Park, running around bring out best in grandkids

By John Toth / Editor and Publisher

The granddaughters stayed with us over a recent weekend – one in diapers and another a 6-year-old live wire. What should we do other than watch Disney Junior?

I’ve had my fill of the kiddie shows after raising three children. But the girls were mesmerized.

I could see why. The shows were colorful, in HD on a 55-inch screen, and they told a good story with a happy ending. I can’t blame them for wanting to watch it, not even Diaper Girl, who had to be fascinated by the colors alone.

Gone is the tiny TV with the fuzzy screen I grew up with and the tiny sound coming out of the speakers. This is the new world of giant picture and programming that will grab any kiddo.

And gone is the physical activity.

That’s enough of the princess landing just the right guy, I said. We are going on a road trip.

Well, not a long one, just about 20 minutes from the house, to Brazos River County Park.

Live Wire jumped out of her skin. Diaper Girl didn’t understand me, but continued grunting. She has been experiencing a case of constipation ever since she got here.

I remember when Brazoria County built and opened this park just a short drive from Angleton, near Holiday Lakes. But it’s been a while since I’ve been out there.

The park resembles a state park with its winding road, except it is smaller and does not have any camping facilities.

I used to take my kids out there when they were little. There was a zip line contraption that they used to love swinging on. I took a lot of pictures of them here.

The zip line is gone now, though. But still, the park is fascinating, relaxing. While the kids played, I sat on a bench and took in all the nature – the smell of spring, the tall trees, the boardwalk that runs along the Brazos River.

If you ever get stressed out on the job and want to get away just for a little while, this is a good place to go.

“I used to bring your daddy out here,” I told the girls.

They had a great time running all around. Diaper Girl only fell once and cried. Live Wire climbed on the playground and ran up and down the lookout tower staircase.

It’s only two stories, but to her it probably looked like a skyscraper.

The county has a lot of nice parks, but this is one of my favorites, along with Quintana Beach County Park, where I often rent a camping spot and park my RV for the weekend while I soak in the beach.

“Your daddy used to run up and down this boardwalk,” I said. “He also walked too close to the edge and made me nervous, like you.”

Live Wire asked if she could run around the playground. Be my guest. The more you run, the more tired you will get, and the easier time your dad will have putting you to sleep tonight.

The park and running aimlessly finally drew it out of Diaper Girl, big time. She loaded up that diaper. It’s amazing what a little nature and activity will do.

The princess on Disney Junior may have found her prince, but on the Diaper Girl’s level, the emphasis is on less complicated matters.

You won’t have to worry about her for a while. She unloaded at the park, I told the dad on the phone. I hope she didn’t go too much, he replied.

You just can’t please young parents who try to go by the book.

It’s not like I haven’t raised children, son. I think I remember when you had this type of a problem and unloaded on your uncle’s shirt something fierce. I think Diaper Girl is O.K., I reassured him.

Park time had to come to an end. The girls had to get ready to go back home with dad.

Less than a minute after we started driving home, both were asleep. That is the sign of success. They played hard and earned a power nap.

I’m getting better at this grandparenting stuff. It’s a lot of fun to enjoy the grandkids and then return them to the owners. Let them worry about everything else.