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Travis: Grandmothers grow up, too
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I spent two days with my Macon grandchildren in Macon last week while they were on spring break and their parents were working. It was a thoroughly enjoyable experience, but different.

You notice is did not say I was babysitting.

My Macon grandchildren are 9 and 11. I did not have to supervise baths, brush hair and make lunches.

They do these things for themselves now. We did not play with Barbies or Legos. We did not put together jigsaw puzzles. We did none of the things we have done in the past.

Their mother left them a note reminding them to spend 30 minutes each day reading their assigned books.
I didn’t even have to remind them to do that assignment. They did it on their own using their iWhatevers to time themselves.

The younger Macon granddaughter was the one who first wanted a sewing machine. We spent half of one day making a bathrobe using an Easy Sew pattern.

I use the word “we” generously.

I did about 80 percent of the sewing. But in my granddaughter’s defense, that was my fault. I bought the pattern and material before I ordered the sewing machine.

The material was fluffy and stretchy. It was not suitable for the little portable machine I bought. It made for difficult sewing. But we got the bathrobe finished, and she wore it proudly.

We spent at least half of one day watching TV.

They are addicted to “Say Yes to the Dress” and “What Not to Wear.”

I guess their choice of TV programs should have clued me into the fact that they are growing up and really are interested in clothes and shopping.

So we spent another day at the mall. We had errands to run.

We had to return something to one store and buy a specific type of lip gloss from another store.

When we got to the counter to purchase the lip gloss, the 11 year old took charge.

She told the sales lady what we wanted. The sales lady replied that if we bought two, we would receive a free makeup bag and some makeup.

My granddaughter immediately decided on buying two and specified two different colors for the lip gloss. Of course I had to pay for it.

We went to the book store and purchased books for them. I looked around and got some ideas of book titles to download on my Kindle.

We looked at shoes and went to a store which I had never heard of that carried clothes the 11 year old liked.

She was a discriminate shopper and looked at everything and then decided she wanted a stretchy rhinestone bracelet. I bought one for each of them.

When we left the store, she confided in me that she had been to that store with her mother twice and had each time asked for the bracelet.

He mother had purchased dresses, not the bracelet. She was elated she finally got that bracelet.
What else are grandmothers for?

We shopped for me and they enjoyed that.

I didn’t have to put up with “I’m ready to go home” or trying to find a grandchild running around the store.

The younger one had discovered how to use the price machines to check on the prices of everything.

I kept hearing tings; she was pricing everything. She would loudly announce the price and the amount of money saved.
Two ladies shopping near us were so impressed that one of them asked the granddaughter to price some clothes for her and finally had my granddaughter show her how to do it. She ended up teaching two ladies how to price clothing.

When we got home, we cooked dinner. We had one pot of spaghetti boiling, another pot of ravioli cooking and a pot of Alfredo sauce warming.

The older granddaughter was pan searing chicken strips on the fourth burner. She said she felt like she was on “Chopped” with so many pots on the stove. She actually liked cooking.

My grandchildren are growing up. I’m going to miss Legos.

I am of two minds. I miss the things we did when they were younger.

But at the same time, the visit was quiet, restful and enjoyable.

Grandmothers have to grow up with their grandchildren.

I will adjust.

Paula Travis is a retired teacher from the Newton County School System. She can be reached at