Life keeps me on my toes

It’s been 11 weeks since I’ve seen my husband and I’ve probably got three weeks more to go before he gets home for the holidays.
I daydream about seeing him get off the airplane, though I’m not sure what I’ll think about the dreadlocks he writes home about these days.
I daydream about Peter spotting me in the crowd of two people who’ll be waiting for loved ones inside the airport terminal building here—and wonder if he’ll recognize me up close now that he’s lost his glasses.
He always claimed he could pick me out a crowd of women with his eyes shut. For the longest time I thought that was such a romantic gesture on his part—until I realized he’d have to use his hands to figure out which one was me.
In early September, I’d anticipated my impending alone time would take some getting used to. In fact, it only took about three days. And I still can’t believe how fast the time has gone.
I decided back then to go full bore into my “INTJ” mode (that’s introvert- intuitive-thinker-judger mode from for those of you who haven’t been reading my column in the last few months).
I thought first (sometimes for days), then acted, focused on one thing at a time, trusted my gut, and thought about future implications.
Surprisingly enough, the days dripped slowly on the page only about 90 minutes total during the last 11 weeks. And when the “slo-mo’s” hit, I soaked them up researching my family history and re-arranging the furniture and wall art in my living room.
Unfortunately, I could not be convinced by rational arguments because I had no one to argue with, save a dog or two, and they were not remotely interested in anything sensible. But I did finish my projects and found much comfort in schedules.
On two occasions I went to the big city and fell in love with shopping by myself for myself.
I also learned that when you think something is too good to be true, it probably is—and it comes with a $300 parking ticket if you assume it’s your lucky day to get the parking spot right outside the restaurant door in downtown Thunder Bay.
Yes, I checked for signs and, no, I didn’t see the little sign hidden behind the lunch crowd mulling in front of it that said, “Handicapped Parking Only.”
However, thanks to the power of deduction and a parking authority employee who was in a very good mood, I managed to get my fine knocked down to $100 for my stupidity that afternoon.
And back here at home when I needed a break from myself, all I had to do was invite some of my little grandchildren to come and stay with me. Now there’s a surefire cure for a magnificent case of the Dwindles!
As I have reiterated before, there’s something to be said for spontaneity—for just letting go and letting life have its way with you. And when life alone makes Beth a dull girl, that’s where the grandchildren are the kicker. They are possessed with the all-over-the-place essence of “Yukon Cornelius” from the movie classic “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer,” just like their Grampa Peter is.
Though I must admit defeat nowadays.
I can’t believe I survived raising three kids of my own! Where did I find the energy and the co-ordination to feed them, wash them, dress them, and not lose them? These superpowers are a challenge to find today in Granny’s magic bag.
As recently as Saturday, during a cookie-making event with my grandson, Adam, I forgot to add the peanut butter to the peanut butter cookie dough recipe because I was preoccupied with trying to name each kitchen utensil Adam was pulling out of the utensil drawer while at the same time answering his 20 questions that included where I’d bought each one.
“What is this called, Granny? Where did you buy this, Granny? Why are you doing that, Granny? Why Granny, why Granny, why?”
Never answer a three-year-old’s “Why” question with “Because.”
“Why because?” just starts the whole process over again.
And the taste of baby food has not changed in more than 20 years. It’s still gross.
I’d accidentally ripped off the food label from a jar of the stuff before feeding Adam’s eight-month-old sister, Julie, who was poised like a baby bird with her mouth open and at the ready, and had to do a taste test of my own to figure out if it was pureed beef or fruit.
I’m still not sure what it was, but she ate it.
Adam was in the living room at the time and I thought was absorbed in watching ‘The Adventures of Toopy and Binoo.” When I looked in on him, sure enough there he was watching television—and jamming pieces of Kleenex up his nose.
As I was picking out Adam’s nostrils with one hand and feeding Julie with the other, I suddenly was reminded of my brother, Jay, who as a little boy shoved pussy willows up his nose and which went undiscovered for some days until they started to ferment.
My other grandson, Ben, who is just shy of being a one-year-old and who can crawl across a football field in 20 seconds flat, was, to my relief, still at home with his parents.
And thankfully, Adam waited until he got to his own house before he decided to shove a big wad of pink bubblegum up his nose and drink food colouring.

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