I am absolutely delighted to introduce Francesca and her Mum- an absolute inspiration who has set up one of my favourite babysitting agencies in London - Granny & I . Not only does she manage the full time job of looking after her daughter, she is a business woman with her own successful, inspiring business.
I love her ideas - I am sure that you will too!
My granddaughter Penny’s birth was like a flashback, although it saw me taking on a very different role: that of offering support to my daughter as a new mum, helping her with her journey through motherhood, and also establishing my own trusting, happy relationship with Penny.
I’ve found that playing is an essential part of our relationship, and something that I think all parents, grandparents and other relatives and friends should dedicate some time to. As a Grandma I now have more time to dedicate to playing and coming up with activities; I find I’m also more patient, and so we both enjoy it more!
Penny and I have 3 main types of games we love to play:
- The first is bringing all her stuffed toys, dolls, and little people alive. Arguably this is Penny’s favourite thing to do - they will play, run, have meals, hide, talk, basically anything a real person or child would do! We have played so much and so often like this that whenever I arrive Penny immediately looks for her toy monkey Eyo (she named him!). She will want to put a bib on him, share her breakfast with him, Eyo will of course drink from her sippy cup, and then we’ll give him a good clean with her wet wipes. Eyo will walk and run, chase Penny, hide and surprise her! Our colourful cast of characters also includes Upsy Daisy, a doll named Emily, a Teddy, and two babies..
- We also love to make music. Penny plays her baby piano, her recorder and xylophone and other ‘instruments’ - sometimes more than one at the same time! If we happen to be near a piano she will want to sit and play endlessly. She loves it when I play something really simple and she tries to keep the beat somehow or add to the melody. Penny loves to dance, she’s very good at keeping with the beat, and she has recently started to ‘sing’ incomprehensible songs - probably her attempt to replicate the nursery rhymes we sing together!
-Building things is our third game. Penny plays with lego, wooden blocks and we try a few simple puzzles. Penny is surprisingly careful and precise - she loves building tall towers and always makes sure the bricks are all perfectly aligned. Like most children she loves to destroy her creations!
Grazia is granny to Penny (20 months) and co-founder with her daughter Fran of babysitting agency and meeting platform Granny and I. Granny and I run a Granny babysitting service with screened and checked Grandmas, and also an Online Granny platform that puts parents in touch with talented Grandmas around the UK.