You might need a little background information for this post. If so, go to Monday's post and read what happened the day before we were to go camping with the four grandchildren. By the way, I have 7 1/3 grandchildren. Thank goodness three were too old for this adventure and 1/3 was too small!
I was supposed to get G10 and B9 on Wednesday but G7 and G2 (seen here in her dress and bow as befits the princess she is) were coming on Tuesday. You know what that means….G10 and B9 begged their Dad to let them come early (this is a custody thing and Tuesday was his day). He relented, and in his defense I bet they begged until he ran screaming from the room. He had taken them to the lake on Monday “tubing.” Just in case you don’t know about tubing it means the children hang on to a big tire inner tube while a boat pulls them around the lake and the children scream “faster, faster”. I don’t watch stuff like that. I have visions of small bodies getting stuck upside down in the tube or falling off and nobody noticing for miles or….well, all the things grandmothers have visions of.
B9 (seen here trying to fit in G2's "truck") gets out of his Dad’s truck yelling, “Grandma, I completely and totally forgot that I had my tennis shoes on when I jumped into the lake yesterday!” “Really.” I replied, “And I guess that’s your only pair of shoes?” as I watched the tennis shoes in his hands drip water all over the ground. “Yep!” “Yes, ma’am” I automatically corrected. I said yes, ma’am and no ma’am 43,722 times in four days. Teaching, always teaching. The children said it, well, far fewer times than me. I loaned him my Birkenstocks, the only pair of shoes I had that might be construed as not completely female. G10 waited until Dad was gone and said, "We didn't have breafast. What's for lunch?" Of course. It's still an hour and a half drive to pick up the other two. And there are no McDonald's on the way.
Eventually I pick up the next two children (G7 and G2). They have enough luggage and toys for a third world country. “My mommy”, according to G7 (the would be acrobat on the left), “likes for us to take lots of toys everywhere”. After driving away, and getting out of earshot from their mother, G7 tells me that they are having a new baby. I (being the informed grandmother that I am) reply, “I know!” It’s a dream come true, she says! Hmmm, that’s not what her Daddy said when he told me. I ask about the missing teeth. With an impossible twisting of her mouth she shows me all four missing spaces and tells me the tooth fairy brought $3. Excuse me? I remember her bringing me ten cents. This could be what's wrong with our world today - $3 a tooth!
G10 is my helper in the car, keeping the others entertained as we happily travel toward Nirvana - the camper! We arrive at the camp grounds and Grandpa has already set up camp, yea! We have/had the nicest camper – still has that new smell, you know, like new cars? It’s a year and a half old but you can’t tell it. It’s pristine. Everything is in its’ place. It has a king sized bed and a full sized shower…heaven on wheels! It’s been to Colorado and back three times. It’s parked beside rivers and lakes. It has not been to the beach because sand would get in it. Sand doesn’t come out. That’s how careful we’ve been with it.
What’s the first thing the four children want to do? Why go swimming, of course! So we gather up beach toys and sunscreen and off we go. We’re walking? What? What do you mean walking, Grandma? Can’t we drive? It’s at least a block away! Uh oh, there’s the beach. It’s sand. They bury each other in the sand, up to their necks. And I think it would have been heads and all if we hadn’t been there to scream “NO”. Sand on their bodies, sand in their hair, sand stuck in their shoes, sand on the towels. What do you mean we can’t shower in the camper Grandma? Why do we have to go to the camp showers? Are their spiders in there? Because I don’t do spiders Grandma! We build a fire, roast wieners, make s’mores. One wants the marshmallow toasted, one doesn’t. One wants only chocolate, one wants only marshmallows. It’s been a good day, relatively speaking. The camper has some sand on the floor and Oreos on the carpet, but floors will clean, right? Bedtime. G2 goes immediately and climbs up into my bed. Of course. I surely don’t expect her to sleep with the other kids, because I know she’s the Princess, right? B9 gets on the mattress on the floor and the two girls on the sofa bed. Now about sleeping with G2: if the sun goes out for a week don’t worry about it because this kid has enough body heat to warm the world for several days. And she sleeps sideways. Except for when she’s kicking and screaming “NO” at the top of her lungs at 1:30 a.m. And 2:15 a.m. And 3:35 a.m. And… Finally I get up and see that all 3 big kids are asleep on the sofa bed, hanging off the edges and one upside down. The mattress on the floor is abandoned and calls my name, but I resist. I took 40 pictures the first day – we want to remember everything!
To be continued.