Monday, July 21, 2008

Double Duty Grandma

Not a day goes by that M still isn't missing from my life, but there are days when I am just too busy to think about it (well...almost...). Today was one of those days, and it was a long one.

My Man and I took the day to babysit for the Princess and the Gingerbread Cookie while their dad had knee surgery. It was day surgery, and he had to be at the hospital at 7 a.m., which means we had to be at their house well before 7, which means that we had to leave our house well before 6, which means that we had to get up well before "up time," as the Blue-Eyed Boy would say.

We got there in plenty of time, and D and Da were on their way well before babies woke up. But when they did...the race was on! It's hard to imagine, in the middle of raising kidlets, that life could ever be any other way. It's impossible to imagine that you would ever forget what an all-consuming way of life it is. But it is. Looking back, it's hard to imagine that my life was once that way, and then some...every single day. But it was... How could I forget?!!!

When I think about the early days of life at home, I remember all the cute things they said and the funny things they did. I think about their precious innocence and their ability to make me laugh till I cried, and being so besotted with them I could hardly stand it.

What I don't think about is the crying and the clinging and the fighting. I don't think about the referee-ing or the relentless dailiness of the whole operation. Which just goes to show you that in time, almost everything becomes either funny or forgotten.

So back to the kidlets... we were doing ok. Two of us, two of them... It was a pretty even match, though you might think that since we outsmarted them by over half a century each and outweighed them by five or six times each, we would be a shoo-in. At least we should be...You know, might makes right and all that. But you just may want to reconsider. True, we were holding our own, but that's about the best we could say.

Made me wonder all over again how we ever survived those early years. We did what we had to do, and we survived because we had to. We survived the same way and the same how that every other mother of small children has survived through the ages.

But those early days are gone. This is now, and all I had to do was get through today with two wee little girls, and with a lifetime of wisdom and experience under my belt...Well, this oughta be a piece of cake! I am, after all, a card-carrying member of the Grandma race with seven grandchildren to my credit.

We got through breakfast and getting dressed. We did the getting dressed part twice, because I dressed them before breakfast, foolishly forgetting that a meal is followed by a change of clothes, if not a whole bath. We read stories, we watered the "garden," we played with water balloons, we went swimming, we had a tea party. Actually, all told, I'm thinking we probably changed clothes about half a dozen times before we even got to the lunch part.

About the time lunch was over, the Patient showed up. On crutches. He made directly for the recliner where he settled in and promptly went to sleep. He had orders to keep his leg, bandaged from mid-thigh down to his foot, propped up, and I'm quite sure that would be good for it. But I'm not so sure that sticking it out as an easy target for careless passersby was the best thing for it.

After we put a few down for a nap, things settled down a bit, but only for a moment, because just a short time later, S, Blue-Eyed Boy in tow, came along to help Papa sweep some chimneys. S and Papa quickly made their escape, leaving the Blue-Eyed Boy to join our menagerie, thus shifting the dynamics somewhat. Now, instead of an even match, there were three of *them* and only two of *us.* No, make that four of them. I forgot about the New Patient. Definitely one of *them.*

Being that the two of *us* outranked the rest of them, and being that we are at least fairly sharp, we managed to get through the rest of the day unscathed. Exhausted, but in one piece. And then it was time for me to go home, leaving the little family in the capable hands of their dedicated caretaker.

But what about the Blue-Eyed Boy? Well, Poke, gear up for second shift, because the Blue-Eyed Boy is coming home with you!

The little guy slept all the way home, giving me a bit of a respite and a moment to appreciate God's wisdom in the way He set things up. Did you ever wonder why God would give the awesome responsibility of molding and teaching and shaping a little person to a couple of young, innocent novices who don't have the wisdom to keep up with themselves? Well, wonder no more. Little kidlets are relentless, and it takes someone with a whole lot of energy just to keep them corralled. And not only that... if these novices actually had the wisdom to take on the job, they wouldn't.

My hat is off to the moms, sometimes not much more than kidlets themselves, who give so much of themselves, tirelessly and unselfishly.

And as for this Grandma, well, after getting the poor little Blue-Eyed Boy to bed for the night, at last, peace. Don't know how long it will last, but at least for now, peace, at last.

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