This just popped up in my brain today…
A DAY IN THE LIFE…Continued >>>
The remainder of the day was quiet by comparison. Three little ones needed to be occupied, and Hank and I did our best. We tried to follow the advice and admonitions our daughter and son-in-law had left with us before they departed. Keep the children calm, plan a quiet time, limit television, only healthy treats twice a day, meals at designated times, and naps required each afternoon. “Structure, structure, structure, and quiet is most important,” Beth advised. She specifically said, “Don’t let Dad get them riled up!”
However, when it came to dealing with a one-year-old with a soggy, dirty diaper, and a three-year-old desperately hanging on Grandma’s leg while sobbing, “I want Mommy”, plus a five-year-old slamming doors because she’s not allowed to watch a PG13-rated movie starring her ‘favorite’ monster, the wisdom of elderhood took precedence.
We worked together to clean up the squiggly, stinky baby and then gathered the other two munchkins into the living room to take turns sitting in the clothesbasket. Grandpa had placed a fluffy towel in the bottom of the plastic basket, and looped a belt through the webbing on one end. After seating the child in the ‘in-house sled’, Grandpa pulled the basket and child at Mach 1 speed (for a Grandpa that’s fairly fast) through the kitchen, dining room and back into the living room with the child-filled basket careening around the corners behind him. Squeals of delight and demands of “my turn!” and “I’m next!” continued for several rounds. Even the dogs got into the action, chasing after the basket and nipping at the bits of towel trailing out the bottom webbing. After a few such runs, though, Grandpa Hank sank into the leather recliner panting.
“I can’t do anymore!” he explained. I handed him the “Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark” book and settled into the other chair with the baby and a bottle while the two older kids crawled into Grandpa’s lap to listen to the story. The picture was like a deceptively peaceful Norman Rockwell grandparent/grandchild painting. That was what it looked like. I knew it wasn’t going to last.
In those moments of comparative quiet, I got to thinking about the fireman who had called me Ma’am. I’d I wanted to hit him just then, but I had to admit it wouldn’t have set a good example for the children. My blood pressure rose a bit just remembering his look, and I took a deep breath as I tried to push the thought away. Then I remembered seeing not only the fire truck parked at the end of the driveway, but another pickup truck parked just beyond the drive. Someone had been sitting in that vehicle watching the entire debacle at our daughter’s house. That truck didn’t leave when the fire truck pulled away. I wondered who would be crazy enough to be sitting out in their vehicle in the middle of winter watching my humiliation? Why hadn’t they just left immediately? That had all happened more than two hours previously, but the thought of the pick up drove me to struggle out of the chair, baby and bottle clutched carefully to my chest, and walk to the dining room window that faced the street. The truck was still there! And so was the man sitting in the truck! I rushed to the front door, checked the lock and this time, remembered to reset the security alarm. I must have looked like I’d seen a ghost when I returned to the living room because Hank took one look at me and asked, “What’s the matter, Josie?”Gail
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