My daughter gets a kick out of coming over to my house after work every Tuesday night. That’s because she never knows what she is going to find. Typically I answer the door with flashing lights adorning my head, simply because, like a pair of reading glasses, I’ve totally forgotten they’re there.
Her expression reminds me, and we both start to laugh.
Tuesday nights are a fun time at my house. But the fun actually begins before we actually get to my house, because we are singing songs all the way home from the day care. Once we get home and take our coats off, we love up the doggie, who is very happy to see us. After the lovefest is over, we let the doggie out for a bit, and get her supper ready.
My grandson knows where the dog food bin is, and opens the lid while I scoop it out. He is excited when I ask if he’d like to feed her, and drops the cup of food into her bowl. He drops it from way too high up though, and the food goes all over the place. He’s done this three times in a row – I just keep forgetting to catch him before the dump. But it’s not a big deal, I start picking up the bits and putting them into the bowl and he follows suit. He’s actually really good about putting things were they belong, so it’s a good time for both of us.
We let the dog in, and I ask my grandson if he wants to give her a treat, and the boy who is usually very frugal with words lets out an emphatic response. She sits oh so very nicely for him, sitting back with her front paws up in the air, and gently takes the treat from him. He tries to feed her regular food this way, and she obliges him with the first piece, but that’s about all she has patience for.
We move on to the big rolling eyeball toy, which is always a favorite. He knows it’s an eyeball and holds it up to his eye and then to mine. He gently taps it on the floor to get it flashing in all sorts of colors.
My daughter has accused me of making him “weird” but she seems to forget that she’s affected with the same affliction. I actually take quite a bit of pride in my weirdness, so I don’t consider it an insult. I enjoy spreading weirdness where ever I go, and make it a point to push people to think beyond their comfort zone whenever I get the chance. Family gets a heavier dose of this simply by proximity.
We have a snack in the dining room and then pull out the toys. I’ve collected lots of things that make silly noises, and he asks me to pull them off the shelf one at a time. As he uses each one, we giggle at the attempt. Next are the flashlights! I have a lot of those too. We make the room dark and turn them all on at once. He likes to shine the lights all around the room and make scary noises. I also have lights that strap onto my head to make me look like I have a bright red nose, like Rudolph the Reindeer. But instead we usually put them on our foreheads like some sort of deranged unicorn. It’s pretty funny, you should try it.
My grandson starts to wander down the hall and up the stairs, beckoning me sweetly with his little hand waving back and forth. I crawl up the stairs in the same fashion he does, on hands and knees, much to his amusement. We head into the room with the stereo and the great big exercise balls, both of which he loves to play with. The stereo has so many buttons and he just has to push every one of them. Does anyone remember equalizers? Yep, lots of buttons to push and slide. Of course the stereo is off, but when it’s on, we dance.
I sit down on one of the exercise balls and bounce a bit. He wants to try it too, and we bounce together, each of us on our own ball. He laughs hysterically. He spots the other balls on the floor but doesn’t realize they are medicine balls and very heavy. His expression trying to pick them up and hand them to me is as priceless as the dramatic grunts he makes as he does so.
We head back downstairs and over to the foyer, one of his favorite spots in the house. I should explain that my foyer is pretty out of the ordinary. The house was remodeled several decades ago by a couple who loved to entertain, and the foyer was built to impress. But I don’t think it was built to be used the way my grandson and I have been using it.
There are chimes that hang on the wall, and my grandson loves pulling the cord to ring them. They make a lovely sound, and I can’t blame him when he rings the bells for what seems like a long time. I have a big bank of switches here that turn the lights on throughout the house, and he loves checking out which button turns on which light. But the best part of the foyer is the mirrors. One entire wall is completely mirrored from floor to ceiling, and well, so is the ceiling. It’s a little crazy.
My grandson loves walking up to the mirror and making faces in it, but this week we discovered something really cool! If you lay on the floor on your back and look up at the ceiling, you can pose yourself to look like you are flying like Superman! It’s totally awesome. And if you darken the room and bring all the flashlights along, well you can just imagine the amazing light show that takes place. I suppose it would be strange of me to play this way at home when my grandson isn’t around, but there’s a really good chance of that happening.
Way too soon, mom shows up and Tuesday night fun is over. Neither of us wants that, so I try to squeeze out a few more moments of silliness by trying on his hat and coat and walking out the door. Many hugs and kisses later, my loved ones drive off and the house once more is quiet, as I stroll back to the dining room and start collecting the toys into their respective bins.
Tuesday night might be over, but next week will be here soon enough, and I have a whole week until then to think of more silly fun stuff to do.
This is the wonderful life of a grandmother. Cultivating silly, such an important job. So the next time you’re driving down Division Street and see strange lights flickering inside a house, you’ll know what’s going on, and who lives there.