Playing granny

Dilly remarked that Squiffany is quite badly behaved by the end of the week. I admitted that it could well be my fault, as I am quite indulgent on the Fridays when I look after her. She took the confession kindly, agreeing that Al has much the same effect on his baby’s behaviour.

I don’t let her get away with bad manners and she is expected to say please and thank you, and to wave bye-bye to friends whom I’ve chatted to for 10 minutes in the supermarket while she sits patiently in the trolley seat. But when she waves imperiously towards the garden and expects to be let out to scrabble in the gravel, and spreads toys all over the drawing room and leaves them for me to clear up, I don’t raise a murmur. I’m so pleased to see her face light up when I come in the room, to see her enthusiastically tucking into a meal I’ve cooked and to hear her repeat a word I’ve taught her, I disregard any minor naughtiness as ‘sweet’ and let her get away with nearly anything.
Mind you, she is better behaved with me than with her mum at nappy-changing time. I have suggested playing ‘up … down.’ She enjoys this and does not try to escape, as she does with Dilly.
She is well behaved on the whole, I think. She knows she must not pick flowers, for example, so puts her hands behind her back to remove temptation while sniffing loudly at the scent and exclaiming at their prettiness.

I have escaped early alcohol-related disease. Apparently (and dreadfully) people in their 20s and 30s are seriously affected, by liver disease and binge-drinking. I have long been affected by the awful death of Bix Beiderbecke, who died, with horrible DTs at the age of 26, after several years of alcoholism. It seems particularly poignant when someone had such talent and, it appeared, so much to live for.
It’s all right to fall apart in your 50s though, isn’t it?

9 comments on “Playing granny

  1. irreverentmama

    I was trying to see the connection between the second-last paragraph and the rest of the post, when I realized: Oh, of course! Our children (and grandchildren) drive us to drink!


    And, yes, it’s all right to fall apart in your fifties! In fact, I’m only in my 40’s and I’m well on my way. I like to keep ahead of things.

  2. Z

    Hello irreverentmama, very pleased to hear from you.

    Actually, my husband brought me a glass of wine just as the news report about boozy kids came up. I don’t drink that much actually, but have a totally unwarranted never-seen-without-a-glass-in-her-hand reputation that I do nothing to dispel.

    Yes, I like to think ahead, it wards off both disappointment and panic.

  3. Z

    My family is not usually particularly long-lived (though my mother carried on rather reluctantly to 79) and I’ve done about everything I really wanted to, and everything I should, duty-wise. So it doesn’t matter any more, I’m glad to say.

    Not that this implies a death-wish or anything, I wouldn’t want to give the wrong impression.

  4. PI

    Fifties was when I started being sensible with regard to drink – not from moralistic reasons – I just couldn’t stand the headaches.
    Our dinner -party generation with spirits and cocktails before -wine throughout the meal and liquers and stuff afterwards over did it although it seemed very civilised at the time. Now I find it best to stick to wine – ideally one glass a day. The size of the glass varies.

  5. Z

    When things are going well, a bottle lasts 3 days. Sometimes 2. But at least I count…… and I do agree, best to stick to one type of drink, because then at least you have a good idea of how much.

    But malt whisky is so nice. fortunately it’s a winter drink. but someone has given me some really delicious schnapps. But only spirits when I get home late and my daily alcohol quotient is too low.

    Liqueurs? – when I was a prefect, I set a spelling test for 12-year-olds. HAH – the poor little bastards didn’t know what hit them!

  6. Z

    I think I should have said, in the 2nd paragraph, I only drink spirits ……etc.

    I do tend to miss out pertinent words, but sometimes it still makes reasonable sense.


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