My two granddaughters, ages 6 and 4, came to play with me while their parents were out of town. The first ten minutes were splendid. No screaming, no urgent demands for gourmet food, and no poop on the dining table. Then all hell broke loose. Mr. Bill and the Waldorf doll opened the Crown Royal, the Potato Head cowboy seduced Ms. Carrot with chocolates and wine, and the runaway bunny ran away but his mommy didn’t care.
The parents were gone less than an hour before the playroom resembled the aftermath of a violent tornado, a chaotic cavalcade of cups and carving knives covered my kitchen floor, and a bag of reward treats mysteriously disappeared. I considered calling the airport to stop their airplane, but the older child had taken my phone, locked herself in the bathroom, and was downloading game apps while the younger girl climbed the plant stand to pull off and eat all the leaves from my prized Christmas cactus. I glanced at my watch: only five hours until bedtime. Could I endure?
We played for hours and made crafts, read books, and enjoyed a tea party with the teddy bears. After dinner, we all got soaked as I attempted to give them a bath. The evening ended with story time and rocking the little one. As they snuggled into bed, I turned on the lullaby channel on the Pandora station and expressed gratitude that no blood had been shed. Studley slipped me a glass of wine and we quietly celebrated. Day one, mission accomplished.
Over the next few days I followed my daughter’s two-page, detailed schedule with instructions for medicine dosages, organic and gluten-free foods, pre-school times, and where to catch the bus for elementary school. Occasionally I can follow directions so both children were fed, dressed, and transported to the appropriate places, giving me time to go home and stand in a hot shower until my eye stopped twitching.
By the fourth day, playtime was less structured, dessert came first, and I lost my daughter’s instructions. My activities probably wouldn’t be sanctioned by the local mommy clubs, but we laughed ourselves silly telling knock-knock jokes and staging antics with the toys. Who knew the Waldorf doll was such a scamp?
(Note to my daughter: None of this is true. Well, the part about poop on the dining table really happened, but the person involved and the table have been cleaned.)
By the end of our time together, we had listened to the theme song “Let it Go” from the Disney movie Frozen approximately 836 times. The song was more than three minutes long, so it provided the perfect bribe and distraction for combing through wet hair. That tactic was nicer than having them bite on pencils while I untangled the mess.
The parents returned and brought me fresh bread and fine wine from San Francisco. I really should reward them because it was a great time and I love those little girls with all my heart. Now the house is way too quiet, but I’ll adjust. So until next time, Pumpkin and Sweetie Pie, keep singing and don’t forget that Tutu has more stories to tell. You’ll never believe what those naughty teddy bears did today!
Today’s blog was fueled by a vibrant and luscious 2008 Black Tears Malbec from Argentina. At $90 a bottle, it should be saved for special occasions, such as when the house is quiet and you don’t have to wear pajamas. Join the wine club at Crush Wine Bar in Eagle and it’s only $60 a bottle. You’ll save $30 to help pay for shock therapy to get the Disney song out of your head!