A grandmother is a mother who has a second chance

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Every grandmother can relate

Raising kids is definitely for the young. I had boy/girl twins when I was 27 and raised them as a single parent for much of their lives. And it was not that difficult. I got so used to multi-tasking, doing everything in twos, keeping the house picked up, cooking and laundry, answering questions from both kids at the same time. All the basics.

Now I'm a grandmother of two - 6 year old girl and 5 year old boy. They spent the night with us last night. I love them dearly, but there always seem to be mini-chaos reigning when they're here.

Within five minutes coats and shoes were strewn around the house, DVD's all over the place while they negotiated which one to watch - this usually involves sulking and sometimes tears.

Cooked dinner (lasagna - Eamon's favorite) to a constant refrain of

  • Can I have some water?
  • Can I have some more water?
  • Can you pause the movie while I go to the bathroom?
  • Can you start the movie again?
  • When is deydushka coming home?
  • Babushka, Vika just [fill in the blank].
  • Babushks, Eamon just [fill in the blank].
  • What are you making for dinner?
  • When will it be time to eat?
  • Can we have a snack?

Finally dinner came and went fairly uneventfully. That is, if you call three trips to the bathroom, lasagne on the tablecloth, tomato sauce in the hair, and a bit of whining uneventful. But, overall, fairly calm.

Then it was bath time. Usually I have them take showers, but their MOTHER let them bring these little rubber duckies that light up when wet. So tonight it had to be a bath. As soon as the word is out of my mouth, their clothes come off. Like a torrid love scene in a B movie their clothes are spread in a path from the living room to the bathroom. They try to get in the tub before the water has even gotten warm enough for me to close the drain. I tell them to pick up all their clothes and at least put them in a pile before they get in. I figured this would buy me some time to fill the tub. But they were too fast for me. Vika started to get in, the water was still not right so I asked her to wait a minute. Rushing, I reached for the drain stop thingy and pulled. Alas, I had grabbed the shower turner-on thingy and now I had this huge wet area in the middle of my head. Muttering under my breath I turned the shower off and pushed the drain thing. Water running down my scalp into my eyes. The top of my head totally flat and extremely wet. The water rose, the bubbles were foaming and the kids got in. Ed saw me around that time and said "What happened to your hair". When he saw the look on my face, he retreated.

The kids seemed to be doing fine so I walked out of the bathroom for a minute with "don't spash or get water on the floor" warnings trailing me. I was back in their within two minutes and they were both mid-splash. Looked at me with wide eyes - Caught!! The floor was wet, the rug was wet, the toilet paper was wet, the toilet lid was wet. "That's it - everybody out. End of baths - next time it's back to showers." "Oh, Babushka, we're sorry." "Eamon did it." "No, Vika did it." (much the same type of conversations I had with my own kids so many years ago) I tried to be stern, but inside I was smiling. However, while drying them off, helping with PJs, drying hair, cleaning the bathroom. I managed to get my socks and jeans quite wet. Ed noticed the wet jeans, but wisely just looked at them and turned away.

Finally got the young-uns to bed and for the first time they fell asleep without getting out of bed even once. Now that's a miracle. This morning we heard them rustling about at 6:45am. Now, mind you, these kids sleep until 9am at home. But not here. Oh, no. As they were tiptoeing to our room, giggling, Ed sat up in bed. They walked in, he said, "Hey". They said, "Yikes." He said, "Yes, yikes!" and they went back to bed for 10 minutes. Over breakfast Eamon explained that when Ed said "Yes, Yikes", they figured it was still nighttime and they should not be up yet. But then upon discussing it back in bed, and seeing it becoming light outside, they decided it was, indeed, morning and they could get up. So back to our room they came.

Breakfast was uneventful - preceeded, of course, by the path of pajamas and socks leading to their daytime dressing area. Oh, and there was that part about Eamon dunking his jelly-laden English Muffin through the ketchup and then eating it. Minor points, I agree.

Now they're watching some calm cartoon show on Sprouts and soon will be on their way home. I need a little nap, myself. How did I do it for so many years! Yes, child-rearing is definitely for the young.


MMrussianadoption said...

I am young and I have 2 kiddos (almost twins) and I have days like that. It doesnt matter how old you are, sometimes they are just on your nerves and you need a time out from them.

Desert Diva said...

It must be great being "grandma" now. You enjoy them for awhile, but know in the long run that they will return home. Visits are nice!

icanseeclearlynow said...

sandi, what a GREAT story this was to read! you are a very good story teller. and that line about ed wisely holding his tongue about your wet jeans mad me LAUGH OUT LOUD! i raised my two alone also and i remember these days. whew!

i'll never understand women who have teenagers, are divorced, fall in love and start all over again by having babies in their forties. OIY!

you know what i like about this, when i read blogs about children, they're all perfect and no one has bad days, it seems. i have a blog about my daughters, but it's for entertaining them, not other bloggers. so it's very nicey. but i've certainly blogged about my parenting difficulties on my other blogs. THANKS for KEEPING IT REAL!

real makes for enjoyable reading!

icanseeclearlynow said...

btw, sandi, i hope you don't mind me linking this story to my blog.


Nikki said...

Very fun to read!! followed the link from Maria's.....I have one son and I always tell him he has to have 8 kids so I can have lots of grandbabies.....he flat out said "no mom. 2 or less" Maybe this is for the best!!! thanks for the great read!! :)Nikki

Fleur de Lisa said...

I LOVE this story. Even I wonder how I had the energy back when my son was young. But they bring so much joy, don't they? Especially when you know they get to go back to mom and dad. :)

The Kept Woman said...

Makes you realize and appreciate why some eat their young doesn't it?

(was that out loud?_

Just Laura said...

Sandi - I definitely feel for you. I love the way in which you are able to story tell. I am able to see Vika and Eamon running through the house for the tub and the looks on their faces mid-splash.

Aren't they absolutly wonderful though?

Sharon Kay said...

Oh how I know what you mean. I had 2 of my grandchildren over for the weekend and I was so tired when they left. There is a reason we have them when we are young. I am visiting with friends who are raising their grandson and I do not know how they are doing it.

Christine said...

You are such an inspiration Sandi!

Scoobers said...

i believe i have heard my parents murmur the same sentiments with regards to their own grandchildren. when they are done sitting in, a vacay is in order :)