Friday, January 15, 2016

Lessons from Yesteryear

Grampa W. overseeing E at the bus stop.
      At this time last week we were hip-deep in another, long-forgotten world.
It was the land of lunch money, homework, and negotiations over protein. It’s been a long time since I’ve done the morning scramble to get everyone on their way, complete with everything they’ll need for the day, and in a positive frame of mind.

          We were in New Jersey with the three grandboys( aka the EGGS based on their intials) while their parents were enjoying the fruits of a business trip in Puerto Rico.

    It was an eye-opener in some ways, probably a good thing since a recurring theme of the trip for me was sleep deprivation. I re-learned some forgotten lessons. 
Nifty Star Wars alarm

1.On Friday at 6:45, a 6 year-old will refuse to get up and will burrow under his quilt faster than a mole pursued by the family cat.

On Saturday at 6:00, that same child will snuggle cozily into bed with you, wide-eyed and bushy-tailed, asking, “Is it morning yet?”

2. Don’t dismiss genetics. The daughter who used to entertain the neighborhood by lining them up in front of the couch to carry on a conversation with her sleeping father now has a 13 year-old son who at 3 a.m. also talks full-volume in his sleep. 

3. Fashion over function. It might have been twenty-eight degrees out, but middle school bus stop style demands no coat, and preferably, shorts instead of long pants.

I couldn’t help but think about the irony of all those coat drives at the inner-city school where I taught. Teachers are worrying about their students who appear in nothing but a sweatshirt, while all those parkas from Lands End hang unused in suburban coat closets. 
Puzzles after 1st grade math homework

Remember book reports?

   We also received valuable tribal knowledge:

          6 year-old E explained the universal remote to the TV.

          11 year-old G minor provided the code to the garage.

          13 year-old G major demonstrated how to herd the cats into the basement at night.

          By Sunday night, the parental units were back safe and sound, and W and I were back in Retirement Land, where TV shows are unmonitored and bedtimes are welcomed. 

          And yet, there I was, out to lunch this week with my writing group, and while scouting through my purse for glasses to read the menu, what did I find but a well-traveled tangerine stockpiled for a hungry 6-year-old grandson.


  1. I do not miss getting my daughter ready for school, it was war every day. I don't miss me getting ready to go teach, that was even worse.

  2. Love this. These memories are so good to write about because I think we forget the chaos and fun when we have to take care of them.

  3. Parenting always fills me with awe. I didn't go down that path, and the more I learn the more I am pretty certain it is not a job I could have done well.

  4. My granddaughters get themselves up, dressed, fed and on the bus by 6-20 every morning. They have done this for four years, since the little one was ten. You see why I love them.

  5. This is so funny, and so true! I have a grandson who never wore a coat. It worried me to death. I wonder, now that he is 27, if he wears a coat when it's freezing outside.

  6. We need this jolt once in a while . Kids give us a dose of reality even if we don't want it. I like my neighborhood kids.

  7. Two years ago I 'volunteered' to take care of my then nearly four granddaughter for a weekend so my daughter and then son in law could go to a conference. By the end of the first day I was in a coma, and it didn't end until they came back the next evening. I never realized how out of it and out of the necessary whatever I was...

  8. I remember those 'get the kids off to school' days and years later when staying at my daughters house for a few weeks I helped out with getting her two off each morning, with one difference, I had to walk to the school in the afternoon and walk them home again. They were picked up by a neighbour in the mornings. What really pleased me was seeing the 'night before/morning' routine that I'd done with my kids was replicated almost exactly all those years later with my grandkids.

  9. when my youngest graduated from high school, my alarm clock went off and never came back on. fortunately, I've only once had to get my grandkids up and delivered to school on time and they were on their best behavior for me. everybody got up when woken and were ready to go with their stuff at the right time. even the youngest who usually has to be dragged out of bed.

  10. That was funny. Sometimes it is good to relive our old responsibilities to appreciate the lack of them today. Ahhh.

  11. I loved this post. I hope you are catching up on sleep now. :-)

    Greetings from London.

  12. I can't decide it's lovely or depressing that boys across the world are playing with the exact same stuff. My youngest has been newly given a Star Wars jigsaw puzzle, a Minions alarm clock and a Spiderman T-shirt. And we're halfway across the world.

    1. The power of marketing. I'm with you: endearing or scary?

  13. Hi to you, I'm visiting from Patti's blog. I can relate to all you've written. After staying with the grands for a few days, I'm ready to return to the calm and predictable schedule of my own home. I love them, but after a few days, I'm ready to hand them back!


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