Toni & Grace

Toni & Grace

Toni-Marie Wiseman and her daughter Grace celebrate Mother’s Day in their own mommy and me way; spending special, creative time together 

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Toni-Marie Wiseman and her daughter, seven-year old Grace, focus on each other’s projects for a moment as they take a break from their own creations. 

“That’s really pretty, Grace,” Wiseman says as her daughter grins wide at the praise. Grace leans into her mom. “Yours is looking great!” she says with enthusiasm as the two prepare to once again get semi serious over their art endeavours of the day.  

‘Being Together’

There’s more painting, more sponge-work, and more focusing to come, but there’s also much more laughter too.

“I love this. Being together, experiencing something new with her, that’s what I enjoy. And Grace is having fun, aren’t you?”

Grace smiles and nods. She’s been eyeballing projects the both of them could tackle on the next visit together, though Grace says she might like to take daddy along on that next time too, making the day a family affair. 

Wiseman smiles. “Of course! Daddy would love this, wouldn’t he?” Grace smiles and happily goes right back to painting. 

There’s more trips to refill paint trays, and there’s more loving, encouraging words about the other’s skill in the art department. There’s also loads of smiles. 

The two agree that spending time together; whether it’s at a place like Clay Cafe – where getting messy together can be so much fun – or simply hanging out at home playing a board game, is so important. But Grace also enjoys spending tine with her grandmothers.

Dad Kenny’s mom is called Nana and Wiseman’s mom is Nanny.

“Nana Butler has an old laundry tub and she has blocks and older toys left around from all of her grandkids over the years. Some things are 20 and 40 years old. Great toys like those wooden Tinker Toys and there’s an old magic kit that one of Grace’s cousins owned years ago.”

Memory Lane with Nana

Grace adds that she also has the pleasure of going through old photo albums with Nana too.  “We look at Nana when she was a girl and see daddy growing up. And we read stories,” says Grace. 

Even though ‘Nana’ is in her 80s she’s right there on the floor playing with her granddaughter, something Wiseman and Grace appreciate.

When Wiseman’s mom comes for a visit, they have their special time too. 

“Mom and Grace, they like to snuggle and read, and mom has a tablet so they play games on that. They go for walks and simply enjoy being together,” Wiseman says with a smile.  

As for mommy and me time, Wiseman says anything goes. 

“We cook. Grace, what’s your favourite thing to make?”

Grace smiles; “Pancakes!”

“We make pancakes nearly every Sunday; chocolate chip pancakes. Grace likes to sift the flour and stir it up and I have to put in some vanilla, that makes them special.”

Games with Grace

They also enjoy playing games together; Hungry, Hungry Hippo, Monopoly Jr. and Kerplunk are some of their favs.  

“It’s just about having fun. Being together and smiling,” says Wiseman.

And that’s a great plan, considering what Wiseman does for a living. 

“Being in the news can be difficult. You pay attention to the world in a different way, because you have to. And there’s terrible stories out there. There’s missing children or children who have been abused. Before I had Grace, I looked at those stories as ‘news’, but now my mind immediately goes to Grace. What if it was Grace that fell off that building? Or Grace that was hit by that car?”

NTV’s political reporter, Michael Connors, sits next to Wiseman in the NTV newsroom.

“He can see it on my face. He will ask if I’m going to be fine. Things affects me more now than it ever has. I find myself caring about all kids now. Before I was a mom, kids were a bit scary. I didn’t know how to relate to them. Now, kids are the people I enjoy the most.”

Truth be told, being a mother has  made Wiseman better at many things. 

“Being on First Edition, and dealing with important stories, like the story unfolding in government right now, I think being a mom gives me a unique perspective.”

When Wiseman sat down with Cathy Bennett recently, she was able to empathize with her reports of being bullied and isolated. “Being a mom, maybe being a woman, you empathize with everyone. You understand where another woman is coming from. You have many times walked in their shoes. When I ask questions, I think I ask them in a thoughtful, respectful way.”

Mommies Little Girl

Does Grace love having a ‘famous’ mommy? The two laugh. Grace loves to ‘out’ her mom as Toni-Marie Wiseman, especially when mommy is out and about in a spaghetti stained t-shirt and no make-up. It’s fun, laughs Grace. 

Does Grace know what she wants to be when she grows up? A pediatrician, but there may be a journalist there too.

“She told me something recently. Besides pretending she was Eddie Sheerr, she didn’t pay too much attention. But she told me lately that at lunch in her school, she and her friends pretend their Beanie Boos are all in a news room. Some are reporters, others are anchors and weather people, so I found that interesting.” 

No matter what Grace becomes, she has a great role model for a mommy! Happy Mother’s Day!

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