Last week was a very short week. Hubby and I returned home on Tuesday afternoon, unpacked, played couch potato and went to bed two hours early. We slept off and on all day Wednesday. What could possibly have made us so exhausted you ask?
On Friday afternoon, the 21st, we traveled over the mountains to help facilitate our daughter’s and son-in-law’s move to a new home: a four day process. We were greeted with the usual excitement from our granddaughters when Nonni and Poppi visit. It was short-lived, however, because we proceeded to the new house to set up camp for the evening, placing our cots in the empty living room. We bought a to-go pizza and had dinner on a TV tray, sitting in our camp chairs. Sounds like a campout to me. How about you?
Early the next morning the granddaughters arrived, followed shortly by a mid-sized U-Haul van full of furniture and appliances. Hubby proceeded to help with the unloading. I watched the girls, trying to keeping them from getting stepped on or knocked over by a cadre of the male members of the two families carrying bulky, heavy, vision-restricting items to their respective rooms.
Naps for the girls were interesting. I laid on the floor between the two youngest ones–they had crib mattresses on the floor. I knew they would have trouble going to sleep in a new room. I also suspected they would start getting into the boxes stacked along the walls. Besides, it was a good excuse for me to take a rest.
By Sunday morning the kitchen and living room were stacked with boxes. Playing with the plastic storage containers was permitted. I didn’t know there were medicinal products squirreled away in one of those boxes. It took me two days to find out what the 2½-year-old had squirted into two narrow-mouthed containers… antibiotic ointment!
That was the second incident of the day. Our son-in-law’s dog, an extreme coward, was intimidated by our little dogs who were penned up in the dining room. Tucker is four times the size of our pets but he was so afraid that he refused to pass them, and out the slider door, to go to the bathroom. Instead he turned and ran up the stairs, which is where our daughter found him trying to do his business. Her shocked, disgusted reaction was to grab him by the collar and drag him down the stairs, across the living room and dining room floors, to shove him out the door. He left behind a trail of poop and pee. She was livid, especially when she saw the 1½-year-old sliding down the stairs on her behind, right over the poop. I didn’t blame her. I cleaned the dog mess while she cleaned the baby. I figure that’s when the older one got into the ointment. The following 48 hours were a mix of stress and hilarity.
Monday morning the girls were put to bed for their morning nap. I didn’t go up with them as I had the previous two days because their mom was in charge. The house became quiet and we made the assumption the girls were sleeping. Wrong! Eventually they started making noise. Mom went upstairs and was very unhappy at what she found. The oldest toddler had found the tube of diaper ointment. She squeezed it out on her sheet and smeared it around. She smeared it on the younger one’s face, pjs, and I don’t know where else. More hollering (stressed-out mom) and crying (kids). Their auntie stayed upstairs with them for the afternoon nap.
But it wasn’t all trouble. Late afternoon on Monday the 2½-year-old decided she was leaving. After loading a small plastic bag with blocks she came up to me wanting a kiss. After giving her one she lifted her arm, waved and said, “bye-bye”, then proceeded to walk into the kitchen to a corner where she couldn’t be seen.
“Oh, oh,” I thought, remembering the trouble of the past two days. Before I could check on her the littlest one came up to me. Always the copycat follower of her older sister, she puckered her lips, wanting a kiss. After getting one she waved, said “bye-bye” and traced her sister’s footsteps.
Once again intending to check what was happening in the kitchen, I was interrupted by the older girl coming to me with blocks in her hands–one for me and one for Poppi. Another kiss, another wave, another “bye-bye.” Little sister followed, needing a kiss and waving goodbye. For twenty minutes they repeated the pattern–kiss, kiss, wave, wave, bye-bye, while Poppi and I laughed in amusement. They were so cute and charming.
Moments like that make all the trouble and exhaustion worth it. The good far outweighs the bad and the messy. I love taking care of the grandkids and I don’t much mind spending the following week trying to regain my energy (and sanity). What’s 10 days not attending to my own agenda compared with the memories I’ve made with and for my granddaughters?
Do you have grandchildren… or children? Share some of your memories of good and bad times.