There’s something about having grandchildren that brings a special joy. I can’t quite put my finger on it – and it’s not just that you can hand them back at the end of the day to your own children – but perhaps it’s more that you realise there is another generation to your family with all the hopes and dreams that brings.
I’m always happy to do my bit helping Emma out with babysitting duties and, although tiring, it’s a delight to spend as much time as I can with Jack and Sophie. Although they’re hardly babies any more, even the little one is a toddler at almost 18 months.
It is so much easier to look after them during this sunny weather and we’ve made lots of trips to The Helix and Callendar Park to let them loose in the open spaces and playparks.
I’ve always been keen to ensure that they don’t spend all their free time sitting in front of the TV or a computer screen. But I must admit with Jack I was beginning to get worried that I might be fighting a losing battle.
However, like lots of children his age and older, this summer he has discovered loom bands – and I must admit that I’m quickly getting hooked! However, I do spend a lot of time ensuring Sophie doesn’t get her hands on them.
For those of you who have been on another planet for the last few months these are simply small coloured rubber bands that children weave into bracelets. They can use a little plastic loom but many, including Jack, use their fingers.
The great thing about them is that they encourage dexterity, you can play with them anywhere – in my garden as I write this – and there is no one-upmanship amongst children as there is when they are collecting models or cards.
Over the years there’s been lots of crazes – hula hoops, Rubik cubes, Pokémon cards, Tamagotchi and My Little Pony – which have all had their moments when they were the must-haves for children everywhere.
But I must admit that I’m liking loom bands – except when I have to pick them out of my lawn.