“Gram, I’m in a panic. Can you help?”
She can be a tad dramatic, my granddaughter Charlotte, age 9. (But it’s just the right amount because I find a bit of drama totally adorable!)
When she FaceTimed me the other night with her woes, Charlotte was in her bedroom which was more than a little messy. When I’m visiting her house, I have helped her clean her room. I offer loads of suggestions, help keep her focused, but we always talk and laugh and have some fun. Now she was asking me to do the same across the miles. She propped her iPad on a holder so I could see the target area (a desk, the floor, etc.).
I did what I do when I’m there, except, of course, I didn’t actually pick up items and put them away. “What about gathering up all the books first, and get them back on the book shelf,” I suggest. Of course, as she’s doing that, we’re talking about which ones she liked. I’m in her world and I love it.
And so it goes. I’m not there. But I am.
That was the complaint of our grandson, 7-year old Anderson, the next day. Hang on — we can bust boredom!
My husband started playing a card game with Anderson and our boy got very involved right away. Recently we bought a card game called Speedy Words that’s easy to play on a video chat. It’s liked by our three oldest grandkids, ages 5-9, and they love challenging one of us to a game. (We love that it’s educational, too.)
“Oh, this one is hard,” my husband said as he turned over the next card. “Name a food that starts with U.”
“Uncrustables!” Anderson shouted with joy and gusto. It’s a brand name but Uncrustables are food and we loved his clever answer. My husband hadn’t come up with anything.
The video chatting journey.
As I watched them play, I thought back to how years ago we used our iPad to watch our grandbabies coo and sit in a high chair or crawl across the floor. Video chatting with a baby was a challenge! Now our usage of video chat — Skype, FaceTime, Google Duo, Facebook Portal, Zoom — has evolved helping clean a room or relieving boredom. Or giving an opinion on a Halloween costume. Watching them try out inline skates. The power of video chatting has grown with us, allowing us to do everything from singing a lullaby to watching a grandchild cook a carrot cake.
I am thrilled we are so connected and I hope each of you finds video chatting to be a lifesaver. What are some of the ways you use it? Please share in the Comments section below.
No time to write any more! Five-year old Fiona wants me to read some books to her.