Tuesday, April 25, 2017

The Public Privy

It may please you to know that the public toilet situation for (Gran)ma and (grand)boys has improved some over the past thirty plus years.  There is now this awesome invention: family restrooms.  Where were they when I was agonizing over how old is too old to bring a man-child (accent on child) into the women's restroom?  Alas, though, they are still not universally available.

And so it was that last week when grandboy #4 (who coincidentally turned 4 the same week), announced that he had to go to the bathroom - the one located in the bookstore we were frequenting - the bookstore without a family restroom.  We were exactly 12 minutes into our adventure - and 15 minutes since Josiah last used the restroom, at least by his account.  Sigh...

But I know better than to ignore the bathroom request of a four-year-old.  I was also acutely aware that we should avoid the isles with toys and children's book while en route to our destination.  Apparently, the bookstore is well aware of the power of the gauntlet.  Those things that grandboy #4 missed in his ogling were pointed out by grandboy #3.  It was tough to keep them on task - a task of the utmost importance and urgency, or so I was led to believe.

When we finally arrived at the correct corridor, with empty hands (score one for Granma), Josiah headed into the first door - the one marked "MEN."  Aidan, thank you child, pointed out that Josiah was a boy, not a man and he couldn't go in that door.  Fortunately, he didn't apply the same logic when the three of us went in the door marked "WOMEN."  I take my wins were I can find them.

There was a slight delay in choosing the optimal stall - all three being empty and therefore subject to inspection.  Door number two it was.  While Josiah announced his every move, Aidan went straight to the sink.  "Look, Granma, a snowman!"  Indeed, a little melting pile of fluff rested in the palm of his hand.  Aren't automatic soap dispensers a marvelous invention?  Might be up for debate...  Next came the magic water dispensers that operate that the wave of a hand.  Followed by the similarly responding giver of paper towels - one for Aidan, one for Granma (who wasn't quite yet in need of Aidan's considerable consideration).

About this time, Josiah emerged from door number two, with Lightening McQueen encircling his slim hips, while his shorts, who would otherwise cloak the shy McQueen, circled his ankles.  "Josiah, you should pull your shorts up before coming out."  Back to the sink for another round of snowmen, magical waterfalls and Aidan's help with paper towels, this time both for Josiah and for the next person who happened into this enchanted room.  How kind...

In the end, it appears our side adventure was quite the success.  If you don't count the slight over spray from the sink, all liquids ended up in their appropriate vessels, as did the paper towels, with the exception of the one left hanging from the dispenser for convenience of the next guest. We continued on with our quest to find the perfect books for birthday boy and his brothers.

Note to self:  never believe a four year old who insists he "just went" before leaving on a quest.  "Just" is a relative term - but it's no relative of mine!  Next time, he will have to prove it!

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

What I Didn't Know

It has only been four years, but it feels like a lifetime.  Actually, it is a lifetime - yours, Josiah!  When you were born (Grandboys = 4, Grandgirlies = 0), I knew immediately that I loved you with my whole heart, yet oddly not diminishing in the least my love for your cousins and brother.  Love is a funny stretchy thing that way.  I was happy to be stretched!  Oh, how you have continued my education over your lifetime!

Maybe I should have suspected that you would follow your older brother around like the Pied Piper.  What is the point of older brothers if not to emulate them?  But how could I possibly foresee how you can grab onto one of his antics and take it to a whole new Josiah-level?  Anything Aidan can do, Josiah can do sillier.

Being the "older and wiser" between the two of us, I didn't know I was no match for "Josiah stubborn."  I didn't know that in a test of wills, I would always be the one to first cry "uncle" or some other such relative.  I had hoped, but really didn't think, that logic would be a deciding factor in such cases. Logic has no relevance when you lock into pure, unadulterated "you can't make me."  Thank you for your "gentile" guidance on how to compromise effectively when we are at odds.  First, seek to head off the loggerhead with humor if at all possible - it allows both of us a graceful exit.  Secondly, I will state my case firmly but eloquently to your defiant body language.  Third, I'm still bigger and stronger, and I know how to direct you to your bedroom.  Sixty to 120 seconds later, I will love you up in an effort at reconciliation.  And finally, I will allow you to decide the exact timing of the return to "situation normal," confident that our final destination will be marked with hugs and kisses.  Once again, love shows its stretchability as it covers all manner of divergent opinions.

No, you can't make me
pick up the shoe I just threw
across the room.
I think my favorite Josiah-discovery over your lifetime is your laugh.  Just when I'm about to caution you and your brothers against the slippery slope of too much silliness, you start with the belly laugh!  And it's all over!  All of us go slipping, sliding, giggling down the hill.  I know it may not end well, laughter too often ending in tears, but I cannot keep a straight face long enough to insist upon the needed decorum.

Happy brithday, Josiah!  I can't wait to see what you will teach me over the next years!  I love you bunches!

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Said No Kid Ever...

You don't have to be a Granma to know there are some things you will never hear from a kid.  You don't have to be a parent, either.  Every kids has a list of taboo statements.  And if they talked to another kid - any other kid - each would come away with a longer list.  And there would be no discussion.  Some things are just universally accepted.  There might be a shared laugh of agreement, but there would be discussion.

"I'm sorry you don't feel well.  I'll be good while you take a nap, Mom," said no kid ever.

"I want to do my homework before playing outside on this beautiful spring afternoon," said no kid ever.

"Yes, I hit by brother because I wanted his toy.  Please spank me now," said no kid ever.

"It's my birthday!  Do I have to open gifts?" said no kid ever.

"It's getting close to bedtime.  Can I go to bed now?" said Aidan last Sunday.

What!?!  Since when does a five year old want to go to bed early?  He's breaking a code or something!  That could have lifelong repercussions for an entire generation to come!  He might get a pass if he was sick or he had a 2 AM bedtime.  But, no, he was healthy and it was shortly before 8 PM.  This Granma had to seriously wonder what could make a child say such a thing, though of course, his parents acquiesced.

Aidan marched into the kitchen where I was talking with his parents, gave us all a kiss, handed his mom a small blue pillow with a slightly bulging pocket on the front, and headed for bed.  Aidan, you see, just lost his second tooth and had succumbed to the magic of the tooth fairy.  He wasn't looking forward to a dollar or five or whatever the going rate tends to be.  No, he was looking for a real payday - a Paw Patrol stuffed animal.  I understand the tooth fairy did not disappoint.

Did you know that the great white shark has rows and rows of teeth?  When one falls out, the next one is ready to fill it's spot.  Now, I'm not interested in a shark for a grandboy, but wouldn't that make bedtime a snap?  If, that is, you could find your way through all the stuffed animals to confiscate the tooth - a flaw in the plan.

I love you, Toothless!

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Pinterest to the Rescue?

Hello, my name is Granma, and I'm a Pinterest junkie...  There isn't anything you can't find there with a simple search.  While looking for quilt ideas, I found a paper bowl bird feeder (complete with Fruit Loop embellished hanging strings).  Searching for science experiments, I came across elephant toothpaste.  It's a whole website of dreams!  Someone dreamed it up and made it happen and put it online for the rest of us to peruse.  And when one believes in the dream and their ability to recreate said magical creation, go at it with gusto!  Sadly, some perfectly executed online dreams turn into our nightmares.  And when that happens, we are generally out a few art "supplies," but have gained a great story!  Sometimes, even when the dream works pleasantly enough, the story is still better than the final product.  Here's hoping that happens with today's blog...

Easter is coming, and so were the three eldest grandloves:  Bryce, Bella and Tyler.  Rainy weekend that it was, Easter egg coloring seemed a good idea.  Perhaps I should have stopped there, but, no, I proceeded to Pinterest.  Did you know you can color Easter eggs with shaving cream and food coloring?  In hindsight, I realize that half a good idea was just then gathering steam and rolling down the mountain at break-neck speed.  It did occur to me that if the Pin was a fail, I might need a plan B before an egg fight broke out in my dining room. The eggs were hard boiled, so the mess would not have been overwhelming.  Shaving cream, on the other hand....  I'm running ahead of myself.

Watchfully assuring that the shaving cream spout was aimed in the proper direction, ditto for the food coloring, and we were, I hoped, on our way to a successful pin!  To a base of shaving cream, we added drops of food coloring, lightly mixed by running a toothpick through the fluffy, gentlemanly-smelling whiteness.

Now to roll the egg in the prepared lather.  Not for the squeamish - not that anyone objected, mind you.  Upon successfully coating the eggs, the grandloves rolled their hands in the same mixture.  This picture of Bryce's fingers is just for show.  All thoughts of contemporaneous photo-documenting disappeared when the first, second and third set of goopy hands (fronts and backs) came bounding my direction.

The eggs rested in their lather for 10 or 15 minutes while hands were washed - and the table - and the sink - and Tyler's shirt (which miraculously came completely clean).  Tyler and Bella returned to Legos while Bryce and I considered how to get the goop off the eggs.  Half a roll of paper towels later, we had a beautiful bowl of Easter eggs!  We were all quite impressed with our success!  And just to prove our efforts were genuine, the grands took a bonus piece of the project home with them, safely embedded in their fingerprints and palms and nails.

Dear Pinterest, Might I suggest plastic gloves?  Unless, that is, Easter hands are now an "in" thing.  And next time we will try Cool-Whip rather than shaving cream, opting for improved smell and taste while still maintaining texture.  It might result in Easter mouths and noses to match our fingers.  We'll let you know - next year...