A Haven for Vee

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Nonni Duty

Every now and then, I get "the call." It begins easily enough with a "Hello, Mom, how are you today?" And I can tell just in his tone that he needs me.

It might be that he'll be sending his résumé along and it needs some editing. (Gee, does he read this blog? If he did, he'd know that he should do his own editing.) Perhaps he's working on a paper for one of his classes and he thinks it could use a fresh eye. (Gee, does he read this blog?) Or he might be thinking of borrowing either the roof rake, the ice chipper, or perhaps even the car.

But the one that thrills me to pieces is "Could you watch Jake for a few hours?" Could I watch Jake? Are you kidding me? That adorable blue-eyed, chubby-cheeked, cherub of a boy? You betcha I can watch Jake!

So I arrive at my son's home. My daughter-in-law and my oldest grandson have gone to visit the Cape Cod relatives. My son, Jake, Bazil (the pug), Max (the black cat), and Phylis (the calico cat) are holding down the fort. My son and Bazil are most welcoming. Bazil is especially friendly and, even though I know that he is being charming because of the chunk of Pupperoni in my jacket pocket, I'm a sucker for big brown eyes and drool.

Jake and the cats are giving me a cool reception. Jake's eyes narrow to deep gray suspicion as he looks from me to his father. His dad picks him up from amidst the toys and bounces him slightly up and down while I smile at my grandbaby trying to keep the high beam down since grandbaby is skeptical. After Bazil and I have bonded and even Max the cat has decided that I'm okay, if her winding about my ankles is any indication, I try turning on the high beams...big smile, crinkle eyes, rosy cheeks...the perfect grandmother look turned full force on Jake, but he's having none of it.

Finally, the time has come for goodbyes and Jake is bellering before his dad gets out the door. My son looks back, his brow furrowing.

"Just go, we'll be okay," I say encouragingly.

Then I settle back to enjoy Jake who belts out every version of Baby Symphony possible for the next twenty minutes. Finally, even though his daddy has specifically told me that Jake won't be tired for another two hours, I decide that Jake is tired...oh yes, the boy is exhausted, and I haul out my best trick: Moon River. Moon River the quintessential baby lullaby and within a minute Jake is quiet and relaxing into the crook of my arm. He's so cozy and comfortable that it won't be more than another minute before he's dozing when...

In comes my son. I hiss through my teeth, "Get out. Don't say a word. He's just gotten himself calmed down." But noooooo, my son has come in to check on his boy. I have never wanted to clobber my boy so much.

At last, I am truly alone with the little cherub who along with his sweet chubbiness has a very large mouth and if he had been upset about his dad's leaving the first time, he was furious about his leaving the second.

For the next while, he eyes me warily after scrambling from my lap. I decide to clean the sink. Jake decides to do a mind meld with the door. Every now and then he watches me with a "What are you doing?" look on his face. After he realizes that I will not force him nor invade his space, he begins to thaw and by the time his father comes home a few moments later, we have achieved a fresh connection...cookies and juice, hugs and cuddles, tickles and games. All is well.


  1. Good morning you over acheiver you! : ) I envy you living close enough to your grandson to be able to babysit! All of Eric's grandkids live in FL so we only get to enjoy them once a year or so! Sounds like you had a great time!


  2. What a sweet post! I enjoyed every word of it!

  3. Always nice to spend some time with the grandkids. What a great story.
    Enjoy your day.

  4. Oh Vee, I nearly wept at your accounting of your day with your little grandson. Our sweet grandies don't know to be wary of us yet and I know it's coming. I am enjoying the time we have when they smile at everyone without concern.

    I absolutley loved this post and I'll likely come back to read it again when I need the encouraging words of a grandma that conquered the shy and unhappy moments ..

  5. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  6. Awww...how sweet Vee! I bet it was great fun even with all the hollering and fussing!

  7. Yeah, we can tell 'those calls,' cant' we? -grin-


  8. There is nothing in this world like our grands is there?
    Just thinking about mine makes me beam!!

    Hope you are having a wonderful day!

  9. Loved this story Vee. Lucky you too that you live close enough to spend time with your grandson...

  10. Oh that was so precious! Someday I will have little grandbaby cherubs of my own. For now, I still have my seven year old to snuggle. However, my snuggling of him last week when he had his fever has caused me to succumb to the same fate this week. Sore throat, fever, stuffy head, cough so you can't rest kind of fate. Was it worth it? Of course, I enjoyed every snuggle of his hot little head.

    Happy day,

  11. Oh what a fun day you had. I adore keeping my Grandchildren...Smiles

  12. Dear Vee,

    I really think this post is priceless. My mom also wanted my kids to call her Nonnie, and I have just loved it. I am looking forward to the day when I'll have those calls... but not rushing it. I still can't believe my oldest will be in college in a year and a half. But how wonderful that you really appreciate and savor that time with your gran'babies!


    Charm & Grace

  13. That is only the second or third time that I have had to remove anything...a bit of spam.

    Thank you for your kind comments. I can tell that we all love the grands and, if we don't have grands yet, we hope for them one day. Grands are great. And somehow the wailing is easier to take from a grand. ;>

  14. Vee,
    I too adore those calls. My son says would I MIND watching Micah? Would I mind? Would I mind, are you kidding? I'm doin' the grandmother happy dance but I calmly reply, sure, no problem. I feel a bit guilty to be so happy when my daughter-in-love is sick so I get him for a whole day! We only have the screaming~memeis when I leave, which breaks my heart. Don't you just love grandmother days?

  15. Fun to read.Don't be too downhearted. I went to get Oliver from his cot after his midday sleep and you would have thought that all hell had broken loose. The problem was that he knew his Mother was in the house. (She was working from home) I eventually calmed him by taking him out into the garden to race up and down with him pushing a walker full of bricks and me pushing a baby lalwn mower.
    Glad you are back.

  16. Hey Nonni! I enjoyed this post immensely! Especially the "melding to the doorway". I can see that happening in my mind's eye. FYI - my mom is Nonni to my kids, and our lab is named Jake. More coincidences (of course, our Jake doesn't even COMPARE to your Jake!)
    Hugs to you - Vickie

  17. I am cracking up Vee. It takes both Dan and I to baby-sit Puddin Toes. It is the Donnie and Marie show I swear. Entertainment/ Distractions R Us She is just getting into the mamma stage. Oh dear! My response to the call is always the same as yours. Absolutely I will watch my most precious grandbaby. Now I think to myself, will I be this enthusiastic with number 2, 3, 4? Yikes!
    My latest trick when nothing else works, Bath Time. A sink full of bubbles and some disco ducks and baby is content.


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