Minnesota Prairie Roots

Writing and photography by Audrey Kletscher Helbling

When a 2-year-old comes to Grandma & Grandpa’s house April 12, 2018

Filed under: Uncategorized — Audrey Kletscher Helbling @ 11:18 AM
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Izzy quickly learned that Grandma and Grandpa would let her jump on the guest bed. (Sorry, parents.)


SHE STAYED FOR FOUR days and three sleeps. The two-year-old. My granddaughter.

And now, not even 24 hours after she returned home to her parents, I miss this little girl. I miss her smile, her laughter, her mischief, her beautiful eyes, the feel of her tiny hand in mine, the softness of her hair, the cuddling and reading books…


Grandpa, granddaughter, Poppy (from the movie “Trolls”) and baby doll watch for school buses passing our house in the afternoon.


What a joy to have Izzy stay with Grandma and Grandpa while her parents traveled. It is the longest stretch we’ve had with her. I’ll admit to feeling a tad uncertain that she would be OK for that length of time. But her parents prepared her well. Video chats and photos helped, too. And Randy and I kept our sweet granddaughter busy. Or should I say Izzy kept her grandparents busy. Even though I raised three children and cared for many more, I forgot how active these little ones.



It doesn’t take much to occupy a 2-year-old. Toys pulled from basement storage proved a hit, especially the Brio train set and a Fisher Price school bus. Grandpa and Izzy spent a lot of time building tracks and pulling and pushing trains. As for that bus, it made many miles around our house.

I also crafted a house for Izzy using a card table and throws. She loved crawling inside with her beloved Poppy, baby doll and her uncle’s two teddy bears.


Grandpa reads Eric Carle’s book, From Head to Toe, to Izzy. The book was one of three gifted to Izzy on her second birthday by a family friend, also a children’s librarian.


We read and read and then read more books. We went to storytime at the library, where Izzy took more interest in another little girl’s Minnie Mouse shirt and purse than in the story being read. She loves books. But she loves Minnie Mouse, too.

At River Bend Nature Center, a swimming turtle held Izzy’s attention until a group of children came inside the interpretive center and she wanted to join them. Thankfully, the early childhood family education teacher allowed Izzy to sit with the other kids and eat a snack I pulled from her backpack. Thankfully Izzy was OK with Cheerios. The other kids waved and smiled at her and said, “Hi, Izzy.” So sweet.

Many sweet moments flash from these past several days. I am grateful for this time with my granddaughter. Often during her visit, I caught flashes of the past, of Izzy’s own mama. Perhaps it was the way Izzy looked at me or the curls on the back of her head or the way she laughed. This is such a gift—this connection of generations, this love that binds us as family, this time with my darling granddaughter.

© Copyright 2018 Audrey Kletscher Helbling


33 Responses to “When a 2-year-old comes to Grandma & Grandpa’s house”

  1. indishe Says:

    Beautiful post.
    Full of love and affection.

  2. Joan Quiram Says:

    What fun! We just became first-time grandparents three weeks ago. We are reallllly looking forward to spoiling our precious little Makenna Grace!

    • Congratulations, Grandma Joan. It’s good to hear from you again and especially to hear such wonderful news. I hope your daughter, her husband and your granddaughter are living back in Minnesota or not too far away.

      • Joan Quiram Says:

        Yes! They are now living in Blaine, MN. So, no more five hour drives to Omaha! Our son-in-law has his doctorate in occupational therapy, and is working for an orthopedic clinic in the metro. Megan will be starting her own daycare this summer. They have found a church, and are enjoying getting to know their new neighbors!

      • I am delighted to hear this, Joan.

  3. estremdj Says:

    So precious!
    Remember me? Your granddaughter would love my children’s picture books!

    Perfect age! 😍😍

    Originally from Kenyon
    Minnesota born and raised

  4. Sarah Erickson Says:

    Thank you for sharing – time with Grandma & Grandpa is the best! Our son was able to spend a couple days each week with his grandparents as he grew up. That time is truly a gift.

  5. Jena Says:

    Oh how wonderful. I remember the Brio train days. Glad she got to jump on the bed!

  6. Almost Iowa Says:

    Grandkids are the best – but oh, they do have a way of absorbing the energy from everything and everybody around them.

    • Oh, yes, they are the best and zap energy. I told my husband there’s a reason women have babies in (mostly) their 20s and 30s. I wonder now how I managed with my two daughters only 21 months apart in age. And then my son came along when I was nearly 38.

  7. Judy M Says:

    This post was a joy to read. Izzy is fortunate to have grand parents like you and your husband.

  8. Bernadette Says:

    I really identified with your post. My husband and I take care of our now 22 month old granddaughter four days a week and it is quite a challenge to keep up with her and keep her busy. We have the big benefit of being able to take her outdoors to a playground everyday – except when it gets too hot. Thanks for the card table house idea; I’ll give it a try. Glad you got the extended time with your precious granddaughter.

    • You are definitely busy grandparents. I forgot how energetic a two-year-old. Being able to take your granddaughter to a playground is certainly a bonus. The weather was too cold to take Izzy to a playground. Sigh. But when she’s here in warmer weather…

      Enjoy your time with your granddaughter. You are creating life-long bonds.

  9. Dianna Says:

    Such a beautiful story! Thank you.

  10. Jackie Says:

    I was really hoping there would be a post about your time with Izzy. Sounds like you had wonderful time. Those sleep overs at grandpa & grandma’s are the very best, for all involved. Isn’t it crazy how fast the time really does go, we notice that whenever we have the grands. I bet you really miss her, it’s hard to see them go.

  11. Lovely… You are building memories with your grand child that will last her life time. Such a blessing!

  12. Bella Says:

    what a delightful post and how lucky you are to have her for a length of time

  13. Love this post and I know you missed her the moment she left.

  14. Missy's Crafty Mess Says:

    Awe I love reading your Izzy posts

  15. You are the bestest grandma EVERRRR!
    Such gorgeous memories to savor and keep near you ( to warm you up )
    Thank you for all of this and who you are! xxx

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