Like many four year old girls around the world, little Audie Pain from the Gold Coast is going to marry Prince George, currently the third in line to the British throne.
She knows this because like many doting great grandmothers around the world, they mention it to her regularly and often.
That’s because little Audie is a beneficiary of her tight-knit family’s unique living arrangements on the coast which many people around the world would envy.
Audie’s mum, Kristie Pain, a Queensland Marketing Manager for Event Cinemas and her dad, Troy, live just around the corner from the unit shared by the great grandmothers, Pat, 92 (her dad’s mum) and Audrey, 98, (her mum’s mum.
It’s a set-up that has multiple benefits, not just for the adults, but particularly for little Audie whose nanny Julie regularly takes her to visit the great grandmothers.
“Julie will take Audie over a few days a week or for smaller visits on multiple days,” said Kristie.
“She will prepare some meals for my grandmothers, and Audie will do any range of things to entertain them! Of course her activities have changed as she’s growing so fast.
“They’ll go on little walks around the complex, read books, practice her learning, play cards and no doubt watch a bit of The Bold and Beautiful! “Obviously lots of gossip mags are around as they’ve definitely got it in Audie’s head (we call her Audie as we still have Audrey, so it makes it less confusing!) that she’s going to marry Prince George!
“She also just likes chilling out on the bed with Nanny (our name for Audrey) and watching ABC. Or sports!”
Kristie said she he had no doubt Audie’s regular contact with her great grandmothers had “certainly given them a different energy in the last few years and they adored seeing her”.
“It’s had an amazing effect on Audie as well as she’s very well spoken, can communicate well, understands when people are feeling up or a little down, and of course comes out with some pretty old-school sayings!
Kristie, whose area of operation is between Brisbane and the Gold Coast, said she was “fortunate and blessed” to have both her mum’s mother and her dad’s mother as such key people in the lives of her, Troy and Audie.
She said it came about when she was about to go back to work in mid 2014 after being on maternity leave.
“My dad and my mother looked at a nearby investment unit for my grandmother and grandfather,” she said.
“It was actually my dad that suggested we look at finding a nanny that would essentially look after his parents and Audie so that they would have someone with them through the days to do light housework and at the same time they’d get to see their great granddaughter.
“Unfortunately whilst we were recruiting for someone to care for our precious people, my grandfather passed away.
“We kept on the same path though, knowing that my dad’s mother would certainly need this set up even more so now.
“At a similar time, my Mum’s mother, who was living on her own at Tweed Heads (she had moved into her holiday unit after leaving Sydney when my other grandfather passed away a couple of years back), had just had a small operation on her leg and needed to recuperate.
“My parents set up an extra room for her at the unit. It made sense for her to recuperate with all of us nearby. She hasn’t gone back to her unit yet and it’s been 3 years!”
The friendship between Audie’s great grandmothers goes back decades to when her parents met when they lived with their parents in the same street in Sydney!
“So my grandparents were already so familiar with different people and places from their environment,” said Kristie.
“They’d always got on well, especially having quite a small family.
“They are almost a version of the odd couple, but they have enough in common and enough care for their families, that they were always going to have a bond.
“And certainly having them together means that when there’s no one else there, that they’re not only good company for each other, they’re also good support and look out for the other.”
As for which is the best cook, Kristie quickly pointed out it was a “no win” for her to answer.
“I always have great memories of different things that they’ve cooked over the years,” she said, adding that Julie did most of the cooking for them now.