Cowabunga! We are on an unexpected roll with our grandparent/grandchild dates.
January 25 I received a 2:50 a.m. phone call from our daughter-in-law that her water broke. We rejoiced when grandchild #6 (“Spidey 2”) arrived without complications around 11:30 a.m. late that morning.
Spidey 2 came into the world only three days before his big brother’s (Spidey 1’s) fifth birthday, so we had two occasions to celebrate. After meeting Spidey 2, birthday festivities, sledding with Spidey 1, and helping the exhausted parents for three days, I offered to take Spidey 1 to our home for three more. This would give the parents some alone time to rest and bond with Spidey 2.
As we traveled, it occurred to me that Spidey 1 would be disappointed upon arriving at our home, because “Papa”, my husband, wouldn’t be there. He had to attend a meeting. That’s when I remembered Strategic Spontaneity. Spidey 1 was due for a date. After all, he was third in the grandchild line of progression, after his seven and six year old cousins.
As the Mall of America sign came into view I asked Spidey, “How’d you like to go to the Mall of America to eat?”
“No, I don’ wanna eat. I wanna see Papa. Look! An airpane!”
“Mmhmm, an airplane. You have to eat. And, you could pick whatever you want.”
“No, I don’ wanna go to the Ma of Amer-ca. I wanna see Papa. Is that biwding a hopsital? A baby came out of Mommy’s belly at a hopsital.”
“No, that’s not a hospital. But it looks like a hospital, doesn’t it? Papa won’t be home until later. How would you like to go on a Nanna date?”
“A Nanna date?”
“Yeah, a Nanna date — where you eat at Burger King or McDonald’s or A & W Rootbeer and go on rides.”
“Rides? I like Nanna dates.”
Spidey 1 is less complicated than the girls. He would have been ecstatic spending the entire excursion on the escalators. But people (security) started to get annoyed.
Once he saw the amusement park, he let out a sigh like he’d seen the Great Pyramid of Giza. He found Nirvana. He declined the customary sibling gift shopping. (After all, he’d already bought a Kit Kat for Spidey 2.)
He only stopped to eat his chicken nuggets after I
bribed offered the choice: eating them = more rides or not eating them = going straight home.
He even chose one more spin in lieu of ice cream.
On the way home, Spidey sat in his carseat in the dark back seat, covering his head with his favorite blanket, so he could suck on his index finger in private. I heard the suction popping noise as he pulled his finger out of his mouth. “Nanna, I like Nanna dates. Can we go again t’morrow?”
We didn’t, but Spidey 1 didn’t notice. Instead, he enjoyed three more glorious days of dates with me, Papa, and his aunt, uncle, and three cousins.
We returned Spidey 1 to his home and family over the weekend and assured Spidey 2 that we’d be back soon for his turn, which would involve a bottle and a diaper change — kind of like what Papa and I will enjoy in a few years.
Now, as I sit at my desk, I realize that I’ve missed some submission deadlines. At first this made me sad. But then I consider, there will always will be conferences to attend and agents, editors, and publishers to meet, but Spidey 1 will only be seen in public with his Nanna until — um — well, I’ll keep you posted…