During crazy decades of potty training, play practices and proms, I fantasized about being a grandma — a wise, all-knowing woman in a rocking chair, hands folded.
When a sweet baby girl made me a for-real grandma, I was ready. Had I not raised three children? I envisioned cuddling my princess while Mommy rested and laundry folded itself.
But by royal decree, our princess declared sleep illegal.
Then, the privileged pets refused to abdicate. One cat, also fruitful and multiplying, nursed five kittens in the bathroom because two male cats opposed the population explosion. Mama Cat growled when I dared enter. Her offspring, armed with sharp little claws and teeth, represented Mama’s Royal Guard.
The dragon-sized family dog, Toffi, considered me her grandma, too, sitting on my lap. Toffi guarded the new baby zealously, barking at potential threats — like oxygen.
So our princess slept even less. Toffi and I stayed at the park, where she protected the kingdom from wicked squirrels.
Every new grandmother dreams of such tender times.
Then elderly relatives called. Could they come by?
My daughter and I hyperventilated. These lovely people did not allow microbes in their home, much less eight cats and Droolius Rex!
“Stall them at the door!” I tied Toffi outside. Maybe she’d bark herself and the neighbors into a coma.
Our visitors would need restroom breaks. I shuddered.
The older cats ambushed me, but I shooed them out the back door and hid the litter box. As I swept up used litter, kittens fastened onto me like baby piranhas. I had just freed my ankles when our relatives called cheery hellos.
I closed the kittens into a bedroom, soaked the bathroom with Lysol and tried not to bleed.
Fortunately, the visitors were enamored with our princess. They looked a hundred years younger than I felt. Maybe I would achieve sanity when I became a great-grandparent?
“How’s the rocking chair, Grandma?” They grinned at me and headed toward the bathroom.
My daughter’s jaw dropped, but no cats attacked. No kitty litter jitters ensued. Our visitors sniffed approvingly at sanctifying Lysol before shutting the door.
After a pleasant visit, they planted good-bye kisses on the baby’s head to avoid bestowing germs. They didn’t know Toffi already had introduced her to several million.
Our princess gurgled. I looked into her blue, blue eyes. I loved being a grandma, though my first week aged me 20 years.
Cuddling her, I sank into a rocking chair. At last.
Now, after years of grandmahood, I’ve learned something about my predecessors. If they ever folded their hands, it was in prayer.
Grandmas, you rock!