Sunday, September 20, 2009

Old Songs

Music was a huge part of my upbringing, and continues to be a huge part of my life. It's rare that I don't have some sort of "soundtrack" going on.

Given that music seems to be embedded in my genes, and my siblings', it's no surprise that the girls love music, too. And here at Grandma and Boppa's, we've been singing old Sunday School songs at night (supposedly to settle them down, but if you've ever heard them belt out the "Appleseed" song, you'd have your doubts on that score). And during the day. And when the girls are supposed to be napping. Current favorites are "This Little Light of Mine," "The Rainbow is a Promise," "The Wise Man Built His House Upon the Rock," and "We are Happy People." (If you don't know any of them, the girls will happily sing them for you.)

In a totally different vein, I've got a rather wide range of musical likes. Pretty much everything from, say, 60s doo-wop to STOMP. (I do tend to avoid country, hip-hop, and gangsta rap, though.) To the great dismay of my oldest nephew, I have this deep and abiding love of 80s music. I have had to remind him (love you, K) that he wouldn't have the musical styles of today without the 80s music he loathes. It didn't work; I think he still thinks less of me for liking it. I can't help it. This is the music I grew up with.

I'm telling you all this so that I can tell you this story.

Mom and I wanted to take advantage of Saturday's early-bird special at Kohl's, which ended at 1p. Mom had wanted to talk to my sister when she called on Skype sometime between 10a-12p, so we hung out at the house until it was nearly noon and boogied over to Kohl's. I needed new jeans to replace the nearly-new ones I lost in the accident. I had no desire to wear shorts to church on Sunday, either. And perhaps a new shirt. Could always use a new shirt.

We left, leaving poor Dad to finish the Velveeta shells & cheese and supervise lunch. I found my jeans, Mom found jeans for Dad and a couple fall shirts for Charity, and we hustled into line just before 1p so we could get our extra 15% off. As we left Kohl's, Mom suggested Penney's to see if they had any shirts I might like, since they were having a sale and Kohl's had been a wash as far as that was concerned.

Now, I'm walking around well enough with the cane, but I still have one speed and one speed only: SLOW. So I get out first at Penney's while Mom finds a parking spot, since all of the gimp-accessible spots were full. I mosey into the store, and I grab Mom's attention as she all but barrels past me down the center aisle. She leads the way to the women's department, and I get stopped in an archway because my phone chirps. Incoming text message.

I handle the cane just fine, but I am not talented enough to walk with the cane, pull out my phone from my right jeans pocket with my braced wrist, and check the message.

It's from Dad. "Clementine till Jesus comes..." he'd written.

And I hear the music in my head, chuckle, and text back, asking which of the twins--since it had to be one of them--had spouted off with this little line.

Medium Fry, Dad's next text tells me. And it was totally spontaneous.

I show Mom the text, because I'm still chuckling when I catch up to her, and we find a couple shirts that I really like. Mom goes to look for some stuff for the girls while I try on the shirts and head for the checkout lines. Fifteen minutes later, I'm checked out and Mom is in line when my phone chirps again.

Dad again. "Mme. Tussaud."

And that's it.

It takes me a minute.

Allrighty then. "One of the kids is having a meltdown," I tell Mom. (Turns out, there were not enough clementines to get us to the Second Coming for Medium Fry, who snuck one of Large Fry's wedges when Dad's back was turned, and she got disciplined for it.)

And I've been stuck in old songs ever since!

I love it!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

More Dinner Conversations

From last night...

Medium Fry is not wanting to eat.

Me: Take a bite, Medium Fry.

Medium Fry carefully lifts about six grains of rice on her fork and dutifully pops them into her mouth, shooting me a triumphant grin.

Me: That's not a bite, Medium. That's a nibble.

Small Fry: That's a nipple.

Needless to say, every adult at the table had a hand trying to block the guffaws on that one. We didn't do so well.

From tonight...

We've been trying to teach the girls that certain behavior is not appropriate at the table. Like jabbing your fork's tines into Grandma's tablecloth. Or throwing your food happily on the floor (which results in you picking things up, one item at a time, and taking them to the trash...we pretty well stopped that when Medium Fry had to pick up over two dozen kernels of corn). Or playing with other people's plates and silverware. Or just plain playing at the table, with flailing arms and lack of attention, which results in things ending up on the floor.

Large Fry decided she was not going to finish her dinner, and when I announced at dessert (for the adults) that all three girls were done, she started playing. Bouncing back and forth in her booster chair. Flinging her arms around. Grinning.

I'd taken off my wrist brace for dinner, and it was sitting to the right of my dessert plate (peach ice cream on fresh peach pie...good golly). Large Fry swung her arms around, and then her left arm cleared the table of anything within its span...thankfully, just my wrist brace.

Now, I have a hard time bending, so picking it up was going to be problematic.

"Large Fry!" I said in a scolding tone. "Was that yours?" (We've also been trying to teach them that they can't touch things that do not belong to them.)

Large Fry slowly shakes her head.

Mom asked what she touched, and I quickly explain. "No, Large Fry swung her arm across the table and knocked my brace on the floor."


I try to push back my chair (a tough task when your ankle doesn't want to bend), and Mom says I should stay put and Large Fry should have to pick it up.

Mom has Large Fry get down from her chair, pick up the brace, put it back on the table, and get back in her chair...and then Mom throws the brace down on the floor so that Large Fry can repeat the entire process all over again.

We're on the third repetition of this little lesson when Dad says, "I think she should have to tell Auntie J she's sorry every time, too."

Mom nudges Large Fry. "Tell Auntie J that you're sorry."

"I'm sorry, Auntie J."

"Say, 'Will you forgive me?'"

"'Give me?"

"No. 'Will you forgive me?'"

"You will 'give me."

She said this so seriously, yet I can see the laughter brimming in Dad's eyes. Mom's trying to hold it back. I'm failing miserably at keeping a straight face.

"Will you forgive her, Auntie J?" Mom managed to get out.

I choke out a "yes" and thankfully rein in the laughter that was threatening to burst out after that one single word.

Large Fry climbed back in her seat, Mom put the brace on the floor again, Large Fry got back down, picked it up, and put it on the table.

Mom prompted her again. "Say, 'Will you forgive me?'"

"You will 'give me," Large Fry dutifully intoned.

"I forgive you, honey," I said, this time not looking at Dad.

Mom has Large Fry go through the process a third time, but when it comes time for her to ask for forgiveness, Mom made sure to carefully enunciate each word.

Large Fry got the words in the right order this time, but "forgive" still came out as "give."

I hope our general inability to keep a straight face didn't get in the way of what Large Fry was supposed to be learning....

Friday, September 11, 2009

It Takes a Grandma

Everyone has gotten up from naptime, and Dad shuttles the two oldest girls to the potty chairs.

They're finishing up and Large Fry complains that she needs new undies. Well, hers aren't wet, so Dad informs her that these are just fine. She continues to whine, so I step in. Her undies are fine. She just needs to pull them up right, not up so high she gives herself her own nuclear wedgie, which had been the previous issue. Or so we thought.

Grandma arrives home from all of her tests and the girls go bonkers. However, it doesn't take long before Large Fry starts whimpering again. "Gramma, I have a problem," she says.

Mom checks. It takes about two seconds for her to deduce the problem. "You do have a problem!" she agrees. "Come over here. Auntie J would agree that you have a problem."

She sits in the other recliner and drapes Large Fry over her knee before stripping off both her pants and undies. "They were on sideways," Mom says.

I agree that this is a problem.

Dad comes back into the kitchen and asks what the problem was. Mom holds up the undies as Large Fry was wearing them, sideways.

Dad's eyes widen. "Oh, Large Fry, I am so sorry. She's been complaining about that all day, and no wonder. And I was wondering why she had this double layer of material on her side," he says to Mom. He looks back at Large Fry. "You really did have your undies in a knot! I guess it takes a grandma."