"Everything went fine till half past nine"....as the song Glendale Train goes....metaphorically speaking. Actually everything was going swimmingly today, our second full day with Dalton, until his late second lunch. He and I had just come in the house from a massive Easter Egg hunt in the front yard. Dalton, seated in the grass, had put together 30-plus eggs, adding to the inside of each egg a small rock (which we had poached from the backyard of the Gnome who lives under the dogwood tree). As he finished putting together each egg he would hand it to me, and I would hide it. If I delayed, he would look at me seriously and say, "Hide it." Yes, sir! That's a lot of eggs!
So after he has found all the eggs and thrown all the rocks inside the eggs, we come inside for a late lunch. As soon as I mention the word "lunch" he makes the sign for "chocolate." Casey lets him have one little organic chocolate square before lunch, so I dutifully get out the chocolate. Then I fix his lunch. So, there he is, sitting at the table, happily eating his organic hotdog. (Scenario: I cut the hotdog into little semi-circles, peel off the tough outer casing, dip each bite into mayonnaise and then ketchup and then pop them into his mouth.) He is also drinking his organic juice. I notice he is almost out of juice, so I say to him, "We need Granddaddy to get you some more juice. Granddaddy, can you get some more juice for Dalton?" And, Granddaddy (Red), who is nearby in the kitchen says, "We're out of juice." Out of juice?
So, I say, dummy that I am, "Maybe we can go to Martin's (the grocery store) and get some."
Dalton seems to like this and makes his sign for driving in the car. So, we have a plan. He finishes his hotdog and gets down from the table and I go to the bedroom to put on a pair of pants that doesn't have a hole in the seat.
However, when I come back into the living room, Dalton is upset. It turns out he doesn't want to go to the grocery store to get juice. He wants to go home. (Which he often does at this time of day when we keep him on the weekends.) Whoops! Sad little face and tears. So Red takes him to his big Lazy Boy rocking chair to rock but Dalton doesn't like that either. He wants to go home. I tell him that he can't go home right now because Mama (Casey) is not there, she is working (a concept he usually understands when people disappear), and that she will be back on Monday. But what does "Monday" mean to a 2-year-old? I can feel his sadness and his keen disappointment and I want to FIX IT. I am his Gran. I fix things!
So, I utter the words I never thought I would say in a MILLION YEARS: "Let's go to Walmart and get you some new markers!"
This does the trick, thank you very much! He perks up. Walmart he likes. Markers he LOVES. He is a fiend for colored markers--any kind-- Sharpies, Highlighters, Tri-color, Shorties. He loves color and loves to make all kinds of lines, spirals, dots, and random shapes with his markers.) So, Walmart + new markers. What's not to like?
We pile in the car and off we go. Dalton is quiet as a mouse, contemplating perhaps, in his little boy mind, his new markers. We are in and out of Walmart and back home in thirty minutes. Dalton uncases his markers and starts drawing. I send a text to Casey: "Minor crisis averted by going to WALMART FOR NEW MARKERS. How the mightly have fallen." She texts back: "HAHAHAHAHA!!"
Then she adds a PS: "BTW, Don Wayne and Dale say hello." That would be the Reno brothers, Don Reno's sons! The juxtaposition of us hauling ass to Walmart to get markers for Dalton while Casey is hanging out with the Reno boys is mind boggling.
I know you more experienced grandparents out there are probably laughing your heads off. Go ahead. I totally get it. But this was a first for us--totally panicking, totally caving, and totally leaving the house to go buy something for the grandkid to make him happy. Welcome to the world of 21st century grandparenting! Totally!