I was never a Girl Scout. I can’t tie a knot, pitch a tent, I can barely sew a button. With my severe honesty I am a terrible salesman, which would have proved me lousy at selling the eponymous cookies. I can, however, dismantle a bed, headboard and all, and haul it out of a bedroom into the hall in the dark of night like a barbarian that just slaughtered a bear.
I know this because last night, in the dark of night, I did just that.
With your dad at the actual Super Bowl in New Orleans, in a moment of bravery–eh, they’re sleeping better, I can take them to Nanny’s for the night!–I decided wouldn’t it be fun to go to Nana’s for the night? Have her help me put them down, then come back downstairs, not have to clean up or do laundry and be able to sit on the couch in my pajamas and eat junk food, have a beer…
I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again: What was I thinking? (see also: college)
You guys lose all control when you go to Nana’s. It is a wild party, with potato chips. When there a scene from “Mermaids” with Cher giving her children plates of chips and gum drops for dinner often comes to mind. You eat real food when you go there, too–as Nana opens up the doors to her fridge and the angels from heaven sing, “I made saw-ce, chicken cutlets, do they like stew? I made them a stem,” because every two year old needs their own cauldron of something slow-cooked and delicious–but with all that also comes the junk. The Carvel ice cream cake. This weekend, with great-grandma Maga involved, there was also donuts, as rarely will you ever be around her without a donut.
Perhaps this crazy-eating was what led to the bedlam that was last night’s bedtime. You guys weren’t crying; rather it was a downright party in your room. We kept hearing jumping, shrieking, furious pounding of little footsteps–what, are they dancing to “She’s a Maniac” up there?? Every so often I would storm in the room and drop my favorite two words–“you guys!”–prompting you to dive into the closest bed and dip under the covers. Like, Busted! Look, Mom, we’re being good! but by the time I would tuck you in and exit and reach the steps the party would resume all over again.
It was the free-fall diving off Aunt Krissy’s old twin bed in the room that finally did it.
YOU GUYS! I snapped, and then really snapped and went to work on dismantling the bed with my bare hands. You guys watched in silence as I worked furiously, grunting, finally shoving the mattress, then the box spring, out the door. Ha, I showed them I sighed with relief after every possible distraction had been removed from your eyesight and you finally had fallen asleep, who knows what time.
…Only to wake again a few short hours later. Nightmares. Dammit. You both wanted to sleep in Nana’s bed.
“Dad, can we switch beds?” I said standing over the mound under sheets that was Grumpah, holding you, Baby Boy, while Nana held your sister.The clock read 5:06 a.m. “They both want to sleep in here with Mom.”
Grumpah was not a happy camper. He said no, sending Me, Nana, you guys and the 80 lb yellow lab into the queen bed down the hall. (And you wonder why we call him Grumpah?) Needless to say, nobody slept. Not even the dog–and he, going everywhere with Nana (Uncle Billy recently let it slip that one time when she was watching you for the weekend the dog was in the front seat of my car) can sleep anywhere.
Somewhere around 5:30 a.m., in between staring at the ceiling and getting nailed in the ribs, I caught a glimpse of Grumpah walking in his tighty-whitey underwear to the bathroom down the hall. He walked right past the dismantled bomb I mean bed like it was nothing.
And I shrugged the scarring sight off, too.
This morning as I drove along 25A toward home, I thought of a quote I read once or heard once (or, very well made up), part of being an adult means putting the things you did when you were child behind you.
When it comes to going back to the place of my childhood for the weekend, let’s say the same philosophy goes.