Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Wednesday's Words for June 4, 2008

Well this week is certainly different.

My second daughter—the former fiancé of our late son, and the mother of his two children—has recently graduated her nursing program and is enjoying a week in the tropics before beginning her new job. This is her first vacation in a long time. She’s worked long and hard to achieve her goal, sometimes working back to back shifts at her part time job, and always going without herself in order to provide for her children. We’re very proud of her, and very pleased she managed to plan this get-away for herself.

The children are with us.

Temporarily going from a household of 4 to one of 6 involves a great deal more than simply adding two people. It’s called for a complete change in routine as well.
We purchased one of those inflatable beds so that we’d have someplace for the kids to sleep. Next, we sat down and figured out who would do what—since one child goes to school every day, and the other one every other day, with day care thrown into the mix.

But mostly, the adjustments have been in the little things.

Even with a teenager in the house I’ve been able to get away with living in my own little world for the most part. Tough to do when you have a 7 and a 6 year old in close proximity.

“Grandma, you play on the computer a lot.” Ah, to be judged and found wanting by a seven year old!

I know these kids well, of course I do, as I see them at least once a week, and they’ve had several “sleep overs”. But that’s not the same as knowing them in a day-to-day-living kind of way. Being a writer, and a fairly straight-forward person, I decided the best way to find out what I wanted to know would be to ask.

I can report to you that this particular granddaughter has ‘rolling her eyes’ down to a fine art.

Me: How often do you have a bath?
Her: I bathe!
Me: I know, sweetheart, but I’m trying to get a sense of your routine. (and yes, I speak to her as if she’s an adult because, well, that is how she answers).
Her: Well, at least every other night, but sometimes every night. I didn’t have one last night so I need one tonight.
Me: (eyeing her hair that almost reaches her butt) Do you wash your own hair? (she is, after all, only seven).
Her: (eyes rolling). Well, yes. I wash my hair, I wash my body, I wash everything!
Me: (looking fast for some sort of redemption) Do you use conditioner on your hair, or not?

She was patient with me when I insisted she use conditioner. I even provided her with a bucket of warm water she could use to rinse her hair as I was leery of allowing her use of the shower wand. She may sometimes talk like an adult, but she’s pure kid.

Lunch for school was another matter for interrogation. It’s been a long time since I made kids’ school lunches, and I wanted to make sure I got it right. Now, I wasn’t one hundred percent convinced that she usually took a sandwich, a drink, and five snacks. I guess I should have checked with mommy beforehand. One thing you can count on, and that’s my granddaughter’s superior negotiation skills. We settled on three snacks for school, and she even made me feel as if I’d achieved something in the bargain.

By the time the dinner was over and dishes washed, the children bathed and given their “bed time snack”, the little darlings tucked in and school lunches made, I was done. Seriously. Done.
One side benefit of having a lot of people around all the time is that the concept of going away on vacation is starting to sound pretty good.

Romance…with that extra bit of heat.

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