Since the birth of Margaret Alleene, on June 5, the regular routine of the Dubuque Jeske household has been totally “fly by the seat of your pants” except for one thing. Grammy is camped in the home of our daughter and son-in-law! She’ll be coming home though on next Monday … I’ll stop alternating two days here, sleeping with the cat … and two days there, sleeping with Grammy. I do have my preference but I’ll not be specific just in case the cat reads this post. She, by the way, is standing on my chest as I type this … rubbing the side of her face on my chin, nipping and chewing on my beard, licking my ears. I don’t think Linda has done any of those things lately. I’m glad she hasn’t stood on my chest but the other things might be fun!
Things have been interesting and even marvelously exciting at times. Perhaps the most gratifying thing, after the birth of Margo, was when Grammy and I were awarded our “grandparent wings.” It’s like earning your stripes. It is a rite of passage, a bar-mitzvah for grandparents, if you like. It was done rather unceremoniously when Charissa entered the room and simply announced, “Now that we have two children, you will not be able to ride in our car anymore when we have them with us.” I was certainly not surprised by that pronouncement. I was taken off guard by the next one though … “You should think about getting a car seat to use in your car for Lucy.”
Did my ears deceive me? I held my breath for a moment, trying hard to conceal my delight. With the next breath I reached for my computer and brought up eBay to search for the aforementioned, surefire sign of a “worthy grandparent”; a toddler car seat in an old person’s car!!! Advertising to all who care to peer through the window that “I can chauffeur my progeny’s offspring!”
Two day’s later, the coveted prize arrived, upholstered in feminine pink fabric and ready to chauffeur Lucy in style and comfort!
On Monday, I pulled out the instruction booklet and went to work getting the straps properly adjusted. She observed carefully as I installed the seat into the rear of my vehicle and when I finished up and closed the car door she began to fuss. “Go” … “go” was her plaintiff cry which found a sympathetic resonance on my heart strings. So, with a happy heart bursting with joy we placed her in the seat. With an extra portion of care I took her on her first trip with Grampy … to the HyVee grocery store!! I sang “Jesus Loves Me” the whole way there.
Once we arrived, we zoomed up and down the aisles with vocal sounds approximating the sound of a motorcar. She saw LOTS of things that she would have selected if repeated pointing is any indication. I handed her each item for inspection before putting it in the basket. She would look at it, sometimes saying a few words and then handing it back to me or, alternatively, just dropping it into the basket behind her. She hugged the cantaloupe melon, tried to take a bite out of the slab of Swiss cheese, and eat the blueberries through the plastic. We purchased birthday cards for Grammy and I let her select the one from her. The one she chose had a mirror inside and I think that is why she chose it! We had a grand time!
To top off the day, it was my high privilege to “babysit” while Daddy went to work and Mommy and Grammy took Margo for a date at the Massage Center where they were treated to Swedish Massages. What fun it was to carve the cantaloupe, drink cranberry juice from the bottle with a straw and hide together from Gilbert by sitting under a blanket in the middle of the floor.
There’s something magical about spending time with a grandchild. One seems to fall under some kind of “silliness spell”; watching episodes of Curious George, Clifford the Big Red Dog, Tinkerbell and the Great Fairy Rescue and other such goofy stuff … all for the reward of having a little girl snuggle against my side and under the protection of my arm.
I am so looking forward to more chauffeuring in the days ahead. I have so much I want to teach her … and she has much to teach me as well.