Oma and Opa

Starting Sunday, it will be a wild ride at our house. Our son and his wife are flying to Savannah, GA so our son can attend the American Counseling Association conference and they can both have a much deserved vacation. Our grandson, who will be 5 in April, was going to spend the week with his maternal grandparents in Mankato. They are a lovely retired couple, both educators, some years older than me and Husband. We are Oma and Opa. They are Grandma and Papa.

Last weekend Papa fell and broke his upper arm bone. It is painful. He and Grandma are disappointed that their combined health issues make it impossible for them to look after our grandson, so we agreed to take him for the week. Son will drive him to Fargo from Brookings, SD on Sunday, I will pick him up in Fargo on Sunday and drive back here with him.

Opa and I plan to tag team child care next week in terms of work. I will work mornings. Opa will watch Grandson, and then we will switch, and Opa will work afternoons and I will watch Grandson. Opa loves to swim and will take him to the swimming pools at our local recreation center. We also have story time at the local library, lots of books in our home, and Oma’s play therapy room at work where any 4 year old would think he was in heaven. We will have to integrate Grandson and our spoiled dog. I expect to be exhausted, but happy, by the end of the week.

Imagine an almost 5 year old boy was coming to stay with you for a week. What would you do with him? What are you favorite grandparent memories?

32 thoughts on “Oma and Opa”

  1. Both my grandparents had farms near St. James. My mother and I lived with her parents during the war. After my father returned we moved to Willmar, then Cloquet. I never wanted to leave my grandparents so I spent much of my summers with them until I graduated from high school.  Both of them had horses  My mother’s brother was only seven years older than me and I adored him. He always loved farming and animals. I was allowed to hang out with the animals, especially the horses. And when I turned thirty and married I got my own farm, then goats and chickens and horses, dogs, cats and rabbits.  Still have all but the rabbits and a husband.  Cynthia “Life is a shifting carpet…learn to dance.”

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  2. I don’t have to imagine. We have a five-year-old grandson and Robin and I spend one day a week with him and his sisters while their mother is working.

    I spend a lot of time on the floor. He has a fleet of toy garbage trucks and he likes to line up toy garbage bins and pretend to make a trash pick up. He also has a bin of Magnetiles that enable him to build structures and also vehicles and he can do that for extended periods. My own grandparents, who were considerably younger when I was born than I am, had both died by the time I was ten. They never got down on the floor to play with me.

    Our grandson also likes to play board games and card games and chess. He sometimes engages me in Mario Cart racing on the Xbox and always beats me. He has gotten into Minecraft, which is completely beyond me.

    I just follow his lead. If he wants to play trucks we play trucks. If he wants to draw, we draw, etc. His mother limits his screen time so we have to promote other activities sometimes but he’s pretty amenable.

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  3. I spent time on both my grandparents’ farms. They were wonderful places. I liked climbing around on the old abandoned steam threshers that had been left in the grove, helping my Grandma Boom (that was what we called her. She was lots of energy in a small package) collect the eggs, and playing with the cats. My other grandmother, who we called Omie, was 6 ft tall. She taught me how to bake bread. They had a dairy farm, so there was lots of activity and cats.

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  4. I would probably bring out the rhythm instruments and put on some music. I do have a basket of toys down in the basement that includes some hand puppets and stuffed animals.
    And definitely read story books. Paper and marking pens…

    And get outside to play… if you have a little shovel, a 5-year-old would love to help you clear the sidewalk. (well, usually)

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        1. I ended up making chocolate raspberry brownies with cream cheese frosting. And, of course, had to make a card with some snow banks and Don’s hat sticking out of the top.

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  5. I’ve always thought Pippin needed a nine year old boy. Well, five is just a bit younger. I think Pippin and a five year old boy would have fun together.

    Before he came over, I might try to hide my television somewhere. I am aware that kids have their own screen devices and games to play on them but that all mystifies me. I’d try to limit the time he plays with those and supervise as well as I can.

    First thing would have to be a trip to the library. We’d check out some great books, then go get an ice cream cone. There’s a great sliding hill right in front of my condo so we’d come home and get our outside clothes on and try some sliding. Later we would come in and have hot chocolate.

    I would put up my one-person tent and fill it with camping pads, sleeping bags, pillows, cushions, blankets, soft toys, and flashlights. He and Pippin could play together in there while I try to figure out what a five year old would eat for supper. I’m not sure a five year old would enjoy my cooking. After supper, he could help me with dishes, then we’d read stories before bed.

    This goes on for a week? Oh dear! Maybe a trip to a zoo or a movie. There is an interesting place near here where kids can climb on fanciful things that they have built for that purpose – I can’t remember what it’s called right now but I know where it is. I also visualize snowman building, sliding, baking cookies, reading books or playing games and quiet time in the tent. Also some vigorous play with Pippin.

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  6. I can remember playing with my cousins in both grandma’s houses (I’ve probably said this before), esp. in the basement and closets… I would also watch Grandma B make kringla, and loved that she had one cubbie for flour that was hinged at the bottom rather than on the side like a cupboard door – you just pulled on the handle at the top and there was a whole messa flour.

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  7. I get to have my grandkids come over on Wednesday afternoons however Ari, the almost 5-year-old is such a bundle of energy and such a social monster that he loves being with people at school so he got signed up for five days a week and just loves going to school every day when he comes over we do artwork tell jokes jump on the trampoline we go to play areas so that he and his two brothers can all enjoy the activities. Luca is about four months old so he’s not much for the physical activities but loves to get out Denver is 2 1/2 and reminds me of Winnie the Pooh is just he spins around in circles and looks up at the sky , and has kind of a different perspective in the world. Arie goes up to whoever is nearby introduces himself and followed him around to become their friend and while that’s not always appropriate, he sure does make friends quickly and find somebody to hang out with everywhere that we go. We are starting piano lessons next week so that will be something fun that we can do and Ari and I are studying Albanian together so we work on that his true love is countries of the world. He spends hours and hours memorizing flags that go with the countries and where the countries in the world are and what the capital is he started? This was president but it was quickly mastered and so he added states and their capitals and what day is they were admitted to the union and he’s just got one of those kind of brains when he took on Europe and then was interested in doing the rest of the world. I thought that would be enough to tide him over but it’s pretty funny you ask him to give you the name of a country that starts with the letter? and he just keeps going and going and going so it all depends on who you’re almost 5-year-old is my guess is it when Denver is almost 5 it will be a very different scenario than it has been for Ari

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  8. I also understand now why my parents had a little problem with some of the stuff that I was doing when I was almost 5 I thought I was big enough and grown-up enough and that they were completely out of line by trying to read me back young and keep me under their thumb but it’s pretty funny realizing today what I thought was no problem at the time.

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  9. I’ve started answering these questions any number of times, and each time I stalled out because I realized how utterly impossible it is for me to imagine how I’d spend five days with a five-year old. It would very much depend on who that five-year old is.

    Ari, who I have had the pleasure of meeting very briefly, sounds like an incredible little person. It would be quite challenging to keep up with him.

    From my time as a nanny I remember how different kids are; as tim pointed out, even siblings can have very different personalities, likes, and needs.

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  10. If I am ever a grandmother, I will be Nana. That was my grandmothers nickname. My mothers nickname is Nonny and that was her grandmothers nickname. But until the time I might ever become a grandparent, I have to make do with the other kids in my life. I have six kids in the neighborhood that I dote on and my plan is maybe this summer (now that they all reached an age where there seems to be a little less drama), there may be cookie making going on at my house. The other thing that we do a lot of his chalking. I love to do chalk art all over the sidewalk and the driveway and the kids love to help. with that.

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    1. When my first grandchild was born, I made a point of not calling myself anything; I wanted to see what he’d come up with on his own. It took until he was about 18 months, but I became Bocker, and I love it. We have no idea how he came up with it, but it has stuck. All three grandees and the adults in the family call me Bocker now. I feel a bit like Tigger; “I’m the only one!”

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  11. Not to be like whatever he wants- but obviously within reason… these moments are what he will cherish more then any others. Those with just you two… bonding and having fun whatever adventures and joy you can make or conjure up… those will stick with him even in his older days…. Rather it be telling him a story on walks… playing at the park or going to a museum… yes kids get “bored” but that’s where you get to help him create and you can teach him amazing things…

    Enjoy that little love bug!


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