I have to admit I love my three grandchildren. So of course, when my daughter asked if my husband and I would watch the two boys, ages 1 and 2, for five days, we said, “Yes.”
In preparation for the boys, I bought two little backyard swimming pools at Toys ‘R Us; I ordered one of the famous Little Tikes green turtle sandboxes online and bought 4 bags of sand for it; I bought some new needed toys to keep at Grandma’s house – a Disney character figure set from the Disney Store; a basketball and a shiny red tricycle from Wal-Mart, a dump truck, pails, shovels, crayons, and bubbles from the Dollar Store; and a Fisher Price block set. Oh, I almost forgot the cute little Sesame Street potty I bought at Wal-Mart. What a hit that turned out to be!
Of course, I had to prepare the house for their coming. The sheets were washed; the bathrooms cleaned; the carpets were vacuumed; the floors were washed; and the bathroom was stocked with new soap, toothpaste, shampoo, and conditioner from Walgreens.
A trip to Kroger was necessary in our preparation stage. I bought orange juice, milk, wipes, diapers, popsicles, yogurt, juice boxes, cheese strings, grapes, raisins, tomatoes, animal crackers, Pop Tarts, and even bread to feed the ducks.
It was time to change my hat to event planner! I scheduled what we would do each day. I decided that every evening after dinner we would go to the park and feed the ducks; then travel to McDonald’s for ice-cream and playtime; then go swimming in our new Toys ‘R Us pools. Day trips would include the Katy Mills Mall to ride the train; Memorial City Mall to ride the Carousel with their cousin and see Great Grandmother and Great Grandfather; the Dollar Store to buy more snacks; Kohl’s to buy a toy, and a trip to the Houston Zoo to see the cows, giraffes, monkeys, lions, tigers, and bears.
Then, the big day arrived. The boys showed up and the fun began. We ate, we laughed, we tickled, we read, we played, we splashed, we kicked, we fell, we walked, we swam, we cuddled, we bathed, we cried, we slept; and we got tired. And, oh did we get tired! Maybe tired isn’t the word – utterly exhausted was more like it.
But, the days flew by. We discovered the boys’ favorite feat was feeding the ducks every night. What started as an activity that scared the boys, they left Grammi’s with no fear of ducks. They also left Grammi and Grandpa’s house with a newfound love for orange popsicles; a deeper attachment to Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse, Pluto, Goofy, Daisy, and Donald Duck; and love for Grammi’s story telling.
Pictures tell a thousand words. And pictures were snapped right and left.
With a little planning; a little spending; and a whole lot of loving, we had the best four days of the year.
Well, our time was up and we kissed the boys goodbye. But we couldn’t forget the good times we had. And, thanks to Shutterfly, Grammi made picture books to remind them of their 2011 vacation.
While I acknowledge that LOVE is the most important thing, I would also like to give thanks to all the retail stores and establishments that helped to create these wonderful memories, and to all reading this blog – GOODNIGHT, Grammi is exhausted!