The grandkids keep growing up. There’s nothing you can do about it.
Maria is 11 now. She’s pretty good-natured considering the hormonal shift. And some things don’t change, like her obsession with my shoes. I went up to my room after she left last week and they were everywhere – heels, pumps, flats, my new Josef Seibel boots. She has a particular fondness for a pair of purple satin slippers. I found them under the sofa the next day.
Christian is seven. He doesn’t give kisses anymore. Well, he was never crazy about the custom, but now it’s complete anathema, even if a parent berates him (“You kiss your grandma goodbye. She’s your grandmother. Christian, I mean it”), which pretty much kills any pleasure you might have gleaned from being kissed by a seven-year-old boy. Sometimes when he isn’t paying attention, I kiss him on the top of the head.
Grace is six. Still adorable. Kind of quiet and thoughtful, when she isn’t singing and dancing around. Jill and the kids were at my mother’s a few weeks back. Mom, who has advanced Alzheimer’s, doesn’t recognize us anymore and is fairly unaware of her surroundings. Still Gracie found cause to scold her siblings for fighting: “Don’t bother grandma. She’s having a good day.”
Cosette, now four, is in a daily race to get everything she has to say said before bedtime. Conversations are mostly one-sided and, because her speech is full of adult idioms, can be a little unsettling. You start to wonder what kind of creature you’re talking to. She still phones me with important updates. Yesterday she called to report that Bret Jr. had vomited and Ursa (the dog) started licking it up before Daddy could get there and take things in hand. I’m at work, mind you.
Toddler Bret, 17 months old, is utterly frustrated that people can’t understand him, but as coherent speech still eludes him, he has to settle for dragging you around and pointing. He is of the opinion that his sister is the funniest person alive. When she repeatedly chewed up crackers and spit them out on the floor so Ursa would lick them up, he almost had a conniption. Ah, yes. Good times, good times.
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