[Note: Wrote this several years ago. But some things never change!]
The Center for Disease Control has never dealt with one of the most devastating maladies to afflict humankind: Grandma Withdrawal Syndrome.
Attacks can be prevented by regular doses of grandchildren. Too often, though, busy lives sidetrack good intentions, and early symptoms appear. These include showing photos to convenience store clerks and flagmen.
Untreated grandmas actually take on their grandchildren’s characteristics. In advanced cases, women throw tantrums if they can’t have chocolate milk or sandwiches without crusts or 17 readings of The Poky Little Puppy.
After the 18th reading, my husband no longer asked why I had to see our grandchildren. He packed my bag, filled up the car and clicked me into my car seat.
Knocking on my daughter’s door, I felt an immediate surge of wellness. My granddaughter bounced onto my lap, asking if I’d buy Girl Scout Cookies. One grandson wanted me to play. A toddler Velcroed chubby arms around my knees and applied his snotty nose to my jeans. Could there be any better cure for Grandma Withdrawal Syndrome?
Despite my 10-box Thin Mints® purchase, I decorated cookies with my granddaughter. She noted frankly that ours were nothing like those baked by their perfect sitter.
Her brother and I played with Bendaroos, waxy, colorful, string things. He said he was making a purple caterpillar bigger than God.
“How big is God?” I asked.
He threw his hands open wide. God is 31 and 300 and thousands big! Bigger than the sun! Bigger than the sky!
“Is your caterpillar as big as the sun?”
He shook his head. Was his caterpillar as big as God? Another head shake.
Some adults refuse to admit that God’s handiwork outshines their own. But my grandson didn’t sweat it.
The toddler liked peekaboo games 20 hours straight. He cracked up when I poked my finger through holes in a plastic something or other from his toy box. I wiggled my finger. He giggled and fell down. Every time.
I returned home, health improved. But I’d barely unpacked when an SOS arrived: my younger daughter’s sitter fell through.
I braved snowy interstates to play with another twenty-month-old. Using a puppet, I devoured Fisher-Price “people” and spit them out 3,129 times with a loud “Ptui!” We raced cereal boxes. We practiced hugs and kisses. His “bye-bye” warmed me all the dark, icy way home.
I was completely cured of Grandma Withdrawal Syndrome.
For a few days.
Your turn. Tell me, have you ever experienced Grandma Withdrawal Syndrome?