Grilled Grandma: Ellen

How many children do you have? 2 - one girl, one boy

How many grandchildren? What are their ages?
4 - boy 13, twin girls 12, girl 9

Any great grandchildren?

What do your grandchildren call you?

How often do you get to see your grandchildren? I used to see them every day or nearly every day since they lived next door to us for 12 years. Now that we have moved out of the city I don't see them nearly that often. Sometimes once or several days a week if we are in town for some work or weeks may go by before we are in town again. We do have them out for weekends and they each get a week all to themselves during the summer. Not having the g'kids next door was the hardest part about moving.

What is the best thing about being a grandma? Not having to parent them, just love and spoil them.

What is the most challenging part of being a grandma?
Holding my tongue when I don't agree with the way they are being parented.

Describe a recent time that one (or more) of your grandchildren made you laugh out loud. Oh I don't know, I don't usually remember stuff like that. There was the time the twins were on either side of me pointing out all the hair on my chin (it wasn't that bad!) and they thought that was gross. I laughed and told them I thought so too and that one day it would happen to them too. Oh no, they cried, not me. You'll see, I told them.

What is your favorite thing to do with grandchildren who visit your house?
We like to do 'projects'. Little craft activities. This summer we made dream catchers and surprise balls, I taught two of the girls to sew, the other to crochet. We fly kites. We cook. We go to a second hand shop and poke around. Go to the movie.


What is your favorite thing to do when visiting grandchildren at their house? Get them out of the house (their house is very small). Take them somewhere or just go for a walk around the neighborhood.

How do you maintain the bond between yourself and your grandchildren between visits? Phone calls and email. But really, we don't usually go for more than a couple of weeks at the most between visits.

What do you most want to pass along to your grandchildren?
A love of and respect for nature.

What is one word you hope your grandkids think of when they think of you? Loved (as in 'I am loved by her.')

What one bit of advice would you give a new grandma? Get down on the floor and play with them. Always have an ample supply of crayons, markers, colored pencils, paint and paper on hand and be prepared for messy. Accumulate a big box of play clothes. Let them do things their parents won't (with proper supervision of course).

Get further inside Ellen’s head by visiting her blog, appropriately titled Stuff From Ellen's Head.