Monday, June 23, 2008

Life as a Grandma

Well, I was just sitting down to go over bills this morning when the phone rang. I just barely glanced at the name and number and it said Kennewick General Hospital. I answered it immediately and it was Lisa. "What are you doing at Kennewick General?" I ask.

Pointless I know. What else would she be doing at the Hospital?

Of course it was our sweet baby girl Elisabeth. Elisabeth, as I'm sure most of my readers know has several, severe and life threatening conditions. The most recent is Infantile Spasms. It's funny how such a serious and life threatening condition should have such a harmless almost banal sounding name. This simple sounding, deadly acting condition causes her to have clusters of spasms throughout the day. Tiny looking little spasms that if you didn't know what to look for you might not even notice. The problem with these nasty, sneaky, little spasms is that each one kills off a little bit of her brain each time she has one. I'm not going into anymore detail because it is redundant for most of you that know about Elisabeth and for anyone who is interested go to my link to Lisa's blog here on this page.

Okay, now to get to my main reason for this post.

Lisa had been at the hospital for quite a while and my dear little granddaughters Alexandra (Lex) and Lorelai (Lori) were climbing the curtains (fortunately not the walls.........Yet.) Lisa told me that the girls wanted Grandma to come get them and take them away from it all.

A cry for help!

Suddenly I turn into SUPER GRANDMA!!!! Super Grandma; able to leap into her van within ten to fifteen minutes of a call for help. (Hey, I had to find my sandals, and I hadn't brushed my
teeth yet, my mouth was feeling really grotty, and my glasses were really messy and needed cleaning. The point is I got there within probably 25 minutes.)
So I find a place to park (an undertaking not for the faint of heart). I go into the emergency department, and since Lisa is pretty well known there by now, I get to go back to see them with only the bare minimum of red tape.

Lex and Lori are SOOO happy to see me.

I like to think that this is all due to a bad case of "Grandma Love" and of course it is..... partially. But to be honest , I do understand a certain "Emergency Room Fever" that comes from being stuck in a small curtain enclosed room for an hour or more, while waiting for a doctor or even a nurse (sometimes I think even a cleaning lady would be a nice and welcome reprieve) to come in and eventually tell you to GO HOME.

So yes the girls were happy to see me. I can't say for sure but I think Lisa was pretty relieved as well.
They were also mighty pleased to be going to my house because they know that their two cousins, my too oldest granddaughters who are staying with me for almost two weeks, will be there. They love their cousins and for the most part they usually all get along very well.

Now of course they wanted their cousins more than they wanted grandma. So much for the whole "Grandma love" business.

Abbey and Lindsay were gone when I left to go to the Hospital. And No. No matter how that might sound, I was not being irresponsible and misplacing grandchildren. No they were simply down the street playing with friends. And since I did NOT want to show up at the hospital with a posse I left them where they were. Oh, I just realized that this might still sound bad. Not to worry, not to worry. Kelly; my still lives at home at 26, (yeah I know. 26?. But he does have many redeeming qualities. I swear!) well, Kelly was home, as was Shawn, so I figure that amounts to almost as much responsibility as one grandma.

The girls and I get home. They want to go play with their cousins. I tell them I'm not sure where cousins are. Then of course to make it look like I have NO idea what I am talking about Who should pop up? The cousins of course.

Lorelai is hungry. Alexandra is hungry. Abbey and Lindsay, not so hungry. But now that I mention it to them, they suddenly decide that while, maybe not exactly hungry, they do want to know what kind of foodstuffs I might be offering.

Oh I should also mention that Abbey and her nice little friend Summer, from down the street, are out on my patio playing with BRATZ DOLLS.

Yeah I know.

First time ever that I'm sure Abbey has even seen one that's not still in it's package at the store.

Nyuh, I try not to judge.

Now Abbey will be ten in a little over a month. The significance of this is that she fancies herself almost a teenager. That is code for "Grandma, can you make Lindsay go away and leave me and Summer alone. (Not little cousins, of course. They still have enough of a cuteness factor as to make one envied by one's peers) . Now I am pretty experienced in how to diffuse this situation. I simply take Lex and Lori away from Abbey (who in my opinion doesn't deserve the attention they are bringing) and give them to Lindsay. "Lindsay" I say "will you please go and wash your hands and make sure the girls wash theirs too."

Don't get me wrong. Lindsay isn't always that thrilled about supervising the washing of hands. BUT if it means that she is the one to be in charge of the little girls, and if it means that Abbey isn't. Well I'm sure you can figure the outcome for yourself.

Last night (well every Sunday night really) Donald and Lisa came over for dinner. Now I had seen the picture of Donald making Chicken Kabobs on the grill on Lisa's blog. I figured why not?

So I made my first ever Chicken Kabobs last night......... To mixed reviews I must add, to be completely honest.

Lorelai is not a fan of anything on a Bob.

So when Lex and Lindsay see all the leftover bamboo skewers they decide that lunch will not be complete without Cheese, Red Grape and Apple-slice kabobs. With (A.) peanut butter- ritz crackers for Alexandra and, (B.) half a peanut butter and jam sandwich for Linds.

Lorelai, of course, wants nothing to do at all with anything on a bob so to make her happy I just put all her cut up stuff on a small hefty foam plate.

The ever so grown up Abbey hears all this activity and simply must come in to see what we are up to. And since I can still (believe it or not) remember being almost ten and having a friend over and wanting to impress that friend, I offer to make some kabobs for her and Summer as well. But, I tell her, I am going to make the little girl's theirs first.

Abbey is very content with this condition, I think, letting her categorize Lindsay as one of the LITTLE girls is enough to placate her.

Well, "Three Little Girls" head out to the patio to eat their lunch. And before even a minute is up (and much to my NON-surprise) Three Little Girls, come right back in to inform me that NOW Lorelai wants her little cut-up tidbits on a kabob.

SUPER GRANDMA to the rescue again.

With amazing speed and dexterity SUPER GRANDMA makes short work of kabobbing Lori's little bits of this and thats.

Lori is now happy. And Three Little Girls head back outside to eat their lunch.

After lunch they decide that a bit of wagon pulling will be a fun activity. Last year for Father's Day. All my kids got together and bought Dear old Dad (my husband Don) a nice big red wagon with the wooden slats all around. Kind of like the wagon world's equivalent of the old Woody Station Wagons. He uses this for transporting plants and dirt and wood, or anything else that he wants to carry from point A to point B. The thing that has made this wagon such a hit with our grandkids are,


Oh yes, they love to be pulled in the wagon by grandpa. And it didn't take long for them to figure out that they can also pull each other in the wagon. AND, after all the fights are over about who will pull who, they usually have lots of fun. So about twenty minutes today was devoted to wagon rides. Every possible combination of who pulling who was tried out. I think that little three year old Lori even got her way when she insisted on pulling everyone else. I'm sure that was probably the shortest of all the rides, but can you think of a better way to shut a three year old up?

So cousins had been greeted, lunch had been planned and eaten, fights had been neutralized, wagon rides had been had. All in all a pretty good afternoon. And, just before Lex and Lori could start to think, "where is Mamma?"

Mamma showed up with baby Elisabeth.

All in all a very good reason to be a Grandma!


Jan said...

They are all lucky to have you Susan. They really do need you right now. The kids and the grandkids. You are super Grandma to the rescue in so many ways.

Glad it was all worked out. I can't wait to be a Grandmother. I hope to be as cool and as willing as you are. I hope everything is okay with Elisabeth. Bless her heart and everyone around her involved. Take Care.. Jam

Mike Brinkerhoff said...

Nice story Sue! You make having kids that young ALMOST sound appealing again... Oh sure, Cindy and I will see little girls and think "wouldn't they be sweet to have?" but then I am reminded of the nerotic antics of three year olds, and I am SO glad that our youngest is ten!!

Thanks for an enlightening post!

Lisa said...

SUPER GRANDMA indeed!!! I am SOOOOO grateful that you came to the hospital (unbrushed teeth and all) to retrieve my little ones. It sounds like they had the perfect time at Grandma's house.
Susan, you are a gem!

So did they give you a wagon ride??

debsters said...

You are an angel to drop everything, including your tooth brush, and rush to help.

I'm going to start serving everything my kids eat on a Bob. Maybe the boys will find some items a little more appealing that way.

Amy J. said...

It really is awesome that Lisa feelis she can count on you. I still can't believe you are actually a Grandma! (But then Grandma's are constantly getting younger every year.) I love your journaling, you tell a very entertaining and vivid story!

Cindy Brinkerhoff said...

I loved reading this! It made me remember back to my "cousin playdate days" and how much mischief we would get into. You are a super g'ma! Please give all those girls,little or big,hugs for me :)

My Three Sons said...

What a great Grandma you are! I know how comforting it was for me, when our little Joseph was in and out of the hospital, to know that my kids were with my Mom. What a blessing you Grandmas are! Our prayers are with Elisabeth and your family! I also had to laugh, because grapes, apples and peanut butter crackers are definitely staples at our house too!

Anonymous said...

Wow, I don't really know you but it sounds like Super Grandma is an understatement.
It's so great you can help out in a minutes notice. What a blessing!

The Donald said...

Way to go Mom, you saved the day! Lisa couldn't have done yesterday without you.

And for the kabobs, I think you should try them again, but give me something to baste them with while they are a grillin'.

tharker said...

You are one awesome Grandma!

Stephanie said...

You are a wonderful grandma. My own mother believed that Grandmothers were for buying things and not for babysitting. Oh, the wonderful times she missed out on.
I love being grandma. Although so far I am grandmother to only one.
I have been following your blog. I am sorry I did not introduce myself.
Your heart strings may be as mine since we both have adult children who have special needs. Everyone loves my Elisabeth. She is a sweet girl. However her peers do not call or associate with her in activities. It does not bother her ,i might add ,just me her mother.
Any insights?

Alicia said...

I'm glad your granddaughters have such a fun makes all the difference in life!

Anonymous said...

BTW, I was meaning to ask you how long you've lived in Kennewick? I know a family that used to live there, (it's a yucky long story)

KaTrina said...

We used to have a wagon when I was a little kid, and we'd take turns pulling each other back and forth too. I think thats something kids of all generations will never get tired of.