When my daughter and son-in-law set out to help Santa fill our grandson’s wish list, they asked if we would keep our little darling overnight.
“We’d better rest up,” said Mr. Joviality when I told him the good news.
“You can rest up. I’m planning lots of fun activities for me and half-pint.”
Actually, the term “planning” is used loosely here. When Little Sir comes to visit, we pretty much follow him around while he gets into all kinds of mischief, which in his toddler mind is equal to fun.
Before his mom and dad left the house, we had his tent set up in the family room along with his mini basketball hoop. He pulled the hoop up to one of the openings in the tent and shot baskets from inside.
“Get my friends,” the little boy shouted, “C’mon, Mimi!” And off we went to his pack-and-play crib, filled with about a bazillion stuffed animals. We filled our arms with toys and delivered them to the tent along with his blanket, pillow, bowl full of fish-shaped crackers topped off with his favorite gummy fruit snacks, his water cup, milk cup, a small basketball and a large, red ball. It reminded me of that story (“The Mitten,” by Jack Brett) where all the forest animals cram themselves into a lost mitten until it explodes. I think our grandson was in there somewhere, because I heard a little voice say, “C’mon in, Mimi and Grandpa!”
I squeezed in as best I could, no mean feat these days since I’ve been eating a lot of the Christmas cookies I’ve been baking. My husband got the front half of his torso through the opening of the tent when Young Sir decided he would have none of it.
“Grandpa, get out tent!” he yelled. He pushed my husband back with all the strength his 2-and-a-half-year-old body could muster, forcing Grandpa back about 4 inches.
Our tent adventure lasted a little over an hour. It was time to play outside. We took turns pulling Wonder Boy up and down the driveway in a little red wagon that his mom once played with. Grandpa disappeared after a while to do some chores and left me to entertain the Energizer Toddler with his favorite outdoor toys. “Sticks!”
My little partner in crime and I spent the rest of the morning filling a blue utility bucket with sticks and leaves that he dumped into my garden. Who needs a swing set when you’ve got sticks and leaves?
After lunch, our tired boy took a nap without making a fuss. My husband headed for the couch.
“What do you think you’re doing?” I watched him grab a blanket and a pillow.
“Taking a nap. That little guy is going to wake up sooner than you think. You might want to get some shut-eye yourself.”
I hate to admit this, but for once I couldn’t find a reason to argue.