Grandma Camp Is Now Over… And Thank Goodness!


Summer vacation is over, as signaled by the completion of Grandma Camp for yet another year. Grandma Camp takes place in that magical week before real camp starts and once again when real camp ends.

On the first day of camp, Grandma can’t wait to get her mitts on the children. It seems she never gets to see them enough.

On the last day of camp, Grandma is sitting in a far corner of the house in handcuffs. (So please forgive any typos. I am typing this with just one finger.)

Oh, it’s my own fault. When we went toy shopping, The Boy had earned two items by finishing up his summertime homework. He requested Legos (fine) and a police set (which I ignorantly thought was because he had high respect for authority, perhaps even because he intended to enter the force one day). I looked right past the gun and handcuffs.

I got my first inkling of trouble when we stopped at a McDonald’s play place, and he immediately donned the badge and started ordering the other children around. He pulled out the gun and took control of the twisty slide. He chose other “officers” and things were turning ugly. The room had been immediately divided into “haves” and “have-nots.” Most of the “have-nots” were toddlers under age 3.

Too much power is a dangerous thing, especially for a six-year-old. The police set got locked in the car.

The Girl chose a mermaid with a detachable tail and a play purse with accessories that included that most coveted of items — a tube of lipstick! Yet The Girl didn’t get her toys right away. It was understood from the get-go that hers were a bribe. Wake up without peeing on Grandma’s brand-new mattress and one of those fabulous toys is yours! (The new mattress was being protected by a plastic mat, but that “safety net” info was dispensed only to Grandpa, on a need-to-know basis.)

The first night, The Girl squished into our room at 1 a.m., said “sorry,” and fell right back asleep. I got her out of her wet things and back into a newly made bed. In the morning, she was dry, but that presented a conundrum. In the interest of fairness, I told her she could have half a toy. Soon she was proudly walking around carrying a mermaid without a tail.

On the second night, she made it through. Jubilation all around! You’d think she’d use this opportunity to make the mermaid whole, but no. She was now the proud owner of a mermaid and a lipstick. No tail. No purse.

On the third night, success again! Mermaid, tail, lipstick and purse were all hers.

On the fourth night, things took on an air of normalcy; and today, the last day, the only toys that have retained their charm are the handcuffs and the lipstick. That’s why I sit here attached to my chair, pecking away on my laptop with one free finger, hoping The Boy soon finds the key and hoping The Girl doesn’t smear lipstick onto my brand-new mattress before then.

As for me, I’ve begun drinking before bed, realizing that the next Grandma Camp is only a year away!