Four-year-old Laura’s mom called one day to tell me, “Laura wants to do lunch at your house.”
I was a bit puzzled because lunch is definitely not a big thing at our house, so I asked, “What does she expect to eat?”
“You don’t have to fix anything,” she explained. “She wants to pack her lunch in her little lunch box, then bring it to your house and eat it.”
That sounded like a fair lunch date to me so I told her to come ahead.
She arrived about 11 a.m., took her lunch box to the table and unpacked a sandwich, chocolate pudding, fruit juice, and a candy treat. I made a sandwich and sat down to “do lunch” with Laura.
First she took a little bite of her sandwich, then she smiled sweetly at me as she ripped the lid off the pudding and began to devour it.
In the interest of being a good mother, I looked over my glasses at her and asked, “Does your mom let you eat the pudding first?”
She didn’t miss a bite as she continued to smile and shovel in the pudding. I switched to grandma mode, smiled back, and let her down the dessert first. It occurred to me a long time ago that letting a kid eat dessert first at grandma’s wasn’t likely to ruin them for life.
Throughout the rest of our time at the lunch table, Laura chatted non-stop about anything that popped into her head. She has a lot of her grandma in her.
Her mom was supposed to pick her up at 2 p.m., so about 1 p.m. we sat down to rock and read. By 1:30 she went to sleep, after telling me she thought she’d stay for supper. I called her mom to tell her to pick her girl up at 6 p.m.
Laura had a nice long nap and woke up chatting like she had never been asleep. During supper she informed me she was going to stay all night, all by herself.
This was a first, but not a problem because if she changed her mind at midnight her mom lives at the other end of the street.
“Where do you think you’re going to sleep? I asked
“Upstairs in a bed of course,” she answered.
Easy enough for her to say. I was the one who had to clean off the extra bed so she could load it. But, the whole time I worked she kept the conversation going.
At 11 p.m. that night when the news came on then TV, Laura was going strong, still talking. She had had a nice nap—a long one. I hadn’t. I tried laying in the twin bed with her and the 14 plush toys, but it’s hard to relax when you have to grasp the headboard to keep from falling out of the bed. We got back up.
I finally sat in the recliner, half awake, as she roamed freely around the house. Sometime close to midnight I heard her call from the stair steps, “Grandma! You’re not old!”
That woke me up. I watched her descend the steps as she carefully looked me over. Finally she stood before me, staring me in the eye. “You’re young!”
Someone upstairs had told her she had to go to sleep because Grandma was old and needed to sleep.
That did it. Laura and her “young” grandma had a grand time. I finally carried her up to bed in the wee hours of the morning.
Editor’s Note: This column was first published in the Greenville Advocate on May 6, 1998.
Kathleen Floyd is a volunteer citizen columnist, who serves The Daily Advocate readers weekly with her column Back Around the House II. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Viewpoints expressed in the article are the work of the author. The Daily Advocate does not endorse these viewpoints or the independent activities of the author.