My Grandmother, The Toddler
When I was a little girl I would hang out with my grandmother at her beach house in Orange Beach. She had a yellow convertible named Daisy and she loved to spoil me. She cooked great meals and would buy me those Disney books at the grocery store every time we went. Edna(my grandmother) was always working on some sort of project. She once ran a pretty successful vacation based child care business called Beach Kids. I remember when she was creating her ad for the yellow pages with a picture of me in the ad! I was famous!
I tell you all this so you know I love my grandmother. She holds a special place in my heart and I choose to remember her in the ways above, not the way I see her today. Her behavior is just too damn funny to not share, though.
My mother, we will call her Mother Theresa Cindy, takes (mostly) excellent care of my grandmother. She may bitch and moan about it, but the old lady is taken care of none the less. Edna is a handful. It’s like having a toddler, but without the cute pigtails and no one will let her stay the night with them to give you a break:
Reason number one Edna is like a toddler: She won’t buy her dang food. While Edna is willing, sometimes, to go to the grocery store with you, you would prefer she didn’t. Think of the two year old you saw throwing a tantrum because her mother wouldn’t let her have the sugary cereal. the Good Toddler Mom tells her no it will rot your teeth or your brain, or make you have ADHD or whatever good moms tell their kids.(my kids just get the damn sugary cereal cause that’s what I like) The toddler then sits on the floor in protest and refuses to leave the cereal isle until she gets the Sugary Diabetes Cubes in a box. The Good Toddler Mom then proceeds to pick up the cute little protestor and carry her down the isle kicking and screaming. Now picture that scene with a 72 year old woman, only Mother Theresa Cindy can not pick up a 72 year old woman without someone calling Wal-mart security.
Reason number two Edna is like a toddler: She won’t make her own food. Although Edna once was an excellent cook, she now refuses to make anything in her own kitchen short of coffee. Mother Theresa Cindy prepares dinners for her. We learned the hard way that you cannot prepare more than one or two days worth of meals at a time. Think about the 4 year old who gets left unsupervised with his bag of Halloween candy. He tears open every Butterfinger and Jolly Rancher and eats them as fast as he can before someone can catch him and take away his precious sake of deliciousness. When his parents find him, he is passed out in the bag with candy wrappers and crumbs all around him. You can see a few pieces of candy, probably the licorice or something else gross, next to the trash can where he tried to throw them away, but missed and was too lazy to get up and actually put them in the trash. When his parents find him and ask him what happened he claims he didn’t eat the candy. It’s obvious that the cookie monster has broken in his room with the single intention of eating candy to get him in trouble. The cookie monster also stuck a half eaten Jolly Rancher on his shirt and rubbed chocolate on his teeth. Oh He’s goooood. Now picture a 72 year old woman passed out in a recliner with her hand in a bag of chips surrounded by 12 half empty tupperware containers. (Half empty, mind you, because she refused to eat the vegetables.) Those tupperware containers contained 6 days of food. There are two banana peels by the trash can, where she tried to throw them away, but missed and didn’t want to waste her tupperware opening energy to pick them up. There is also a can of Vienna Sausages opened, laying on their side, with the sausages missing and the juice dripping onto the glass table that is covered in chip crumbs and half eaten pieces of bread. When I wake Edna from, what I am sure is a mini diabetic coma, I find two sausages stuck to her clothing. When I point them out to her, she proceeds to eat them instead of throw them away. She was apparently saving them for later. When I ask her, “What happened to all the food” she proclaims meekly “I don’t know”. Again, I ask, “Edna, you don’t know who ate all this food?” She responds (a little louder and more sure of herself this time) “Nope”. BD says, “Ms. Edna, you expect us to believe someone broke into your apartment and ate 6 days worth of food while you slept through it?” Then Edna says in her best baby voice, “It must’ve been me, I baaaaady” BD and I look at each other as we spend the next hour cleaning up the mess while she watches us and complains because she’s not allowed in the kitchen until the floors dry. (True Story)
Reason Number 3 Edna is like a toddler: She only plays/ does what she wants to do- Picture a family sitting at the dinner table with a board game set up: Quality Time Dad, Family Night Mom, and their 3 year old daughter, They’re Gonna Let Me Win Susie. Near the end of the game, QT Dad is about to win so TGLMW Susie quits. She refuses to play anymore. FN Mom decides to get out a puzzle. TGLMW Susie refuses to do the puzzle. She wants to play a different board game. As FN Mom gets the next board game down TGLMW Susie starts doing the potty dance. QT Dad suggests that TGLMW Susie go use the restroom before the game starts and she refuses. In the end no games or puzzles are harmed but TGLMW Susie ends up wetting her pants and going to bed early. You know what I’m gonna say next…..Now try that scenario with a 72 year old woman playing cards with my son, age 6 and my daughter, age 13. They’re playing a riveting game of GO FISH. Edna refuses to leave her recliner and come to the table so the kids are sitting in the crumbs on the floor around her. 75% of the way through the game, Edna is losing, so naturally she quits. The kids continue to play so I, being the magnificent grand daughter that I am, get out a puzzle. I ask Edna to help me build the puzzle and she says “No”. I ask her why and she says in her best baby voice “I don’t want to”. BD chuckles in the kitchen and then says “Edna, she only wants to help you keep your brain strong”. Edna doesn’t respond and proceeds to open a bag of chips she must’ve had hidden in her chair. That woman’s chair is like Mary Poppin’s bag. Every time I look she is pulling another snack out of some secret crevice in the chair I didn’t know existed. Then as we are about to leave I ask Edna to put on some pajamas and brush her teeth. This time I don’t even get a response, just a head shake of no. So I bring the tooth brush, tooth paste, a bowl, and a cup of water to her chair and brush her teeth for her. I end up leaving her apartment with wet pants and go to bed early.
There are dozens of more comparisons to make here, but I am going to cut this short and go visit my Nanny. I love the woman dearly. There is never a dull moment with her around and she always keeps me and my family on our toes. Remind me to tell you the story of taking her shoe shopping one day!
When Life Hands You Grapes……Visit Your Grandma.