This article belongs to Australia - Land of the Free? column.

There is a special relationship grandparents have with their grandchildren. It's hard to define why but maybe it has something to do with the authority of the children's parents and somehow the grandparents become children again to their children and assume parity with their grandchildren. They are on the same level in the family and can have secrets they share with each other.


It had been planned for about two weeks. My six-year-old Granddaughter, Lisa, would come over on Saturday morning to cook with her grandmother called by her grandchildren Pix.


Pix had the eldest granddaughter over to stay about two weeks previously so it was Lisa's turn. On Friday night, Pix and Reecey (that's me, it was easier to say Reecey than Granddad when they were small) were invited for sweets by our Daughter-in-law.


But, we should have known, skulduggery was afoot.


Lisa had been working on her father to stay the night Friday instead of going to Pix's on Saturday morning. Mostly daughters have a hold over their father's, and it is no different in our family. Initially there was some resistance from Mum and Pix but the combined weight of Lisa and Dad won the day. As usual I wasn't consulted. Grandfather's do as they are told and shut up about it.


So there we were driving home with Lisa in high excitement counting all the cars we were going past and talking about being out when it was dark.


Now I should have mentioned Pix is a craft person, she knits, sews, smocks, plus some other pursuits. For those of you familiar with craft people you will not be surprised to know that there was a lot of material, wool, sewing machines, cotton stored in various places around our house. Some of it was covering the spare bed. After clearing the bed and dumping the stuff in the lounge, Lisa went to bed. At home she sleeps with the light on so I had to set up Pix's sewing light in the passage for the reflected light to shine into her bedroom.


She went straight to sleep. However, because we are not accustomed to having a precious relative in the house, I found it difficult to sleep and checked on her at least six times during the night. Oblivious to all this, Lisa slept until after six o'clock when she ran into our bed armed with books. One of the books she read to us was about a bird looking for its mother and the two books I read to her were about ducks in farmyards.


Then it was up for breakfast, no sleeping in when she's around. I was surprised when our slim little girl ate three weetbixs in warm milk and half a crumpet. Then she was into the kitchen organising a stool so she could stand up at the sink. Pix joined her and could hear a lot of activity in the kitchen. I had a shower and got dressed.


I worked on my novel for a couple of hours until Lisa entered my office and told me the sausage rolls were cooking and the small cakes were going in the oven when they came out. ‘Can we go for a walk up to the playground,' she asked. The world would have to wait for the profound words in my novel. My granddaughter wanted to go to the playground.


We were able to delay her for a little while until we had some freshly cooked sausage rolls and a cup of tea for morning tea.


Pix, Lisa and I walked up the hill to the playground where I had to push her on the swing and get on the other side of the seesaw. She stayed up there for about three quarters of an hour and then we walked back.


It was getting close to lunchtime and the dreaded word ‘McDonalds' was mentioned. Pix got out of this one but I took Lisa. She had six nuggets, chips, a drink and the much anticipated give-away. I had a deli choices roll. As usual for Saturday the restaurant was full of noisy children and there was a party. She had to play on the playground equipment but luckily she didn't stay long.


At home it was straight on the Internet. She brought up Google Earth looking up Africa, the North and South Poles as well checking in on her own house. I left her and heard her playing pinball on the computer.


By this time I was exhausted. I was able to sneak into my bedroom and go to sleep. Other than for a brief visit from Lisa where she woke me the next thing I knew my son arrived ready to take her home.


My Granddaughter's visit was over.


Both Pix and I were exhausted but we wouldn't have it any other way. We can't wait for Lisa or one of her sisters to come again.