Thursday, February 4, 2010
Sleepover at Grandma's
Two weeks ahead of time I ordered the newest Angelina Ballerina from Netflix so she’ll have a movie we both will like. It’s actually not a stretch because Rebecca is thrilled with anything on TV. Her parents don’t have cable by choice so it’s an exotic thing for her to watch Sprout at my house.
Her latest habit is to arrive somewhere, my house or others, and quickly change into a princess costume. My daughter is a teacher in a lovely affluent town and all the mothers save their girl’s cutest hand-me-downs for her thus an envious wardrobe and a corner of her closet busting open with a multitude of dress up ball gowns with plastic high heels to match.
When Rebecca doesn’t understand something or more likely, she thinks I don’t understand something, she will yell out in frustration, “I’m so ‘fused,” or “Gramma, you are so ‘fused.” I asked her why she changed clothes so often and that was her impatient reply. She's probably wondering why I don't change my clothes several times a day.
I have to admit, with my 70’s feminist leanings, to really hate the princess crap. I love dress up for kids, but the princess stuff used to make me sick. Now it just does bothers me on other children who are not my grandchildren. Well, and a lot of the Disney stuff as well bothers me for a lot of reasons (Mermaids give up their voice to marry princes).
While I’m fiddling with the DVD player, Rebecca puts on her green gown with a bodice covered in green sequins and the skirt is several layers of green netting.
So we began our evening with Angelina, followed by meatloaf and Mac and cheese (her favs). We played Connect 4 even though she knows I hate board games. Then bath time, which I admit is a struggle. She has long thick beautiful hair that is really hard to wash and detangle. I put her a warm tubby with pink peppermint soap and new net scrubbies. Then I have to negotiate washing and drying, pouring water to rinse, etc. I gave her some of my pink shaving cream which is really fun to squish in your hands, a general rinsing, then ending in Baby Magic Lotion and powder, pushing her into a lavender sleepy suit and zipping her up.
I dread brushing her hair, but as she gets older, she has more tolerance for tugs and pulls on her hair. Afterwards, when we are all done with nightime preparations, I give her the world’s tiniest vanilla ice cream sundae, topped with a swirl of caramel sauce, and a flower of whipped crème on top.We read three books. She scrubs her teeth with training toothpaste (what is that?). Her mommy calls to say goodnight.
Then I put her to bed on her make believe bed, 2 bright blue outside lounger cushions covered with her lime green sleeping bag and blankets.
She asks for a lullaby so I give in. I sing Rock a Bye Baby. She really likes my voice, she’s said to me before. My voice is awful, but geez isn’t that nice? She’s asleep in 5 minutes.
Around 11 when I’m crawling into my bed, she wakes up and asks to crawl into my bed. I say," good fine."
But the combination of our breathing and the heat from her little body in the fleece sleepy suit is too much.
She curls into my back like a baby opossum. It’s so deliciously comfortable I can’t stand it. Then I get really really hot.
She says, “Gramma, your hair is tickling my face.” It makes me laugh.
But still no sleep.
I finally say, “If we’re not asleep in 10 minutes, I think you will need to go back to your own bed. “ In a couple of minutes, Rebecca crawls over me to get back to her own bed.
I fall asleep for a while, then Rebecca wakes me with, “I have to pee.”
When she gets back in bed she says very sweetly, “Grandma, my dad has this thing he wears on his nose when he snores. Maybe you could try that?” Which cracks me up. Then she starts singing very softly “Jingle Bells.”
She falls asleep somewhere around 1 am. I’m staring at the ceiling listening to her breathe for a long time before I finally drop off.