March 2016

“When will it be Monday again?”

Rinaldo mit Enkelin
Grandpa Hans Rudolf Dieziger is always up for fun, to the delight of his four-year-old little "princess".

The recipe for a good role-playing exercise: a vivid imagination and any clothes you can get your hands on. Nonnodolfo rescues his granddaughter, or in this case the principessa (Italian for princess) from the arms of the evil monster.

“Nonnodolfo!” Our four-year-old is beaming from ear to ear. It is Monday. Finally! Today, neither her mum nor her dad will be waiting for her after kindergarten. Instead, it will be my father. He is her grandpa, granddad, grandfather or “nonno” as we call him. My wife has Italian roots (not in the garden). And just to avoid any confusion between nonno 1, my wife’s dad, and nonno 2, my dad, Hans Rudolf, we renamed nonno 2 “Nonnodolfo”.

Even more creativity was required when looking for a caring solution. My wife and I both work part-time. She has a 50% position and I have an 80% one. And this is where it gets complicated: now that our child has started going to kindergarten, she no longer attends day nursery. In the City of Zurich, kindergarten is only held in the mornings. The education authority skives off in the afternoons. We have a second daughter. Little nipper; two years old; two days a Vater mit Tochter week in the crèche. No problem. But who looks after our four-year-old in the afternoons? Nonnodolfo has filled this gap ever since. With great joy and commitment. With pasta (at home) and chips (eating out). He sings, plays the guitar, reads her fairy tales, takes her on boat rides, to the playground, feasts on ice cream with her – I do not even want to know everything those two get up to together. However, I am eternally grateful to him for doing so. And every Tuesday, the little one already starts asking: “When will it be Monday again?”

Text: Rinaldo Dieziger, (40), is an entrepreneur and author of the book “Papperlapapa”