Our granddaughter started school last September but on Mondays neither her mother nor her father could be at the school to meet her at the end of the day. Fortunately, an honorary aunt was prepared to step in and granddaughter has been happy to help look after and amuse said honorary aunt's young son. But honorary aunt gave birth during the school Easter holidays and it is not now convenient for her to be at the classroom door to meet the granddaughter on Mondays. So granddad answered the call, was duly shown how to navigate around the outside of the school to be in place outside the appropriate classroom by 3.15. This week was my first 'duty' and I am pleased to report that I was in place on time and granddaughter came skipping out of the classroom, handed me her two bags (yes, two - one her lunch bag and one for her books and homework. Homework - for a 4-year-old!) and placed her hand in mine.
At home, she sat on the sofa beside grandma and read the book she had brought home. This was to teach the reader the "kn" and "ight" sounds with such words as knight, knit, (and, just to confuse matters, king), fight, delighted etc. Then grandma got out the new card game - Happy Families. The Happy Families I remembered from my youth consisted of four members: there would be Mr Bunne the baker, Mrs Bunne the baker's wife along with Master Bunne and Miss Bunne. Other families included the butcher, the farmer and so on. Not these French cards. There were a total of seven families, each comprising six members: father, mother, son, daughter, grandfather and grandmother. And they weren't the butcher, the baker and the candlestick maker; they were the lion, the hippo, the zebra. However, we didn't have to worry about the frou frou family or the poids lourd family as each family's cards had a different colour strip across the top, along with a number from 1 to 6. So all we had to do was ask for green 3 or whatever instead of Master Giles the farmer's son.
This was Emily's introduction to Happy Families. Of course, there was no way her four-year-old hands could hold 14 playing cards so we put the down on the table. I rather think she very quickly twigged to the fact that she could see what cards grandma and granddad held so it was no surprise that she won!
It is, of course, a great joy to have our granddaughter spend time with us - but it does cramp our style a bit. No more Monday lunches for a while and no skiving off to France as the mood takes us. School holidays only for the time being.