They came, they saw, they conquered

On my kitchen island sits two sad smurfs. That’s all that’s left of the granddaughters. They left this morning to go to the shore. That’s the beach to you out-of-towners.

It was a great visit but very perplexing for me. I’m not a kid person. Everyone who knows me knows that. My brother got the maternal genes at birth and I got the bossy ones. So why do I feel a sense of loss?

Kids are adorable in the puppy stage but there’s all that body fluid stuff going on.

I like them best when you can have a conversation. They can talk about their day and their friends and what they think about things. That age varies with the child. For some it happens around age 30 while for others it could be age 6.

The granddaughters (age 7) have morphed into the conversation stage so it was fun for me. Yes, even I am surprised at how much I miss them.

Here are some things I learned:

  • Kids have two modes – off or on. Going from ‘on’ to ‘off’ can take about 3 seconds. Going from ‘off’ to ‘on’ may take a little more time. ‘On’ is when there is non-stop talking sometimes accompanied by dancing, leaping (yes, I said leaping) or running to get something that isn’t there. You can’t mistake ‘off.’ The eyes are closed and the head is down. It’s very close to comatose. This can happen at the dinner table or at a zoo or in the middle of anything. (I envy this skill!)
  • They learn the art of deflecting fast. Ask them something they don’t want to answer like “why won’t you drink your milk?” and you will get an unabridged version of the encyclopedia on a variety of topics. (Very useful skill at work later in life.)
  • They are starving until they sit down to dinner and then amazingly after three bites they are full. About an hour later (if you’re lucky) they will be starving again.
  • Whatever you think they will eat, they won’t. Whatever you don’t think they will eat, they do.
  • Their sense of fashion is developing. They are in the kaleidoscope phase. We went shopping for school outfits. I’m thinking khakis or jeans and a long-sleeved top. Boy would I be wrong. First we looked at every brightly colored piece of clothing in the store. Tops, bottoms didn’t matter. Didn’t matter if they matched or clashed as long as it was their favorite colors which are pretty much all bright colors. Their mother and I kept our eye rolls to a minimum. In the end they selected beautiful clothes that match (and are very colorful) and very different from each other. (Did I tell you they are fraternal twins?)
  • They made friends with the pond fish. No one fell in the pond which was a miracle in itself.
  • The only one in the house who matched their energy level was Morgan the new kitty who is wondering where all her new friends are.
Dorney Park 2013 booth

Taken in a photo booth!

Everyone is gone. All that’s left is a sad hole in the heart and the two lonely smurfs on the counter.

39 thoughts on “They came, they saw, they conquered

  1. We love you Grammy Kate! The girls won’t stop talking about it! Our hearts are heavy this week as well… miss you both very much. But I”m glad the Smurfs are in good hands until we see you again 😉 Thank you for such a great week!! ❤

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  2. I about laughed all the way through this. Your observations are spot on. We have five grandkids and they all live a few miles away so I see them all the time. I love it when they visit and truth be told when they go home. That’s why we don’t have kids in our fifties. Great post.

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  3. It is like when my youngest daughter goes back to college. We might fuss with each other when she is here but I sure miss her when she is gone!

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  4. I really loved this…the list especially. They sound like very mature, silly, funny still little girls. I’m not surprised you enjoyed them. Also they sound smart, like their Gramma. Why don’t you and Morgan play a coupla games of gin or watch a movie together. I recommend Milo and Otis for Morgan and Last Tango for you. Talk about taking your mind of what ails you 🙂

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  5. “Whatever you think they will eat, they won’t. Whatever you don’t think they will eat, they do.” So true–all of it. Thanks for admitting out loud that you’re not a kid person. I used to be a kid person and have felt enormously guilty for becoming not-so-much a kid person, which happened when I stopped BEING a kid.

    Your post is very witty. Thanks for the smiles.

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  6. Exhausting and interesting and adorable and fun — all in one!

    I feel like that when I have the Grands for the day — I gear up for it, stock up for it and roll in it. And when they leave, I sit in the vacuum of silence their absence creates .. and smile 🙂

    MJ

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  7. They are at such a fun age leaping around like little balls of energy saying everything that comes to mind….I’m jealous. If you figure out how to bottle some of that energy let me know. Glad to know you enjoyed these beautiful little girls.

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  8. I am not big on kids either. But when I volunteered to teach a three year old kids at a bible study I had a great time. It was only once a week so I could recover between classes. I don’t remember what three was like but I think I was not as smart as kids that are three today.

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  9. You have now entered the Grandma trap Kate, and will be forever involved with these kids until they are grown. And each time you embark upon scintillating conversation with them and go down the list of all the identifying characteristics you have grown to love, you will be left just as perplexed and even more exhausted. Welcome!

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    • Since we don’t see them often, the changes between visits are huge. They grow a foot taller and get smarter. You can’t pull the wool over their eyes or tell them anything less than the truth or they will call you on it. Oh yes, they remember everything and will correct you when you’re wrong. The comparison with my memory was startling (and worrisome!)

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  10. I love your list of observations. Sometimes with the little ones there’s a bit of manic energy (which can be accompanied by difficult behavior) just before crashing and burning ( when they morph back into quiet angels). The dog does the same thing.
    Sounds like a delightful time. The cat’s probably sad, too.

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    • Short doses are wonderful. Our former next door neighbors had a son with family in New Zealand (we are in Pennsylvania). When they came to visit they stayed two months. They had three kids under 6. I once commented how great it must be to have the grandkids around. She started to cry and told me that she was getting so mean that she stayed in the bedroom a lot. They both were in their 70s and she was a lovely lady. The kids weren’t bad but the commotion for that length of time did her in. They moved to a retirement village in Florida without a guest bedroom so when her son visits they had to stay in a rental. It probably worked all the way around.

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  11. You’ve described that age perfectly. Especially the deflecting conversations and the brightly colored clothes. Made me smile. The smurfs as your header made me smile, too.

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