Granny Nanny Day 3&4..fading fast

Granny Nanny Day Three and Day Four

Fading fast….

I have discovered some basic truths in my childcare experience this week:

Just because a child turns three it does not mean he is out of the terrible twos.

Children of seven actually have a social circle independent of Mommies hovering.  They have best friends whom they will prefer over Grandma once they are sure said Grandma will not be lavishing any presents on G2 in their absence.

The key to getting a three year old settled is to drive every ounce of energy out of them in play time preferably outside in fresh air.  Of course the risk to the driverouter is permanent immobility, pain, exhaustion and a serious reconsideration of the whole mixing booze and drugs together argument for sustained relief.  Just a thought.

So yesterday, day three was pretty normal. More parks, lots more walking, tantrum prior to afternoon nap.  G1 spent both days at his best friends so really there was just me, the five month old yellow lab of sonic strength and G2.  

The only thing of note from yesterday was that as our little troupe marched along the street..or staggered depending on the antics of the Gdog, is that someone in misstep passed gas.  Now G1 says, “Who farted?” I can see him processing some vital facts here.  He knows he did not do it and although the dog is famous for it, he’s pretty sure Gdog did not do it.  To help him with the struggle of his thoughts I thought I would fess up.  He seriously considers this for a few seconds and I swear I could hear the wheels grinding.   Finally the power of GRANNY comes forth.  It would be impossible for Granny to do this.  In a soft voice he says, “No I’m pretty sure it was the dog.”

By last night I was worn and while happy, exhaustion had me feeling lower than a snake’s belly on a hot rock.  A happy tiredness and really I am sure I no longer have pain.  I am convinced this is a true sense of well being – I just didn’t recognize it.  I think my body had developed some kind amnesia about well being but I think this is it.

Today I was ready to put what I knew into action.  The troupe walked G1 to his best friends house and I in all my wiliness headed straight for the park.  This child is going to get so much exercise, so much fresh air he will be begging to take a nap. So I pushed swings, chased him up and down the play structures.  Even walking him home It crossed my mind that Gdog was behaving pretty good.

Once we get home to the yard I could see a spot of energy left so pulled out all the cars and scooters out of the storage shed and I pushed him and chased him til his giggles started to peter out.

The plan is working,  Now I just have to deftly get lunch into him and wheedle him into his bed.  Wow it worked ..just a few extra cuddles. and he looked ready to sleep.  For a moment he started to move like he was going to sit up until I convinced him he was a puppy.  So he assumed the puppy position and was gone. Yeah!

Settling on the sofa I thought I might see what is on day time TV.  But I could not find the remote.  After a ridiculous amount of time searching and turning lazy boys on their sides, scouring floors and toy boxes I gave up and embraced the silence.  The hum of pain..I mean well being through my entire body convinced me that a nap might be in order.  However that wasn’t going to happen.  An hour after the appointed time I remembered I had not fed Gdog.  Hauling myself off the sofa I completed that task. Convinced a nap was really now in order I stretched out for some R&R.

Within minutes of ingesting his gourmet dog food the pup started whining.  So once again I rise.  Hmmmm she seemed to have some difficulty going so when I stomp across the muddy yard to check on -the results – I see a watery product rather than the scoopable kind.
I make mental note to let my DIL know.

Then two hours later a whole bunch of things happen at the same time.  G2 wakes, my DIL is there and the sonic dog has to go out.  This time there are spots across the concrete patio of Gdogs ailment. The well rested G2 is tearing around through mud and other things in full energy mode.  I try washing away the ailment evidence with a bucket with no luck.  DIL tries to get the hose working and gets some detergent and a brush for scrubbing. She is lathering soap in the appropriate spots and scrubbing with a brush.  I have the hose which is leaking everywhere except the spout and two critters who are trying to catch the water.  Gdog in her excitement has jumped upon the child and me and pretty soon all three of us are soaked and covered in mud.  DIL grabs the dog, I grab the child and whip him inside into a running tub of water.  I change into clean clothes..which are my pajamas.  Don’t ask.  I dress the child in his pajamas.  

Not bad work for four in the afternoon!

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Twice in a Lifetime..not….

Twice in a Lifetime….not

I find myself pondering a question that at first thought seemed easy to answer.  Many years ago there was a Canadian TV show called Twice in a Lifetime.  There was a male angel, cute as a button, who would be present at the time of death.  The deceased always had some deficiency that put their soul in jeopardy and thanks to the angel, they would then get an opportunity to go back to one point in their life to change the outcome. Invariably the deceased would conquer and the end showed them in fact restored to life – as if they had stayed on a true and proper path.

In the last few years I periodically have asked people what point in their lives they would return to – to change something if given a chance.  One friend who had experienced the worst kind of abuse as a young child said she would never have answered the door that day when a knock came.    She didn’t hesitate for even a second.  We have been friends for years and I always forget that decades later she still lives with that.

Most people don’t have such painful turning points but most can think of some point where they took a left when they should have turned right. Maybe a failed exam, or turning point or turning down a particular appointment or date.

I don’t find myself as lucky.  Every time I think of a possible trigger changing event my mind considers all the fallout effects about other good things that followed in spite of my errors in judgement.

There is no one point where I would change the course of my life. Instead there are multiple truths I ignored at one time or another that I would like to go back and embrace when I did not:

Do unto others….
Save ten percent..
Onto thine own self…
Be quiet and listen…
Be the kind of friend…
Honor thy….

There may not be a true Twice in a Lifetime and  thank God for that..instead each day is new and when we open our eyes we have a chance to do it better than the day before…or the year before..or…
For some of us it is baby steps cause just when I think I have conquered a mountain, I realize my biggest sin is congratulating myself for being so darn good..and I lose humility.  If I am not humble I am not seeing the scope of my own frailty, or the scope of God’s Greatness.

Nuts..then it is like…back to the beginning…sigh.

Do you have one pivotal point where you would have changed your course of action?

Granny Nanny Day Two

Granny Nanny Day Two

Ro Ro They’re Not for Holding On to..

Woke up this morning feeling pretty good in spite of the excessive energy spent yesterday.  Today the plan is to take G1 age seven and G2 age three to my home about an hour away.

Before leaving G1 says everyone should pee before going away…and he does.  I make sure bathing suits, towels and combs are packed.  

We are about fifteen minutes from first destination, which is the golden arches, when G1 says he cannot wait another minute..he has To Go!  I pull over at a historical site and he leaps from the car and discreetly relieves himself directly in front of the car where no one can see him.  

It seems most children these days are growing up obsessed with cleanliness.  He tells me they started Health Classes in kindergarten and since then you touch nothing without washing your hands.  G1 takes every thing he learns very seriously and I am so trying to gently instill the idea that there are good germs and bad and the bad sometimes make us stronger.  You know a touch of the old live and let live philosophy at the microbial level.  Man has lived in a delicate balance with bacteria for eons and we are …..oh boy better save that lecture for another time…. Any way in the car he asked for hand sanitizer..yup exact word.  Hearing that I have none in the car he proceeded to put his arms and hands in the typical surgical sterile post scrub, pre glove position until I could deliver him to a proper sink and water.  This included my holding the car door open for him on exit and the men’s room door in entry.

He is seven now but just a few years ago he had the three year old daughter of visiting friends in tears after he noted she did not wash her hands post potty and he solemnly delivered the news to her that she was going to die.  Not sure they ever came back or if that child is out of therapy.

Hygiene complete we try lunch at a fav kiddies play land. Been a long time since I looked after children so I was not prepared for the hoards, the noise, yelling, screaming…having forgotten this was March break and it applied to everyone else’s children as well as mine. To fit in well G2 throws a great tantrum which I smiled at and ignored as much as possible.

Next it was a relatively quick stop at a toy store to equalize a sonic situation and then off to my apartment!

Before leaving home earlier I packed two swims suits for G2 from his stash. When it came time to change into our suits I discovered both suits were a little on the large size.  Pulled them up.  They fell down!
I asked his brother for suggestions.  Pins.  Not sewing pins.  Safety pins.  None of which I could find.  So necessity being and all that I spied a large black paper clip -you know the kind that hold dozens and dozens of papers – and basically gave him a stylish rear clip.  It worked!

Now G1 is at an age where he is very modest.  Privacy and body parts are a big thing to him.  The boys love to leap wildly into the pool and I scoop them up, one in each arm and make huge circles in the water swishing them back and forth amidst wild giggles.  G2 needs to cling and G1 in his laughter yells, “Grandma, Grandma, he is holding onto your chest. ”

We continue laughing and twirling when G1 shouts at his brother,  “Ro Ro,” (nickname), “let go Ro Ro, they’re not for holding on to!”

Finally time to rinse off, dry off and head off for the trip home.
I am sure the all over ache is muscle definition beginnings!

Granny Nanny Day One

The Granny Nanny Experiment Day One

This is a different situation for me!  My son and daughter in law live in a city about an hour from my home.  DIL has been fortunate to stay home with home with the boys except for a few weeks a year, here and there when she does vacation relief at her old clinic.  This is one of those weeks and for the first time ever I have come to stay and take care of the boys. And the dog.  And two cats.  Oh and my two budgies Max and Ruby.

The first thing before eight a.m. today was a trip to the drugstore for Reactine. I never think of myself as having allergies but I require it once or twice a week..and staying in the animal house I need it daily.
I always carry it..in my purse, in my wallet.  So yesterday I pack up for the week taking everything including the birds just to discover I am Reactine lacking.  I searched through every bag and suitcase last night convinced I could remember packing it.

This is hardly the end of the day being only six forty-five pm but I am done in.  Exhausted. Mincemeat. One big ache..perhaps all the aches in the universe packed together.  I think my hair hurts.

Early, right after breakfast we were on our way to the local park. Grandson 2 who just turned three, insisted he had to bring his basket containing Sonics.  I was fine with this but it turns out G2 can only carry his basket in his right hand.  Grandson 1 who is seven gamboled and jumped and ran as we progressed down the street. There is nothing nicer than a three year old holding your hand as you walk along.

The complicating factor was the dog.  Bree is a five month old yellow lab.  Beautiful dog but a powerful beast.  Because my right hand was otherwise occupied it meant holding the leash and a baggy thing in my left hand.  This was good for about fifty feet.  Cramping in my hand, constant pup pulling and I knew I would have to change hands.  This did not go over well with G2. 

The park is about half a mile away.  The sun was shining and no winter wind.  We took our time.  It was a perfect day for slides, climbing and swings.  On arrival I secured the monster pup beast to a cement pillar.  I did not judge distance well and as I turned to check on the kids, the dog tripped me.  Falling is a strange sensation.  It really does feel like slow motion.  I had all the time in the world to think as I fell.  I thought curses or something similar.  I thought of my cell phone left back home in my purse. I thought of fractured hips.  And then I still had time for more curses.

Skinned palms, and one skinned knee and I knew I would live.  Thereafter it was pushing swings, playing hopscotch and lots of running.  The walk home was relatively uneventful because I think all of us were a little played out.  After lunch G1 and I headed to the yard.  Scooters, more jumping, more running.

By five o’clock everything was beginning to seize up – big time but I still put in another half mile to walk one of the boys’ friend home.

Exhaustion reigns……Meantime I wanted to jot down at least a few words although I have no idea if they make any sense. Oh yes and a few minutes ago one of the two huge white cats attacked my bird cage knocking them to the floor.

Well tomorrow is another day.  Planning swimming, jumping and running.  Falling is not on the agenda!

If you had all the time in the world..

If you had all the time in the world..

I lived such a demanding busy life – once upon a time.  Not that long ago really.  And I prayed for the day when my life would become mine again.  I dreamed of waking up in the morning, stretching, giving thanks then leaping from my bed energized, joyful and ready to take on the world.

I was going to saunter, wander, ponder, think great wise thoughts, write from morn to night and swim in my own brilliance.  Imagine..no stress..no pressure..no deadlines.  My idea of heaven on earth.  For decades I bravely packed away my ideas to raise a family, help heal the sick and stamp out disease, sit on committees, take courses..oh my!

Then a few weeks ago my dream came true.  Talk about boundless joy!  So I read, studied, started a blog, meditated, and now I am at a jumping off place.  I just don’t know to what. I am stymied.  Now the little thought haunts me – you were never a writer but now you have no excuse to shroud that.  Yikes!

Fact is I need to get a job.  Not high profile high stress like my career but something pleasant. Fun.  Something with a Westjet mentality. I believe work should be fun.  I want to bring joy and comfort to others.  Probably part of my nurse persona or maybe it is that persona that made me a nurse. And I still feel like there is something more to contribute to society.

Am I hiding from my dream?  Maybe.  But this week I will face the dragon and write something.  

Earthquakes..Tsunamis.

 

I have spent the morning watching the news. The world is a small place and most of us know someone; family, friends, business associates in the affected areas.  Hawaii where friends are stranded and inconvenienced.  Japan where dear friends of friends live and travel.  People talk about the world ending.  But the end of the world is such an individual thing.  For hundreds perhaps thousands today, this part of what we call life, their world has ended…on this plane.

My nephew and his wife were in Thailand when that Tsunami hit.  Fortunately they were hiking in the mountains in the north that day, cut off by all communication and completely unaware of the drama unfolding only miles away.

Loss of life by nature is just as tragic as by political battles and brutality.  Maybe more so since it is innocent.

It gives us pause to remember the power of prayer.  You do not have to be religious to pray. You just have to understand we are all connected.  All part of one huge organism and when parts of that organism suffer our souls need to connect through at least a moment’s thought.  That is prayer.

Was it a Dream?

Was it a dream????

I have had the honor to attend several deaths through out my decades in nursing.  Probably more than a hundred.  Most have been good, some inspiring and a few …well…

One I will remember forever, even though this one time I was not there.

Many many years ago…read decades here.. I worked in a nursing home.  Most of the home comprised of private apartments and we also had a small twenty-eight bed sick unit.  When I made rounds each day I always stopped in to see one particular couple.  They were English and very proper and deeply in love even after almost seventy years of marriage.  Just being around them made you feel good.

I was with the doctor the day he had to tell Mr. M he had lung cancer and not long to live.  No this is not a smoking story – the man had never puffed in his life.  After the doctor left I returned to see how my English gent was doing.  I asked him how he felt about the news.  He said, “Chris I am ninety-two years old.  I am a Christian so I know I will see my sons and other family that have passed.  But life is precious and if I was two hundred it would still be too soon to leave it.”

As the next few weeks passed Mr. M got weaker and finally ended up in our sick unit, bed ridden and emaciated.  I had Monday and Tuesday off so when I gave report to the next shift on Sunday I said that Mr. was weak but holding his own.

I went off to enjoy my days with my young family.  Just after midnight on Monday I had a dream in which I woke up in my bedroom to find Mr. M standing beside my bed.  He was smiling.  I was distressed and asked him what he was doing there.  That he was sick and had to get into his bed.  He smiled and said that I did not understand and to come with him.  I found myself standing bedside his bed in the Home.  He was standing beside me and then I noticed he was also peacefully in his bed.

I could not formulate any thoughts, let alone words and just stared at him.  He smiled again and said that he had to go but he was going to tell “them” how kind and good I was.  I panicked once it dawned on me what he was saying.  I found myself begging him not to tell anyone.  I said “they” knew me and knew I was not good and please please don’t say anything.  He smiled again, so sweetly, and then he was gone.

I woke to find myself sitting up in bed.  I looked at the clock – it was two-twenty a.m.  Thinking what a strange dream it was I went back to my slumbers and forgot about it.

Wednesday I returned to work and was getting report from the night staff.  I pointed out that they forgot report on Mr. M.  The nurse said that he had died. After what felt like a long pause I asked when he died.  Two-twenty Tuesday morning.

For several days after that I was not sure what to do with that information but I felt like there was something I was supposed to do.
His wife kept coming to mind but I resisted thinking sure I’m supposed to go to this old grieving lady and tell her I spoke with her dead husband.  But the thought would not go away so feeling forced and more than a little stupid I went to the apartment.

We chatted about nothing really and then I told her bout the dream.  I wasn’t sure what to expect but she just quietly said, “Thank you dear, I knew if there was a way he could  let me know he was alright he would.  And he has.”

I don’t think of it often, but every now and then……

Keeping that Angel Close

Keeping that Angel Close

I had something unpleasant to face today.  My world operates better when it is through rose colored glasses.  Not the make believe unrealistic kind but the ones where I see a silver lining in anything.

I have discovered that it doesn’t matter as much what the world throws at you but how you perceive, how you react to it.  Old Rose Kennedy was just one of many who said that it doesn’t matter it just matters how you handle it.

2011 has been a year of awakening.  I study, I meditate, I give thanks.  Sometimes in all this enlightenment I forget to remain humble and get carried away with the joy of how much I have learned and that is never a good thing.  Giving thanks is essential for happiness but thankfulness cannot be sincere unless one is first humble.

Yesterday was the first time this year a feeling of fear descended upon me.  Over reaction to something that might possibly happen – today.

Then I read The War Fish’s Lair post today and the angel he imagined he had walking with him.  So I took an angel with me.  Imagining it first, then feeling it. And true enough it went well and my state of thankfulness is exactly where and how it should be.

No Crying..No Sadness..what the heck are we doing?

No Crying..No Sadness..what the heck are we doing?

*Disclaimer:  This does not apply to every parent, but there are enough that it is now making the news on a daily basis.

I woke up this morning to my fav radio program and the He and She of it were in a big discussion about Bambi and Walt Disney in general and the stories that make our kids cry.  Like it was a bad thing.

There has been a fair bit in the news lately about what we are doing to our young; wrapping them tight in bubble wrap for protection, not letting them experience rejection, not letting them face the facts about life and death.  The thought is that we are shielding our children from reality and that will mean they are unable to cope when suddenly on their own.

A local news show recently did a piece on the number of first year university students who experience depression, to the point that they cannot function.  Having lived a sheltered protected life they are not prepared to leave home and manage in a world where they must stand on their own feet. 

My fav blogger, The Domestic Fringe addresses this.  And does it well.  Bill Gates has his say also (Google Bill Gates 11 Things and other speeches.)  Dean Koontz has also addressed in his books how we sanitize our children and ourselves so that when life intervenes we do not have the immunity to stand up to it and survive, stronger than before.  I guess the list would be endless.

We don’t seem to want our children to be “uncomfortable”.  Life is joyful.  It truly is but there are tears, hardship, unfairness, and inequality.  These serve to make us stronger.  And often the joy comes from conquering and when we don’t conquer, we learn and grow. 

Stories that make us cry, teach us.  Bambi, Old Yeller, The Lion King and the circle of life.  Those stories taught us love, joy, to believe, to live.  One comment this morning on the radio was,”Someone always dies. What is this?”  Well someone always dies be it a much loved pet or human.  We learn to treasure our memories.  We learn the cleansing wholesome effect of crying.

So cry world…..and experience joy!

Sitting in Emerg on a Fine Sunday..

Sitting in Emerg on a Fine Sunday Afternoon

Here I am in a crowded emergency department giving thanks yet again to the Ministry of Health and Long Term Care.  It is just past noon and I have brought my sister in.  We have this excellent system- in theory – where someone comes in the door, prints off a computerized form which has a number on it and then is seen by a triage nurse for assessment.  Smooth huh?

So we get here at noon. On entry sisthepatient gets the form, fills it out and sits.  She has number thirty-one.  There is no triage nurse present.  Perhaps they are on lunch. Looking around I see two other patients also clutching the registration form.  Seems the system has a glitch..already.  We also notice that one gent says this is a follow up visit to yesterday.  So this is looking more like a regular doctor’s office..certainly not an emergency.  Kay that explains the slow pace of everything.  No emergency in site.  Anywhere.  I wonder where real emergencies go?  Actually sisthepatient has the potential for a real emergency.

About two and half hours ago we sat down at our fav Williams with a latte. I was looking at a head line about Charlie Sheen and was relating info to sisthepatient when she said, “Now that’s not right.”

I thought she meant with Charlie.  But she meant with herself. Seems she was experiencing sudden vision problems.  Now being a nurse I told her I had to take her immediately to emerge.  Now being my sister she insisted on going home and calling her doctor.  He told her to go emergency immediately as it could indicate detached retina with possible profound sight loss.  Profound equals blind in this case.

So here we are at the non emergency emergency department.  It took thirty-five minutes to be seen by the triage nurse.  Then registration.  Ah at last recognition!  We were escorted immediately to a smaller waiting area close to the eye examination room and told it would just be a few minutes as there was a patient in there. That was almost ninety minutes ago and while typing these words sisthepatient has been called in. Is it too early to cheer?

I can’t remember the last time I saw a nurse in any ER break a sweat or even appear to have that air of efficiency.  Everything and everybody is just way too relaxed.  The concerning part is that had this been a true emergency there would have been no one to do anything about it.

While we sat attentionless I did suggest that my sis should teach them a lesson and go blind in that eye while she sat here.  She was less than enthusiastic about that. But I am pretty sure it might have gotten us prompt attention.  

Actually in all fairness today is galloping along quickly.  A few weeks ago one chap I know who had a broken foot was here for twelve hours before a doctor saw him.  My friend is ninety-two and in that twelve hours he received no nutrition or fluids.  And he actually came in by ambulance which should have gotten him preferential treatment.

Customer Service…my eye…

There are no facts, only interpretations. – Friedrich Nietzsche. The truth I think that validates everything you have to say.

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