Grandma the Babysitter


The other day I was invited to baby-sit my 2-1/2 year old granddaughter while her mommy and daddy went out. The plan was for me to go to their house so she would be on familiar turf.

When I arrived, she met me at the door with ‘The Big News.’ “Grandma, I used the potty.” It’s not what I expected to hear the minute I walked in the door.

I know there are many things in the world of more earth-shaking importance, like bringing home the troops, solving the immigration problem, and whether Britney Spears is pregnant again. But potty training is a major accomplishment in the life of a toddler, so I praised her even though I was thankful that the deed was done and I didn’t have to go see.

Little Miss Big Girl is at the age now when she is trying to act all grown up and wants to please adults. She has her own pink room with butterflies on the ceiling and a real bed instead of a baby crib. And, she proudly wears training pants instead of a diaper.

She decided that Grandma should read her a book. I had expected something along the line of “Big A, little A, what begins with A? Aunt Annie’s alligator, A-A-A.” However, what she selected was a book about God. The kid is a deep thinker. It undoubtedly must be the good genes she inherited.

She tried to trick ol’ grandma into giving her the snack that mommy said she could have later on. But, It didn’t work. Grandma is wise to all the tricks. After all, I raised her daddy.

After a while, she wanted to go potty again.

“Do you need help?”

“I can do it myself,” she replied with hands on her hips. I eavesdropped to be sure she didn’t fall off and took only four squares of paper instead of half the roll. Mommy had said she could have one M&M as a reward if she stayed dry and didn’t have an accident.

We had several more potty trips after that, each one followed by one M&M. I began to suspect that she was more interested in the rewards than the task.

I gave her a new toy, an “Ugly Doll” that I got from the gift shop at a hotel. Ugly Dolls are sort of a fad item. They are weird, but also soft and loveable. This one was a pink, dog-like creature with three eyes.

“One, two, three,” she counted. Then she counted her own eyes, “One ,two?” She looked puzzled and tried again, “One, two, three?” “One, two?” I don’t think she ever figured it out, but that’s okay, as I couldn’t figure it out either.

“Grandma, can we go to your house?”

“I think we are supposed to stay here.”

“But you have popsicles at your house,” she explained. Kids never forget.

She then showed me her green toenail polish, and pointed out that I had only ordinary red polish on my toenails.

“Who polished your nails?” I asked.

“That lady,” she replied.

“Did you have a pedicure?”

“Uh, huh.”

The Ugly Doll was envious, I’m sure.

She rubbed her eyes, but refused to put on pajamas as that meant bedtime. I’m not sure who fell asleep first, but she was sprawled out on the floor sleeping and I was dozing on the couch when mommy and daddy got home. I hope I won’t be fired for sleeping on the job.

We are all going out to eat soon for daddy’s birthday. Granddaughter’s new favorite restaurant is Applebee’s.

Of course, that’s probably because she doesn’t know that Ruby Tuesday’s has popsicles.

Copyright 2007 Sheila Moss


About Sheila Moss

My stories are about daily life and the funny things that happen to all of us. My columns have been published in numerous newspapers, magazines, anthologies, and websites.
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