Sunday, April 24, 2016

the ghost of gma mary

A couple weeks ago I woke up to my first cup of tea and some quiet reading.

Or so I thought. What actually happened was that I entered the living room and got sucked into a skirmish. The kid variety. Gramps had already been sucked into the vortex. This was how it went down...

Maddie: Grammy, Duncan and John lost the key to my 4 wheeler and I can't find it.
Me: Can you ride without the key?
Maddie: No. I looked all through the couch, but all I found was popcorn. (Last night was popcorn movie night...Duncan misses his mouth more often than not, but that's another story.)
Me: That could be a problem then. (I'm not the sharpest knife in the drawer before my morning tea.)
Maddie: Grammy will you help me look?

So that was when I felt that first gentle tug into a situation I had accidentally stumbled blindly into. We searched between all the cushions, and I ran my hands down into areas of the couch I hadn't felt in years. We found a missing sock, but no key. Gramps lifted the couch and turned it over and we searched every nook and cranny. We did the same thing to his chair for good measure.

No key. But the floors under the couch and chair got vacuumed nice and tidy, sans popcorn and other unidentifiable food and garbage.

By the time I finished that (still without my first cup of tea), I was a bit irritated at two boys who had spent the whole time we were looking for the key THEY lost, playing in the bedroom with army men. That was when the ghost of Gma Mary materialized inside me. I marched into the kids' bedroom and informed the boys that they needed to use their brains to remember where they had left the key, and find it.

Both boys looked at me like I had sprouted two heads and was speaking a foreign language. I repeated myself, and told them to get UP and come and look for the key. They moaned and groaned and dragged into the living room. John had to recover from two feet he said weren't working before he could get to the scene of his crime.

John said he had left it on the couch and that was all he could remember. Dunc said John had the key last, trying to absolve himself of any connection to the crime. I told him his alibi didn't work, because he had started the chain of events by removing the key from the four wheeler.

After a half hearted search, the boys thought they were free and clear. I upped the ante at that point, thinking they would make a better effort to FIND THAT KEY. I told them they could not ride on the four wheeler anymore since the key was gone. They wouldn't be able to start the engine.

John: Dat's ok. I got my own four wheeler.
Dunc: I don't care. Doesn't matter to me.

This was when things started to escalate. I decided to hit them where it hurt, because Maddie was the only one upset by the missing key and loss of four wheeler riding time.

Me: Ok then, no more video games when you are here too.
Dunc: Fine.

Hmm, Dunc was playing tough guy. While I thought about my next move I looked for John, who was so crushed he had locked himself in the laundry room. My next statement was meant to win a stunning victory, but it worked out somewhat differently.

Me: John, there are mice in the laundry room. (Actually there are only traps.)
John: I am getting a chocolate milk. (YooHoo, a drink made mostly of chocolate, water and sugar.)
Me: You can't have a YooHoo if you didn't eat breakfast.
zombie grandkids- yes that is a YooHoo in John's hand
Gramps: He ate a cinnamon roll. (WTH did that come from? Now they were triple teaming me.)
Me: A cinnamon roll does not count as breakfast. It is sugar.  (Giving Gramps the stink eye)...Now he wants to follow sugar with sugar.
John: I will eat my egg then have chocolate milk.
Me: The egg that was on the table? I threw it away when I cleaned the table off.
John: But I wanted that egg. (Chin quivering and pitiful eyes.)
Me: (Gma Mary standing firm.)Then you need to eat it when breakfast is served. I don't leave food on the table all day.

I could feel myself gaining ground. I was ready to zoom in for the kill, play my ace in the hole. Then John started to cry. Which of course made Gramps totally crumple. I was breathing hard by this time and my eyes were beginning to bulge. Gramps took a breath to say something but I shot them both down before anything could be said. I included Dunc in this shot. I was going to overwhelm them with THE TRUTH.

Me: Have you ever heard of nutrient dense and calorie dense foods? Nutrient dense means that there are lots of vitamins and minerals in the food you eat and calorie dense means...

I noticed their faces. John was looking at me like I had sprouted a third head, Dunc had one eyebrow raised almost to his hairline and a smirk on his face, and Gramps' eyes were rolling in his head like he was having a seizure.

Then the ten year old slipped in and struck the final blow.

Dunc: I don't know and don't care.
Gramps: I was going to say the same thing.
John: (speechless and staring at me...)
Me: OK THEN. Since my money is what buys most of the food around here, I just won't buy any more CINNAMON ROLLS. EVER. And no more YOOHOO either.
Dunc: whaaaaat? Fine then, I WON'T COME ANYMORE.
John: (crying...suspiciously fake sounding sniffing)
Gramps: (seizure continues)
Me: FINE THEN, Maddie can come alone. Maddie, the next time you come, we will do lots of fun things together. We can shop, and go to the park.
Maddie: There is a park here?
Me: No, it is in Jasper. In fact there are LOTS of parks in Jasper. (I see Dunc is unimpressed, and I know I have to dig deep and find his Achille's heel.)
Maddie: ok Grammy that sounds fun.
Me: Oh, and we can go fishing Maddie. Lots of fishing. LOTS. (Dunc's eyebrows shoot up, and I am pretty sure he is buying this.)

So I play my trump card.

Me: Oh, and Gramps, sell Dunc's fishing rod, since he won't be needing it anymore. (Duncan has forgotten he doesn't own a fishing rod here, he uses Gramps' tackle.)
Dunc: WAIT...WAIT!!!! YOU CAN'T SELL MY FISHING ROD! I need it to fish!
Me: No you won't need it, since you won't be coming anymore.

At that point, I began to grin, and saw Dunc starting to smile, Gramps started to chuckle, and Maddie was laughing. I looked around for John, who had been strangely quiet...

He had downed a nutrient rich banana in 2 seconds. While we were skirmishing. He was going to do whatever it took to get that YooHoo.

Gma Mary had won again. She taught us well.  Jones women never lose a skirmish.

And John got his YooHoo. is good... Cath
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