Two and a Half Caftans, One Small Boy, and a Great Big Snake…

A boy and his snake will not soon be parted…
The boy is Lucas, my 4 1/2 year old grandson. The snake is Benjamin, whom I made for Lucas for Christmas out of 2 1/2 of my old caftans, washed and still nice fabric but with tears so I couldn’t wear them anymore. I think every body needs a seersucker snake, and Lucas had been asking me to make him one for some time. I made him a small one, a very friendly, sweet looking rattlesnake named Cassandra and he has been asking for a big one for sometime. Grandma Maitri is known to be goofy and cattywompus (Those were the first two words I taught Lucas. I’m the kind of Grandmother you have to watch out for!), so snakes made out of seersucker are no big deal.

Benjamin started out 4 feet long (Lucas is only 42 inches or so tall) but as I got to the tail the material had torn because I packed it so full of material for stuffing that the seams that I’d so carefully sewn twice, were bursting and tore the fabric. Benjamin is just about Lucas-sized now. There is also a special magenta button, engraved, from the 1940’s under the end of his tail. When he touches things with that tail he does magic. (Grandma Maitri NEVER lies. She is just a wee bit more whimsical than the norm, kinda wonky, and has spent a good deal of time with the Mad Hatter at his tea party, not to mention having had breakfast more times than she can count with the White Queen who said, give or take, that she made it a practice to believe six impossible things every morning before breakfast. I usually believe and then try to do a dozen or so impossible things, but it’s a tad iffy with a pug attached to your person as you saw in the last post!)

This pretty much looks like tea at my house. A table
full of animals, a mixed up “girl” and a crazy friend or
so pouring tea…

I think grandmothers are not supposed to be serious. I think they are supposed to laugh and have secrets and tickle and cuddle and smooch their little fellas, and make them handmade gifts. Lucas got many wonderful gifts from all the family members, store bought toys and wonderful things, but it is a googly-eyed snake that he hasn’t hardly put down since Christmas. Made of my clothing, stuffed with it, and just a few vintage buttons to finish it off. Benjamin is very cushy and firm. I overstuffed him so as he “settled” over time he would still feel like a cozy armful.

Watch out for googly-eyed snakes. You
never know WHAT kind of trouble they
might get you into…
I told Lucas that Benjamin is, of course, magic, but that he would only talk to Lucas about things. That he is very shy and Lucas and he can have secrets. It’s important to have a friend to tell secrets to, as adults truly don’t understand so very many things. I know that I, like Alice, am always having to rescue some poor flamingo or other from being used as a croquet mallet, and I dearly wish I could have a flamingo for a pet. I mean there’s so many birds here already, but nary a tall, pink, skinny legged one anywhere. Wouldn’t a flamingo be just the thing? I’m going to teach Lucas about flamingos. They really only talk to certain people and they have secrets too. I’m fairly certain I fell down the rabbit hole as a child, and I never really came back out, or not for long. This gives me just the credentials needed to be a wonky-cattywompus-goofy grandmother which is just what a grandmother oughter be if you ask me. I think a grandmother who had a flamingo would be just the thing. Lucas could bring us for show and tell…

No, I fear I will never be an ordinary grandmother. But I think Lucas likes me this way. He is a magical child with an active imagination and he has already has some pretty mysterious, serious, secret talks with Benjamin. Every little boy needs some soft, handmade, goofy looking creatures to sleep with. I would if I didn’t have so many pugs on my person already.

All in all I think I’m a good grandmother. Unusual, certainly odd, but a very loving and kind grandmother who makes up stories and has pretend friends that I talk to too, and Lucas and I can talk about the magical little creatures. Some have already come and gone in his life, but there are always more. My most important job, I believe, as a grandmother, is to preserve the magic, canoodle, and cuddle and giggle and squish a lot, sing to my wee little man, and make surprising creatures for him that he will never forget.

After this handmade, homemade Christmas, where we also re-gifted or shopped from our very own houses, passing along books, and handmade soaps and more, I never want to have a store bought Christmas again. The kids and I all decided we’d had the most relaxed and peaceful Christmas ever and we truly did. It was so much fun foraging for presents, making some, baking some, and tucking in little secrets and surprises. Yes, this is exactly the kind of grandma I want to be — odd, goofy, and full of love.

Now I will put my crown on and knit awhile. I babysit Lucas tomorrow and I’m thinking up some wacky and wild things we might do. I think Benjamin could use a hat, and perhaps I’ll make Lucas a flamingo for his birthday in May. I’ve made a pact with myself that every single day I will be working on making something or other. It’s a wonderful way for a grandmother to live too, with lots of animals and magic everywhere…

Grandma Maitri, whose crown has
always been a bit lopsided… tsk, tsk…

Tenniel’s “Alice” illustrations are used
with the permission of The Vicorian Web

If you enjoy this blog a donation would be deeply appreciated to help me continue to bring “Maitri’s Heart” to you. Thank you, and many deep blessings to one and all…


  1. Lucas’s snake is very cool, you sound like a grandmother after my own heart!

  2. That’s the kind of grandmother I want to be! now to be a Mom first…

  3. Grandma Maitri is the most wonderful, magical grandma ever!

    And Lucas is pretty amazing too, he’s a very lucky little guy.

  4. Having you as a Granny must be like having Mary Poppins as one, full of magic 🙂

    What a nice looking young man Lucas is.

    A soft toy made with love like Benjamin is just perfect. I still remember my grey bunny Diggywoo that my Dad made for me out of one of his pairs of trousers during WW2.

  5. Maitri,

    I love your blogs! Hey, you have a present, but it can’t be opened until 12am on January 1st. You will find it on my blog post at that time. 🙂

    Much Love,

  6. What a great snake! If a kid has to have a snake, that’s definitely the kind to have! By the way, your grandson is quite cute himself!

  7. How lucky Lucas is to have you as a grandmother! I am sure he loves you dearly.

    What a great snake – can’t wait to see the flamingo!

    I will remember your idea of regifting things we no longer need or use – so practical and needed in today’s world.

    Hope your new year is as special as you are, Maitri!

    Take care, my friend,

  8. Hello Maitri! Thank you for the follow! I couldn’t decide which blog I liked the best, you have so many! I do like this one a lot! I would like to add you to my snuggle buddies list, I enjoy your blog! Please feel free to visit my blog again, and let’s be friends!
    Hugs & Snugs
    Eduardo the Snuggle Puggle

  9. I hope you have a wonderful and blessed New Year!

  10. Happy New Year!

  11. funny coincidences! my 4 1/2 year old son is named Benjamin, and he has a big brother (11 yrs old) named Lucas. Cute snake 🙂

  12. that’s exactly the kind of grandma (i’m a Noni 🙂 ) that i’m striving to be. i’m having so much fun, if i knew it was this much fun being a Noni i would have done that first. heh.

    happy new year — i’m so glad your holidays were wonderful.

    and yes, the handmade way is the way to go. i hope more people feel that.


  13. Hi Maitri

    I’m sorry to be commenting off topic, but I wanted to let you know that there is a special award waiting for you. See the details on my site.


  14. I love your blog! Thanks for all the love you pass on. I’ve got an award waiting for you in my posts from yesterday. Stop on over and grab it 🙂


  15. What a cute picture, he looks so happy with is snake and I am sure his parents are happy it was a seersucker and not anything else! The great thing to send home is 1001 lego, just call it payback for those teen years! :o)
    Have a wonderful day

  16. Such a cutie, he looks so big for his age.

  17. I love that Lucas got a wonderful snake and an even better grandmother! You sound like me with my grandson Marcus…he is my world and I would give it to him in a heartbeat!
    By the way, I have left you 2 awards on my blog feel free to come on over and claim them if you want!

    It looks like it’s your time for the award rain, based on your comments…..haha

    Take care,

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