• it seems to me that grandmothers have a very special place in the affections of young children. Not obliged, as parents are, to provide food, shelter, protection, advice and discipline, day in and day out, they can afford to be much more easy-going. The unexpected present, the extra outing, the little treat of a favourite meal prepared especially to delight the child and, above all, the time to listen to youthful outpourings, all make a grandmother a loved ally. It is hardly surprising that the bond between grandmother and grandchild is often stronger than that between parent and child.