Taking Care Of The Grandkids Leads To A Flurry Of Questions


I’m watching the Missouri grandkids over the weekend and, because I was in Florida so long, I’m completely out of practice.

Not only are the kids each six inches taller than I remember, but they are also smarter. I can’t keep up. I mean, I was hanging by a thread before, and now I think I’m losing my grip. OK, I am losing my grip.

“Grandma! I have to audition for the school play on Monday! Can you download the music and the lyrics and send them to Alexa in the bedroom?”

“Grandma! The virtual barn I’m building on my Switch has two staircases and the cows can’t get to the second floor! Do you know how to install an elevator? And have I earned enough apple star bits to pay for it?”

“Grandma! I left my Spanish book at school, but mom ordered me a new one on Amazon. Has it arrived in your mailbox yet?”

I answer: “No, no, I don’t know, and I’ll check.”

“Grandma! Do you have three AAA, one D and four C batteries? Do you have a tiny screwdriver? Can you help me get this plastic trapdoor removed? Do you know where my Nerf bullets are?”

“Grandma! I’m going outside. Where are my mittens with the iPad-friendly fingertips? And my earbuds?”

“Grandma! Do you have Netflix in both bedrooms or just this one? Did papa talk to you about our new phone family plan? He says you need a new phone.”

I answer: “Yes, yes, yes and no. In the closet. On the counter. No, I don’t think so, and please tell me he isn’t going to replace the phone I just learned to use with another one.”

It’s like being in a corn popper — kids and questions swirling around in my brain when all I want to do is try to complete a sentence.

I know it’s time to eat when the second round of questions starts.

“Can I have a waffle? An egg? Two pieces of toast and an orange?”

“Not me, Grandma! I want three pancakes and an apple.”

“You didn’t put butter on the waffle, did you? Is the egg scrambled? Is this whole wheat toast?”

“I don’t want syrup but, do you have whipped cream? And do you have sprinkles? And is the apple green or red?”

I answer: “Yes, OK, fine, sure. Pancakes are on. Yes on the apple. No, yes and yes. Yes, yes and green.”

Before I can sit down, they pop up like tarts from a toaster and are off. Fifteen minutes later, just as I finish drying the last dish, the boy pokes his head around the corner and says, “I’m hungry. Could I have a peanut butter and jelly sandwich?”

I nod but I have to work quickly. I promised that this afternoon I would take them to swim lessons, a movie and out for ice cream. Then I have to get them home in time for their scout meeting.

(Deep breath.) I’ve heard that a lot of people my age take a nap in the afternoon.