A grandmother is a mother who has a second chance

Friday, March 28, 2008

Oh, the things we grandmothers do

Because my husband, Ed, is in real estate, I had an interesting afternoon this week. Well, let me start at the beginning. I was born on a hot, summer night in Chicago - wait, that may be too far back!

So, about a year and a half ago, Ed found these little playhouses that he's used as give-aways from his company at chamber events, charitable events, etc. At one point he decided we needed one here for the kids to play in when they come over.

And now, back to our show.

This week is Spring Break which means my daughter AND her kids have the week off. Being the good little Babushka that I am, I offered to take the kids for a few hours on Wednesday and give Jenni some time to do whatever it is she does when the kids aren't there.

The plan was to drop them off at my house at 2:00 pm, but that was delayed a bit due to some, shall we say, less than appropriate behavior the kids had during a brief shopping trip before the drop off. So they didn't get here until closer to 3:00. Later when I asked Eamon why he was being bad at the store he shrugged and said, "Mama said we were coming to your house and I did not want to go shopping first. So I was bad!" It was all very logical to him.

Ed had found the extra playhouse the day before and thought it would be a great time to unveil it. Stupidly, I agreed. After the kids spent a few minutes waving good-bye to their parents, bouncing around the house, taking their shoes off, reaching for bananas, going to the bathroom, asking me to read a story, negotiating which movie to watch, running outside to see if their bikes were around (this all in the space of about 4 minutes), we decided to open the playhouse.

The box is about 2 1/2 feet square. Inside is an object that looks like those things you put on your windshield in the summer to block the sun. You know the ones you have to twist to open and then somehow twist back to close them up. We all have scars on our noses or foreheads from the first (second, third, fourth....) time it opened unexpectedly, or we twisted the wrong way on closing only to have it snap open, know off the sunglasses, knock over the coffee, smack you in the face, and basically pin you to the steering wheel. Or maybe that was just me.

Anyway, we took the house out of the box and out of the mesh bag, It immediately began popping open and the kids said "Whoa!" and backed away. Finally it was upright but seemed to only have three sides. I found the fourth one, but then Vika (danged kid) noted that the mailbox was on the inside of the house and that couldn't be right. Upon searching we found a few more walls tucked inside and opened them. Whoosh!! Suddenly the whole thing was popping open knocking over the tv tray, knocking over Ed's little garden gnome that lives next to the tv (don't ask), smacking into the recliner and fillng my living room.! It was like a hamster tunnel for kids. There are two separate rooms, two doors, and a few windows - one that is round so they can climb in and out (yeah, that was a good idea).

I managed to position it so that we could actually walk around it. Suddenly there was a flurry of activity as the kids whirled around the house gathering pillows and afghans from every corner. We brought in a kiddie lawn chair from the yard to put in the "living room". Vika created a couch out of two big pillows for the sides and two small ones for the seat. Eamon made two beds in the second room. Vika found a basket and gathered a couple of bananas and some walnuts for their snack. Then they brought in their dolls, toys and books. It was really pretty cute.

Until they decided it would be cool to watch a movie from the "bedroom". So we had to pull the house back a bit so they could see the tv through the mesh wall. They rearranged their beds so they could face the tv and began the always tense task of picking a movie they both wanted to see. It's not that they don't like many of the same movies, but each of them wants to "win". So I walked out of the room and told them that when they found a movie they both wanted with no tears and fights, they could come and get me. Five minutes later they agreed on Star Wars episode 2, which is actually the fifth one that was made so the whole thing is very confusing.

It was at this point that they informed me I had to get in the house with them and watch the movie. Ye gods. So I made us a bowl of popcorn, and climbed in. Now I was never a very agile person and what little agility I had is fading. But I am a grandmother so in I went. We all laid down on the floor (lovely on my back) and watched Anakin and Padme fight the clones. Then the phone rang. So I had to crawl out, poking both kids in the stomach as I tried first to get up and then to get out. Knocked over the popcorn, messed up the "beds", got momentarily trapped in the screen door, but finally made it out on my hands and knees. Took a minute to be upright again, but finallly I got the phone. It was Ed wondering if the kids were enjoying the house. When I told him we were all inside watching a movie, there was silence on the other end. Then a chuckle. His, not mine.

I brought the phone and the remote back in with me to avoid any more hasty departures and we finished the movie. But before it ended, Ed came home and grabbed the camera. Nice guy. By the way, I'm yawning, not crying in this photo!

The kids were staying for dinner so we all cleaned up the living room. S0rt of. Ed and I tried to put the house back in the box. Remember Aladdin and that little bottle? Yeah, it was something like that. The box had instructions which consisted of four pictures of this very young, thin woman folding the house all by herself with a big smile on her face. We managed to get the sides folded in, but now we had this big square thing that wouldn't fold any smaller. We tried putting a dainty foot on the bottom corner like the woman in the picture. Now, let's just twist and fold. Pop, the whole thing unfolded smacking us both in the face. Grrrrr. So we tried again from every angle. Then Ed refolded the walls and that seemed to help. But we still could not get it to twist into that cute little circle it started with. Finally we gave up and had dinner. Well, I gave up. Ed, not so much. Every couple of minutes he'd be back in there trying to fold it. Then mutter something like, "We'll just have to store it this way" or "It will never go back into the box" or "I think we broke something" or "This is just stupid" or What the hell is going on here" or That's it, I'm done trying".

Finally Jenni and Jeff came to pick up the kids. We asked for their help. They looked at the house, twisted it, folded it, put it back in the mesh bag and back in the box. Dang kids!!

So, my back was a bit sore Thursday from the movie marathon, Ed's pride was a bit sore from the whole twist and fold thing. But all in all it was another nice visit with the grandkids.


Desert Diva said...

What a story - too funny that you all couldn't fold it back to the original shape.

I'm still wondering about the garden gnome next to the T.V. though...

Jenni said...

The kids had a great time with you. They want to know when they can "spend 2 nights at Babushka's" again.

What do you think? Does next weekend sound good? ;)

Sandi said...

Oh, wait, I'm laughing so hard my side hurts ..............


LOL! The adventures with grandchildren gives plenty to write about!! Kids DO have a lot of energy!! You're such a cool grandma! : )

MMrussianadoption said...

very funny post.

Sharon Kay said...

What a fun day you had with the wee ones and a wonderful story that you told so well. And why would you be tired......was it a good movie? My grandchildren would love to visit and play in the house with you and your grandchildren......Let me know when please.......Sharon K

namaste said...

sandi, i LOVE when you write. when i come here and see a new post i'm smiling before i read it. great story about the grans. jenni is sooo lucky to have you guys. i'm sure it wasn't as peachy when you were the mommy in the first round. but this second round looks like fun! i'm looking forward to being done with this first round, myself. whew!

ira said...

You're fun granny! :D

Fleur de Lisa said...

I LOVE this story! Kids are just the greatest. They will always remember days spent like this with you. :)


PS...I keep stalking your blog to look at the picture of you in the tent with the grandkids! It makes me really laugh! The things we do for those we love!! :-)