Monday, July 14, 2014

"Lookit The Cat!"

"Lookit the cat! LOOKIT THE CAT!"

I suppose I'd shriek the same thing if I came upon this sizable critter while walking my dog in an otherwise normal neighborhood. He's an inch or two over six feet tall and that glossy orange coat is a knock out traffic stopper. If I were totally adverse to the attention of gawkers I probably would have confined him indoors while I applied finishes touches. But that's not the way I roll.

Paper mache construction began on the back deck several weeks ago. But alas! By the time a pair of extra-chubby cheeks blossomed on this cute little face, my buddy was too wide and too bulky to fit back through the door. Grandpa helped me lower him over the railing and into the garage. I've parked outside for a month and kitty has lived contentedly inside, enjoying his journey from a pair of cardboard appliance boxes to the "Mister Purr-sonality" figure you see here.

And now what? Well, kitty is actually the last of my new attractions for our upcoming family carnival, so he's not just gonna sit here all day dreaming about pet treats. He's a working cat! One whose job it is to burp out "hairballs" for the purpose of (hopefully!) delighting children who approach him with a ticket to place in his generous paw. Once he purrs a sweet "Thank you!" he'll ease into a coughing spasm - the universally recognized warning to cat owners that something's on its way up - and its going to be slimy and gelatinous!


I'm sure there's a code of secrecy respected by carnies that keeps tricks of the trade under wraps. I probably shouldn't blab about how this game functions. So I'll just say that "maybe" it has something to do with a secret door in back, a daughter willing to sit inside with a portable mike and a sense of humor, and a box of colorful "hairballs" to toss out of Mister Purr-sonality's mouth at just the right moment!

Friday, July 4, 2014

"What's Going On Over There?"

Angeline looks a little concerned. But Ava thinks it's hilarious that grandma hasn't had much to say lately. The family carnival is coming to town in a few weeks and I'm buzzing about like a crazy bee, putting it all together. There's 23 little guests confirmed and I want it all to run perfectly. That's been my excuse. At least it's the one I offer to concerned people who've been asking lately, "What's going on over there?"

Interesting that grandma blog posts I enjoy reading most are ones that describe everyday, ordinary things done together. So heartwarming to see grandkids beaming away while they bake, craft or ride a bike alongside the person whose primary mission in life to is to protect, spoil and enjoy them. We've done those things too, in the fleeting months that come before Kindergarten begins and grandchildren move into a world where more time is spent with classmates and teachers than family. I think kids remember simple moments best. And if they don't, well grandma's got plenty of photos stored as reminders!

I always get excited when I see an article entitled "Ten Great New Adventures to Enjoy With Your Grandchildren." I'm always eventually disappointed though. "Take them to the zoo!" is always tops on the list. Well, who doesn't do that already?

Nick couldn't wait to show me his favorite skeleton. A year ago it would have been a fire truck.

At twenty-two months, little girls don't mind splashing in six inches of water under the hovering shadow of a sun screen, bug spray, emergency flotation device bearing, finger-on-911-button grandmother.

But a soon-to-be four year old has mastered the skill of politely informing grandma that her dream of riding a fleet footed cheetah is being hampered by unnecessary death grips about her waist and shoulders!

For the time being, we're done looking for teeth to make their appearance. Instead, we're watching them move on out, creating an extra stop here for the Tooth Fairy.

I was present the day Mary Jo organized a cousins' dog biscuit making party. The kids love their pets and those of their grandparents and friends. For that reason, they chose to cut their treats in the shape of big hearts.

They love me too, and all the fun we have together. When interests change though, I know I need to do the same. Before this summer, the boys always piled into my lap during each and every cartoon watching break we took, sometimes to the point of near suffocation! They still join me on the couch, but sit a foot away. I can't help but notice that, at almost six, they regard themselves as young men, not little boys.

"I'm a big girl now, grandma," Bree tells me frequently, and I am so glad that I have not missed a thing. I was there while she was a "little girl," enjoying many giggling moments when I could have been honing gourmet cooking skills or quilting a bounty of heirloom fabric pieces. I put those pursuits on temporary hold and have absolutely no regrets!

This post is dedicated to fellow grandma friends Carol, Connie, Debra, Diana, JoAnn, Judy, Kc, Lisa, Nancy, Pat, Sandy, Sharon and Sheila who know who they are because they'd agree with every word I've written here. They also know you don't have to construct a six foot paper mache carnival cat in your garage in order to be a super-grandma. Yikes. Who'd be crazy enough to do that? Me? Well, maybe! Purr-haps that character will be the topic of my next post. We'll see you then!