“Flat people” to the rescue.

“Mom? Are you and dad busy?” asked our daughter-in-love on the phone the other day. She sounded a tad frustrated.

“Not at all. What do you need, honey?” was my quick reply.

It turns out she was desperate to clean the wood floors in the main rooms of her house. But Sebastian — who is crawling everywhere — was making it impossible to use a broom. Gather a little bit of dirt, and he heads right to the pile.

“And now he really doesn’t like being in his Pack N Play,” she said, referring to the safe environment she has in her dining room just for such occasions. “Do you think we could have you and dad in the Pack N Play with him?”

“Let’s give it a try,” I said.

Via FaceTime, we talk to our youngest grandchild about every day. Doing a 5-minute video chat is best with babies, I have found. We love when he grins from ear to ear when he sees his “flat people” on the screen.

Sebastian’s mommy and I hung up the phone and both grabbed our iPads. She propped hers in the Pack N Play along with Sebastian. But could Grandpa and I entertain him in the now undesirable Pack N Play? I sure hoped so.

Success! We talked to him, played peekaboo, and sang songs. Recently I read about the tremendous benefits of frequently saying nursery rhymes to babies so I grabbed my favorite book Richard Scarry’s Best Mother Goose Ever and read some to him. He rocked back and forth to the cadence of The Three Little Kittens and other rhymes.

When Sebastian picked up a rattle, we said, “Shake shake shake!” He did and we applauded as if he ran a half-marathon.

Between Grandpa and me, we kept the banter going and remarkably our ten-month old was entertained for about 15 minutes, enough time for floor cleaning. Of course, his mommy checked on him regularly and was never out of earshot.

What a joy it is to actually be of help from more than 2,000 miles away. I can’t wait for “flat people” someday soon to become three-dimensional again!

Are you able to help out by video chatting? Please share in the Comments section below.

Hey, fellow grandparent! I invite you to subscribe to this blog. You’ll receive an email every time I post a new article. I don’t share your email address with anyone, and you can unsubscribe at any time. Click here to subscribe.

6 thoughts on ““Flat people” to the rescue.”

  1. Love your blog post! We often visit with the grandkids (ages 6 and 4) while our daughter is making supper. That’s the time of day she likes to be alone in the kitchen but she can still hear the kids and us as we skype in the next room.

  2. I read to my 3-year-old granddaughter every day at 5pm in California, 7pm here in Kansas. We usually read for about 20 minutes. It is a perfect time, while the parents are regrouping with each other and getting dinner started. So it’s helpful for them, and it has cemented my relationship with my granddaughter in a lovely way. Your tips for reading online were a godsend, by the way.

    • Oh, Mary, thanks for your kind words!
      I also love reading about you and your darling having book time before dinner time. What a special tradition! I hope your library is open. Our local library (Springboro, Ohio) just opened a couple of weeks ago, for curbside pickup only. Hooray for new books!

  3. I have benefitted from your tips on reading aloud over the internet and have incorporated them into a Zoom meeting with my twin great-granddaughters. Seeing each other on a bigger screen is great fun and we are enjoying building up the relationship. We don’t do it every day but once or twice a week which suits us well.
    thanks again for your advice. It was invaluable.


Leave a comment (your email address will not be shared)

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.