I recently took a break to spend a few days with the just-turned-4 twin grand girls. Usually Grandpa and Auntie Dee Dee accompany me on weekend trips, which translates to a total of five adults doting on the darlin’s during our visits; one of those adults being their momma; who is (understandably) their favorite go-to person in almost any situation. This generally means that the girls are wound up over all the extra attention, and it is difficult to carve out some quiet one-on-one (or one-on-two) time with them.
So, for this trip, I strategically left Grandpa Dan and Auntie Dee Dee behind, and babysat the girls for a few days during the work week. We played with play-doh, we sang songs, we went on bike and scooter rides outside, we played on the swing set (going REALLY High), we read books, we played Hi-Ho Cherry-O (remember that one?), we did chalk sidewalk drawings, and so on. A couple times I turned on a Peppa Pig video when I needed some time to prep for lunch or clean up a mess. They adore Peppa Pig!
At one point while we were playing outside little X2 said I was a flower and pretend-watered me. I spread out my arms like I was growing, and she gave me a radiantly beautiful smile. My heart melted. Little X1 made dozens of play-doh pasta pieces for me to ‘eat’, chattering and narrating every step of the way in both Spanish and English.
We made cookies; using both chocolate AND butterscotch chips and had great fun dumping in the ingredients, stirring, taste-testing the batter and randomly glopping the cookies on the cookie sheets. Then… grandma made a mistake. Grandma forgot that their gas oven burns hotter than most. Grandma forgot that the extra dose of chips in the cookies means more sugar in the mix – and melted sugar tends to burn.
When the smoke alarms went off – both girls started howling and one wet her pants. I tried to console them, but had no idea how to turn off the smoke detectors. Luckily, poppa Luis raced up the stairs (he had been working in his lower level office) to open windows and shut off the alarms before helping me console the traumatized girls. Eventually the girls calmed, and Luis was able to get back to work.
Little X2 went upstairs to her bedroom and was sitting quietly in a corner by herself. It occurred to me that she was still scared and when I asked “do you want to sit in grandma’s lap and have a cookie?” she quietly nodded and reached up to me. She was sitting sweetly in my lap, munching a crispy cookie, when she wrinkled her nose, looked up and me and said “This is disgusting!” We all had a good laugh over that!
The following day after a long walk, X1 climbed in my lap and I read her several books while she nestled into me sleepily, and my heart melted for a final time before hitting the road back to Wisconsin. It is just those kind of ‘small’ moments that I came for, and I was not disappointed.
This grandma gig is pretty sweet – even though I won’t be baking cookies again for awhile.