Monday, February 27, 2012

Trouble in Paradise Revisited

My sister Toni and her husband Tim celebrated their 35th wedding anniversary this weekend and took a trip to St. Augustine, Florida in celebration. It brought to mind a few years ago when they still had a young son at home (who I now in college) and needed a babysitter for the weekend. I have Toni to thank for saving this piece I wrote about that delightful experience. So, here goes.


It has been a long time I have cohabited with an 8 year old boy. Even when I did my boys did not talk to me all that much. Figuring that this was why they had friends, there was only parental communication between us. You know the drill, I gave orders they patently ignored. I would find myself giving the same order over a short period of time until it was ultimately obeyed. It was a war of wills between us, a war I usually won.


My sister Toni and brother in law Tim had a business meeting to attend in Boone. NC this particular weekend (or at least that was what I was told) and they figured my father would benefit from the company of his grandson for several days. He arrived on Saturday. It is now Monday and he is not with his grandfather, he is with us. My father, who likes the pleasant buzz of familial activity, likes it from behind his closed bedroom door. He was worried that Alex would fall in the pool and drown, that one of the dogs would bite him in his over exuberance or that he could not escape the endless chatter of said child. It turns out he didn't need to be the one worrying about any of those things. He simply took to his bed and called for back up.

So here I am with a very precocious 8 year old boy whose favorite activity is talking. He talks very well. If I could find one thing in common with a small boy this would be an outstanding situation. I like to talk, too. But as I have mentioned, my boys did not do much talking to me. I had no interest in Batman then and I find I have even less interest in him now. I am perfectly content on my day off to play in my garden until it gets to hot and then move my playtime to the computer. I have enough competition for computer time with Mac, and now I find this little person staying with us also likes the computer.


I also learned this little person is a picky eater. He doesn't much like vegetables of any color. He explained to me that his parental units were teaching him to eat vegetables, a lesson he should have learned in infancy, but he is a slow starter in that area. (I have to remember to tell the parental units they may have procrastinated to long on this one.) I found that the one vegetable he will eat is corn and then only on the cob or creamed. He likes chicken. I of course fixed Roast beef. He likes yellow rice, not white. Two guesses what color the rice was and the first one doesn't count. He will eat tomatoes if they're in spaghetti.

I had them sliced. Raw. When he saw the okra he very politely turned up his nose. This was after he had very cleverly asked what that green slimy stuff I was slicing was and if it was a vegetable. I should have told him it was a fruit and maybe he would have at least tried it.


Supper being a dismal failure, he continued his pursuit of the cat children. They, being of sound mind and good sense, hid from him. Duffy had long since pleaded guilty to a charge of child endangerment and was sentenced to the back yard.


The phone rang while I was cooking. Joyce wanted to know if I wanted to come in and work third shift for an officer who had called in sick. The answer was a resounding yes...I did want to but I simply could not. Mac, who had had even less experience with 8 year old boys than I have, would never have understood. I feared he would run off to Daddy's and lock himself in with him.


Toni called a little bit ago. She asked how it was going. I lied. I told her all was going well...great in fact. I told her if I was a bit sharp it was because I was in pain. My shoulder and neck had been been giving me a fit for about three days. I told her it wasn't that I didn't want to talk to Alex, I didn't want to talk to Mac either. In fact I wished that everyone would leave me to my own devices and let me suffer in peace. Alex came to speak with his mother and wanted to know when they were coming to pick him up. He said he thought he was making Aunt Sandi nervous. I suspect Toni now knows all is not well in paradise.

And  now our Alex has reached his majority...he his now 21...a college student with a bright future in front of him because he loves to talk... now I wonder which side of the family he gets that from...Happy Birthday darling boy...we love you...
Aunt Sandi and Uncle Mac

20 comments:

Vee said...

Alex sounds a great deal like my eight-year-old self. Hope that you and he are communicating just fine these days...

Sally said...

LOL~love this! :)

Helena said...

I love that header photo, btw :)

"I had no interest in Batman then and I find I have even less interest in him now." -LOL!!!!!!!!

bj said...

hahhhaaa....too cute

Brian Miller said...

smiles...i have one on either sideof this...and as their parent there are days i need an escape plan as well...i def dont mind Batman or Star Wars...but there are plenty of these convos i want out of...luckily mine eat their veggies...

Akelamalu said...

Did the child survive?? ;)

Donna said...

Parental Units?Hahahahaaa.....
Good One!!
hughugs

Carver said...

Your stories are so much fun and this one is no exception.

Shrinky said...

Sandi, I love you! Oh boy, was this funny (sorry) - I'm still laughing, but not AT YOU. You see, I understand perfectly about being placed in such a bind. What most folk don't know, is one of the saving graces of birthing four young children closely together, is that you have your own (non portable, I grant you) creche. They amused each other - I cooked, cared and cleaned for them, but entertainment? Puleeze,they had each other for that! The only times I was driven to distraction, was if ever they invited an only child over for tea - only children don't always know how to play nicely, and they mostly prefer ADULT company.

Spin forward a couple of decades. My baby sister has a GORGEOUS 8yr old daughter - and I dread sitting for her - don't get me wrong, she's a delight, just more delightful when she comes with her mother..

Haaaaaaa, this post is too funny for words!

Riverdale Farm said...

What is this talking business?? Totally over rated, I say!

Sandi - I "friended" on FB a few days back - check it out you should see the request from me. All else fails search for:

Samantha Fox (Samantha North), Kokopu, New Zealand

Jeni said...

Two things here tonight, Sandi. First, I have to tell you I loved this post and that your reactions to your nephew mirror my own actions, frequently, but with my own kids when they were growing up. I blame my inability to really converse on the same level as my kids to the factor I was an only child and often had difficulty then speaking to kids after I became an adult.(Well an adult in body anyway, some would say.)
And also, I wanted to tell you how much I appreciated your comment earlier today on my blog. And also, to ask you to go back to that post (from Feb 26th) and read the comment below yours -it is from an anonymous commenter but it is from the oldest daughter of my cousin, Carl, about whom I was writing. Her comments to me about my thoughts/memories of her Dad, I confess that brought on a deluge of tears for me, sentimental slob that I am. But it also gives proof positive of the healing power of those tears too -the release of the sorrow with the loss -really did wonders for me tonight.
Peace, my friend!

Justabeachkat said...

Hi sweet friend

I'm up early...way too early...but I'm having fun sipping on some coffee and FINALLY catching up on my blog reading.

It's always fun to visit YOU.

Kids! They either don't talk or talk too much. lol

Glad you survived.

Hugs,
Kat

Gill - That British Woman said...

that was funny, well for the one who is reading this. I am glad you re-told the story.

The lentil Stew recipe was posted on my February 20th post, for some reason I can't copy and paste a link onto this comment? Very, very strange,

Gill in Canada

cheshire wife said...

Other people's children, even if they are family, are still not your own.

merry weather said...

These sound very trying times :-(
I can just imagine. Do hope the parental units get back soon!

Not so long ago when I and my boys stayed with my parents, I thanked my dad warmly for having us all to stay. That's all right darling he said, just don't come back too soon, make it a while...

:-))

X

Lynn@ The Vintage Nest said...

cute cute cute. I understand your Daddy completely. When the grand girls come to visit I am so nervous when their parents leave for a dinner out alone. the pool....the lake...the ground bees.....the bears in the woods.....lol...you name it.

Zuzana said...

Children are so very honest and they sense everything.;) It is never easy with someone else's kids.;)
Great story that made me chuckle.;))
xoxo

i beati said...

hard i always hear the opposite she lets her do everything !!

Merisi said...

I wonder how old the chap is now and if he has children of his own now!

I hope you are alright,
cheers,
Merisi

Jenny Woolf said...

Ha ha! he sounds such a character. Making you nervous - what a wonderful remark to make! :D