Friday, March 13, 2015

Five Things Friday -- Nana-and-Nola-style

As I might have mentioned, we have our 6-year-old granddaughter staying with us this week. She's lovely, very easy to get along with, polite, cooperative, funny, happy with a trip to get groceries or a bike ride to the park or an hour working in the garden. She does most of these activities with her Granddad during the day while I'm at work, and when I come home they have dinner ready, and we sit down together and chat our way through the meal. This is in rather stark contrast to my usual habit of grunting a "thank you" to Paul and having him join me, plates on our knees, in front of whichever Netflix show I'm going to unwind in front of. Then after dinner, I read to her for half an hour or so before we can finally succumb to the easy and soothing delights of the screen. . . .If she were mine, of course, she wouldn't be watching 90 or more minutes of TV/movies every evening, but she's at Granddad and Nana's . . . . And I do try to choose the movies carefully, especially the ones that I watch with her. All this is a preamble to #1 and #2

1. The Incredibles stands up well as an entertaining kids' movie that adults can enjoy -- Edna Mode, the movie's designer character based on IRL designer Edith Head, is particularly amusing. Paul and I had both seen this movie when it first came out -- we must have taken our nieces and/or nephew -- and we both found it engaging enough to watch all the way through with Nola.
2. Considering that I first watched Mary Poppins within its first year of release, so nearly 50 years ago (I know!), it stands up very well also. I still love the music, or at least most of it, and I think Nola was surprised at all the lyrics I knew (I taught her Supercalifragilisticexpialidocous, of course). I'm not sure if I've watched it in the years since I first saw it, but I'd never been struck before by what an amusing view it offered of London and of English culture, albeit the 1910 version (did some Americans really think that's what London/England ever was like? how did this all play in England at the time?). And that accent! I've loved Dick Van Dyke from childhood for his avuncular, bumbling-comic screen characters, but oh my! That is a Really. Bad. Fake-Cockney. Accent. Really bad! Still, Nola and I loved the movie overall, and I found extra joy in watching it with her (Paul just wasn't up to that many Spoonsful of Sugar!).

3. Should you have a 6-year-old around, you might want to try out this simple recipe that S/he could make independently. (would also work with a 4 or a 5 or a 7 or an 8). Nola says: Spread peanut butter all over a soft tortilla then roll it all around a banana. You could cut it in half to eat, but Nola can usually manage to eat almost the whole thing. She recommends putting the last leftover few inches into a container on the counter so that when you get hungry you can just pour yourself a glass of milk to go with and have a little snack. . . .

4. We did this one day this week while Granddad went to yoga class -- mostly, it's Nola and Granddad who go for coffee and hot chocolate in the morning, but Nana's schedule made room for the treat on Wednesday. She wanted a croissant with chocolate, and she was more than delighted with this pain au chocolat. I'm trying to ensure she's Paris-ready for a trip with Nana within the next few years (she thinks 6 would be good; I'm thinking maybe 7 or 8, we'll see).





































5. It's hugely worth the juggling and the busy-ness and the fatigue to have this girl to ourselves for the week. But it is a challenge, and I'm more than ever recognizing I'm ready to retire. I went to bed at 8 one night, leaving Granddad to tuck Nola in, and I was asleep by 8:15 (and this in the first week of Daylight Savings!). And I've been trying to fit marking into every spare corner of time I can find, but I'm still behind. So I was surprised to get a compliment or two on this outfit the other day --  I leave before Nola and Granddad are up, so there's lots of tiptoeing and trying to find things and I'd woken up a bit later than usual. This was the morning after I'd gone to bed exhausted at 8 the night before, and there'd been absolutely no outfit planning. Just grabbed some good basics that I love and feel comfortable in and then worried a bit while biking to the ferry that I might have forgotten something important like, say, a skirt or underwear or whatever. . . .
We're off to Other Island City today, a 90-minute drive from here, to introduce Nola to her week-old cousin. What a wonderful reason for an outing! On the drive, she and I are planning to finish reading Brian Selznick's magical novel The Invention of Hugo Cabret, so that we can watch the movie Hugo together before she leaves on Sunday.

What about you? Comments on my taste in children's movies? Recommendations of same? Favourite outfits you grab out of the closet in the dark when you're in a rush that somehow work every time?  Or just tell me how very ready you are for the weekend. . . Or not, I'm grateful you stopped by to read whether you comment or not. Happy Friday!

29 comments:

  1. My daughter loved Mary Poppins when she was little. Loved it. I think your relationship with Nola is the most special thing, and it will matter to both of you all your lives. My heart thumps for you.

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    1. It is certainly precious to me, this relationship, and I hope that she will carry some of it with her through life -- I've always treasured the time I had with my own grandmother.

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  2. I love these posts! Your world opening to her, hers to you, and now a new cousin. So happy for you.

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    1. It was so moving to see the wonder on her face and the way she tentatively reached out her hand to stroke those tiny, new fingers. . .

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  3. Such a special time for you and Nola...I had a great relationship with my grandmother and have oodles of fond memories of baking bread, going to movies and grocery shopping...she was an avid reader and I think I got my love of books from her.
    You are forging many wonderful memories! Enjoy and savour them...I am sure that she will!

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    1. I find it amazing to think back through my connection to my grandmother, very strong, like yours, and stretch right back to stories she told me of her childhood, right at the beginning of the 20th century -- and then imagine Nola perhaps speaking of her memories of me to someone in the late 21st. . . such a span, anchored by yours truly! ;-) (and you, in your family, of course)

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  4. What a treat for you to have your granddaughter to stay and spoil a little, why not? A trip to Paris with her one day will be something to cherish. Happy weekend x

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    1. Thanks, Marianne -- It's been a treat (albeit an exhausting one!)

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  5. What a treat for you to have your granddaughter to stay and spoil a little, why not? A trip to Paris with her one day will be something to cherish. Happy weekend x

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  6. I remember very clearly being taken to the cinema by my mum to go and see Mary Poppins when it came out and the moment MP descended over London. I still love this film and find it almost heart rendingly poignant. I also still have the book that we bought as a consequence of the film and how I loved reading the stories, in bed, at night. I was 8. Next year it was The Sound of Music: I was astounded that Julie Andrews did not really have a brown bun of hair. Loved it though. The Baroness...so chic. So cool. Never recovered...

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    1. Oh yes, I remember the oddness of that Julie Andrews character showing up in different films. I knew every lyric to every song of that movie as well, thanks to a record a friend gave our family -- played over and over and over. Like your MP book, perhaps. . .

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  7. What an idyllic week with your precious granddaughter! I remember spending time with my maternal grandmother so clearly. She lived across the street from us when I was growing up so I saw her frequently. I never knew my paternal grandmother because she died when my father was a child, but I'm learning about her now.

    I haven't seen the Incredibles, but I did like Despicable Me and thought that it was really for adults - children could not possibly get all the references. I haven't seen Mary Poppins for years. I have boys and so I've seen all the Star Wars movies, except the last one, multiple times.

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    1. How lucky to have your grandmother living so very close by -- mine lived a few blocks away for several years and I loved being able to get there on my own.
      The Incredibles is similar in some ways to Despicable Me in that it also offers as many clever references for adults to enjoy as it does slapstick or other action to entertain kids. I suspect my husband has seen the Star Wars movies a few times when we catches them as he channel-surfs in the evening. . . ;-)

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  8. It sounds exhausting but a lot of fun! Alone time with grandparents is indeed special.
    I remember seeing Mary Poppins for the first and I am sure that it is just as enjoyable today. Enjoy visiting your new little one!

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    1. It has been exhausting, but fun, Madame. I'm not sure how I'm going to pull myself into next week's work, but it's definitely been worth it. Something like what you're doing right now -- exhausting but worth it!

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  9. It's a good time of life, isn't it? Counting the grandchildren, sharing your interests reading together - all about making memories for Nola. Enjoy your time down here - there is some promise of sunshine for tomorrow.
    I like your taste in children's movies and clothes. Tonight I hope to take my visiting 10 and 12 year old nieces to see Cinderella - the newest version. What do I grab on dark mornings? I'm ashamed to admit to no imagination whatsoever - black pants, black shirt, black cardigan, black shoes and a colourful scarf and bracelet. It's a uniform - I have it in navy, tan and brown. Boring, I know.

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    1. Nola's been promised Cinderella when her parents get back and she's quite excited (as she was when I told her that a Frozen II is in the works -- her mother might not be as happy!).
      No shame in having a uniform -- if it works to get you out the door on dark, busy mornings, that's a good thing!

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  10. Oh what fun to share these things with Nola, makes them new again, doesn't it? She must be such a delight to you. And your outfit is a testament to knowing what works for you, and creating a wardrobe of pieces that "play well with others" for those grab-and-go mornings.

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    1. It does exactly that -- makes so many things new. It's a bit odd, though, to be confronted with how long ago I first did or saw or read . . . whatever the object.
      I do feel good about having a wardrobe of pieces I feel myself in and that work with most other pieces I might grab, thanks.

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  11. I love reading about your times with Nola. Our eldest granddaughter is two years younger, and I take notes on things to do with her (and her cousin). We recently watched Frozen together (my first time) and she narrated the entire way through.

    You did well at putting an outfit together without much thought/time. It's good to have pieces like that in the wardrobe.

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    1. I haven't seen Frozen yet, although one of these days I'll break down and pay for it (I've been waiting until it's available to Rent rather than Buy on iTunes).
      I can imagine your sweet little 4yo chattering the plot to you all the way through. . .

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  12. my son loved Mary Poppins (the movie) at that age - I loved it with him except for the mean anti-suffragette passage. The MP books are better, and have great illustrations!

    Another wonderful series Nola might like is about an unconventional princess and her friend dragon...I think maybe the first one is Dealing With Dragons? blanking on the author, but the first couple books in the series are grand.

    Envying you your week......

    Ceci

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    1. Yes, the suffragettes were rather figures of fun in that movie, weren't they? Not especially more so than bankers, perhaps, but I wonder how much that barb might have been felt in the mid-60s. . . .
      I'm going to look for Dealing with Dragons -- Nola's quite keen on princesses and dragons, although she told me quite solemnly today that she wishes they weren't just mythical, as she's recently learned unicorns are as well.

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  13. I love your boots!!
    Who can argue with sweater, straight skirt, tights, and boots? Fashionable, feminine, AND comfortable!
    I have 2 grandsons, who are now three and one and a half.
    I LOVE being a grandmother, and one who lives nearby--it's wonderful.
    Rebecca

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    1. I really like these boots as well, although they require a long-handled shoehorn to get them on, so I have to think through whether I might need to remove them during the day and then get them back on! (They're by Fiorentini & Baker and I was thrilled to find them on sale 50% off 4 or 5 years ago)
      Isn't this grandma gig great? Lucky you to live close (we're fairly lucky with grandchildren within a 2-hour trip)

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  14. Have loved to read about your time with Nola - she seems to be such a lovely girl; it remembers me of the time when my daughter was at her age. I recommend the film "Ballet Shoes" , based on the book of Noel Streatfeild - all her books are great, but Ballet Shoes is a most delightful story - very nostalgic, but with strong characters. I think you will enjoy it - and the investment will pay off with so many granddaughters -)) Enjoy the rest of your weekend!

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    1. I remember reading through Streatfeild's books when I was young -- I hadn't thought of Ballet Shoes for her yet, but she so loved seeing The Nutcracker these last two Christmasses that perhaps that would be a good next book, to be followed by the movie. Thanks for the reminder.

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  15. I read this a day or so ago and I'm still chuckling over your comment that you might have "forgotten something important...like a skirt..." Reminds me of a lady who was a mentor to me when I started teaching; she was lovely, calm and very dignified. So I always laugh when I think of her story that her first year of teaching she rushed out the door, papers flying, in her very demure skirt suit... and bedroom slippers. And apparently didn't notice until she was at school.
    Love Mary Poppins.... bad accent and all. And that final song..."Let's Go Fly a Kite!"

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    1. Oh dear! I'm sure her students would have enjoyed that. My husband similarly looked down in a meeting a few years ago only to realize that he was wearing one brown and one black shoe. Truly. And he had walked 20 minutes to his office.

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I'd love to hear your response to my post. Agree, disagree, even go off on a tangent, I love to know you're out there, readers. Let's chat, shall we? I apologize, though, for the temporary necessity of the Word Verification -- spam comments have been tiresomely numerous lately, and I'm hoping to break that pattern.

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