"Is This Anyway to Spend Spring Break? You Bet It Is!"

It’s been quite an interesting spring break week. It wasn’t exactly the week off I’d envisioned, but what the  heck, summer’s only nine weeks away. This time around we spent most the week babysitting three of our grandkids. That’s right, from Monday morning until Thursday afternoon, we were proxy parents of young children again, two girls, ages 2 and 8, and one boy age 6. It was an experience to say the least. We haven’t had kids that age in nearly twenty years. Their parents were celebrating their tenth anniversary and weren’t planning any type of getaway because their kids had been on spring break last week and my daughter, like myself was on break this week. Sometimes things just don’t work out well.

My wife and I believe that a tenth anniversary is a milestone and should be celebrated, so we offered  to watch the kids for them so they could get away for a few days. An offer they just couldn’t refuse. Hell, would you?  I know I’d be all over that offer in a heartbeat! Why not? Four days anniversary get away, some actual one and one time alone with the wife, no kids, yeah it was an offer they just couldn’t refuse. So Monday morning they dropped the two older kids off at school then came by the house with baby Janessa. Let the fun begin!

And fun it was, for the most part anyway, but there were a few tense moments especially around bedtime. I’d forgotten what a chore it is to get kids to bed on a school night. Most of the time they only stay over on the weekend or during summer vacation so this school night thing was a new one on us, with these kids anyway. It’s been a whole lot of years since we had to deal with putting our own kids down. I’d almost forgotten how much fun that was, not! The baby was the toughest of the three. She fought for every moment of awake time and no matter how tired she was she refused to go down easily. She is a little sweetheart and at two years old already knows how to use her charming smile, and a some grandpa affection to get her way. When she gets all lovey I crumble. She’s quite a character as well as quite a handful when she doesn’t get her way. I guess what they say about the terrible twos is true!

Then there was my number one granddaughter Anjalene, eight going on fourteen, she’s a real charmer and my little drama queen. Yeah she tried to pull a fast one on her old gramps! She came home from school Tuesday and came out back to where I was working  carrying the house phone and told me she had a list of friends she just had to call then showed me a slip of paper with seven names and phone numbers. She said she had to call to give them their language art assignments and they were all counting on her. It was pretty fishy but I decided to play along. I asked her why she was responsible for giving them the assignment and asked her if perhaps they had been absent from school. She jumped right in with a yes.

“All seven kids were absent?” I asked suspiciously . “Yes, so I have to call them with their homework.”  “I don’t know honey, I don’t think your mom lets you use the phone like that, you’re only 8, you’re not a teenager.”                                                                                                                                                                        “My mom let’s me use the phone,” she said excitedly, “I always call my friends after I finish my homework.”                                                                                                                         “Maybe I should give your mom a call and ask her.” I shot back.                                                                      She didn’t even flinch and told me to go ahead. I looked down at my lovely granddaughter knowing full well that she was playing me and told her to go in and finish her homework and I would think about it.

Like I said I knew from the get go she was trying to pull one over on me, but decided to play along and met her halfway. I called her back outside, handed her the phone and told her she had five minutes to make her phone calls. She excitedly took the phone and ran off to make her calls. Needless to say she didn’t have time to call all seven friends, but she did manage to get two calls in. She was quite content for the rest of the evening. She may have thought she got one over on me but by going along I was the real winner, I got hours of contentment rather than a little girl with a bad attitude who could have driven me up the wall about the phone thing for the rest of the evening and believe me, she would have. My number one is quite persistent as well as persuasive.

Of the three my little Jonathan was the easiest. At six years old he is the quietest of the three. Believe me he wasn’t quiet the entire time, he loves his sisters and like brothers everywhere loves to antagonize them ever now and again. He loves wrestling with his younger sister and can sometimes get her a bit too wound up, and he can’t resist an occasional spat with his big sister just to keep her on her toes.  I know they all missed their parents, but his longing was most apparent.

What can I tell you, it was quite the experience having them around for that long. Usually we have them for a few hours at a time or for one night then send them on home. Of course grandma did most of the work as all grandmas do, but I was there for support and so were my youngest son and his fiance.  Some how we all managed to survive and maintain our sanity. Just kidding. I don’t think any of us was close to losing it. I really think the toughest thing was getting use to the all the noise. The house is generally pretty quiet, having three kids around really generates a lot of noise. All that youthful energy you know.

Now that it’s over and the house has returned to normal I’ve had time to reflect and have come to the conclusion that extended babysitting services only happen once in a while and before we know it these three little ones and my other son’s two little ones won’t be little anymore. Childhood passes much too quickly so you have to enjoy them while you can, for soon they will be those brooding, moody, mouthy teens we all once were!

So with that in mind would I watch the kids for an extended period again? Oh hell no! Just kidding! I can’t speak for grandma, but I’m sure she’d agree, we’d do it again in a heartbeat! Perhaps not on a regular basis, but when those special occasions come along, we’re here to help out. All in all the grandkids did pretty darn well while they were staying here. Oh there were moments, but what do you expect, after all they’re just kids, but very special ones, our grandkids!

Just a Thought…







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