The warm up period was virtually non-existent this visit. In the past, when gigi and papa come from Ohio, it has taken Elliott some time to re-introduce himself. But this visit, probably helped in part by his frequent phone conversations with them, he had no trouble transitioning from hello to hugs and skipped altogether the who are you looks.
In all likelihood, the next visit will jump right into "what have you brought me this time" in light of the present that arrived from Ohio. His Buckeye cousins were all too willing to share their tree house and slide set with cousin E. He took to it immediately. There was some confusion as to which element was most exciting. It took some convincing that the steps were not the main attraction of the activity. He climbed several steps up and then back down shouting wheee! He eventually discovered the slide and may never use the steps again.
He will probably receive spoiling this weekend the likes of which will take weeks to reverse. Elliott is beginning to become very directive in his wishes - demanding you might say. If you don't provide a leap to it response to his requests, you are very likely to have him tugging at your arm to help expedite the granting of his wishes. To avoid transitioning from parents to slaves, we have occasionally had to tell him no, which at times is not well received and can produce bubble sized tears that roll ever so slowly down his cheek. It is painful to watch. It is nearly an indefensible manipulation tactic.
If I was a grandparent who only had to risk temporary slavery and could simply walk away from the assuming master whenever I pleased, like after a long weekend, I would probably just grant his wishes and let someone else redefine his role at a later date. Like his parents.
And so continues the vicious cycle of spoiling . You can almost picture grandpa and grandma driving off next week and just as they leave the neighborhood they exchange a high five, quietly rejoicing "that should keep them busy for awhile."