Adventures in Grandchild Sitting



I must be dreaming. I keep hearing a winsome voice calling “Nana, Poppa!”. Then I realize I’m awake and Tristan is calling me. At 5:30 in the morning.

We have an almost 3 year old grandson (Tristan) and nearly 1 year old granddaughter (Virginia) living near us in Chesapeake. Their parents, many months ago, asked us to watch them for 4 days while they went to a wedding in Kentucky. Debbie said sure; I’m not sure I was involved in the decision.

The date came this past Thursday. That day and Friday were relatively easy as they both went off to day care (why not…it was already paid for!). Saturday and Sunday would be the interesting days.

Saturday started off cool and rainy. That took care of taking them to Northwest River Park.

Plan B involved Tristan watching “The Lego Movie” which he had been asking about. Once Virginia went down for a morning nap, we relented and put it on. I (Bill) am not big on letting toddlers watch a lot of TV, but, hey, it’s a fun movie (I had only seen it once). So we put the DVD in and the three of us watched and enjoyed it greatly (Everything is awesome!).

After lunch, since it was still rainy, we headed into downtown Norfolk to MacArthur Center. The kids didn’t have much interest in checking out the clothes at Nordstrom’s, so we headed to the play area. It’s pretty nice, what with a Norfolk port theme inhabited by Warner Brothers’ cartoon characters.

Looney Tunes!

Looney Tunes!

I was excited to introduce Tristan to the Looney Tunes characters and explain to him why they’re better than the Disney cartoon shorts.

Dinner, bath, and a nice bedtime around 7:30 and we were good to go. Debbie and I enjoyed a glass of wine and chatted about how TIRED we were.



“Nana, Poppa!”

Well, we got another hour on Sunday to sleep in. We hadn’t gotten up this early since we were working!

We were ready to go and have an outdoor adventure on this Sunday until I looked out the door. Oh, no, more rain, and chilly to boot! Oh, well, another indoor activity for us.

We decided on the terrific Children’s Museum of Virginia in Portsmouth.

childrens museum

It would be great for both Tristan and Virginia. I’m not big on the local tolls, most of which are hurting Portsmouth badly, but we can avoid the tunnels and get to downtown fairly easily…except when stopped by a train that was blocking the road and not moving. After a bit, we turned around and ended up somehow on the (tolled) Jordan Bridge, which we had never been over.

The Jordan Bridge is about the highest spot in Hampton Roads

The Jordan Bridge is about the highest spot in Hampton Roads

The great views were somewhat offset by the $4.25 toll we would be billed for. Then through the downtown tunnel (about $4.00) and into Portsmouth. As expected, the museum was a big hit with both kids. Our timing was off or we may have risked a restaurant (one of our faves is The Bier Garden). After we wore both kids out, back home we went (through another tolled tunnel…kaching!).

We took them over to their house and they were very happy to see their parents come home. So were we! It was a lot of fun overall, but exhausting! In June we’re renting a house in the Outer Banks with all 4 grandchildren (and, thankfully, their parents). I think we’ll be recovered by then.

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