Saturday, November 24, 2012

Adventures in Babysitting

Big Brother by Ian Service

The Kumquat has arrived, my daughter gave birth to a beautiful little girl, Aphra Judith, at 9 pounds 2 ounces. She is no slouch.
Grandma here was asked to pick up some newborn diapers on the way to babysit the Humvee and the dog. It has been a while. When the Bean was a baby, I had a choice of, well, not much, in big, bulky packages that didn't hold much. Off to Walmart I went, and was met by a staggering array of sizes, absorbencies and Sesame Street pictures et al on the diapers. Shelves of the things, boxed, or wrapped in plastic. Pampers or Huggies. I had a headache after awhile, but settled on a pack of newborns, good for up to 10 pounds, and the next size up, good from 8 to 12 pounds. Figured I'd cover my bases. And the baby's butt.
Then I arrived at the house. My intention was to take the dog for a walk, as I thought she might not get a really decent one for a few days. Naturally, it was drizzling when I got there. And my key wouldn't work. I wiggled and jiggled (the key, not me), but the dang lock wouldn't turn. I could see poor Cricket eyeing me from the top of the stairs inside the house. No barking, just wagging her tail like crazy. Made me feel guilty as if I was teasing her trying to get in.
Plan B, I texted my daughter at the hospital. No problem, the neighbours have a key. I had already knocked on their door, as their car was home. But they weren't. Their dog was, though, another non barker, who just cocked his head, wagged his tail, and patiently waited for someone, me, to come in and play with him. My daughter gave me the entry combination to the front door, and I was greeted by this lovely German Shepherd with a toy, so we had a love in first. Which key? The square one, of course, so that left me with only ten keys. I grabbed them all, and left the dog, and tried every one of them in the Bean's door. Their Golden Retriever was again at the top of the stairs wagging her tail madly, waiting for Grandma to come in and play. Which Grandma couldn't do because not a single key worked.  So off for a second love in with the shepherd, and a few texts and phone calls later, it was decided I would pick up the car seat at the hospital, then pick up my Grandson from daycare, see the newest addition with him, then return home when the neighbours would be around to let us in. The neighbours must wonder about me. Having twice locked myself out of the same house, I have had to call upon them, to have long, tall Sean crawl through the kitchen window to let me in. Another time, well it's documented in "Adventures With Grandma", in case you need more bedtime stories.
So the visit with the baby and family went well, and the Humvee and I returned to their house, we knocked on Sean's door, who promptly picked up one of the keys I swear I had tried in the door at least three times, and with a minimal wiggling and jiggling of the key, let us in. My own key? Was a key from "a long time ago", according to my son in law.
I love my Humvee. That kid is a walking one man band. I wondered what to do with him well before the time came. I need  not have worried. He's happy with his toys, he's happy with the dog, he's happy running up and down the hallway, or jumping up on down on the spot , "I'm dancing!" "I'm running!" "Hi Grandma!" He provided me with entertainment, happily singing "S***! S***! S***!" to himself until I questioned him, then he squealed "Shirt! Grandma, I said shirt!"  I provided him with running commentary. And the occasional beating of drums and shaking of maracas. His poor Dad. By the time he came home to do a few things after the baby's birth, we had moved on to the cow bell. I swear I saw Heidi in the back yard. And dreamed of Quasimodo in my sleep.
The following morning I was doing dishes while drinking tea, and Dash taught me Anatomy 101. "Hi Grandma. Dash has a penis." By which point, my tea snorted through my nose.
We went to the park the day his parents were coming home with the Kumquat. We took the dog with us, due to her achingly melting, guilt inducing, big brown eyes The Humvee wanted to walk her. So he held the end, I held the leash somewhere in the middle, and my poor Goldie went on the slowest, most short leashed walk. Everyone was happy.
I love these ergonomically placed swings. No stooping to break your back while pushing, these swings were at the height of my waist. While exercising my biceps and triceps with the pushing, Mom and Dad and the Kumquat drove past on the road by the park, giving a honk. My little Dash was oblivious. So I told him Mom and Dad were home. "Don't want to see Mom. Don't want to see Dad. Don't want to see Aphra." I bargained with him for some extra pushes, but when a kid can only count to five, it means nothing. So eventually I had to extricate this child from a push friendly but removal hostile swing. Legs straight, body stiff, me thinking "Shirt!" in my mind. The swing came up with the kid. I had him and the swing slung over my shoulder. The more I wiggled and jiggled the swing and his legs, the more his tears turn into laughter. Eventually, I didn't fall on me arse, and I didn't drop him on his head. He didn't want to walk the dog, but then again, he didn't want to walk himself either. Still didn't want to see Mom, Dad, or Aphra. It was a long, slow walk up the pathway. We got to the road, his home is maybe ten houses away. I said, "Look, there's Daddy and Mommy's car in the driveway!" and before I could say jack rabbit, he was gone, running. And that's when poor Cricket decided she needed to poop. I will not win any Grandma of the year awards,  I am sure. I was yelling after this bumblebee buzzing up the road, but committed to the environment of someone else's front yard,  picking up Cricket's processings.  I huffed and puffed after the Humvee, who was trying to open the door. And a family was happily reunited, with the addition of the Kumquat. Grandma promises to take good care of her too.Time to go home! by Ian Service
If Mom will let her. Salud!


  1. Your grandchildren are beautiful. You are truly blessed!

  2. Love it!! A great grandma story!! That baby is gorgeous!!!