The boon of a boy with the pox

Feeding the neighborhood cat

All the planets were in formation for me to have a blessed weekend. First, grandson Scout came down with the chicken pox. Second, his parents needed to attend a wedding and to travel through our part of the state to get there. Third, I had no obligations I couldn’t get out of. So he stayed with us for three nights! This was only a few days after we’d returned from that trip to his house over the Memorial Day weekend.

Though we have eight other grandchildren, this is the first time we’ve had entire responsibility for any of them this long. I was really busy with the little guy, and it was very satisfying.

His pox weren’t bothering him much, which made it possible for us to just have a good time. After the first full day he was here, I was so high I was ready to write a glowing blog post about the experience as soon as he went to bed. I put it off, and at the end of the second day I was exhausted and couldn’t relate to that woman of the previous day or remember the feeling. It’s a mercy he sleeps long at night so I could too.

That first day I was in the Mom groove — it reminded me at least a little of when I was a youngish mother 30 years ago with a lot to get done every day, little children underfoot and needing something every few minutes. You learn to make the most of every five-minute snatch of time when they are occupied, and you figure out how to get tasks done with them alongside and “helping.”

Scout’s very favorite activity at our place is watching the Kreepy Krauly pool sweep when it comes on for 2 hours every morning. I didn’t want to find out if he would be happy doing that for entire time it runs, because I needed to be right next to him inside the pool fence. I was indulgent to an hour’s worth, which was nerve-wracking enough.

Eventually I figured out that I could prune a few rose branches or sweep the fence while we were in there. Scout helped me dig weeds, too, when he wasn’t trotting from one side of the pool to the other following the machine, talking about it or to it, “Heh-woh, Kweepy!” I think I came closer to falling into the pool than he did, more than once.

Two of the three days he was here were unusually warm, even into the evenings, which made it possible for us to spend a lot of time outdoors. A big dishpan and the hose would have been enough to occupy him, but I also brought out the play stove his grandpa had made about 30 years ago, and some plastic tea dishes. He set to work making “chicken noodle soup,” or so he said.

One of the ways one makes use of the minutes when caring for a little one is to explore together — watch bugs, smell roses, and notice how the hose water feels on the toes.

Scout is a talker and asks the name of every flower he sees. I was able to satisfy him about most of the ones growing in our yard, and a few in the neighborhood. When we got back from one our walks he put his nosegay into a little pot.

None of our grandchildren lives close enough to us that we can see them frequently. For the present, Scout is the closest, and five hours isn’t very close. Maybe the arrival of his little brother or sister late this summer will give us the impetus to make the drive more often.

I’m ready to put in more Grandma Time!

Frilled Shasta Daisy


9 thoughts on “The boon of a boy with the pox

  1. wow. you are a dream grandma. he's a lucky kid.

    mine are not young anymore, but not old enough to give me grandkids quite yet. you make me wish for the day.

    this was sweet. thanks.


  2. they speak of 'babymoons' now days; the first day sounds like that and the second day like reality 🙂

    so glad you had this special time! I know I remember the times I had as a kid with my Grandma and am so thankful for them!


  3. You've just explained my Friday-Tuesday stint with three sweet granddaughters, coming up in a few days. I am PLANNING on spending thirty minutes on the treadmill before bed each night, but during my previous granny runs I have hit the hay as soon as the baby monitors quiet down!
    I like the cooking, reading books, and running around in the back yard parts and I'm challenged by the dog hair vacuuming and the laundry keep up!
    It sounds/looks like it all came back to you immediately, Gretchen Joanna! He's a cutie!


  4. Oh, those baby days when everything on earth is a wonder. What a lucky little person to have a granny who is willing to just let hime explore his world at his own pace. There is such a gift of time that grannies can afford for a few days, that parents just can't stop for. I love that you still have some of your children's toys for your grandchildren. Some of my best memories of my grandma's house were playing with toys belonging to my parents. Such a sense of continuity.


  5. Spending time with small children is so exhilarating and so exhausting! I've often wondered if I would enjoy long stretches time spent with grandchildren (when I get some, which won't be for years and years) more than I did my own boys when they were that age. I always enjoyed the reading and the coloring and the nature walks. But trying to get chores done while taking care of little ones? It makes me tired just thinking about it!



  6. My kids have always lived very far from their grandparents and it's been difficult to form happy memories together, especially as they (my kids and my parents:) get older. I will say that in 20 years we have done 95 percent of the visiting, so any visits you can make toward them will be appreciated.


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