“Let’s go to the supermarket and buy oats so we can make flapjacks,” I proposed. The Grand moved like grease lightening.
I think it a prerequisite that any trip to the shops should be made fully clothed and in shoes. Sensing that I was unlikely to yield on this point he sat down, stuck his foot out and handed me a shoe.
“Hold Granny’s hand” the DiL instructed. He nodded.
“Hold my hand and don’t let go,” I reinforced.
At the end of the road, I flicked open the cane ready for crossing. The Grand used his free hand to grip the cane. ”Hoover” he said. His day was getting better by the minute.
We stood on the side of the road while the Grand made groaning noises and mimed a bit of hoovering. “Let go please,” I said, then instantly regretted my instruction. He’d let go of me before he’d give up his hoover. “Keep holding my hand,” I said. Perhaps this would be the moment when his toddler bubble burst and he realised the inconsistencies of adults. He looked thoughtful but gripped harder.
We’d been in the supermarket about 4 seconds when the Grand picked up a packet of biscuits. “We’re not getting those,” I said, “because we’re getting oats to make flapjacks.”
He clasped the biscuits tightly to his chest. “I want biscuits,” he said. His resistance was not high. He was not well placed to keep a grip on the hoover and the biscuits. I put them back on the shelf and we began our slow progression with me doing the blinky bob in the search for oats, and him making growling and swooshing noises as we juddered back and forth up the isles, miming a really good work out with a hoover.
At the till the Grand reached his hand over the counter to pay and was asked if he’d like a sticker. “Yes” he said. Then he said “Tankoo” and handed me the oats and the stickers .
“Let go of my cane and I’ll show you how it works.” He let go. Still, I had a child in one hand, oats tucked under the other arm and a cane in my free hand.
At home the Grand was ready to give a demonstration on long cane technique. No one else was quite braced for the experience, but he was easily distracted.
What was left of the flapjack mix, after much testing, went in the oven. Looking at the finished article, the outcome seemed disproportionate to the effort but that’s love for you. Nothing is too much bother.
At the park the Grand said, “I love you Granny.” I felt myself tearing up and said, “I love you too.” Then the Grand said, “I love my snack.” We sat down on a bench and he said “I love that dog.” I looked through my tears into oblivion and agreed it was a very fine dog and asked him to tell me all about that dog, which he did. He put his toddler arm around me and I gave him a kiss and got all teary again. “I’m happy,” he said. “Me too,” I said.
Then the Grand slid down from the bench and standing in front of me, kicked me in the shins. “oweee,” I said. “What did you do that for?”
“Fun,” he hooted, and kicked me again.
“that’s not funny,” I protested.
“It is funny,” he said, laughing with delight. Then heading off across the park with me in hot pursuit he shouted “Run Granny. Run.”
The great thing about oats, is that they are a slow-release energy food which means, unlike the biscuit, you can run for longer.