Having the parental units in-house is a marvelous experience that makes me yearn for those days of yore when multiple generations shared a dwelling as a matter of course. Back then I’m sure that everyone got on everyone else’s nerves and someone was always pounding on the
bathroom outhouse door screaming that they needed to get in, HURRY UP, but from here I can paint a picture of total domestic bliss worth coveting.
(Not that I’ve ever been known to distort the facts to suit my fancy. Nuh uh.)
And now everything will go back to normal—back to school, back to work, back to meals being an unremarkable affair around our little kitchen table instead of a giant feast at the dining room table while we all remark on HOW BEAUTIFUL the room is, ESPECIALLY THE PLASTER, and then everyone has another serving of Endless Food and then (naturally) there is dessert, afterwards.
No more waking up to hear “Grandpa! Come play with me!” or “Grandma! Come see what I did!” No more beautiful concertos wafting down the stairs as my stepmom proved that the new piano is, indeed, capable of playing something other than Hot Cross Buns. No more turning to the kids and saying, “Wow, isn’t that SO PRETTY? Don’t you wish you could play like that?” And they nod and agree and twenty minutes later when the piano is free and I suggest one of them goes and practices, suddenly everyone is too busy or doesn’t feel like it.
No more sneaking off with Monkey to create Miis for the grandparents so they’d be ready to compete in bowling on the Wii, with Monkey solemnly informing me that Grandpa’s Mii isn’t right, because there’s no option to show the hair on his ears. (Sorry, Dad!) No more taking turns on the Fitness Test, and then trying to explain to the kids why Grandpa actually beat me, because my score was lower than his, true, but he’s a lot older than me and score was more younger than him than mine is of me. (That was a very “Who’s on First?” discussion. I finally gave up.)
No more letting the kids have cake for breakfast, because sometimes you need to have cake for breakfast, sure, but then you have to get back to real life where your terribly mean mother insists on cereal and fruit and toast, instead.
No more watching my husband and my father pace off the driveway, the playroom upstairs, the space off the deck, and the garage, while they plot in ever-more-intricate ways how we will manage to create the Man Space Otto so
needs craves here at the house. I’m pretty sure that if Otto had had his way, my father would’ve drawn up complete blueprints for The Grand Plan before he left. And possibly broken ground and poured the footings, too.
No more post-kid-bedtime lounging around the television, having the good ice cream we’ve hidden from the kids, and having my ass handed to me in Scrabble. Well, I guess I can still do two out of three of those just with Otto. (Oh, I think I’m gonna be in trouble for that one.)
It went by too quickly (it always does). The children are going to be disappointed to realize they’re stuck with just us, again. We’ll be back to the gruel, regular beatings, and long hours locked in the closet. Or so they would have you believe.
It was a wonderful visit, and I hope they’ll come back again soon. Although, preferably after I’ve lost the five pounds I gained this week. And after the children have forgotten how awful it is to have to follow rules sometimes.