Nothing to do with grandads in story books that are in any way fantastically different. All to do with grandads in shopping centres, who think ahead.
As always during the weekly big grocery shop, baby girl runs to those child rides that go round and round like a carousel, or move up and down, for eg. a Wiggles car, or a Thomas train.
We left one shop, and she ran to an area that had like, 5 of them in a huddle. It’s a minder’s nightmare. Bad enough there is one to distract your child, but after that one, they must climb onto each and every one until they are satisfied. Only guess what?
They are never satisfied.
So she runs there, and I’m all preparing her: “baby girl, remember, you can only go on one ride, ok?”
A grandpa is nearby with his grandson. He smiles and says “good luck.”
We both smile, knowing full well the difficulties associated with pulling your child away from these damn shopping centre rides. They are worse than candy. They are like candy sprinkled with chocolate flakes with scoops of ice cream and marshmallows and characters like Peppa Pig and Frozen belles all smashed in there in tangible form so the child is like, ‘yep, I can eat my favourite people’ because kids are weird like that.
That is truly how these rides are like. We need a ‘shopping-centre-rides Anonymous’ group for toddlers. They are an extreme and unhealthy addiction.
Anyway. His grandson is on another ride, and the grandpa calls to baby girl “do you want to jump on too?” She eagerly climbs aboard the enclosed capsule ride, beside the boy, as the grandpa fishes out some coins and pops it in the front of the machine. I thank him and we watch as the two get excited over the ride bobbing up and down and side to side for at least two minutes. This ride gives you value for money, I mentally note to myself.
It finishes, and I already know what I will do. The boy runs to a Ferrari car ride, and in predictable fashion baby girl chases him and sits beside him. Before anything else is done, I say “here, I’ll take this one,” and pop in $2 in the ride so the two can continue grinning at each and ‘steering’ the sports car.
The man says nothing. I mean, that was the whole point right? He put in his coins, shouted baby girl a ride, hoping that I would then shout his grandson a ride, which I did…
In the end we both only paid for one ride, yet our kids got two.
Nothing flash, nothing mind-boggling. But, I like. Help out a fellow kid, put a double grin on their face, and guess what? We’re all grinning like we’re driving real-life Ferraris.
When I pulled her away from climbing aboard other rides after the Ferrari ride was done, and waved goodbye to the grandpa and his grandson, I realised it took noticeably less effort, then when she only goes on one ride.
And that’s the whole point for any parent, or minder out there, right? To make life easy, and allow less effort on our part. Let’s make our days easier, while making someone else smile in the process.
Let’s start a shopping centre ride revolution!
I’m grateful for grandpas with great ideas. In fact, I think the two might be synonymous. After all they have been around for a while… we should learn to listen more, we may just put ourselves in front of the game if we do…