David and I have enjoyed 16 grandchildren in and out for the past three weeks — a boisterous addition to our usually quiet home and the highlight of my summer.
I collected funny things that were said around my house during the visits, hoping it would be enough to fill a column. It was.
The children ranged in age from 18 months to 18 years, so there was a variety, although the older ones now would rather be on their phones than saying something funny to their grandparents. I suppose that’s pretty normal, yet kind of sad, for this day and time.
One 3-year-old, though, gave us a good laugh in the car as we sat in the parking lot of a local ice cream place that must be visited when anyone is in town.
He was almost finished eating his children’s sundae, which, you have to admit, isn’t a whole lot of ice cream.
“Hey, Brady,” he said to his uncle up front. “When my ice cream is all finished, do you want to trade?”
We all laughed and I gave him a big spoonful of mine when his was finished.
It seems like begging for screens and sweets takes up a lot of a child’s day. Sometimes they can be very persuasive.
One evening after teeth already had been brushed, one granddaughter started begging for a cookie.
“But you’ve already brushed your teeth,” I said.
“But I didn’t brush them very well,” she said. “In fact, I don’t even think I brushed the top ones.”
She got her cookie and had to rebrush her teeth.
I don’t know why I even try to say no.
When I reminded her earlier I already had said no about something, she said, “Either way. We’ll still keep asking.”
I know this. I have raised seven children. They just wear you down.
When they asked for more TV one evening, I initially said no and then explained I would be a bad grandmother if I said yes.
“No, no,” they assured me. “You’ve got that wrong. A bad grandmother would say no; the good grandmother says yes.” That made sense, so they got another show. And ice cream too, I think.
I did say no and stick to it when I was a customer in a pretend spa and was offered a facial with the same baby wipe that had just massaged another customer’s feet.
Another little granddaughter, aged 6, had a funny idea after we took a walk in the Arkansas heat and humidity.
“I just wish that I had a little air-conditioned car I could ride in when I take a walk,” she said.
I could get behind that idea.
Then what do you say when a child emerges from the pool, takes off his goggles and says, “Are my eyeballs bleeding?”
“No. Should they be?” I asked.
“Because my cousin told me if I opened my eyes underwater, the chlorine would make my eyeballs bleed.”
I’ll have to remember that. It was a threat that actually worked.
I will close with what one of my granddaughters told me about my presence at swimming places.
Swimming brings up ideas to me of lounging by the pool reading a book while the children frolic and don’t scream “Mommy!” or “Grandma!” every two seconds. Yep, fat chance of that.
Plus, like most women, I hate being in a bathing suit, so I bought swim leggings. My two daughters said if the leggings got me into a pool, go for it.
After days of my pool attendance and then a day at a lake, my granddaughter gave her opinion of my “swimming” habits.
“Please get in the pool. It is just too embarrassing when all you do is sit out by the pool,” she said.
“Embarrassing?” I asked.
“Yes, but it’s even more embarrassing when you just stand there in the pool. Don’t you even know how to swim?” she asked.
“Yes, but I don’t want to get my hair and makeup wet,” I explained. Plus, I’m talking to other women just standing there.
“BUT the most embarrassing of all was what you wore to the lake the other day,” she said. “It’s a lake. Just wear a suit. Who cares?”
Well, I care. I can either be embarrassed or be embarrassing. Who cares? I must be a good grandma either way. Cookie, anyone? More TV?
Elzey is a freelance writer with the Register & Bee. She can be reached at email@example.com or (434) 791-7991.