A little glue

Your mommy is doing some drawing of characters I wrote about in my story, The Cottage Garden Book Burrow.  Everyday she brings more versions.  Everyday you show them to me.  You seem so proud of her. I love this for you two.  She is working. Working to interpret these characters.  Thinking, engaged, trying and re-working and coming back for more.  It’s all good.  It’s possible that this is the glue we need between us.

Hey, buddy.  Today your teachers told me that you were hit by another child at school.  After they spoke about the incident with both of you the teacher asked Is there anything you’d like from Nathan before we go back to play?  Yes, you said, I want him to sing Twinkle Twinkle Little Star to me.  And he did.

On the way to school we saw a Heron hunting in John’s pasture.  How come that’s not a turkey, you asked.  Because it’s a heron, I answered.  It has a pointy beak, you noticed.  How come its standing there like that?  I answered, The heron flew down from the tall trees to hunt for gophers and moles.  It pokes its beak down the hole and catches one. It likes to eat gopher meat? you asked.  I don’t eat gopher meat. I don’t have a beak. We drove for a while.  Grandma, I’m a heron.  But I eat plants.  Because I have lips, I can’t eat gopher meat. I just eat food. I have really big wings and run and fly.

You do.  I thought.

Your daddy will have surgery on Friday.  His hernia is about to rupture and has to be repaired.  You told me he has a boo boo tummy.  He will still have a boo boo for a few weeks. And while I am working in Sacramento Grammie will take you to school and pick you up.  She will pick up Daddy from the hospital, too.  Friday is your last day before a month vacation. Daddy will need rest.  He’ll have to be careful for a while.  You can help keep Ellie busy so she doesn’t climb on him. We’ll both keep her busy.  I’ll help.

Okay, buddy.  I’m going back to work.  See you on Saturday. Tell daddy to remember the vasectomy, tell him.  Twinkle Twinkle, flap flap  love gma

Golden State Advantage

Oh my gosh!  I returned the found food card this morning only to find it just minutes ago on the road again.  Tell mommy to give it to you for safekeeping.  You’d keep better track of it at age 3!  Why not give her a wallet?  A purse? I did, but maybe they fell to the road, too.  That was last year.  I give up.  (no, I don’t) gma

Laundry canary

Last night we made pizzas.  Not my favorite choice, but you made pizza at your school or someplace on English muffins and asked to make it at my house. I went to Trader Joe’s and got their bagged dough glop (2, just in case) and collected cheeses, bell pepper (red is our favorite), mushrooms and salami (but I got a hot spicy kind and we didn’t use it). It was easy and fun.  You could do every bit of the process and were so proud and competent-washing and cutting mushrooms, grating cheese, de-seeding and slicing the bell pepper, flattening and stretching the dough, spooning and spreading sauce and then laying out all the parts. What fun!  I called daddy and mommy to bring toppings they wanted and make one too.  We had a pizza party.  (Grandpa is out of town)

All of us have good times.  Mommy and daddy are relaxed after their tax return finally arrived and they somehow seem smarter.  Well, they access their smartness more often, I should say.  Worry masks our best selves. A little ship came in with food and cash.  No bank would let mommy and daddy open an account because of some black list and so I helped with liquidating their ck.  They got food stamps, too.  But there’s no “stamp” about it anymore. The credit is put monthly (after eligibility re-determination) on a card that they use like “credit” at the grocer.  They came in holding it and gleeful.  We can eat! You looked confused. They chanted, “Mickey in the night kitchen” style.  “Food in the cupboard,  food on the shelf.  We make food and nothings the matter.” Then last night walking late to feed the horses, flashlight in hand, I found the valuable and special card laying in the dirt alongside the driveway.

“Oh, I must have left it on top of the car!” mommy explained.

Today is laundry day.  I dread this day, buddy.  But its good that we designated a day for mommy and daddy to accomplish the task.  With them its very different than my laundry routine and I have to hold my tongue. They leave dirty clothes outside the tent, the piles fill with tree droppings, millions of needles scatter across my floors on the way in and fill the machines, and get all over the dog’s curly hair.  I clean it up for a week only to have it start again.  Of course, I say to them… Please get up the needles.  Please shake out your clothes before bringing them in. Maybe keep your clothes in the big basket I gave you or use a trash bag.  Where’s the sheets?  I haven’t seen them since I gave them to you in May….How come there’s never any underwear in your laundry?

I love that they have to figure out things like laundry.  It’s good training ground for them.  Inherent in the chore, is a natural consequence.  If you don’t wash your clothes, they are funky, dirty, stinky and wrinkled.  So when they see one another wearing them, put you children in funky clothes, people notice.  You yourself probably notice. They run out of sissy clothes before anyone else’s.  She eats with her hands, drools, pees in them. Liza is their laundry-canary.

It’s nearly noon and no laundry started yet.  Daddy has been working full-time (that little ship brought good luck, too) and mommy gets more tired right along with him.  They took you to swim lessons today.  Hope it goes well.  I wanted to tell them to watch, not cheer, talk to you or rescue you.  That you and your teacher (there are only two of you in the class) need to work together and your attention needs to stay with the teacher.  The pool already has so much going on with all the various lessons, kids and parents. But I didn’t.  I asked if I could take you today, but daddy really wanted to (even though he got home from work at 5 am).  Cool.

I get garden private time today.  I am beginning to hate garden time.  It seems so silly a way to spend time.  Who cares? Hands in the earth seems like a bunch of crap.  When I was with people all day and kids all night it was a refuge.  I am in a new phase of identity-seeking, I guess.  Okay, who am I now? So I started a little story.  I wanted to write about a gopher and illustrate it for you grandkids.  Not Toad of Toad Hall style, but to honor the little special lives of garden visitors.  Hmmm, interesting.  Like Mary Warshaw’s Jay. Well, anyway, I started character descriptions, then added some animals, and their descriptions, a story line and now 10 pages later of writing and no illustrations, I am still writing.  This is what I needed.  Or maybe its taking me to the book I want to write for teachers of young children…then again, maybe not.

My favorite is just hanging out with your and you wild cat sister. Can’t get enough of that.  (or can I?) Mid, old age crisis…. gma

Parenting a daddy

Good morning; its a foggy day for starting your first swim lessons.  Your daddy and uncle AJ did their preschool swim lessons at Adventure Sports nearly twenty-five years ago. I haven’t seen you yet this morning and because I am such a butinski, I can tell that you might be late.  I nosed in and called mommy to tell her that a 30 minute lesson is very short and do not be late.  Go now.  Take Liza in a wet diaper and jammies and dress her in the car, get his swim clothes on so he can sit in the hot tub and watch the 9:30 kids in their lessons- before his start.  Didn’t you read the instructions I emailed?

Oh my, grandma.  Cool your jets.  Whew.  Breathe.  Blow bubbles.  Stop flapping your arms, grandma. But, but, he only has four weeks of lessons and I want him to experience a full, non-rushed comfortable entry into swimming.  I want him…yep, that’s the point, I want, I want. He’s their son.  Cut it out. Go dig in your garden, Grandma.  I don’t trust them with anything.  Do I?  I asked daddy this morning to bring over the laundry (Tuesday is their designated day) before they drive to town.  These laundry days have left me swimming in stinky clothes all day long.  Wet ones in the washer, no one to move them over to the dryer. Hard objects scraping and clinking around in the tub, against the glass.  Knives, necklaces and nails.  I try not to interfere, but it gets strewn around my house for two or three days.You could do a better job of it, buddy at age 3!

They better get you there in time.ocatchesfish

Hey, we sure had a good time at Echo Lake.  Remember Polar Bears on Sunday.  One for the money, two for the show, three to get ready and four to go! SPLASH.  Chilly snow spill water.  Brrrr. You slipped into the water at the wading rocks near the dock every chance you got.  Its easy when I leave your mommy and daddy behind.  They just can’t seem to focus enough on their children.  This whine seems familiar.  It is the very attitude that I had as a beginning preschool teacher in the 70’s.  “If only these parents would…”  I need to get more involved in this construction project, write a novel, get off this mountain.  Something!  No, because of you and your sister.  Its your mommy that has to get off the mountain, find her life.  She needs to leave the three of us alone for a few days a week.  I keep telling her and she hopes to actually make that happen.  It must. I am sure glad you go to Preschool a few days a week.  I love seeing you there.

Tent’s a mess.  Billions of flies.  No sense of why they come, she says.  I live here, too.  No fly problem here.  There’s so much teaching to do and daddy jokes, smiles, skillfully dodges hard conversations.  Dang.  Parenting a daddy is very hard work.  I may need some help.  Duh.  I do need some help.  I really miss my family-smart friends.  I have got to stop my niggling and this nosey-body stuff. Get a life, Grandma.