Ross: Being an entertainer for a 5-year-old grandchild is a tough gig

Dec 11, 2023, 6:11 AM | Updated: 6:22 am


Entertaining a 5-year-old takes a lot of toys... and energy. (Getty Images)

(Getty Images)

We spent the last ten days visiting granddaughter number one, who just celebrated birthday number five, a magical birthday which, according to her, opens the door to – well, opening doors by yourself, counting to ever-higher numbers, criticizing the dinner menu and giving grandpa very specific directions on how the next game is to be played.

And because her mom is very busy, this trip involved some serious time spent as an entertainer doing one-on-one improv – and I just want to say it is a tough gig. It’s been quite a while since I was playing that role for their mothers when THEY were that age and I guess I forgot just how draining it can be. Both physically and mentally – especially when you’re the only one on stage.

You know right away when your act is getting stale – and there’s not a lot of time to prepare new material. Keeping grandkids entertained has been a crash course in learning the lyrics and plot lines to various works of computer-assisted cinematography that have included Cocomelon, Paw Patrol, various Barbies, flying unicorns, Leo The Truck and Helper Cars.

You also have to know the names and pronouns of their favorite stuffies, and even more importantly, what their magic powers are, and do they require a wand, or do the sparks come directly from their fingers.

This is a lot of multitasking when you’re also trying to remember whether Buddy Bear talks one way or another.

And of course, it’s fun – but it is also a reminder of how all-consuming it is to raise a child – even before they have their own phones.

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I admire the moms who take on this job and I am proud to have helped raise two of those moms. And I hope we all understand how important their work is.

Right Buddy Bear?

That’s right Grandpa.

Hey Grandpa! That was the wrong voice.

Shut up, Buddy.

Listen to Seattle’s Morning News with Dave Ross and Colleen O’Brien weekday mornings from 5 – 9 a.m. on KIRO Newsradio, 97.3 FM. Subscribe to the podcast here.

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Ross: Being an entertainer for a 5-year-old grandchild is a tough gig