When we got the news that our grandchildren were coming for a visit, even the dog ran and hid.
I cancelled my cleaning lady and called a cleaning service. I opened charges at Blockbuster and McDonalds and scheduled extra garbage pick-up. I phoned the pharmacy for extra Prozac, and alerted my plumber. I had to cover all bases because after their last visit I developed a twitch in my left eyelid and my right nostril that didn’t subside until our neighbors started to talk to us again.
Their arrival was about as quiet as a Rolling Stones concert canceled after Mick Jagger ran out of Spandex. First we heard our lawn chairs toppling, then the bikes in the front hall went crashing; finally the creaking and shaking of the staircase, and then, ”Nana, Poppa, we’re here!” Twenty pair of feet belonging to two kids clattered up the steps and burst through our door, setting off our security alarm and causing our dog, Kishka to tunnel further under the bed.
Their faces were radiant as they rushed to kiss us, but they were lugging so much stuff we couldn’t get close. They looked like they were moving . . . to another planet! They must have had plastic bags from every store in North America crammed full of their junk. A laptop, Sega and Genesis video-game systems, video games, videotapes, Barbie doll stuff, Beanie Babies, Lionel trains and (thank G-d) two tiny toothbrushes. In addition to this they had about two weeks’ worth of dirty laundry, most of which they were wearing.
We didn’t even bother to ask for Mommy. Now we knew why she dropped them and took off like she was Lady Gaga being chased by PETA.
“Kill Them With Kindness” . . . I always wondered about that saying. What does it really mean? Is it a crime? Are there penalties? How do the victims feel? Can they be called victims if it’s done kindly? Will it kill them to eat hot dogs on a bun, with mustard and sauerkraut for breakfast? Or try to suck Rice Krispies through a straw at night? When they throw their arms around me, and say, “Nana, we love you,” isn’t it kinder to let them pass on the daily showers, and let them sleep in their clothes? Can I, should I, be punished for this? Killing with kindness? I still don’t understand!
I wish I could say that our first day was uneventful; just devoted to unpacking and getting set up. But it wasn’t. We spent the whole day indoors waiting for the electrician. It seems that while trying to connect his video systems to our TV, my grandson miswired something and, as a result, my microwave was now playing Reggae music . . . and gunshots were coming from my toaster oven. Our dog, Kishka, whose coat was long, shiny and straight, now was as matted and curly as a reveler at a voodoo bash! He must have stepped on an open wire somewhere. Bet he’s sorry he came out from under the bed!
Aside from kin, nobody welcomes grandkids’ visits as much as local area plumbers and electricians. Right now though, my electrician is unreachable . . . out of town . . . way out of town. On a cruise . . . a luxury cruise . . . courtesy of my grandson . . ., and Nana and Poppa’s checkbook!
Silicon Valley had nothing on us when the grandkids set up their electronic gadgets. Our “four-room retirement-community condo, with wheelchair access” looked like a Virtual Reality Boutique on Medicare. Deactivating our oxygen tanks, and hospital bed to give them more outlets made us nervous, yet, was okay if it kept them quiet and happy. Quiet . . . no, happy . . . yes. We really thought it was hiccups when all they said was ”dot com” this and ”dot com” that. But then they got ”the gimme’s” back, and we realized they weren’t aliens . . . just alien!