Grandpa and RG Visit the Zoo. Chapter 1: Preparation.
December 10, 2008
My assignment was to babysit Random Granddaughter on Veterans Day. Both mommies had to work. The pre-K was closed. I arrived the night before, just in time to kiss RG goodnight.
The next morning we all arose early. Mama (Random Daughter) left first to catch the bus for her downtown job. Mommy (my daughter’s partner and RG’s birth mother) provided me with some instructions for the day. For entertainment and activity, she suggested I take RG to the zoo.
RG is now big enough to ride in a regular booster child’s car seat in the back of my car, strapped in with a regular adult safety belt, instead of the space capsule safety seat she used as an infant and toddler. Mommy brought the booster seat in to the house for me to use in my car.
RG often skips taking a nap at PRE-K. (RG has informed me in no uncertain terms that I am not to refer to her school as “preschool” any more.) However, Mommy gave me strict instructions in regard to this day’s nap agenda: “Make sure she takes a nap. I am taking her to her swimming lesson as soon as I get home. If she doesn’t have a nap, she will be too tired and cranky by dinner time.”
RG at various times has been interested in fire trucks, trains, and ferries. Currently, for reasons I am not sure about, she is interested in pirates. I am not sure what she thinks pirates do. Her mommies are very selective and protective in what she is allowed to come in contact with in regard to her exposure to books and other media. She encounters a lot of literature, but she is not yet allowed to hear the Cat in the Hat books. Shielded from television as an infant and toddler, she now watches carefully selected videos with Mommy. Mary Poppins seems be at the top of her current permitted video menu. She watches it 15 minutes at a time in the company of Mommy (her birth mother and my daughter’s partner).
I presume RG is not exposed to stories about how pirates of old murdered, stole, and raped. She doesn’t get to watch the news, so I am fairly certain she is also not aware of the present-day resurgence of pirates in such areas as Southeast Asia (Indonesia) or in Northeast Africa (Somalia), or how they are holding ships for ransom.
But RG does know that pirates hide treasure. That Tuesday morning, she had about twenty “pieces of eight” that she had gotten somewhere. They looked like silver dollars (some with John Kennedy on the face; some with Dwight Eisenhower on the face), except wrapped in gold foil. Inside the gold foil (I am pretty sure) were chocolate candies shaped like silver dollar-sized coins.
As RG has a considerable sweet tooth, I am sure she would have been ripping the foil off if she had known about the candy inside. As she didn’t realize they were hidden candy, she played with them, hiding them as “pirate treasure” and then finding them again and letting me find a piece or two.
After awhile we played the board game CandyLand. RG won. (I didn’t have to fix the game; she won fair and square.)
As I am only 15-years-old in maturity, I am working on growing up as a retirement project. It’s kind of late as my chronological age will be 65 when I retire. One of the main goals I have set for myself is to learn how to cook.
However, this goal may be too limited. After the pieces of eight game and the CandyLand game, RG became bored. She said to me, “Grandpa, I am bored. Let’s bake a cake.”
I said, “I don’t know how to bake.”
RG replied, “That’s OK. We have a recipe. Just follow the directions.” My refusal to take this project on undoubtedly lowered Grandpa’s standing in RG’s eyes, assuming it can get any lower than it already is. On the other hand, her confidence and optimism is wonderful and inspiring. She is a role model and an inspiration for me in growing up.