We live in a small town. Its the town I grew up in, and I can't say that I hate it, but also, I would be lying if I said I loved it. But it has a few good things to recommend it. The Library is great. Its easy to get around and parking is plentiful. Its close to the country and some nice wide open spaces. The people are generally lovely. But I'll tell you, what I like about this town most is the fact that my parents live here. If you read this blog regularly (or know me, for that matter) you know that GranGran and Grandpapa are a big part of our lives. We see them at least a couple of times a week. And my ever generous mother helps me out from time to time by taking the boys for the morning, or popping over during the afternoon for an impromptu playdate, which always helps me in my never ending quest to get things done. The fact that my kids are getting to grow up in close proximity to their Grandparents is going to be something that will enrich their lives, building a network of memories that will be with them forever. And the fact that my Mom can pop over for a few minutes in the middle of the afternoon to play with my kids so that I can run a few errands is something that definitely enriches my life.
So this afternoon I called my mom, as I had to hit the fabric store and the library, and I was hoping to do it without the boys in tow. But my mom wasn't feeling so well today, so I said, never mind, I'll just wait until they are up from their naps and do it then. No big deal. But she offered to send my Dad over instead. After all, the Baby at least would be asleep and the Little Dude would be having quiet time in his room. All Grandpapa has to do is make sure the house doesn't burn down. No problem.
And the boys love their Grandpa. He is Tractor Man after all. He takes them on ATV rides and is good for an afternoon of picking rocks in a field. And he plays a mean game of cars. So when I told the Little Dude that Grandpapa was coming over to baby sit for a half and hour he had no plans to go to his room for quiet time. "Grandpapa will want to play Lego with me." he declared confidently. So when Grandpapa arrived I left them to build and headed off on my errands.
So what's the difference between Grandpapa babysitting and GranGran babysitting. Well, Gran tends to read more stories. Gradpapa likes to bust out the toy tractors. Gran is a titch more sympathetic to bruised knees and egos. Grandpapa likes to encourage you to "rub some dirt in it" or "walk it off". And if I leave Gran alone with the boys in my messy house, there is a distinct likelihood that either my laundry will get folded or perhaps the dishwasher will get emptied and reloaded. With Grandpapa, not so much. Though he does come over with his tractor and mow our lawn at least once a month, so I'm not criticizing. Just saying they have different skill sets, that's all. And after today maybe I should add different energy levels too.
Because in just over a half an hour I was back. I walked through the door to find it oddly quiet. No chatter back and forth of two people playing together, just the subtle click-clack of a solitary Lego builder. I walked around the corner to find the Little Dude at his usual post, next to the Lego table. "Hey Bub," I said, "where's Grandpa?"
"He's having a nap." the Little Dude replied, hardly looking up from his Lego.
Aw, don't they look so sweet when they are asleep? Apparently that National Geographic article he was reading wasn't quite interesting enough to keep him awake. Nor was the presence of a chatty five year old for that matter. Its funny how similar he looks to the pictures I take of the Little Dude having one of his 'accidental naps'. Head pillowed on an outstretched arm, opposite hand crooked. They even both seem to prefer the wrong end of the bed.
Anyhow Dad, you are fired from babysitting duties, at least until you are more well rested.
And Dear Reader, don't you worry that I've hurt his feelings. I know for a fact that quick-retort Pete will say "You can't fire me, you don't even pay me!" True enough Peter, true enough.