Grandparents who just read the title of this post are already smiling. They know exactly what I’m talking about.
Last summer Annie and I took a week off from work so that a couple of our granddaughters could stay with us. For some reason, I chose that week to come down with one of my periodic sinus infections. I was so sick that I couldn’t force myself to get out of my recliner several days.
One of those times Annie and the girls came in the house after a cool swim in our inflatable wading pool and the girls immediately commandeered the TV. It quickly went from The World’s Strongest Man Contest to Scooby Doo.
Three year old Ally climbed into a chair and wrapped up. Five year old Addy flopped on the floor right underneath the set. I knew both girls would be asleep in minutes and the floor would be too cold for a little-one to sleep on.
I asked, “Addy, want to share Pa’s chair?”
“No, Pa. I don’t want to,” she responded, without looking at me. I could imagine the gears turning in her mischievous little blonde head. She stopped and turned to look at me with laughing blue eyes. “I’m just kidding. I want to sit with you, Pa.”
Addy climbed up into the chair and nestled in the crook of my left arm. I adjusted the blanket over us and she raised her head to look into my eyes. “I love you, Pa,” she said.
“I love you, too, Sweetheart,” I said, giving her a gentle hug.
Addy snuggled closer to me and was asleep in seconds. She must have been pretty tired and very comfortable because she didn’t move again for nearly an hour.
My arm didn’t last that long. A few minutes after Addy passed out I felt a tingling, then numbness. Numb, yes, but not comfortable. My arm begged for me to move it, to get some circulation back into it, but no force on earth could make me risk awakening my little angel.
Sleep for grownups was in short supply that week.
The day started before the girls got up as Annie made breakfast.
Before long, two little cuties walked quietly into the room, rubbing sleepy eyes and wearing impossibly tangled hair. Eggs the girls and I had gathered the day before were served up, along with sausage, orange juice, cereal, milk, cinnamon rolls, and toast, but only a little of each. Very little. There was plenty left over for the dogs. Plenty. Lots. I think the pups gained weight on what two tiny, little girls didn’t eat for breakfast.
Then it was time for tea parties on the front porch and swinging in the porch swing. We tried to watch the hummingbirds but the girls wouldn’t hold still long enough for the tiny birds to feel safe and perch for a sip. They’d zip by just as Addy or Ally ran past or yelled out, “There’s a hummybird!”
There were walks in the woods and playing in the dirt of the field road. We played in the yard. We blew bubbles. We danced in the sprinkler. We drew on the carport concrete with sidewalk chalk. We played dolls. Yes, I did. Sometimes we’d play farmer or cars. I preferred those.
We visited the barn to pet our sweet one-eyed cat, Mistletoe.
On a trip to the Bootheel Youth Museum we played on the tractor and the fire truck. The girls stood in the bubble machine that made a giant bubble around them. They posed in front of the light wall that recorded their shadows when a strobe flashed. They performed on the stage in front of the tiny auditorium. We explored the log cabin and the Native American lodge. And that was just the first half hour. We spent a long day there and Granny, Pa, and Uncle Patrick were completely worn out well before we left.
We drove to the little zoo in Cape Girardeau and had a ball. We fed the parakeets and laughed when they perched on our hands. We bought food to entice the little deer, goats, pigs, rabbits, and other animals, to try to get them in close for a pat. The girls dreamed of which animals they would like to take home with them. Nobody wanted the python, until I said I felt sorry for him.
Back on the farm we spent a lot of time playing on the swing set I had built for them. We were pirates, monkeys, and astronauts on the little deck at one end of the swings.
“Run! The monster will get you!” they’d squeal as they slid down the slide attached to one corner. They’d scream and run, giggling, giggling, giggling.
I admit I look a little like a monster, but this monster only wanted a quick hug and smooch after tickling his prey. More giggles.
Little girl giggles are the most beautiful sound in the world…next to, “I love you, Pa.”
The typical hot, muggy Southeast Missouri summer made the little swimming pool on the big deck the favorite spot for all…by far. Whales and sharks and seals hopped out for a popsicle, then hopped back in. A pool that was just big enough for three or four kiddos to play in somehow managed to hold two little girls, a skinny nineteen year old uncle, and a couple not-so-skinny grandparents. Besides all of us, there was an assortment of absolutely necessary toys – boats, squirt guns, and of course, rubber duckies.
Jump out, dry off, and jump back in, still wearing the towel.
The day wore on and Pa built a fire in the fire pit that shared the big deck with the pool. The girls warmed up by the fire as Grannie Annie went to the house for water, chips, hotdogs and s’mores. S’MORES! And more s’mores.
The dogs were allowed on the deck to clean up any food that was accidentally dropped…and not so accidentally.
Uncle Patrick tried to show the girls how to search the heavens through his telescope. One of them found little green men waving at them. I think it was Patrick but the others saw them too, and waved back.
We made our way to the house through the gauntlet of playful dogs as the sun set lower. Inside, Grannie and the girls went to the bathtub where there was way more fun than we ever allowed their fathers to have at bath time. Drying off was a challenge, as was putting on PJs.
“Only one foot in each leg, girls.”
With bodies cleaned, PJs on, and hair brushed, it was time for some more Scooby Doo. Grannie then took them to the bed she shared with them and read to them as they drifted off to dreamland…all of them.
That week flew by and it was soon time to take the girls back to their parents. Too soon. After dropping them off Annie and I enjoyed the quiet in the van…for about five minutes. Then we were lonely.
We missed our girls so-o-o-o much.
But there was no time to rest. The grandsons would be coming for their week with us soon.
We couldn’t wait.
Be sure to let the below video load completely. It’s worth it.
As of now, this video contains all seven of our grandkids. Another is due right now!