Sunday, July 01, 2007

Bev and the Fabulous Four

Last night I had a first-time event: a sleepover with Bevin plus ALL of my daughter Sarah’s kids: Anna (8), Clara (6), Sam (4), Isaac (4). I had done halvsies--Bevin plus 1 girl and 1 boy.

It was a great night and pretty much a success. But I learned a few things. About my grandkids. And about Bev.

The grandkids. They are pretty self-contained, interesting little people. I have a few routines that always succeed: legos, On Demand (Tom and Jerry are the biggest hit, with Angelina Balerina a close second), pancake breakfast, chocolate chip cooky dough, Diggedy Dog, Green Lake. Diggedy Dog is half a block up the street: menu headlines hot dogs (actually the little diggedy and the big diggedy), chips, drinks, little tables, lots of toys, photos of dogs on the wallks, pictures of dogs on the wall drawn by children (including Clara and Anna). Green Lake is a wonderous park a block from my house (three miles around the edge of a lake, with docks, playgrounds, cool little eddies along the way); today Sam and I watched an elderly Asian man catch a little fish. Let the kids watch TV long enough and they will fall asleep. Everything else is easy.

Bevin. She was actually most challenged by the weekends. She loves hanging out with the little kids. But she is a person unmoored by folks, events that show up in the wrong place. She spends a night every weekend with these kids (Sunday and primary in the middle). But this weekend she discovered the kids in the middle of her weekend with Mommy. And she wasn’t always quite sure how to manage.

First. Watching TV in the evenings. Mom and Bev settle down on the couch, Bev’s head on Mom’s lap and a blanket over her head. On Saturday: the couch was full, the blankets were taken, and no place for both Mom and Bev to veg (and they were cackling over Tom and Jerry, who had heard of such a thing).

Next. Sleeping. She sleeps in her bed in the basement, wakes up in the middle of the night, goes to the bathroom, and climbs into bed for a cuddle with Mommy. Well on Saturday: she couldn’t go to bed in the basement. She was suppoed to go to bed in Mommy’s bed.

(I finally got her to sleep by giving her a soda, turning on Barney on the couch upstairs once the others had gone to bed. She sipped her soda, watched Barney. And very soon, she was ready to get into bed with Mommy.)

The morning: (By the way, we had a fine, long, cuddly, night. She didn’t get up in the middle of the night, and she got up late. . . .) it was fine at first, we got up, she bathed, I fixed her breakfast, and she asked me to turn on Barney, her favorite. But before you knew it, the couch was full with girls watching Barney. Bevin always sits on the couch, at the right as she watches Barney. Girls were sitting there. And that was just TOO much.

The secret to finding the calm, happy Bevin. She and I went on a short walk, to the little market up the street, she chose herself from the coller a Dr. Pepper. We walked home. She took up her familiar hanging out on the front parking strip. And all was pretty much well.

There were other “challenges” to Bev’s day. But you get the drift. The world should be predictable. Many of us probably hope for that as Bevin does. But she is unforgiving. She does expect her world to resolve itself into familiar happy routines. . . . . . My job. Her bliss.