Grandchildren; gotta love’em!
Posted by Talula on November 11, 2007
Yesterday I had the fortunate (?) opportunity to care for 3 of my “grands” at once while their mommies ran a vendor booth at a local show all day & most of the night. This time it was the queenly 3 year old “Miss M.” and her tiny tornado 18-month old sister “Little M”, plus their always dancing & curious (make that mischevius) 17-month-old first cousin “Little Lizzy”. I love them all bunches; but granny is getting a little too out of shape to do this very often! The knees silently scream when I get on the floor with the babies and toddlers and the back screams even louder when I try to get UP off the floor. For the most part the day went pretty well; starting off around 8am with sleepy littles girls grabbing quick kisses from mommies, waving bye-bye and then using sign language for telling granny it was time for breakfast. They don’t use much sign language anymore since they have begun to talk a little — but food, eat, drink, more and all done are still very clearly in use. So I scrambled to hand out apple slices and milk cups to hold them off from taking bites of me; while I baked their cinnamin rolls that mom left in the fridge for the tiny hungry bears.
We played with everything in sight in the downstairs of the house; went outside for an hour between rain showers and came back in to scrounge up lunch. Not too bad to deal with, since the mommies had fortunately left a little pre-packed lunch. Nap-time was extremely easy (oddly so) and all three were in a coma within 15 minutes. That left time for me to do the dishes, pick up toys missed during the clean-up song and restore the house to some order (grabbing me a sandwich in the process). Next I decided to get a head-start on dinner by stir-frying the chicken, and prepping the veggies before the hungry horde woke up wanting the baby/toddler all inportant “SNACK”. This left me feeling pretty smug that I still had some of the “teacher” classroom organization skills left in my bag of tricks. Little did I realize the odds (3 to 1) were against me making through the whole day with my self-congratulatory smug-ness!
After their 2 hour nap; we all had a great snack time and then spent the next 2 hours reading everybook in the house; with my lap being traded off for the prized location as fast an E-bay auction item with 3 high bidders. Then we did clean up of books (approximately 50 books of various sizes) from the 3 rooms they had mysteriously migrated to and then gave the babies a few things to occupy them while “Miss M” and I proceeded to start the dinner meal. She loves to help cook and I have been letting her help since she was a baby; so I had already set out everything she was going to prepare. I did decide to go into the pantry for some cooking oil; so I managed to undo the baby locks and as soon as the door opened — 3 liitle laughing monsters ran over, grabbed something from the wire rack on the pantry door and ran off giggling; holding their precious “loot” close to their tummies. Of course, i ran after them as they circled through 4 rooms; calling out to bring my goodies back (laughing as well). And with lots more giggles; captured all the “loot” ; or so I thought!
We quickly managed the rest of dinner preparations without further incident. Food was on the table, booster chairs and spoons in place and 2 of the girls were popped into their chairs (Miss M and Little Lizzy) when I turned around calling out for Little M. I don’t see her & before I can take a step — I hear a sound something like cereal pouring into a cereal bowl. I go around the corner in the dining room and there is Little M. staring down at the wonder of the just-opened whole package of tiny orange “feesh” (goldfish crackers to the un-informed) spread in a 8 foot circle round her. I checked my almost uttered 4-lettered word beginning with “S” and say instead “Wow! That is a lot of fish!” “Little M –it;s time to eat. Let’s go!” and take her to the table and buckle her in; only to see the 3 year old jump down off her chair to see what happened. she runs into the dining room and screams “M! I’m calling Mommy!” and proceeds to call mommy on her pretend cell phone and describes the mess her little sister has made and then males sure she is not punished by adding ” Me and Lizzy did’nt do it! You need to put Little M in time out!” Then Miss M sets the pretend phone down and helps me to start picking it up. I quickly scooped most of it up and then suggested we go back to the table for dinner; where the little two have quietly been eating properly as if nothing had happened.
This proper behavior lasts about 15 minutes and then all three start banging their spoons on the table like cons at a prison protest. I state No, No several times to no avail — their grinning faces telling me the inmates are really in control here. So I decide to use logical consequences like I was successful with in my classrooms for nearly 30 years. I get up and scoot all 3 of their chairs far back away from the table and then I sat down back in my chair and proceeded to eat my dinner. Their faces look astonished then perplexed. It is all I can do to keep from laughing. Miss M says “Hey! I want my food!” , with the other two silently waiting to see what is going to happen. I asked if everyone is ready to eat without banging their spoons; Miss M emphatically says Yes! and the babies clearly state “Eat!” while shaking their heads up & down for yes. Miss M proceeds to calmly tell me that I am now on her “Sh__” list by saying “I don’t love you as much as Mommy anymore!” I just as calmly inform her that’s ok; I sometimes have to make her follow the rules and that I still love HER!
With no further remarks about the behavior; I slide their chairs up to the table and we finsh eating, and talking and I feel like I at least won the point, if not the battle! I wash all six hands and faces, then set them down while I pick up the plates to put in the sink. Then I hear the pouring sound again and panic — did I not bring the package into the kitchen to throw it away & how was there any left in the package if I did? As I run into the dining room yet for the second time within 30 minutes — I see that the package was indeed left in the dining room and Little Lizzy has found that yes, there were about 25 little “feesh” were in it that are now spread all around HER on the floor. I bend down to try to scoop them up with both babies grabbing as fast as their little hands can grab and stuff the little “feesh” into their tiny mouths; meanwhile Miss M is screaming at the top of her lungs that she is going to call mommy again and tell her that “the babies” have made a mess AGAIN! and of course she states again that “Miss M did’nt do it! Only Little M and Lizzy! The babies should be in time-out!” . At this point; I lose it and slap the side of the bookcase demanding that “Miss M stop screaming because it hurts my ears and would she please help me get the babies busy with something else so I can pick this up. I mention ice cream for dessert; which sends all 3 little “grands” to pound the refridgerator/freezer doors with their tiny fists while I use the extra 30 seconds to grab the last of the “feesh” and throw them away. then I have to make good on my promise and find cups, scoop & ice cream QUICKLY to satiate the little dessert-monsters.
When the ice cream is in the cups, I hand one to Miss M. and use one to feed the babies., with different spoons. I quickly realized I have mixed up their spoons; say “to heck with it” and spoon feed them both. It starts to look just like little birds standing infront of me, open mouths chasing the spoon. Little M keeps saying “Mom!” when she thinks I am taking too long for her spoonful! This scene transports me back 31 years to when their mothers (Identical twins) were babies; I never worried about their germ-sharing and frequently fed them both with the same spoon for my own speed & sanity! (Note – the pediatrician said itwas alright because twins would always be physically close enough to share all their germs anyway.)
After dessert; we go back to play and read books for a half hour, then it’s bathime. So I let the babies crawl up the carpeted stairs with me and Miss M right behind to catch them if the slip. Everybody is excited about bathtime, so I lock the child gate on top of the stairs and find diapers and pajamas, or fascimile thereof. I searched for 25 minutes for pj’s for 3 and finally settle on cotton stretch shorts and tees. we all pile into the bathroom where Miss M promptly falls in (with clothes on) before the water is turned on. I kiss what hurts; undress her, then the babies and everybody is finally in the tub. And trust me , 2 babies are not what Miss M thinks are her ideal bath companions. She decides to pour water on top of the head of one then the other, and then scream when they fight back. since she is outnumbered — she decides to play with the bath puppet to make them laugh again. Everybody finally gets soaped, the taken out and dressed. I will leave that part to your imagination, but it too is hilarious with 3 wiggly, giggly girls.
when we finally get done; Daddy of Miss M and Little M arrives home and that is exciting until Daddy gets a call to go help all the mommies to load up after the vendor show. Miss M asks if I am going to stay all night and I tell her no, that mommy will be home soon. I think she looks a little relieved, but snuggles up next to me on the couch anyway. They stay a little low- key for an hour; but then true to form; that last burst of energy kicks in and they run endless circles around the 4 rooms; gigling all the way. When the mommies finally make it home; babies are sleepy grumpy amd Miss M is still asking me to stay the night, I give hugs and kisses and all prepare to go to bed or home for the night. I trudge up the stairs to bed at home; glad that I don’t do this everyday in a classroom anymore, my lower back and knees letting me know that couldn’t even if I wanted to!