Sunday, August 22, 2010

Or, maybe I’m just witnessing the first stages of dementia.

Grandma arrived two days ago and I have only seen her allowed out of the basement for meals. She is otherwise held hostage down there and made to sort through gigantic tubs of Legos to find the piece that Motormouth needs next. Seriously. His job is to show her a picture of the missing pieces, and assembly. All the heavy lifting, sitting on the floor and sifting through a gazillion Lego bricks belongs to Grandma. I'm pretty sure she is sorting them at night to find all the crazy tiny accessory pieces instead of sleeping, just so there are some ready to go when the Lego Nazi, er, precious angel wakes up in the morning. Meanwhile, Motormouth has attended a birthday party AND played for a few hours on the waterslide in the backyard. He even takes trampoline breaks. Where’s Grandma? Still sorting. You know what it sounds like when you rifle through a gigantic tub of molded plastic? A rock polisher. Guess who is trying to sleep through that noise? Yep. That would be Grandpa. Who apparently can sleep through the apocalypse judging by the racket emanating from the basement, which, coincidently, is where the spare room is located. Did I mention that the basement isn’t quite finished yet? Yeah. There’s no door to the guest room. Still, he manages to get some shut eye in, but only while Monkey is asleep. Since Motormouth has Grandma all locked up, Monkey seeks out his Papa, and he doesn’t let a silly thing like sleep get in his way. I’m pretty sure that if I had chose to wake my father by getting a running start and cannon-balling him that I wouldn’t be here to tell the tale. Monkey gets rewarded by Papa tickling him. Papa gets rewarded with knees, elbows and feet to the head. Nice.
So, what’s the deal? Does becoming a Grandparent make this stuff seem awesome? I keep hearing that being a grandparent is your reward for being a parent, that it is some kind of prize you win if you can manage to see your kids through adulthood. Or is it just that after being a parent for a couple decades, it makes you so crazy that this stuff SEEMS great? I’m just not seeing the appeal. If this is what is going to await me after parenthood, I don’t know if I’ll survive it.

Monday, August 16, 2010

My Dad is pretty awesome too.

My Grandmother passed away.
She was 85.
The love of her life died 15 years prior.
Her health has been declining steadily.
If that all wasn't enough to prepare me, my dear, sweet, Grandma has been telling me for the past DECADE that she is READY. NOW. and that she can't wait to go and too bad for whoever isn't happy for her when her time comes.
She was awesome.

So, I was more or less prepared. G was prepared. Not only for her death, but for everything that comes after. My particular grieving process, my family's drama, the fact that we are going to laugh more than cry, the ridiculous things we will find to fight about...all of it. He was there 15 years ago when my Great Grandmother and my Grandfather passed two weeks apart. And for some reason he didn't run. (he's awesome too, maybe it will rub off) I'm grateful. Motormouth was a little prepared, we've been talking to him about Nana's failing health for some time now. The only person that wasn't prepared was Monkey. He doesn't grasp the concept. Which would be fine, except that whether he grasps it or not, he is still subjected to hordes of slightly familiar and completely unfamiliar people, new places and lots of hanging around. In other words, the worst case scenario possible. The showing was okay. He was very sweet and told Nana goodbye, then shushed me for talking while she was sleeping. He hung out with his cousins watching movies and playing games in the basement of the funeral home and was handling most all of it pretty well. The funeral itself was a slightly different story (we aren't even going to get into the nightmare of attempting to meet the extended family for lunch the day was so awful it drove me to tears). Monkey told Nana goodbye again, and he sat in the church pew quite well for a couple of minutes...and then started to unravel. I immediately came to the conclusion that we should have asked for a reserved "family" pew in the back of the church, but this moment of clarity came too late, and everyone that attended got to witness the following show:

Monkey standing, turning around and sitting about 20 times, asking to go home about 10 times. Spontaneously grabbing my cousin James while announcing "tickle, tickle, tickle!!....oh, you're not Papa!!" Apparently my father was the only one who was supposed to be wearing a dark suit jacket. Monkey standing up and turning around in the pew, putting his hands on his hips, looking very sad and saying "I'm sorry, I didn't know! but I gave it to the Peach, because he's got.....HAIR" (we got this particular reenactment of the Veggie Tales Silly Song "Where is my hairbrush" twice.... Twice) One trip to the bathroom, multiple requests to be "all done", oh, and my very favorite, the entire time he was climbing up my body so he could rub my head and put his hands over my face. This particular move is something that is calming to him. He likes hands on his face and feeling the top of his mohawk. It's comforting. Somehow, it has become MORE comforting to do it to me. I can't get him to stop. It makes me freak out and start screaming- inside my head. By the time the service is over I am one step shy of being stark raving mad.

I bump into my dad outside the church and tell him I wish we had sat in the back so we weren't such a spectacle. My dad replies that we were fine. I point out that he was in front of us and had no idea what was going on in my little circus show. Dad looks at me and says "I didn't need to see. I already know that Monkey was doing the best that he could, so therefore I know that it was fine"

The awesomeness doesn't fall far from the tree.
I hope it doesn't skip a generation.