Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Grandmothering Toddlers

Tyler, Jack  and Pogo the dog

As you know, I spent all last week in Connecticut babysitting two of my grandsons -- I have seven grandsons, actually, and two granddaughters -- and these are the two youngest grandsons, 1-1/2 years and 3 years old, that I babysat. Before I go any further, I have to ask. Why is it they call it babysitting? No one actually sat during a twenty-four hour period, them or me, that is, until I put "Dora The Explorer" on TV or had them safely strapped in their chairs for meals. Oh, and they also sat in the bathtub for a few minutes while they were being bathed, although that's actually not true, either ... did you ever try and wash a fish?  And I'm convinced that toddlers don't have feet ... they have invisible wheels.

Funny, when I was a young mother of three daughters, I actually got pretty good at it by the time my youngest was a toddler. I could juggle every task that needed to be done, do it, and still have plenty of play time with them. As a matter of fact, it was probably the time of my life I most enjoyed ... and raising my daughters is still the one achievement I am proudest of.

Ahhh, but I digress ... now don't get me wrong, I had the time of my life last week. I love those little boys with all my heart -- but I have to admit that I've never felt so totally short on brain cells. I woke up the first morning to calls of "Graaammy, I'm uuuup ..." and it was suddenly like I had never had a child before -- ever. Before my first cup of coffee, I honestly had no idea, whatsoever, what I was supposed to do. Thank God, my daughter wrote everything down ... sheets and sheets and sheets of blessed instructions, just in case.

I also didn't realize going in, that grandmothers have far less energy than young mothers do ... and muscles hidden on and around their bodies that working out at the gym and the treadmill, for some reason, didn't quite touch. At the end of each day, it was a monumental decision whether to soak in a tub with a glass of wine, or just fall into bed sore and exhausted.  Most nights, the bed won ...

I am happy to report that by the end of the week, things had begun to fall into place. I learned to get up a half hour before they did and have my coffee, which allowed my brain cells to multiply and my organizational skills to reconnect, (as did my patience) -- even my sore muscles ceased their screaming, after coffee ...

Someday, I want to write about the new language I've learned,  "Toddler-Speak" ...

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