We drive the 45-mintues to pick them up, making plans along the way: walk in the park, an hour in the new playground near our house, a swim at the local pool, maybe we’d even have time to bake cookies!
After car seats are maneuvered into the back seat, the 3-year-old and 4-year-old grandsons are strapped in, and we make the noisy ride back to our place amidst:
“When are we getting there?” “Where’s Henry the dog?” “Can we sit on Henry?” How does a dog get arthritis?” “What IS arthritis?” “Can I have a drink?” “I’m hungry!” “How much longer?”
When we arrive, the 4-year-old plops himself on the lounge chair in our deck overlooking the Bay, puts his hand behind his head, and exclaims, “What a view! I’m going to sit here allll day.”
“Man-to-man coverage,” my guy suggests. He takes the puzzle tot, I take the “unmovable boy” who now has found the bookcase in the hallway and asks, to my delight, “Read this one, Pammy!”
Six books later, the 4-year-old insists he wants to read all day.
“No! I want Llama Llama Time to Share again!”
In the meantime, Henry the dog has a puzzle piece in his ear, and the man-to-man defense is weakening.
We squeeze in a 15-minute trip to the pool and a few bites of peanut butter and jelly, but it’s close to nap time, when we promised the munchkins’ parents we’d bring them home.
The 4-year-old begs, “can’t we stay and reeeeeaaaaaaaadddddddddd?”
The 3-year-old insists: “I want my mommy!”
So we hustle to the car and begin the ride back.
Five minutes into the drive a sound as loud as 20 chalk pieces screeching on a board emits from the back seat. My guy and I jump so high our heads hit the car roof.
“What’s the matter?” I ask, turning around to check on the distressed 3-year-old.
“I WANT MY NAAAPPPPP!” he screams.
Huh. I thought parents begged children to nap, not the other way around.
The 4-year-old consoles his brother: “It’s okay, you can nap in the car.”
“NOOO!” his younger brother retorts. “I need my MOMMY, then I can NAP!”
A tense ride ensues, with a strangled sound coming from the 3-year-old’s side every so often: “Naaaaaappppppp!!!”
In a record 39.5 minutes, we deliver our charming grandchildren to their relieved parents.
“You’re late!” our son exclaims.
As I unbuckle the blonde-haired, sweet-as a-snowball 3-year-old from his seat, he strokes my face lightly.
“Pammy?” he says softly.
“I love you.”
Ah, I’m a good grandmother, I sigh to myself, until the little one continues: “But I’m not coming to your house ever again.”
Defeated, I give him a light kiss with a chuckle and hand him off to his mother for a long afternoon’s nap.
On the way home, my guy drives over the speed limit. I gaze at him quizzically.
“I need my nap, NOW,” he exclaims.
Which only proves that little boys never truly grow up.