thought of single mothers in entry level jobs whose employers would have no interest in accommodating such a schedule and whose previous daycare providers would have filled those spaces with children requiring full time care.
I’m not about to get into a debate regarding the pros and cons of gradual entry to kindergarten. I’m hearing about my Ontario grandson who has had no such gentle approach to starting school, with its rip-the-Band-Aid-off strategy and as shy as he is, he adapted quickly. Nevertheless, irregardless, hereto unto fore, or any other non-words, I am here with the wonderful opportunity to spend time with Linden.
I should mention a couple of things to set the parameters of this discussion to accurately reflect my part in all of this. It has been well documented that patience is not my strong suit. I concur, though I have certainly mellowed in my later years. Others might willingly confirm said statement if called on to give testimony regarding my skills at being patient. “At least you are consistent,” Aimee confirms and I am thinking her statement is criticism masked as praise. My skin is thick. Well, maybe not that thick.
In all fairness to me are you aware that four-year-olds would challenge the patience of a Saint? True story. Granted I am no Mother Teresa, but holy cow, how much negotiation is required to get one’s shoes on. And further, are you aware that four-year-olds think grandmas are mind-readers and if they aren’t, they certainly should be. And grandmas need to be chefs ready to adjust the menu options at a moment’s notice or with no notice at all. And while four-year-olds are engrossed in their television programs, the house could explode and burst into flames and still they would not hear Grandma calling them to brush their teeth. And grandmas need the skills of a clairvoyant to know just what four-year-old’s true needs are in any given moment.
One of the things I enjoy about having graduated from active duty as a mother to active duty as a grandmother, is I can recall my own skills as a mother as being flawless. My children never acted up, never made a fuss about what was being served for supper, always went to bed without complaint and without requesting water, without another story, without more water, without a pillow adjustment, without one more trip to the bathroom, etc, etc, etc and without maybe just one more sip of water. My children never had temper tantrums, never balked at being told to make their bed or comb their hair. Well, maybe the hair thing was a struggle, but that was the only “tremor in the force” as I recall. My children may remember things differently, but memory is a fluid thing.
I must confess when four-year-olds say they want to sleep with grandma tonight and cuddle up under my arm with a story, their head resting on my chest, their little fingers disappearing inside my hand, then all those other things really don’t matter one iota. But I think you already knew that.