Friday, February 19, 2010

The Joy of Joblessness

I'm finding there are certain joys to being aimless, feckless, and jobless. I have time to take our grandsons, Taylor and Adam, and their first cousin, Jacob, during school vacation. Taylor is ten, Jacob is nine, and Adam has just turned seven.

The other grandmother, "Nanny" a/k/a Marie and I took the kids on an extended "field trip day" yesterday that began with bowling. We talked smack to the kids all the way there, saying that two old women were going to "kick their tiny hineys all the way up between their shoulder blades." It was hysterical listening to the retorts from the back seat. We told the boys that when they lost, and they would, we'd buy them nice frilly pink and yellow Easter dresses at Wal-Mart to go to lunch in as a penalty for being LOSERS!!! This got them going big time and they shouted back they'd rather go naked, they were going to win because we were girls and they were men, etc. and giggling up a storm.

We stopped at Dunkin Donuts on the way there because Marie and I needed coffee to brace ourselves up with. Has anyone else ever seen a boy child with a head no larger than, say, an oversized cantaloupe shove more than half of a Boston creme doughnut into their mouth? And still be able to chew? Well, I It was something like watching a boa constrictor eat a baby gazelle in one gulp. Little kids are so weird.

So we start bowling - - the big balls. Adam, the littlest one, picks out a 12 pounder because he likes the color. The guy running the front desk very kindly and surreptitiously places a 7 pounder onto the ball return with a wink at me. Adam quickly discovered he liked this ball a whole lot more than the other one due in great part to the fact he can actually carry and throw it. I don't believe Adam weighs much more than 60 pounds soaking wet. The kids are having a pretty good time. Jacob is the best bowler with his long arms and legs. He's also much more deliberate and patient. Marie and I are jumping around and whooping it up at every little victory. We're embarrassing the kids as much as possible until they beg for the quarters we brought for them so they could play the arcade games and get as far away from us as possible.

After bowling, and kicking some tiny hineys - hey it was three against two - we had lunch and then off to check out a buffalo farm out in West Bath that I'd passed going to my tax guy on Monday. That was an event for sure. The boys were all bravado and talking about manure and how gross the buffalo were, hooting and clanging around on the fence at them. That is, until the leader of the pack whom I'll call "Gargantua" showed up from down pasture. This fella weighed in at a ton plus manure weight on his fur. He started snorting loudly and eyeballing us, sidling around, wanting to know why we were looking at his harem. The kids were standing right up against the fence when this began and asked, all happy like, if the buffalo was farting. I said no, that he was snorting at them. Then to their great delight, he started licking his tongue up into his nose and that started off a whole volley of disgusting little boy comments.

Suddenly Gargantua snorted really loudly and charged about five feet toward the fence. I have never in my life seen three little boys move so fast. I turned to look and Taylor was all the way up next to the road, Adam had dashed behind Marie, and Jacob was nearly back to the car some 25 yards away. Long legs win out every time. That ended our buffalo viewing for the day. On the way back to the car, we did pat some nice beef creatures and have running commentary from Taylor on manure. It's amazing the fresh perspective children can give something as simple as cow poop.

On the ride back, "someone," it might have been me, started trouble by winding a big squishy green ball into the back seat at three little heads. Hey, they taunted me by saying I wouldn't do it. Poor Jacob, was right in the middle and got most of action square in the forehead. We had to stop once the ball got lodged onto the back deck of the car out of reach. You never heard so much delighted giggling and shouting, but the car stayed completely under control, all you concerned parents. I can throw a ball and drive, just don't ask me to change a CD and drive. And, they started it.....

It was such a great day. A reminder of what it's like to be a kid and just laugh and have fun, act silly and smile until your face hurts. Or bowl until you can't lift your arm over head the next day. What I'm happiest about was the kids asking their father if they could come back again the next day even before they'd left yesterday afternoon.

I think this is the greatest job I've ever had.

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