Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Gramma Comes to Stay A While


     My daughter recently turned the same age as me. Forty. It’s weird how you start out mother and daughter and end up twins. In age at least.

     She and her partner went to Las Vegas to celebrate. Gramma came to stay for Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. Since Papa is still working, he gets to stay for the fun part. The weekend. Totally unfair advantage. We are amicably divorced but not sure how long that will last if this competition continues.

     When the kids get home from school, they’re really happy to see me. Really. It takes several hours before they start asking for their mom. In the meantime, we play on the computer, read books and watch TV. We eat spaghetti for dinner. It tastes good because the meat sauce was made by their mom. They have no problem pointing this out.

     Cate and I take the dog for a walk and we buy chocolate bars for everyone. Take that, meat sauce!

     While Ben has a shower Cate and I sit in the bedroom making up limericks. Gramma starts the fart ones. Cate mentions that she’s taking the notebook to school so I caution her to remove certain pages first. She’s calling me Glamma now, which I take to mean I’m glamorous. Especially when I end one limerick with “and my big fat butt in the air” and demonstrate. However, I’m not Glamma any more when I say it’s lights out. Now she wants Mommy. 

     It’s Ben’s turn for reading or limericking or whatever. We read from a giant book about the universe. It has concepts and words that I either never knew or didn’t bother remembering. He asks me rather pointedly, “But weren’t you a teacher?” We do lights out on rather frosty terms.
     Now I proceed to make their lunches. I cannot for the life of me find anything good for a kid’s snack or midday meal. I mean, yes, there’s lots of stuff that’s good for you. Like fruits and vegetables.

Back in my day as a mother, when I made lunches I filled them up with cookies and puddings and sandwiches on white bread. Maybe some chips to munch. A pop or sugar-filled juice. All we have in this house is…well, healthy stuff. Sighing, I make what I can and put the lunches in the fridge. Next morning, I have the same problem. No sugar-shocked cereals to be seen. Why would a kid bother getting up?

     Apparently they can’t eat in their rooms, either. My kids would get a tray in the morning. Or else, in the case of my son, I would carry him downstairs and set him up in front of the TV. Nothing like a little gratuitous violence in the morning! Not in this house. We talk. We walk to school!

     We are a little frazzled. Glamma is a bit overwhelmed by nutritious breakfasts and conversation. When I glance at the clock, I see the reason why. I would normally just be rolling out of bed right now ready to drink coffee and read the paper.

     I finally stumble out of the door behind them, the dog in tow. Or, I should say, with me in tow. We are slip-sliding along the ice at a rapid pace. Cate does not want to be late for school. Ben dawdles along with me. When I look down at him, I notice he doesn’t have his boots on. Or his winter coat. It’s a coat, but looks pretty light. I’m wondering if the kids washed or brushed their teeth. The teachers will shake their heads and tsk. Good thing they don’t know I used to be a teacher.

     On the way back, the dog poops all over the ice and I have to clean it up with a piece of snow and one small scoop bag.

     I hurry back and clean their rooms. They’ll be aghast because this is their responsibility. I go shopping and get some really good stuff. After all, I am competing with Papa’s impending plans to visit the dinosaur museum, while I have to get them to go to school again tomorrow. Sugarless!

    Damn, did Cate take that notebook to class?

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