Feb 21, 2009
Rest and Recovery from Three-year-old-itis
Whew. My three straight days of babysitting for 3 yr old Mr. B. are over, and as I've said before, there's a reason God invented menopause -- 'cuz us ol' ladies don't have the energy anymore to keep up with a 3 year old! But in no way take that as a complaint. I enjoyed every single second Mr. B and I had together. He is one amazing child. (A note: I've switched to calling him Mr. B because I'm getting Google searches here for his full name, and it makes me nervous. Previous posts explain why and I won't go into it today. When I have a few extra hours I may go through my entire blog and change references to his name and daughter's name. Sad sad sad.) Despite some very cold weather, we spent a lot of our time outside. If a three year old can have an addiction, Mr. B's is to his tricycle. We live on a cul-de-sac and have a driveway that runs slightly downhill into the road -- almost no traffic on the road -- and this is all fodder for the perfect tricycle riding experience, even in 21 degrees. Luckily, I can swaddle a kid in scarves and hats and mittens and long johns with the best of 'em. We even put mittens on the metal handlebars of his tricycle when his hands got too cold. Yesterday was a big day for Mr. B. He's been asking to see where Jeff works, so yesterday was the day. We both needed to get out of the house for awhile, so first we went to the local dollar store for a little shopping therapy. I gave Mr. B one dollar (earned from all his help with my To Do Lists over the three days he was here) and told him he could pick whatever he wanted from the store. He looked at cars and coloring books and stickers and organizing baskets and kitchen utensils and balloons -- and settled on a package of 3 small pinwheels. LOL. The trip through the store took extra time because this week we started learning to write the alphabet, and the letter A has apparently made quite an impression on him, and he needed to stop and read almost every package in the store to show me where the letter A was. An interesting incident happened at the store. Mr. B didn't want to ride in the cart, so I agreed, but firmly stated that he was to stay with me at all times and if he didn't comply with that, then he'd be in the cart. At one point, he wanted to push the cart and I told him the aisles were too narrow and he'd bump into things. He persisted. At the top of one aisle, he grabbed the cart when my back was turned and pushed it down the aisle -- running straight into a display of plastic flower that came tumbling down. He got upset and said, "I want to sit in the cart, Umma." I put him in it, and then turned around and wheeled us to where I'd previously seen a store employee working. I told the employee that our cart had brushed up against the flower display and knocked it down, and I apologized for the extra work it would cause. The employee thanked me and said, "No problem. I'll take care of it." As we wheeled away, Mr. B. said, "What did you say, Umma?" and I repeated it. I said that the store man wasn't mad because we went to him and told him what happened, and apologized. That was called "being honest". I said everyone makes mistakes, but when that happens you need to "be honest" about it and say you're sorry. Mr. B. took it all in with a serious little look on his face, and said, "I'm sorry I pushed the cart, Umma." I thanked him for being honest with me and gave him a big hug. Life Lesson #320 in place. That is exactly what grandparenting means to me. Then we headed to "Umpa's" work place. It is a rather high security site, and we can only get as far as an outside parking lot, but Mr. B got to see a lot of buildings, a guard shack, a gate, and a water tower with the initials of the company, so he was happy. When he saw his Umpa walk out of the guard shack pedestrian gate, he actually shook with joy. It was so cute. The three of us went to Cracker Barrel for lunch. Jeff and I had decided ahead of time that if chicken nuggets were on the menu, we weren't going to mention them, and try and get Mr. B to choose something else -- and he did! A grilled cheese sandwich and steak fries. Woo Hoo! I will say this little guy was absolutely well-behaved during the entire restaurant thing. He didn't spill anything, he didn't yell, he didn't turn around and stare at other people (I always tell him, it's OK to look at other people, but you can't stare at them unless you say hello.), he didn't run up and down the aisles, he didn't stand in his chair, he didn't fidget. I was very proud of him and told him so as we left the restaurant. We will definitely "do lunch" again! While he was here for three days, besides lunch and shopping at the dollar store, we did puzzles, read books, listened (and danced!) to music, played musical instruments (thanks Uncle Jeff and Aunt Lisa!), and did some sewing on the sewing machine. We also got out some alphabet beads I have leftover from a craft project, and I made a "needle" from a pipe cleaner, added yarn, and let him string beads. The only bead he wanted to string was the "A" bead. He found beads with little hearts on them and asked me what they were. I said "That's a heart. It means 'I love you'". So every time he found a little heart bead, he'd hand it to me and say, "Here, Umma, this is for you. I love you." Altogether... awwwwwwww.... I am behind on everything - housework, swaps, quilting, you name it. And you know what? The benefit of being a grandmother is -- I don't care. I know I will catch up, and I know those precious days with my grandson were far more important in the great scheme of things than how clean my kitchen floor is or the chaos in my family room or in the fact a swap partner will get a swap one day later than planned. I will give any of those things up in a heart beat in exchange for three days of hugs and kisses, giggles and grins, jokes and pranks, and sweet cuddle time with my favorite little boy in the entire world.