Gypsy's Travels

Friday, November 7, 2008

"It takes a village...."

Maybe that should read.."it takes a family to raise a village". I had agreed to watch ABW's three Monday afternoon while she took a class. Since DS and baby WRS were visiting, they went along.
Em & Junior were there, waiting for us, and ABW left for her class shortly after we arrived.

Junior was so excited that I thought we would all be well-served to leave a little early, walk to the school, and pick Abs up from her chess club meeting. I was sure all the walking would burn off some of the children's energy. We arrived a little early and waited for the appointed time. Junior knew everyone and every inch of space before we left, WRS slept through it all in the stroller, and DS made-like-a-tree while everyone hung on him.

At the appointed time, I ventured to the area where a bevy of children were pouring forth from a classroom. Abs was nowhere in sight.
"Is this the chess club meeting?" I asked.
"No, chess club was cancelled. Didn't you get the notice?" There is no time for explanations.
"Well, where is Abs?" I asked. He shrugged.
I fought a rising panic in my chest. You can't get in or out of a school these days without a note from God, I told myself, so she is here safe and sound....somewhere.

There are people everywhere after school. Working parents depend on these well-regulated after-school programs for the security of knowing their children are in good hands. Nevertheless, there are always stories on the news that I don't even like to think about. It takes several anxious minutes for one of the workers to track the different groups. The workers communicate through hand-held intercom radios, but these people are the eyes of the organization, they don't necessarily interact with the children individually.

Abs finally emerged from the depths of a classroom off a distant hallway. She had been in the computer room. Her appearance is always an indication of the behavior we can expect. In this case, her eyes were glassy, her hair tumbled and disarrayed, and she was clearly not happy at having been interrupted. Good thing we were walking home and she could burn off some of her obvious irritation.

We enjoyed the sedate walk to the school, WRS and Junior in strollers, DS & Em chatting comfortably as we ambled along. The return trip was a little different. Junior decided he wanted to walk and, being two years old, he stopped to examine everything. Abs wanted to get home as fast as possible, so she ran the whole way. I was pushing WRS in the stroller at a fast clip, trying to stay up with Abs, who was a block ahead of me and moving fast. Em, DS, and Junior were a block behind, examining ants and rocks on the path.

Fortunately, ABW had dinner waiting in the crockpot. When I called everyone to the table, the children indicated that all those times they told Mommy they didn't hear what she said, were nonsense....
"Mommy never has dinner this early!"
"Mommy always lets us watch T.V."
"Mommy doesn't make us sit down quietly."
"Mommy lets us have whatever we want to eat."
"Mommy said we could have candy."
"Mommy also says,'Different parents, different rules,'" I told them, "and these are Grandma's rules."

By the time ABW returned, the children were fed and in the process of being ready for bed. DS helped ABW mow and trim the lawn, in the dark, while I watched the four children and took time to have a conversation with Abs.
"Abs, if I am going to take you on a dinosaur expedition this summer, you will have to listen and pay attention better. I can't take you to the desert area of Utah and have you running off, getting lost in the desert, and dying of thirst."
Abs looked at me seriously with those big, blue eyes, and said, "Well, Grandma, you are going to have move faster because I will have a lot of exploring to do there."

By the time DS & ABW finished the lawn and came back in, everyone was calm and ready for bed...except Em....she had left the room several minutes earlier and not returned. A quick check revealed she was in the shower.
"But you had a 20 minute shower earlier!"
"Yes, but Abs used up the hot water and I had to get out."

Everyone has gone home now and it is very quiet at my house....until I babysit this weekend.....


  1. I am still envious of you and all of the Grandkids but happy that we have only one and she is a level headed HS Freshman and listens to her Grandpa.

  2. I really appreciate you taking care of them. You know Gunner would do it if he could. Just remember that I am raising exquisite little humans and not robots!

  3. LOL - I LOVE ABS!:) What a spirit!


Thank you for visiting! Please feel free to share your stories and comments.