Loving Grandma - (Excerpt)
by Hayley Hunkin
The following is a section of a children’s book I’m trying to get published about a young boy who lives with grandmother who has dementia and, with his parents, takes on a ‘caring’ role for the grandmother.
Grandma tells me about a magpie she had when she was a little girl. ‘It came and gave me cuddles, and cleaned its feathers while looking in the mirror.’
As always when Grandma tells this story, I laugh, ‘What a funny bird!’
Mummy fills my watering can and I water the ‘kangaroo paw’ and the ‘spider flower’. When Grandma sees me digging in the dirt, she says, ‘My Mum yelled at me when I came home muddy!’ Mummy laughs, ‘Joseph’s a muddy duddy!’
‘That’s a funny cloud.’
‘Which one, Grandma?’
‘The one that looks like a wiggly worm or a snake.’
‘I like the one that looks like a bird. Maybe it’s a cockatoo.’ I squawk and Grandma giggles.
At lunch time, Grandma is surprised. ‘I didn’t think it was lunch time yet!’
Mummy says, ‘You’d forget to eat if we weren’t here.’
‘How can you forget to eat? When you feel hungry, you eat.’
Grandma smiles at me. ‘I just forget to think about whether I’m hungry or not.’
After lunch, Grandma and I have a nap. When I wake up, I run to see if Grandma is awake yet. She tells me a nursery rhyme, and I show her my books.
Mummy gives me paper and I make Grandma an ‘I love you’ card. I draw her a platypus. It’s fun to give Grandma a present.
I play games with Mummy while Grandma knits and watches us. Every time Grandma sees her card, she gets excited again so I give her another hug.