Gramma. Nana. Gram. I never had one, myself, so I have no role model and no memories of sugar cookies. My children's paternal grandmother was warm and welcomingan excellent grandmother who would take them blackberry picking and cook wonderful Southern meals for them. My own mother was not particularly interested in her grandchildren, presumably because her six had pretty much exhausted her.
What should a grandma do? 1) Sit on the floor and play blocks without ever saying, "Now I have to leave to go do (whatever). You just play by yourself." 2) Play the nighty-night game over and over and over without changing a word until he tires of it, not you. (In truth, you were tired of it after the third repetition.) 3) Walk at a child's pace without ever saying, "Come on! Hurry! We have to hurry now!" 4) Give unlimited cuddles. 5) Play "monster Nana" until he suddenly becomes really frightened and says, "No monster Nana. Just Nana." And then you stop being a monster. 6) Help him to move the cello bow while you play Twinkle-Twinkle.
What else? Be available. Be aware. Be in the moment with him (and how good is that for you as well?!). Listen. Slow down. Don't rush him. Don't have an agenda. Be there. Be there for him.
The final instruction for being a good grandmother is to make sugar cookies and put them in a big ceramic cookie jar shaped like a cat.
Copyright 2010 Ann Tudor