Granny’s house is where it’s at

I lay prostrate on my bed. Withered by the events of the day, I read from “The Book of Ages” in hopes of regenerating myself by living vicariously through the lives of others my age.
“Pffft.” Big mistake.
According to the book of miscellany by Eric Hanson, at the age of 51 the late Fred Astaire was kicking up dust on the dance floor with Jane Powell in the musical “Royal Wedding.”
In the movie, he also danced on the ceiling, and danced with dumbbells, a coat rack, a framed photograph, and a chandelier.
In my neck of the woods, I needed three tablespoons of pure white sugar and a cup of strong coffee to get my carcass off the bed and over to the closet to get my housecoat.
I am 51 years old and worn out by a mere over-nighter with my 18-month-old grandson.
How did I ever manage to raise three children all those years ago? Oh yes, I forgot. I had girls.
Taking care of this little jalapeno is akin to nailing Jell-O to a tree. He has enough spitfire to be his own billiard game.
On Friday at 5 p.m., I walked through the door with the little gaffer and his overnight bag, let Charlie out of my arms, and “BLAMMO!” he scattered in 15 different directions at once.
I never stopped chasing Charlie for the next three hours. My arms and legs moved independently of my brain, which wandered adrift in nursery rhymes that some chump had written centuries ago about little boys being made of puppy-dog tails and snails.
No sir. Little boys are made of Mexican jumping beans, monkeys, red squirrels, elastic bands, and slingshots.
I was reminded again why, all those years ago, my baby brother habitually was encapsulated in a large, locked playpen. Mind you, now he has a strange attraction to skeleton keys—but that’s another story.
How did I ever manage to raise my own children with going mad? Oh yes, I forgot. I had girls.
If I wasn’t blocking Charlie’s finger poke shots at the plastic insulation on my windows, I was running defence for the blinking lights on my Apple TV monitor and DVD player, both of which I found rearranged on different shelves of my entertainment unit when I raced back to the living room after a lightning-fast trip to the bathroom.
At snack time, I thought I had a reprieve of sorts when I gave Charlie a little dish of Cheerios and raisins. He toddled off to the couch to watch a television episode of “Max and Ruby.”
In a few minutes, he came back to me at the kitchen sink, where I was inhaling the last piece of Christmas chocolate, and asked for more “Some?”
I smiled and motioned for the little dish from his hand. He looked up at me and three raisins fell out of his right nostril.
The rest of his snack was divided between the couch cushions and the front of his pants.
When I put him to bed at 8:30 that night, I’m not sure who was more pooped out—he or I. I snuck around on tiptoe until I was sure he was asleep and then jumped into a shower hot enough to cook a bird and then stayed up too late eating potato chips and watching mindless television.
A 3 a.m., my sleeping skeleton was stirred from a dream date with George Clooney by the cries of my small fry. I opened the door to Charlie’s room and was hit by the smelling salts of a fermented gift that had leaked well beyond the elastic legs of his diaper.
At 8 a.m. when Charlie’s rejuvenated and audible spirit had roused both dogs and the cat into a spat, I opened one eyelid to the piercing reality of the morning.
“I feel like I have been dragged down the street by two Great Danes,” I mumbled out loud. Hugh Jackman had said that in a television interview. Uh huh. I understood the feeling.
But—and this is a big but—the monkey, chipmunk, red squirrel, and jumping bean, as well as the busy, busy havoc of my little jalapeno pepper and his 3 a.m. poopy diaper, are trumped by the look on the little boy’s face when I open the door to his room and he stands there with his stuffed animal in his crib.
His face lights up and so does mine.
Grandmothers are important in the life of child (and grandfathers, too). My Grandma taught me that—and it’s why I’ll do this again and again.

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