"" Writer's Wanderings: Being Pinkalicious

Monday, April 16, 2018

Being Pinkalicious

[This is a grandparenting article written back in 2010. Many of my grands are into or entering the teen years. The principle still applies. It just gets a little harder to keep up with all the technology. On the other hand, any time I have a tech problem there are plenty of "experts" to help Grandma out.]

Each week my daughter-in-law, Leah, sends us an email full of pictures from the kids’ adventures for the week. A couple weeks ago, there was a picture of three-year-old Annalise who had dressed herself in a pink shirt, pink pants, and pink socks and announced, “I’m pinkalicious!” I thought she was just being clever with a phrase until it was explained to me that Pinkalicious is a character in a book who ate pink cupcakes and turned pink. Of course. Should have known.

Then my other daughter-in-law, Lori, mentioned that there was also a Goldilicious (turns out to be a golden unicorn) and Purplicious (Pinkalicious gets a case of the blues). The list of books and stories goes on and now there is also a Pinkalicious musical written by the sister authors, Victoria and Elizabeth Kann. Oh yes, and did I mention the all the accessories you can purchase?

Just when I think I’ve been able to be smart and keep up with all the current kid stuff, I begin to realize how futile it is—especially when I also have to keep an eye on what happens with trends in Japan. My third daughter-in-law, Aya, has educated me a bit on Anpanman (a popular Japanese cartoon character) and of course, Hello Kitty which originated there. When it comes to popular trends, those three grands span a whole ocean.

How to keep up with it all? I wish I had an answer especially for those of you who might have grands with a wider range in age. Perhaps it all goes back to good communication. Sitting down with your grands and talking about what gets them excited, what they are reading, watching on TV or the movies, or what kind of pretend play they engage in. There is no greater entertainment than listening to a grandchild talk about their view of life.

Then be a good listener and when the time is right, you can also share a little about what you did as a child. Imagine how many children have no idea what a typewriter is or that milk used to come in a bottle and be delivered by a milkman (although I hear this is coming back)? Or that your parents walked five miles to school uphill both ways? Storytelling needs to be revived. It’s the best way to pass down the family history. Just don’t give them the whole story in one conversation.

What I’m saying is, take advantage of opportunities to learn about their world and then share some of yours. When we were growing up, we heard a lot of fuss about the generation gap. It was blamed for a lot of misunderstandings. We don’t hear as much about it today but is that because it’s narrowed or widened? I would guess it’s widened. Technology and life have just moved too fast. In my lifetime television has gone from black and white consoles to flat-screened high-definition color and now it’s moving on to 3D!

Whether you need to be a little “pinkalicious” or watch TV with 3D glasses on, take time to explore your grand’s world but bring along a good dose of that wisdom, maturity, and patience that you’ve picked up along this life’s journey. Your grands will love you for it.

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