RG Returns

August 22, 2008

My wife said, “I talked to Random Daughter.” I listened with interest. The barely extended family had been traveling for a couple of weeks. Random Granddaughter, a serially unfaithful grandchild, had been visiting other grandparents. Mommy (birth mother) has a mommy and step-father in Virginia, and a daddy and step-father in Virginia. Sperm donor [dad] has a partner who has a mom and dad in Colorado One can never have too many grandparents. They had returned several days ago, but as well-behaved grandparents, we had avoided calling and say, “Well…well…well?” We waited for the “kids” as we call our daughter and daughter out of law to call us on their own accord at their own time.

“RG had a good trip.” RG has been diagnosed as an introvert, although she often looks extroverted at               preschool. She considers other four-year-olds as fun companions. She considers five-year-olds through eight-year-olds as exciting role models. Anyone older than that she considers as “adults.” Adults are occasionally useful, but mostly uncooperative, boring, tiresome, tedious, and irritating.

“RG handled all the activities and contacts with the other grandparents quite well. She was cheerful and cooperative.”

OK, I thought, what is she really up to?

My wife is much happier now that she is not working now. Her chief activity in life is what she calls “puttering.” She gardens, bakes, volunteers at the organic farmers’ market. My wife’s puttering would exhaust the ordinary person.

RG is in between preschools. We are taking care of her next week. I have to work on Tuesday, so Mrs. Random is on her own on that day.

“There must be something wrong with me,” muttered Mrs. Random. She feels an obligation to be a perfect Grandma. She doesn’t know what a perfect Grandma would be like, but she knows she is not her.

“I am supposed to look forward to spending time with my granddaughter, but…”

“Don’t worry so much about entertaining her,” I said. “Although she is only four, and not genetically-related to you, she inherited your tendency to putter. You have been puttering all your life. She is only a little kid, just a little more than a baby. She’s just figuring it out. When she looks bored or restless, just leave her alone for a bit. She usually figures out what she wants to putter with if you give her a little space.”

“Mommy suggested RG might want to come spend a day at our place on the island. I’m just not sure about it. She might get up tight without her mommies around.”

I thought about it. I said, “I think they have a point. Four is still pretty young to run away to Grandma.” When my daughter was three, she would periodically threaten to run away to Grandma. She was very disconcerted and irritated when my wife and I would start laughing hysterically and offer to help her pack her bags. (My mother was a depressed and oppressed ditherer and my wife’s mother was an angry but noble and hard-working drunk.)

RG’s grandparents are just a couple of cranky whackos on an island who shoot bunnies. Time enough for RG to become disillusioned with us.

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4 Responses to “RG Returns”

  1. Pete Says:

    I forget…Has RG ever been to your place alone for a full day? I thought she had, or was that you with her alone at her house? Your house on the island sounds like a great place for a kid to play for a day.

  2. modestypress Says:

    Pete,

    No, Random Granddaughter has never spent a day at our house on the island alone with my wife and I for a full day. My wife and I have taken care of her for a full day at her house for an entire day on more than one occasion, either separately or together.

    It’s a little complicated. For one thing, the mommies’ car is the one best set up for transporting her safely (proper car seat, harness, etc.). For another, she does tend to get anxious when separated from mommies for very long. She is, after all, for all her verbal skills and at times intellectual sophistication, a very little girl. There is so much activity and commotion in her life, we do try not to overdose her on change and turmoil. Adults tend to take stuff for granted that are not all that charming and reassuring to little kids.

    My wife and I think a week of grandparents at RG’s own house (even with mommies at home at night) is plenty for her to handle. She is getting to an age and size where she does not have to be strapped down like an astronaut in a space capsule to travel safely, and probably five is soon enough to put her in charge of taking care of Mr. and Mrs. Random on the island, and hunting rabbits by herself with the air rifle.

    By six, I figure she will be ready to take the ferry by herself and hitchhike out to our house. By seven, I imagine she will book a flight to Virginia by herself at SeaTac.

  3. pandemonic Says:

    LOL… Your last paragraph is a hoot, but I can imagine RG doing just that.

  4. ireneintheworld Says:

    i just love your blog! this is all fabulous reading. x


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