Archive for 2008

Peggy Wants Her Golden Leg

Wednesday, August 20th, 2008

I am still here in Lotus Land. (See the previous post.)

There is a lot to write about but I am too tired. This is the most physical labor I have had in years. It is a very emotional fifteen days also, with a two year old and a five year old.

I will give you more details later but for now, I thought you might like to read a story that Lexi made up and was telling all her pre-school friends, about six months ago, when she was barely five. Apparently, she had all the kids in her class terrified, wailing and crying and they couldn’t sleep at night after she told them this story. This warranted a call from the teacher to Lexi’s mother, Summer. What follows is actually a milder version of the original tale.

“PEGGY WANTS HER GOLDEN LEG,’ by Lexi McStravick, age 5, 4-19-08

“Once upon a time there was a very mean girl named Peggy. And she lived in a haunted house. And, she scares everyone in the Universe.

“Friday nights, Peggy returns to everyone’s house and leaves a golden leg behind the bed. When you wake up in the night, you see the golden leg. And then it turns you into a Peggy Golden Leg Finder.

“Saturday nights, Peggy went to the park and scared all the children again. She picks your eyelashes off, destroys your toys and upsets your bed.

“Then, Peggy returns and the scariest part of her body that she leaves behind, in one girl’s bed, named Lexi, is her head!!”

And, with an ending like that, I am going to hunt down the Lexi in the story and haul her off to bed. She is afraid to sleep by herself, probably because of that mean Peggy, which is why I, her BaBa, go to bed with her so darn early. I stay awake, listen to the clock tick and watch for Peggy With The Golden Leg.
WINNER OF A FREE, 15 MINUTE PHONE SESSION WITH VENUS: *Cheryl Tate*. Offer good through Aug. 22nd, 2008. After that, null and void.

The Looong Days in Lotus Land

Tuesday, August 12th, 2008

This sets the scene:
There are two kids who are two and five years old, two young very energetic cats and one fish. I am at my daughter’s house at the coast, in Lotus Land where the climate is perfect and the sun shines smartly and the fog drifts from the sea over God’s Lucky Sun Tanned People.
I am baby-sitting for fifteen days while my daughter Summer and her husband are in Australia.

DAY 1, Wednesday:
Lexi who is five, screams and screams and clutches her mother as she and her dad are leaving to catch the plane.
“No matter what happens!” she chokes out, “no matter what happens, I will always, always love you. No matter what happens!”

Summer and I exchange looks over Lexi’s head. Summer has had anxieties about the long trip and the long time away from her kids. She has mentioned that two year old Loch has told her over and over how much he loves her, which he has never done before.

I have told her to take a Xanax and relax but she hasn’t and is leaving ‘cold turkey.’

The back yard is torn up and has been for months. Summer has told the handsome, young contractor who formally worked for my sister Candy, that he must have everything completed and set back to rights by Friday “as my mother is an older grandmother and she has anxieties. If you doubt that, just ask her sister.” !

When I strenuously object to this verbal picture of me, she says, “Oh Mom, I just want to make sure that he cleans up everything like he said he would.”

Later, Lexi sleeps with me in the big bed and the two new cats race over us all night, only pausing to bite our toes and grab out legs with their claws.

DAY 2, Thursday:
Loch has had diarrhea ‘like water’ for a number of days and thank heaven, it finally slows. Both kids eat all day long like wild horses.

Summer arrives in Australia and emails, “We’re having a wonderful, relaxing time. I should have used that Xanax you gave me when I really needed it.”

Aside from the cats keeping us up much of the night, Lexi is still demanding that I wear pajamas and not wear a nightgown to bed.
I wear the nightgown.

“BaBa, do you have underpants on under that?”


“Then, I can’t sleep with you! You know how I am! I will have to sleep on top of the covers!”

“Fine. Do that.”

DAY 3, Friday: Loch comes up to me and announces, “I have a big poop.”
Indeed he does. The diarrhea is entirely finished. His mother will be so pleased with The Big Poop News.

There is much screaming and loose ‘fits’ by the kids all day and refusals to eat the foods we have in the house.

There is much excitement for Loch in the early morning when the ‘Big Cement Truck’ comes to pour concrete in parts of the back yard. Loch notes over and over, “All the hard working men!”

At lunch, he refuses to eat “The Man Soup,” I offer him. I realize later he has misheard ‘minestrone soup.’

I am trying to get a bit of rest from the constant chaos when Lexi tells me she has accidently locked us out of the office where I have my computer which is my link to her mother, in Australia.
I hunt for and find every key in the house. The last key unlocks the office door.

I step barefoot on one of Loch’s hard plastic spiky toys and fall against the couch. As I limp away, I teach Loch and Lexi a new word for their vocabulary.

Everyday is punctuated by constant storms of emotion by both children, and me. We are all trying to adjust.

My sister Polly is having a birthday party. Her birthday falls on 8-08-08 and it is a big, prosperity celebration. I am not there. It would be too hard to pull the kids all together between Loch’s nap, his dinner and bedtime and drive two hours, total. I am sitting at the table with two kids refusing to eat what I have made for dinner while cats careen around and over me.

My family calls from the party where I hear everyone laughing and shrieking with joy and they tell me what a fabulous time they are having. The kids are crying and I start to cry.

DAY 4, Saturday:
I escape with the kids to my home in the mountains!
We’re visiting my mother; sitting outside on her porch, drinking ice tea. Mom suddenly shouts and jumps in her chair. I look and there is a large, triangularly shaped, green beetle hanging off one of her eyebrows. I quick, brush it off her eyebrow and it flips into her white hair where it burrows and kicks around. There is much head flapping and shouting before the beetle disentangles itself and flies on.

Wheew. That was fun.

The kids, meanwhile are eating from a bag of chips that they have found on my mother’s kitchen table. I remark that eating chips is a treat for them.

Mom says, “Oh. I had that bag on the deck table here and the squirrels chewed a big hole in the bag and were burrowing inside it for and running off with the chips.”

I go and collect the bag from Loch and Lexi.

“We won’t be telling your mother about this,” I tell the kids.

DAYS 5 and 6 and 7:

We are back at the coast and I have decided not to bore you with the daily report. I think you get the drift.

I clean the cat box every day, fend off cats at night, I never get enough sleep, I listen to lots of screaming from both kids and big ‘NO’s’ from the two year old. I deal with poop and pee and wash lots of clothes, fix meals that no one approves of and try and keep the house cleaned up. We three sometimes go off and ‘do things’ in the big world, but that isn’t easy.

There are eight days left of the same.
Actually, I hope it will be the same. Everybody is healthy! We’re all falling into a routine. I am lucky to be spending time here with my grandkids and at the lovely coast. I know I will miss all of it when I am back, alone, in my own house! I will wish I could hear all the screaming and the complaints and the general fun of living with a two and five year old who are the most beautiful and the smartest and the most brilliant of any children I have ever known. Aside from their mother, of course.
Offer good through Aug 14th, 2008. After that, null and void


Tuesday, August 5th, 2008

Here’s the latest ‘News.’

I have finally gotten back to taking my walk every morning.
I hadn’t been walking for maybe five weeks because my two year old grandson gave me some ridiculous cold flu thing the last time I baby sat the kids. The kids got well immediately but it knocked all the pins and pilings out from under me.

The very day I go out walking again, I find a black, abandoned kitten crying and crying and crying in a field. I scoop it up and run home with it. I am thinking, ‘Oh what the hey, what is one more cat, I have so many feral cats that I get fixed and take care of, already.’

Then, it strikes me. ‘This is my mother’s cat!’

True, Mom has Sassy, who as you may know, is a Mean Cat Who Doesn’t Snuggle. However, in our family, if we have an animal, they stay with us for life, even if they are bad tempered, immoral or boring. Just like any family member, no matter what their character, we do not toss them out.

But, I know Mom would really like a loving cat, and I find as the day wears on that this little black cat is a really, really loving cat!

I think I will surprise her with it! Which means, if I just show up with the kitten Mom won’t say ‘No.’

Later I take the kitten to my mother’s house.
Mother adores the kitten. The kitten adores mother, and mother’s dog, Becky adores the kitten and the kitten even tries to make friends with Sassy The Mean Cat

Later, I run up town and get the kitten a collar, a name tag, some fun toys and food.

When I come into Mom’s house I find Mom in her big blue recliner with a glass of ice tea in her hand. The kitten is in her lap.

I say, “Hey Mom, how are you and the kitten doing?”

Mom says, “Oh. I couldn’t find her in the house awhile ago, and what do you know, I finally found her on the Sludgebunder.”

I say, “What?”

Mom says, “Oh, you know…the Sludgebunder.”

“Mom. What’s a Sludgebunder?”

Mom says, “Oh, you know….you know what I mean.”

“Nope, I sure don’t know, Mom.”

Mother is struggling for the right word. She knows it isn’t Sludgebunder, but by golly, she can’t find the right word and I just can’t help her with this one.
She keeps waving and pointing to something. I look. Oh. That’s a Sludgebunder?

Mom says, “Oh, you know…the TREADMILL!”

Got it.

I’m now at my house, packing up to spend two weeks with the grand kids while Summer and her husband are in Australia, working and vacationing.

I’m pretty darn nervous about two weeks with the kids.
Summer emails me to say that Loch, the two year old, “has diarrhea like water, isn’t eating and has a headache.”
Oh my god, that’s what I will catch next? Sudden diarrhea like water? I run into the kitchen and take some vitamins.

Later, she emails me that Loch started screaming and screaming today for 45 mintues and clutching his appendix. She called her husband and said ‘Come home, I’m calling 911.’
Then, she rushed Loch to emergency where the doctor said he had gas.
Summer says, “He’s acting fine, except for that hour when I thought he was a Gonner.”

Now, I am even more nervous!

While I am typing my notes to you, an email comes in from my sister, Polly.
Earlier, our sister Candy has sent the whole family and a pile of friends, email pictures of the latest member of our family, Carson, who is her new grandson, and is one week old. He looks like he will be A Charmer.

Polly’s email, addressed to all of us, says, “I got the picture of Carson. Beautiful. But, I got a lot more. Did anyone else get the vibrator ad with it or the one that says if you don’t so something (I forget what) I’ll pee on your shoes? Love, Polly.”

I laugh hysterically. Dang. I didn’t get that! So far, from all the emails coming in, no one else did either, and they are all disappointed.

I am going to take a hot bath now. It’s my last night as a Free Woman With No Cares. Please think good thoughts for me and the grandkids and Mom and the Sludgebunder and Polly with the person who wants to pee on her shoes.

(And, I didn’t even tell you about my visit to the dentist today where he shot me three times and pounded a tooth almost sideways.)

Luckily, a friend just sent me the following and I laughed so hard I had to re-listen to it three times. I feel so jolly now, that I may not even be able to sleep tonight.
Offer good through Aug.7th, 2008. After that null and void.

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