Parenting Growth

Baby shoesThe dog “sniffed” the family’s first baby’s shoe. The shoe was immediately discarded.

The dog “gingerly licked” the family’s second baby’s shoe. The shoe was washed in the highest possible temperature of water for the longest cycle the washer offered before the child wore it again.

The dog “carried” the family’s third baby’s shoe around the house for an hour in his mouth. The shoe was wiped clean with a disinfectant cloth before the child wore it again.

The dog “shredded the heel” of the family’s fourth baby’s shoe to shreds. Mom glanced at the shoe. “It’ll be fine, the baby will soon outgrow it.”


A Remote Emergency


“Don’t hesitate to call if you need us,” my grown children said on their way out the door.

I waved goodbye and turned my attention to my young grandchildren. I wouldn’t hesitate to call in the event of an emergency either. My mistake was not considering my inability to master the wide variety of remotes in the house an “emergency.”

“Daniel Tiger, Daniel Tiger, Daniel Tiger,” the youngest chanted.

I turned on the television. It was a good start, but I wasn’t sure which remote to use for the DVD player or even if I needed the DVD player.

“Maybe it’s in our recorded shows,” the five-year old said. “Give me the remote; I know how to do it.”

“Do we have to watch that baby show? I’m watching my show.”

“Please Nana, let me have the remote. Call Mom and Dad. They always let me watch whatever I want.”

Soon, chaos reigned in the household, and it seemed for a while I might need to declare an “emergency” and call the parents. Then I found the “off” button on the remote, and I found a shelf of children’s books—right there next to the television.

“Emergency” over, problem solved. Thank you God for time spent with grandchildren.


The Collection

MothballI accompanied my son and his family to their home for a visit after a family weekend at my daughter’s home. About an hour into the trip one of my young granddaughters asked, “What is that smell?”

“I think I’m going to be sick,” another child said. Gagging noises sounded from the back of the van.

We arrived home safely, if not slightly nauseated, after the six-hour drive. Over the next couple of days, I occasionally noticed the same odor.

“Nana, want to hold the new rock I found for my rock collection?” my granddaughter asked on day four of my visit. “I found it outside under the bushes at Auntie’s house,” she said and pulled a round, white mothball from her coat pocket. “See how smooth it is?”

Warning…in the event you placed mothballs under shrubs to keep away rabbits or stray cats, you should keep a close watch on any grandchild who collects rocks, or at least check his or her pockets regularly.

I’m grateful my little one knew to not eat “rocks.” I think, too, there is a good chance she will be a geologist someday.


Brownies, Anyone?

BrowniesMy husband and I watch our weight. Mostly, we watch it increase. The past year, though, we dieted. We ate fewer cookies, less brownies, not so much cake, etc. It was a long, long year, and John and I were both really, really hungry for sweets. So when during the Christmas season I was asked to provide brownies for a party, I was excited. After all, there was a chance there might be one or two left for me to eat.

John volunteered to bake the brownies. (I suspected he wanted to sneak a bite of the batter.) He preheated the oven, coated the pan with butter, and emptied the brownie mix into the glass pan. My mouth watered as I watched him slide the pan into the oven. At that moment I saw the unbroken egg, the one-third cup vegetable oil, the one-fourth cup of water–still on the cabinet.

While the smell of chocolate brownies baking filled every nook and cranny of the kitchen, John and I reflected on the reason for his forgetfulness to add the ingredients to the mix. He suspected a “sugar imbalance.” I agreed. Not wanting further problems, we ate all the warm brownies. They tasted great!

So…don’t hesitate to call us if you need brownies for an event….

Happy New Year!

Christmas MoonsetChristmas Sunrise

On Christmas morning, the glow of the moon descending on the horizon woke me. Through my kitchen window I saw a sky painted with yellows, oranges, and blues as the sun began its day’s journey. Most of the last forty-five Christmas mornings, I have been awake at 5:00 A.M., but I was always busy. I always checked to see if Santa placed the presents under the tree, remembered to put money in the Christmas stockings, and had drank his milk. This past Christmas morning, though, I paused and simply enjoyed a cup of coffee and the beauty of the morning.

By the time the in-town grandchildren arrived, I had had plenty of time to appreciate the peace and quiet and was anxious for the chaos to begin. We opened presents, ate, cleared a path through the wrapping paper, ate, played games, worked on a jigsaw puzzle, ate, baked cookies, stirred up caramel popcorn, and ate again.

We will soon celebrate Christmas again with our out-of-town grandchildren. We’ll open presents, eat, play games, make Oreo balls, and we’ll eat again. Next week I’ll diet and do laundry. I am blessed. Happy New Year, everyone!