Nine Days

It’s been an interesting week and a half to say the least. The trip back to New York was, of course, centered around a doctor’s appointment sandwiched around a babysitting gig for my grandchildren in Massachusetts and extended for a funeral in New Jersey. It was capped with a Sunday gathering with neighbors at The Mill.

I’ve already shared the medical report, but the topic of conversation at the get together was how I fared babysitting. For all — it went well. After all, a granddad’s role is just making sure the kids don’t kill each other. We only had one little medical incident when my 10 year old apparently scuffed his knee. I noticed he had a knee-wide bandage after lunch the first day. I asked him what happened, he said he ripped open his knee. When we peeled back the bandage there was about an inch long cut. He insisted it had rocks in it. We cleaned it out and the next thing I knew he was running around with the edge of the bandage safely secured with blue duck tape.

There were those who had reservations about me being left alone for four days with four children, two five or younger. But I reached into my bag of experience to keep them busy enough for a reasonable bedtime.

We did some fun things, like eating lunch outside so they could run and play, visiting the library and the park and watching movies.

The library visit was, shall we say, interesting. The thought — my thought — was we would pick out a book or two and I would read it to them. We weren’t in the library two seconds before the younger ones bolted to the play table for cars, trucks, blocks and dinosaurs. They were happy building with blocks … using the puppets … turning the quiet corner into a virtual playroom. The oldest retreated to thee young adult session — as far away from the mayhem as possible — while the second oldest quickly found the computer {getting frustrated when the game he wanted to play wasn’t available} and settled for a tablet. In the blink of an eye, the two young one paraded to the librarian’s station and returned with their own tablets.

I made sure they didn’t destruct anything and sat in a comfortable wingback chair just observing. After better than an hour, I told them to start picking up {they did, although with additional distractions}, each picked out a book and I dutifully read it to them, actually keeping their attention.

Saturday night, we went to 99 for dinner. The kids did quite well despite a 45 minute wait, interacting with other waiting patrons. They weren’t too bad at dinner, although the starving younger ones scarfed down two bowls of popcorn and potato skins, then weren’t quite as interested in actually eating dinner. We only had one incident where neighboring guests complained because one of the boys was kicking the back of the bench and apparently was bothering him. On the other side, the baby — three years old — entertained her fellow patrons with a game of peek-a-boo. And I received Grandpa of the Year kudos from the waitress.

After dinner, we returned home for movie night, settling on Finding Dory  as an “appropriate” flick according to older brother. Hmm. I was contemplating driving down to Cape Cod and taking in a drive-in. Not sure Goonies would have been considered appropriate.

We had a marathon Angelina the Ballerina session Sunday morning, but I made sure we got them settled in time for football. Ironically, I ordered pizza and wings for the 4 p.m. Packers game time, and it arrived right on cue. I didn’t realize, however, that my gluten intolerant grandson’s pizza had to not only be cooked, but had to be assembled as well. I discovered that fact at kickoff. Fortunately, the TV was visible from the kitchen!

Yeah, I know we went out to eat a couple of times, but we did have burgers and fries, breakfasts and lunches {mainly peanut butter and jelly}. The kids didn’t starve. I was, however, relieved from dish duty by my eldest grandson. I guess he didn’t like grease or extra specs of food. I tried to tell him it added flavor for the next dish, but he wasn’t buying.

The kids must have sensed the age disparity. The youngest climbed on my lap, her knee kneeing my sore knee. When I winced in pain, the 10 year old said, “Be careful! Grandpa is old!”

But they were all tucked in — mainly with me and the dog on the couch — by 10 p.m. each night.

After leaving Massachusetts, the plan was to go the doctor’s appointment, then spend some time with three New York grandchildren and a tutorial session with the new owners of the newspaper. I was stood up with the tutorial session … some lame excuse like having a baby. Congrats Constance and John!

The girls had practice so instead of coming down to Ovid, I went to Seneca Falls and made dinner for the crew. Salisbury Steak and Roasted Potatoes and Veggies. Not bad, although I was cooking in a strange kitchen.

I was going to leave Thursday morning to come home, but got a call my cousin had died, so I headed instead to New Jersey for the wake and funeral.  RIP Cousin Frank.

Despite the circumstances, I was able to squeeze in a hot dog and hamburger all the way with Frenchies well done, washed down with birch beer at Riverview East {formerly Falls View}. Umm, Umm good.

Saturday morning I headed to the Great Falls in Paterson for my regular visit, only to find the park closed for renovation. So instead, I went to Mary Ellen Kramer Park on the back side of the falls. I had never been there before. Last time I wandered to the upper side of the falls, there was no park, just some litter-strewn trodden trails … not very appealing or safe.

I really was impressed with the park, which wove its way to the pedestrian bridge with benches and alcoves providing spectacular, up close views of the falls. Geese wandered. Kids were running around. Old men were playing games. Couples waltzed along the trails. Joggers were running.

There is something special about a well-kept park. It’s calm and brings out the best in people. Young, old, families, couples, singles, Hispanics, Mediterraneans, African-Americans, Hindu, big dogs, little dogs, affluent, downtrodden all sharing open space with a smile and a “good morning.” One particularly disheveled guy saw me and Angelina and started laughing hysterically. As I passed him, he said, “You both have beards!”

My Angelina handled the trip well, but then, she does like to travel as much as I do. She spent her first night in a motel {I scored an extra 100 bonus points} and found some new grazing spots. The only problem I had was keeping her in the car. I stopped to look at a car and turned around to find her at my feet. Apparently, she discovered by jumping on my bag which sat atop her kennel, she could leap through the sunroof. When I corrected that, she tried to squeeze through a window opened about a quarter way down. Three steps from the car I turned to find her head and two front paws dangling out the window.

And she still doesn’t like to be left alone!

THOUGHT TO REMEMBER: Success usually comes to those who are too busy to be looking for it. — Henry David Thoreau

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About wisdomfromafather

I'm just an ordinary guy walking along the journey of life.
This entry was posted in entertainment, family, food, funeral, grandchildren, Humor, Laughter, Life, love, Movies, New Jersey, New York, relationships, travel and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Nine Days

  1. TCH says:

    “Careful Grandpa is old” – I love it. Very funny. Thank you for liking my post.

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