I answer the phone and hear my 23 year old daughter Elizabeth crying and blubbering in a language that only a woman who has survived raising a two year old herself can translate. ” Maddie just locked herself in the bathroom and by the time I realized how quiet she was there was water seeping under the door. I finally broke the lock and got the door opened only to find my two year old sitting in an inch of potty water squirting baby shampoo and watching the bubbles! I can’t take anymore!”
After assuring my daughter that potty water would not cause any permanent damage to either of them she was able to see that the child had flushed a new roll of tissue which allowed my obviously intelligent granddaughter to create a jacuzzi. This is the child of my child who at the age of two tried to bathe our kitten in the toilet. All I can say to console my first born is that it will get better and that all two year olds are mischievous. What I don’t tell her is how long it may be before it gets better.
After giving cleanup instructions and offering to babysit the next day I hang up with a smile stretched across my face from the image of my sweet little grand baby thrilled at the white clouds surrounding her as she sits on the bathroom floor.
This is one of many wonderful moments for me as a grandma. Who would have thought that an episode that would have surly caused me grief 20 years ago could bring me so much joy today? Isn’t it a shame that while we are rearing our children we can’t always see the wonderment beyond the mess and stress?
I remember my own mother referring to my children as precocious after I would complain about yet another disaster that I thought was an ornery attempt for attention. I did not see how creative their antics were. All that I could see was the mess that I had to clean up….as if the world would end for sure if the burnt peanut butter inside of the toaster was not cleaned immediately, or the nail polish used to paint a rainbow on a bedroom door was not removed that instant.
Madeline seems to be a little more clever than most. Her most recent adventure was something that tells me that she will not let the word “no” stop her, which will surely be a good thing later in her life.
Elizabeth was drying Maddie after a bath one night trying to explain to her that she could not take another bath with bubbles until tomorrow. Whining and complaining Maddie toddled off to her bedroom while her mother straightened the bathroom. A few minutes later Maddie appeared back in the bathroom naked and covered in something brown and sweet smelling grinning and innocently explaining that she did not know what had happened but that she was now dirty and sticky and would need another bath. Elizabeth, baffled at the scene before her scooped the toddler up and headed toward the nursery terrified at what she might find. An empty brown sugar bag lay on the floor and a toddler bed was full what used to be the contents of that bag. Yes..this sweet little 20 pound pixie had dumped the entire bag of brown sugar into her bed, undressed and rolled around in it just so that she would require another bath.
To me this is genius, a two year old who can assess a situation and make the necessary adjustment…regardless the risk of punishment in order to receive what she desires. My daughter did not see this as genius, she did however suggest that Maddie would need to move in with me for a couple of years.
Maybe being a grandmother is the present that we receive for raising children well enough that they themselves want to be parents. I can’t think of anything better than a little voice calling me Nana.
And it’s a gift…