Char has a teensy bit more of a calm way about her; slightly less intense than her force of nature brother, but still as determined to exist in this world on her terms.
She calls flies “fly guys”. No one is really sure where this monniker came from, but now we all refer to them that way.
Also for some reason, she doesn’t like ants. It seems as if she believes they purposely infringe on her space. When she sees ants, she crouches down and blows on them, “Gone, ant!”
I’ve attempted to explain that they have as much right to live here on planet Earth as we do and we need to be kind, and I know her big brother understands that, but Char views the world from a different lens.
Like I said, C is slightly less feral than her brother and dad (and mom too).
She really doesn’t like to go camping.
“Home NOW!” she says.
“Did you have fun camping in the mountains?”
A resounding “NO” from Char. The girl loves her comforts and her lotions and her sparkles.
I’m sure you can guess who appropriated all of my Hello Kitty items.
THUMP like a dinosaur as he jumps from the top step.
Crawling in bed with me at 5:30 a.m. to chat about dreams and breakfast and plans for the day,
“Grandma, did you make more cookies?” “Grandma, did the coyotes come last night? Can we check the camera?” “Grandma, can we do the slip and slide now?” “Grandma, are there a lot of kids at the park now?” “Grandma, Char is still sleeping, so is mommy and daddy.” “Grandma, when Daddy was a little boy and went to Kelly, did he play outside too?” “Did he have a slip and slide like mine?” “I’m going to kindergarten in September but not at Kelly.” “Grandma, can I have this rock? Can I bring the giant transformer home? Can I bring the red ball home?” “Grandma, we are staying here for a really long time, right Grandma?” “How many more days?” “Can we go to the lagoon today? It’s not as salty as the beach.” “I counted all the steps up to my bedroom. I can jump from almost all the way up. Want to watch me, Grandma?” “Where’s Dad going? WHERE ARE YOU GOING, DADDY?” (Early morning surf sesh, that’s where.)
“Get up, Grandma!“
And so it goes…
Sliced fruit, oatmeal, buckwheat pancakes, breakfast burritos, bagels, and toast–all before 7:00 a.m.
Second feeding after park or beach at about 10 a.m. Lunch at 11:45 a.m. Char down for a nap at noonish. More play, crafts while I get ready for after nap snacks to include my famous smoothies, cut up veggies and hummus, and probably a tofu hot dog or leftover dinner from the night before.
The beach, south of the jetty. There’s a dolphin out there but it’s impossible to see.
Slip and slide, two kiddie pools, running around. And around. And around. AND AROUND.
Indoors for a little inside play while I start dinner; maybe another trip to the park or a walk around the neighborhood. Here they are fascinated by the kindergarten kids.
Early first dinner at 4:30, more play, bath at 6ish, nighttime snack of sliced apples and almond butter, books and bed at 7pm.
For me? Exhaustion and joy equally by 7:30.
And then there’s almost two-year-old Charlotte…
“Grammy, come HERE! Help Charlotte take off shirt.” “Cookie for Charlotte!” NO! Not that one, other one!” “NO, I can do it!” “NO. STOP IT!” “Cuppa tea for Charlotte!” “Super cute baby at the park.” “Stop it, Theo! Don’t say that!” “Grandma, find mermaid!” “Grandma, water, please.” “Not that hat! Where’s Peppa hat?” “Go to park now.” “I see bunny. Theo, come see!” “Charlotte touch lizard?” “Bagel with cream cheese and jelly.” “Where’s Daddy and Mommy?” (Surfing, of course.)
Like I said, joy and exhaustion, but JOY wins every time. This is their first visit since Covid, the first time they left their house to fly anywhere in more than a year.
We had excellent weather except for one odd drizzly day. We spent hours and hours outside exploring the garden and backyard; watching the bunnies and lizards (Char had never seen one) and monarch butterflies and all the hummingbirds and other birds that live in the trees. One morning we checked the wildlife camera and saw a bobcat. That’s only happened one other time! Sharing my love for animals is high on the list of what I want my grandma legacy to be.
At the airport, “I miss you already, Grandma. Can we come back in two days, Mommy?” “Miss you, Grandma”, from Char.
Hugs and kisses all around.
Now it’s SO quiet. No children laughing, screaming, no one yelling at the top of his lungs from the highest point in the garden, “GRANDMA, CAN YOU SEE ME?”
Yup. I miss them already for sure, but they’ll be back in a few weeks so I need to REST up.
It’s been a while since I’ve shared conversational gold from Angel Boy 2.0.
He’s now reached five whole years around the sun; 1825 days.
When we were chatting about Daddy’s 40th birthday, he wanted to tell me something but it was too overwhelming for him to share, so he asked mom to tell me,
“YOU tell her.”
Sweet child. When he woke up that morning extra EARLY, he ran into mom and dad’s room and asked if it was too early to go down to the Grandma room and wake me up.
Mom said, “But Grandma’s not here, T.”
He was quite distraught.
Apparently he had been dreaming about seeing me and his dream was detailed and VERY REAL.
Emphatically, he said, “But you told me she would be here when I woke up!”
Like all lucid dreams, it takes a minute or two to separate what is real from what is speaking to us from our subconscious, even more difficult when you’re a little one.
For children, dreams can feel incredibly real. It’s a challenge for them to distinguish between what’s imagined and things that actually happened. Even if they can understand that the content of a dream was imaginary, the emotions felt during a dream are all very real.
“It was a dream, T, and sometimes a dream can seem very real.”
“What do you mean she’s not here! You TOLD ME!“
And then he ran downstairs to check and sure enough, the Grandma room was still Daddy’s home office.
He was genuinely sad to learn it was just a dream and I wasn’t there.
I’m sad, too, but our bonds of love are very strong and that makes me the luckiest Grandma in the world.
“Grandma, you should have seen this. Daddy catapulted himself from the cushion onto the sofa.”
“T, what was that big word?”
“Daddy CATAPULTED. You would not believe it.”
“I hope Daddy is OK! T, that is such a wonderful word, very descriptive, and I’m so proud of you for knowing it and for using it correctly in your sentence!”
“Now. Look. Feast your eyes on this, Grandma. It’s a new bench for the kitchen table. It’s nice, huh, Grandma?”
“Oh wait right here. I’m going to put you down and you can watch Mommy make dinner for a minute. I’m going into the Grandma room. I want to show you the present I have for you in our special drawer. It’s a surprise. It’s sparkly just like you like and it’s shiny.”
“Well, hold on. Let’s think about this. If it’s a surprise, do you want to wait until I’m there before you show me?”
“No, ‘cos you’ll forget by then.”
“But what if I don’t forget? What if I remember?”
“Oh, don’t worry little Grandma, you’ll forget.”
“Wow, it IS sparkly and shiny, you’re right about that!”
(It’s a Christmas tree decoration from last year, a shiny little silvery disco ball.)
“Don’t forget to put it back in the drawer so you can show me again.”
“And Grandma, don’t forget to bring me a surprise for the drawer too, OK? I’ll be at the airport to pick you up.”
“Do I EVER forget?”
(The answer is obvious. I never forget.)
As a side note, when he was out of the kitchen getting my present, I asked, “He seems to think my visit is imminent. What have you told him?”
“Don’t worry, imminent means something different to T. He doesn’t really have a good grasp of time.”
This is the sad plight of grandparent’s new reality…not to be able to hug and play with our angel boys and girls, and to miss the excitement of Daddy catapulting himself around the house.
Still, there’s always always something to be grateful for, right?