She Falls In Bed Every Night Completely Drained When She Has Naughty Visitors.
Story by Betty King
The grandkids are coming; it’s time to go grocery shopping. You need plenty of good nourishing food; you think. The grandkids could care less as long as you have plenty of snack food, junk food and lots of cereal.
Buying a box of cereal can take a great deal of time. The cereal isle at the supermarket takes up the same amount of space as a regulation size football field. There are more kinds of cereals than there are days of the year. You need to set aside a week to shop for just the right box to purchase. You’ll need a day just to walk up and down the aisles, a couple or three days to read the names and the ingredients. Another day and a phone call are needed to find out what kind the kids like. Then a day trying to figure out where on the shelves they’ve hid those favorite selections. When you finally find the kind they want and you see the price you grasp for breath! Then you fork over a week’s salary for ump-teen boxes of cereal.
“It’s a racket, I tell you, nothing but a racket!” People stare at you wondering whom you’re talking to, “They didn’t have all these cereals when I was a kid and I survived!!” You’re heard still mumbling to yourself as you unload the grocery cart, piling the boxes of sugar into the trunk. “We didn’t have to have breakfast in all shapes, sizes and colors when I was growing up — and all that sugar — they’re going to have sugar diabetes.” You rant and rave all the way home. You shove a trunk load of cereal into a cabinet that is already crammed full of potato chips, snack cakes, fruit roll ups, candy bars, cereal bars and all the things kids eat when they’re not eating cereal.
After you cram all the boxes in your cabinet you open the refrigerator door for a final check and there among the cheeses for toasted cheese sandwiches are dips for the chips and three cases of can sodas and fruit drinks, but only one gallon of milk. You know full well it’ll take more milk than that for all that cereal, so you decide another trip to the store is required. But first you open the freezer door just to check it one last time, out falls a box of Popsicles and a couple of crammed in ice cream cartons. There are only three pizzas and you determine that’ll never be enough for their growing appetites, so you add that to your mental list as you grab the keys and head once more for the car.
“I can’t afford all these grandkids.” Your next-door neighbor standing in her driveway hears you grumbling to yourself. You don’t even look up and acknowledge her presence as you’re already in the grandkid focus mode. After all they’ll be here soon and things ill get crazy!! Your house, refrigerator, cabinets, yard and your life will never be the same!
You return just in time to shove your final purchases in their allotted place; you look around at the sparkling clean sliding glass door and the newly vacuumed carpet. Everything is in its place and the furniture is shining. The doorbell rings, “We’re here!” They’re voices echo several times. A quick kiss is received; they head for the kitchen, “Whatcha got for snacks, we’re hungry?”
The next two weeks are exhausting. They want to eat every meal at McDonald’s; cartoons are the news of the day. You know where they’re at by following the trail of wet towels and dirty clothes. You can’t see out the sliding glass door because you gave up using the Windex. The windows are frosting up because the freezer and refrigerator are opened while first one kid or the other stands for fifteen minutes trying to determine what is going to materialize before their eyes. You fall in bed every night totally drained! Two weeks pass; their vacation is over and you look like your own grandma!
“We had a great time grandma and grandpa, we’ll be back soon.” They kiss you good-bye wrapping their arms around your neck, they look for your tears to fall; they always do, they know that. “I love you” are exchanged and the departure is as usual, a sad time and a relief. You and grandpa collapse in your easy chairs, shaking your heads, you swear your “getting too old for this.”
The next day the house is straightened, furniture waxed, doors shining again, refrigerator cleaned out and half eaten left over boxes of stale cereal thrown away. The next few weeks’ boredom sets in; you hear yourself saying over the phone. “When are your kids coming back out to see us again?” After all you say to yourself — “they’re really no trouble.”
“Oh yeah sure!!” Grandpa says with a gleam in his eye.