Key West, Cookies and Child Rearing 101

Conch Republic

It’s 3:30 in the morning. I have to come here to my blog covertly, under the cover of the night, as I have my two grandchildren staying with me. LOL It’s hard to get anything done with them here! I’m a ‘hands-on’ kind of granny. When the children are with me, I am interacting with them constantly. I can catch a few zzz’s tomorrow while they are at school/day care.

This weekend is my daughter Sarah’s birthday. She is the grandchildren’s mommy. She loves to go spend time at the beach for her birthday. Last year, she went to Daytona Beach and took the children with her. She couldn’t let loose and really party. Rather than me going with to help with the children, I agreed to let them stay here with me. Kind of a birthday present. She, her sister, and several friends are going to Key West, Florida. This US southern-tip island is not a place; it’s a state of mind. Imagine being able to watch the sun rise and set from the same spot!

First, though, one has to navigate miles of bridges just to get to Key West.

I mean miles!
But, Key West is so worth the trip. Some images associated with Key West:

A local bar where Hemmingway was purported to have been a regular customer. The name is supposed to be a nickname the author called the bartender.

What a beautiful sight!

The infamous “Hemmingway Cats” have an extra toe on each paw. The anomole is actually a result of inbreeding. However, Hemmingway’s affiliation with the Conch Republic, as Key West is known as by the locals, and the increased presence of these feral felines, led to them being given the author’s name.

Finally, the 2008 winner of the Ernest Hemmingway Papa Look-Alike Contest.

Key West is a world all it’s own. Perhaps, one’s interest has been piqued from this.

It is good for all involved. Sarah gets a much-needed break. The children learn about lots of things! We have a cookie baking party scheduled for Saturday, or Sunday, afternoon. I try to teach them how to behave when away from home. I also try to make them feel good about themselves. Finally, the benefit to me is some quality time with the grandkids. With age comes wisdom and confidence with children. I wish I had been this knowlegable and assured while raising my own three. I just hope they don’t wear me out too soon! LOL My back is already sore. I really love to have them around. The best part, though, is when I grow weary of the little buggars, I can give them back to their mommy. After all, there is a reason women my age don’t have babies. LOL

It’s so hard for a single parent, working full-time, to spend very much time with their children. So often, the kids get lost in the shuffle of every day life, often by a parent who is most likely tired and/or stressed out, as well. So, I occasionally try to help my daughter, mainly for the children’s benefit. The way I look at it is this: I have raised my own three children. I’m through! I gave some of my best years, and did so gladly and with a lot of love. I “did my time”! LOL The children are her responsibility. I will support her in raising her family, but, I won’t raise them for her. She accepts this to the point that she has never taken me for granted. When I do something for the children, or Sarah, it is because I want to, not because she won’t do it herself.

I have to admit that my stance on assisting my daughter with her children is mostly selfish. I have things I want to do in my life. One of them is learning Photoshop and designing with it. I guess I always thought that the day would come where I didn’t have the children around every day. We would visit regularly, but, they would move on and see to their own lives. They have mostly done this. Most days, though, Sarah prefers my company and being here, because she knows I am around and will help her with the children. We do dinner together. This insures that we all get a good meal. She has showed me that she can take care of the kids. That is why I don’t mind keeping the children for her to go away, occasionally. The remainder of the time, if she needs help, I try to show her how to help herself, rather than me just picking up her slack.

Aside from my selfish motives, I am all about teaching my daughter responsibility. Child Rearing 101 stuff. If I don’t allow her to have her issues and woes, having to answer for her actions, I will not be doing the girl any favors. I know this first-hand. Being the ‘baby’ of the family, myself, my folks coddled me all of my life. I had to learn some new coping skills after both parents were deceased. They had always been there to help me cope. I don’t want my ‘baby’ to be put in a similar situation.

This next few days will be great, hopefully. I have lots of craft stuff, papers, paints, dress-up clothes, clay dough, books, and always some goodies in the cupboard. I really love being a granny. I’ve found a peace in my life and I enjoy sharing it with the grandchildren. Kids, today, have it hard enough, as it is. Any time I can do something to help a child be a child, I’m there!

Vintage Postcards from Playle’s Auctions.

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