First, I loaded the crowd in the back seat. Kids have more paraphernalia than they did years ago. You’ve heard of childproof, right? Well, these new contraptions are grandma-proof. Straps, buttons, and clips all over those confounded seats. I’m a practitioner of the dying art of the gate swinging appendage. No matter how old you are, if you sit as a passenger in my car and I apply brakes, you will suddenly have an arm flail across the center of your chest.
I secured the hook on the seat belt over the booster chair for the Worm. If she didn’t stop wiggling, she’d never weigh over sixty pounds and be allowed to sit on the actual car seat. “Grandma, you’re not supposed to put my hair under the strap.” Well, excuse me. “The strap’s too tight.” She’s the one who has the chocolate cake rule. There was a slice waiting for her on my kitchen counter.
I finally attached the Mouse’s infant seat in the base just as I was about ready to resort to duct tape.
Nowadays everyone sits in the back. I feel like Morgan Freeman in Driving Miss Daisy. There they sat — the six-year-old Bug (short for Bugaboo), the four-year-old Worm (the squirmy one), and the Mouse. They looked like hear no evil (wearing his baseball cap over his ears), see no evil (her Veronica Lake peek-a-boo bangs covering her eyes), and speak no evil (thinking — how am I supposed to make any noise with a pacifier in my mouth).
Off to the Bug’s T-ball game. The Worm jumped out of the car as soon as we pulled up to the park. I struggled to get the straps unhooked on the infant seat. Press the red spot, I’d been told. It just so happened the location where all these belts merged was over his belly button. Every time I pushed, he giggled.
Grandpa flipped open the trunk and pulled out a Frisbee, and told the Worm he carried it around for special days. She lit up. “Then we can play with it today.”
“Because today is special.”
Always the devil’s advocate, he asked, “Why?”
“Because every day is special.” The Worm is quickly wiggling her way into my heart.
It was also the first day of pitch ball, no T. The Bug got a hit. That’s the only time the Mouse cried. I forgot I’m not supposed to yell my delight while holding a baby. The Bug is much faster to the sprinkle donut and Sunny D treats after the game than to first base.
We stopped on the way home to rent a movie. I’m thinking Bedknobs and Broomsticks from a drive-thru video store. We ended up with Scooby-Doo Meets Batman, and the work again at undoing and re-doing leashes.
The donuts and sugary drinks were only the beginning of Grandma’s sweet treats – buttered popcorn, a McDonald’s kid’s meal, and an Oreo McFlurry®. The Mouse goes for a little fast food of his own — a bottle of expressed milk. The guzzling noise he makes while drinking is more like a hedgehog than a mouse. Then he spit up on me and I carry his scent for possibly years.
Everyone’s happy. Grandma snuggling in the middle of a grandchild on each side, one on the lap. “Grandma, if you have any more grandkids,” the Bug said, “you’ll have to sit on my lap.” How sweet.
The red dye and sugar kicked in just about the time my daughter and her husband came to pick them up. I handed the grandkids a little packet of M&M’s on their way out. Fair play, I think. “Bye, bye, spy guy,” I shout as they left. I think I watched too much Scooby-Doo. I was ready for a nap.
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