By Lorry Myers
We met his mother at a McDonald’s off I-70, the little boy jumping up and down while his car seat was installed in our car. It would be the first time my almost four-year old grandson would stay an extended period of time at his grandparent’s house. My husband and I had been counting the days until we could have Ivan to ourselves without his parents and his parent’s rules.
I think his mother was slightly concerned.
Before he left home, Ivan insisted he make a list of activities he wanted to do while he was here. He had detailed every park in town, in order of his favorites. Then he added things like slushy drinks, Happy Meals, and ice cream trucks. Riding the golf cart all over town and the lawn mower all over yard.
We could manage that.
Every grandparent has their own style and their own grandparent name. My grandson calls my husband, Pops, and he calls me Queenie; the names we were given the day he was born.
Now, pressure is on to live up to those names.
After we unloaded Ivan’s suitcase, there was still some daylight left and Ivan wanted to play. We started with his favorite park and then went to another on his list while Queenie huffed and puffed trying to keep up. We climbed walls and slid down slides and by the time we got home, had popsicles and a bath, I was exhausted.
Ivan not so much.
I laid with him that first night, in the room he usually sleeps in with his parents. I read him a book and then snuggled beside him with his favorite Hulk pillow and super hero blanket. The room was dark with just a gentle sliver of light peeking through the crack in the blackout curtain. I laid there and listened to Ivan breathe remembering his happy giggle as he played. So far, I thought, Queenie is doing great!
“Queenie,” Ivan whispered, his arms in a death grip around my neck. “We forgot to eat dinner and brush my teeth.”
The next day, he told his mother all about it.
Every day that week, we woke up early and went to bed way past Ivan’s bedtime. We ate cookies and doughnuts and Cheetos, and Happy Meals with double kid fries. Every day we played in the yard and played in every single park in town.
Every night, we ate dinner and brushed his teeth.
When Ivan’s parents Facetimed him, he was always too busy to talk. Besides, we were always going somewhere or in the middle of something or doing something he didn’t want his parents to see.
Good decision on his part.
That week, my grandson and I had time for deep conversations about Iron Man and water towers and why we have to wear facemasks. Apparently, 100 is the highest number there is because Ivan wants 100 treats and wants to stay 100 days and believes that I am 100 years old.