When you’re two years old and your grandma says, “George, wanna go on a date?” you have no idea what she’s talking about, but you nod your head “yes” anyway.
This was the case with our fifth grandchild, “George”. For his spontaneous grandparent/grandchild date, he just wanted to play outside in the snow. He didn’t know about more complex options and I wasn’t about to volunteer them.
Well — no. Our date involved an hour of preparation:
- feeding George
- cleaning George, his chair, the table, and the three-foot radius around where George dined
- chasing and wrestling George out of his full-to-capacity diaper
- selecting George’s clothes
- selecting “diff’nt” clothes — George has definite opinions about onesies vs. regular
- chasing and wrestling naked George into clothes
- finding George’s snow pants
- getting snow pants on George
- finding snow pants “Gamma” can wear
- squeezing Gamma into snow pants
- realizing Gamma has to use the bathroom
- peeling snow pants off Gamma, then squeezing them on again
- putting coat on George
- putting coat on Gamma
- putting cap and boots on George
- hot flash — taking coat off Gamma
- putting mittens on George
- finding gloves — George doesn’t like mittens
- putting gloves on George, most of his fingers in one finger space
- putting coat, boots, cap, and gloves on Gamma
George did the snowpant shuffle into the garage and emerged with a shovel and a rake. I shoveled snow. He raked it back on the sidewalk and driveway. Somehow, this made perfect sense to George.
I forgot my iPhone in the house and wasn’t about to rearrange my snow gear to retrieve it, so I tracked mud and snow through the entrance and kitchen. Then I crawled out backwards, wiping the floor with wet paper towels.
I snapped three warm-up pictures before the stars aligned for the perfect shot — and my battery went dead. George was happy. Gammas are more fun with dead phone/camera batteries.While we played in the snow, George’s four-year old sister “Sadie” set up a “su-pwise” for us in the warm house. “It’s weady!” Sadie, adorned in pink and purple flowered jammies and red and green snowman socks, motioned to us from the front door.
“Honey, you’re sick,” she gushed, mothering George out of his snow gear. She pointed to the couch. “There’s your bed. Lay down now and I’ll feed you. Cuz this is a hospital westauwant.”
Sadie had arranged 54 toy dishes, food, and utensils in neat rows on the piano bench and the piano.
“Let me give you your cough sywup,” Sadie poured pretend medicine into a plastic spoon.
George didn’t play sick patient like Sadie had hoped. He dove straight for the dishes like a wrecking ball toward a popsicle stick house.
Sadie stopped gushing. “Lay down or I’ll draw chicken pox on you!”
By the time I confiscated Sadie’s red marker, George had a bad case of marker pox.
“Gwamma! Can you take him outside again?” Sadie begged.
Since George pretty much demolished Sadie’s hospital restaurant, Sadie had to be admitted (into what was left of her medical facility). So Gwamma became Sadie’s nurse and the neighborhood reclamation expert.
Later George was banished to quality time with Papa and a wash cloth. The pals watched two and a half minutes (George’s attention span) of This Old House, then loaded toy food and toy dishes into the Tonka truck with the Tonka loader. This included plenty of saliva-spewing sound effects. (George’s saliva, not Papa’s.)
When Sadie’s sisters got home from school, the three females moved the hospital restaurant upstairs.
They quarantined George to stay away — and not because of his marker pox. He didn’t even notice. He just pulled me to the front door, pointed outside and said, “Date?”