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Friday, June 20, 2008

When Grammy Babysat for the Week

Editor's Note: I seem to have been disillusioned that with my parents here for the week to watch our kids and help around the house, we would be lounging around, watching movies, eating well while still having time for evening blogging. Maybe I was drunk when this thought crossed my mind because seriously, it's already Friday and I haven't made time to blog, I haven't watched anything on TV, but at least we're eating well. At least everyone but the girl whose name begins with "E" and ends with "Laina." But that's a long story and I'll save that for a special post- day. Since I can hardly recap our week of busy, I've left my Mom in charge of yet another duty around the house, just to get the whole feel of how we spend our days. Here's what Grandma had to say about her week here.

Laura's babysitter is on vacation for the week. Could we come and take care of the kids for just this week? Of course!!! I raised two kids. This should be a snap. NOT!!!!! I forgot that it has been thirty years since Laura was Elaina's age, I forgot that a routine makes that day go easier ( and I didn't know the routine.) Most importantly I forgot that God doesn't make 60 year old mothers because they are just too tired for the job. So with Pop-pop for reinforcements and our big brown chocolate lab for moral support, we arrived on Sunday night to a shower of hugs and kisses from the two sweet grandchildren that we had been dying to see. Over supper, Laura tried to fill us in on how the day should go and what to do. While I paid close attention, I still kept thinking that this would be easy. So when Laura dashed off with Lincoln to the hospital and Eric headed to off work, we had breakfast with our one grandchild, made the beds and folded the laundry. Laura was home in time to pass off Lincoln and take Elaina off for a nap (Laura woke up just in time to grab a fast bite and head off to her appointment.) With two grandparents and only one grandchild awake at a time, we patted ourselves on the backs as we picked up toys and fixed supper. This was going to be a breeze.

But today's breeze can turn into tomorrow's tornado. Right after breakfast on Tuesday morning, Pop-pop decided that I really didn't need any help in the house and headed out to the garage to get some work done for Eric. Elaina was ready to play outside and Lincoln went too. About fifty-five trips up and down the driveway bent over to help Lincoln steer his little bike, I decided that we all needed to watch Noggin until nap time. ( I was hoping that I would be able to enjoy a little nap too.) When you have the kids around you all the time, you learn the trick of getting them both off to sleep at the same time. Too bad I don't know this trick. I wasn't able to get Elaina settled for a nap at the same time that Lincoln slept. In fact Lincoln woke up just as I was heading down the stairs after getting Elaina off to sleep. With his tubes in his ears, Lincoln was feeling good. Good for a thirteen month old means able to destroy a room in less time than it took me to type this sentence. But with an eye on the clock and Pop-pop watching the grandkids, I managed to get supper ready, the dishes all washed and most of the toys picked up in time to greet Laura and Eric at the door. Day three went by the same as day two but with less help from Pop-pop and "more energetic" grandchildren. Strangely men have a different parenting style than women. Women are proactive and men are reactive. Women go around childproofing and keeping children away from trouble. Men figure the kids will be smart enough not to hurt themselves or else they will learn what will make them hurt. The end result was that everything got done and but both Pop-pop and I could hardly wait for bedtime (ours not the grandkids.) We were beat but we were making it work.

Thursday arrived with a screaming Lincoln who didn't want to eat and just couldn't get happy because he was cutting two molars on the same day. Just to make things more interesting, Elaina chose that day to not eat or sleep. And of course, the grandparents who have always lived in a one story house were trying to function in a two story house where everything we wanted was upstairs when we were downstairs and everything else was downstairs when we were upstairs. (Did I mention that I have arthritis in my knees?) I was never so glad to see Laura and Eric come through the door. So Friday is here and we have all survived. I still love my grandchildren and my daughter and son-in-law but if the van doesn't work on Sunday when it's time for me to go home, I'll walk.

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