Another fun time with my granddaughter Catrin

As regular readers of NightHawk will know, I have a wonderful granddaughter called Catrin who is now 2 years and 8 months old. I try to see her once a week and, on two occasions, I’ve looked after her overnight – both times for one night only and at our house. However, I’ve just had the experience of looking after her for two nights at her parents’ flat while they attended a conference.

When I joined her on Sunday morning, I had not in fact seen her for three weeks, because she and her parents had been visiting relatives in Montreal. Even in three weeks, she has become more fluent and, with her tumbling blonde curls, she looks cuter than ever too, so we had lots of fun.

We spent Sunday on London’s South Bank where she wanted to walk on and climb on anything and everything. She thinks that steps are great, but then I have to carry the buggy after her.

The fountain and sand have gone now that the summer is over, but we went on the merry-go-round together, Catrin went on the children’s Austin cars ride, we had lots of time in the London Aquarium seeing clown fish, sea horses, star fish, manta rays, sharks and penguins, and we visited the Jubilee Gardens playground. Before returning to the flat, I took her for tea to a branch of “Pizza Express” where she devoured the children’s budget special of dough balls and raw vegetables, cheese-topped ¬†pizza, and vanilla ice cream.

About 6 am next morning, Catrin burst into her parent’s bedroom, found me still asleep, and shouted “Wake up, granddad!” We then had about half-an-hour as she shrieked and laughed and jumped all over me. It’s some time since I’ve had a two year old bouncing on me in bed – about three and a half decades, actually. Such fun.The, while I shaved and showered, she sat on her little chair in the living room and watched recorded episodes of “Peppa Pig”.

Monday was actually easy because I took her to nursery which is her usual schedule for weekdays. She was not keen on me leaving her and i was told later that she was pretending to telephone me. I used the time to draft one of my regular columns on communications issues and to start reading a newly-published novel called “The Coincidence Authority”. When I collected her from nursery, she literally ran into my arms.

The evening started well: I persuaded her to have a bath and to let me wash her hair and we read the usual stories. But, boy, it took ages for me to get her to sleep – maybe granddad is not tough enough or perhaps she was still on Canadian time .

Next morning though, she was up after me (I think she probably heard me) and insisted that I make her porridge rather than simply give her the usual Weetabix. she wanted me to narrate the story of “Goldilocks And The Three Bears” while I fed her the porridge whose temperature was just right.Then I had to get her to nursery again before I went off to work.

A cheeky smile from Catrin,
wearing her Chinese outfit,
as she waits for
the merry-go-round to start

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