My son-in-law took a new job that requires him to work days during his training. He had been working the second shift and I covered afternoons babysitting my grandkids. During training, I'm babysitting full time and it's both difficult and incredibly enjoyable. My grandkids have saved me from being an angry, decrepit old coot, like the one below. (By the way, there is an Old Coot website!)
Most of the day I spend on the floor playing with my 2 year 9 month old granddaughter (the "toddler") and my twin 9 month old grandson and granddaughter. They jump on me, crawl over me, cuddle with me... it's a day of constant physical contact. One or another is always crying from the latest bump or bruise.
Each of the kids' personalities is so different. My toddler is so outgoing and confident. I've been very close to her since she was born. The boy twin is a tank. He's already so strong. He's also good natured and mischievous. He's checking everything out, whether you like it or not. The girl twin is quite reserved and she waits out every situation to see what's developing before she decides to jump in and play.
The toddler needs activities and some structure to her day now. We've begun watercolor painting, which she loves. She insists that Grandpa paint with her, so I'm producing masterpieces like the one below. I, of course, disavow any similarity to her real Mommy.
I've re-ordered my sleep patterns to match the kid's nap times. So, I seldom get a full night's sleep. I have to build two 1-1/2 hour naps with the kids into my day so that I don't disturb them while they sleep. I'm up at 3 a.m. so that I'll be ready for a nap at 10:30.
I need all the energy I can muster once the kids wake up. It's a constant cycle of nap, diaper changes, feeding, play period and repeat. They play hard for the two hours they are awake between naps and they want Grandpa's attention. I'm happy to give it to them.
The emotional ups and downs are incredible. Especially for the toddler, learning to control her emotions and learning to take responsibility for her own time takes practice and guidance. She's also trying to adjust to not having Grandpa's full attention. It's tough having to share with the twins.
I'm happy. It still tough being a widower. What can you do? I grieved for many years. Losing Myrna was so bitter. I had hoped that we would be spending these final years together, but God had a different plan. Yes, I cursed the darkness.
I'm grateful for this final period of happiness and love in my life. I hope that it lasts for a long time.