Hanging With Doodlebug

Doodlebug, also know for blog purposes as HB, and sometimes called Banana by The Doc, is my youngest grandchild. I have four beautiful grandchildren from The Doc’s two boys who I met when they were six and eight and who have become a very important part of my life. Up until a few years ago all my grandchildren lived too far away to see frequently. We were very happy when Doodlebug, her parents and her older sister NJ moved to the neighbouring province of New Brunswick and only two and a half hours away. We finally had family to visit and to come visit.

Doodlebug is a free spirit who appreciates the beauty of flowers, has a bit of a sweet tooth and loves the smell of fresh vegetables when she walks through a market. She is strong willed and will refuse to kiss and hug if she doesn’t want to. This makes me very happy because, as a female, I don’t want her to feel pressure as she grows up. I am hoping this stubbornness will still be there when she is a teenager. So many young girls feel pressured into sex before they are ready. I see a lot of similarities between Doodlebug and JT, my son with The Doc. JT is also strong willed, which made those toddler years a bit tough at times, but paid off big time when he was a teenager. JT didn’t do anything he didn’t want to, and luckily he didn’t want to do the things that got other teens in trouble. I am hoping all my grandchildren have this trait. Teenagers getting into trouble can cause an excessive amount of stress for families. Something I know for a fact.

HB was two and a half when she moved to New Brunswick and had to begin a relationship with a grandpa she had only met as an infant and a nanny she had never met before and who had a reputation of not being a kid person. NJ, her older sister barely knew us as well but was used to visiting strange (believe me, we can be strange) family members so adapted to having us in her life quickly. Doodlebug took her time and said very little as she watched us from a distance. Finally when she decided she was ready, she opened her big heart and let us in.

It has been a big year for Doodlebug, who is now six. She started school last fall, made friends of her own, had her first Birthday party, conquered some of her fear of water and learned to fish. It has also been a strange year for her, as it has been for all the kids who have been stuck at home in quarantine for the past many, many weeks. When school was cancelled for the rest of the year and her mother picked up her stuff, Doodlebug asked if that meant she was now in grade one. When her mother replied yes, her response was, “But I’m not ready.” Such a reflection of her sensitive, cautious nature.

Doodlebug loves school. She gives it a thumbs up and tells her grandpa that you can learn so much there. She misses school and all her new friends. She is home. She is safe. She is sometimes bored. And she is lonely.

A while ago, she started sending hello messages to her grandpa through messenger kids. Then to me. Hi Nanny. I miss you Nanny. I responded with, I miss you too. Do you want to chat?

So Doodlebug and I started to hang out. She would send a message and then we would have a video chat. Or sometimes just a video hang because HB isn’t always chatty, she just wants someone to show things to. To sing to and send drawings and photos to. To experiment using messenger filters with. She just wants someone to laugh with and to, sort of, be in the room with. This I can do.

One day we both worked on jigsaw puzzles. Another time she showed me a selection of stuffed toys and we discussed their names and how pretty all their colours were. There were days that Doodlebug camped out in her closet and I joined her there while she entertained herself with her toys and tablet. We went on a couple of small field trips, outside to see her dad’s new truck and the robin’s nest with baby robins in it. Hanging with Doodlebug via tablet is currently my definition of quality time at its best. Something that makes both of our days better. Thank you Doodlebug.

New Brunswick has weathered the Covid-19 storm very well and is now starting to open up. The biggest news is that kids are allowed to have play dates. HB was very excited to have her best friend over last weekend. When asked about it, she wasn’t vocal about the details but her smile went from ear to ear. Fingers crossed she will be back to being just a regular kid sometime in the near future. Although I will miss our hang time, I hope for her and all the other kids who are stuck at home, that this happens sooner as opposed to later. 

Thanks for reading.

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