Grandpa and Liam / A Love Story
We can all be nice and play when we are feeling at our best, but showing love to children often means doing all of these things when we are just plain tuckered out as well. I ended my last post about Liam and I by stating that I was going to find another way to teach Liam to mind adults without being aggressive and scaring him; my tired state and his being two years old really tested my resolve. Here is our story.
Well my daughter who is 36 weeks pregnant needed a night of rest and since I am Liam’s favorite toy, she asked if I would mind watching him from Saturday morning to Sunday morning? Without hesitation I said yes and without much thought to weather (I shovel snow) and work schedule (I move furniture also). Liam is in his terrible two’s stage, add to that he is a whole lot spoiled and that I had been working just about round the clock shoveling snow and moving furniture by time Liam arrived on Saturday morning and was exhausted, I think it is fair to state that we had the makings of a very rough visit.
I shoveled the last shovel of snow sometime around midnight, hurried home, grabbed a little to eat, washed up and tried to get some sleep so that Liam could have my full attention in the morning. The trouble is that I had not gotten a good night sleep in like three days, so I tossed and turned all night long and when 8am came I felt like I had just gone to bed.
Liam arrived fresh as a freshly plucked daisy and ready to play. Liam also arrived loaded down with his clothing, favorite videos (Thomas, Dora The Explorer, Diego, and Toy Story) and lots of play dough. He was so happy to see me and I him that I forgot all about being tired. We jumped right into playing with me making things out of the play dough for him; we were the boys as he likes to refer to me, his father and himself when we are interacting with each other.
I was surprised with how fast lunch time came and surprised at how long I was able to play with Liam in good humor, not having slept too good. The television has to continuously play the cartoon channel, or one of those videos mentioned above and I know them all word for word and so does Liam. Any attempts to change the channel and get something on a little more grown up is met with Liam first stopping what he is doing and next looking at you like what do you think you are doing? If you do not change the channel back quick enough Liam will request help with what he is doing and that means playing down on the floor.
There is something about the way Liam has of looking me in the eyes, unshielded, so vulnerable and wide open to hurt or love that makes me want to do good and to do right by him. His innocence and vulnerability seems to keep me rising to the challenge, but Liam’s smile and little laugh are really what does the trick. We are buddies and as such have an understanding, when playing or watching television, he is the boss (smile). We get on each other’s nerves from time to time, but that is what buddies do and our love for each other must be able to over come anything that would harm, or get in the way of being buddies.
The afternoon passed quickly with the singing of songs, marching around the house pretending to be ducks flapping our wings and saying quack – quack – quack at the end of which we would laugh and start all over again. We made dinosaurs out of play dough, built castles out of wooden blocks and played with his cars in his 2 story garage over and over again never seeming to tire of it, or of each other. I was exhausted, but I motored on, with Liam having enough energy for the both of us and enough creativity to come up with new ways to help Grandpa entertain him.
Well the sun did finally go down, Liam took his bath, ate his supper and went down for the night without a hitch. Did I say Liam took his bubble bath without a hitch? Well that is not exactly true. I left him alone seated in the tub for just two minutes to get his things for bed together and in that short time I heard the sounds of little feet moving around in the bath and water going down the drain. That could only mean one thing so off to the bathroom I ran and sure enough Liam was standing up, full of soap from the bubbles and the bath tub was empty except for the soap bubbles on the floor of the tub. There stood Liam with the biggest grin on his face holding the plug to the drain in his little hand, quite proud of himself proclaiming that he was finished and had let out the water. Well I washed him down hugged him and put him in his pajamas. Liam’s grin was infectious and we laughed together enjoying the silliness of the moment. With supper over and Liam bathed and ready for bed, my exhaustion came flooding back and I felt like I was hit by a train. Within the hour it was bedtime for the little guy and putting him down went without a hitch and I was counting on him falling asleep and staying asleep until morning. I had enjoyed the day, but was glad that I finally would be able to get some sleep.
Scared that I would not hear him if he got out of bed I decided to go to sleep on the sofa, after I wrote a little on my laptop to unwind. I am not sure when I fell asleep, but I do know that when I woke up it felt like it was only a few minutes of sleep. I was awakened by the sound of Liam swinging on the upper rungs of his bunk bed, whispering I am a monkey eek – eek and then letting himself fall to the mattress followed by a chorus of giggling. It was his inability to stop himself from giggling that alerted me that he was awake and when looking at the clock I was a little ticked off to see that it read 3am in the morning. One would think that he would have stopped swinging and dropping to the mattress when he saw me standing in the doorway with a not so happy look on my face, but not my little buddy. Liam just smiled up at me and said, “look Grandpa, Liam is a monkey eek – eek – eek”, followed by fits of laughter once again letting go of the overhead slats falling and bouncing off of the mattress. I was a little mad but remembering the promise I made to myself concerning Liam’s discipline, I decided to use my superior intellect and a little child’s psychology to get Liam to fall back asleep. I picked him up kissed him and brought him into the living room and sat him front of the television to watch television not geared to children, hopefully for the little guy to fall asleep bored.
Well at 4am he asked if it was time to wake up and play I knew that I was the one who was bowing to the will of a superior intellect who was employing psychology on me and doing it very well. At 5am Liam decided to explore what was at the bottom of a large jar filled with water in which I was rooting some plant cuttings. I was caught dozing and awoke just as he tipped it over missing himself but the water was pouring onto my sofa arm and yes Liam had that infectious grin on his face. When we finished cleaning up the mess and having a little chat about touching things Liam was in need of his pacifier. Liam snuggled under my arm, leaned his little head on me and sleepy eyes fighting sleep continued to fight sleep and watch television. I knew there would be no sleep for me that night in fact the night was closing in on morning and the only chance of sleep would come with the arrival of his mom and my little Liam’s departure.
At 5:45 I was being woke up by Liam after my dosing off once again, needing to go to the bathroom. Once he was sitting on the toilette he informed me he needed to do his business, which means #2, but was refusing to do it unless I would give him 2 pieces of chocolate. I of course told him no chocolate and please hurry up and do his business. Liam did not like that and slapped himself just before he slapped me. I tapped his bare leg, he started to cry and then we started to laugh although I am not sure who started to laugh first, but it was a funny moment in my small bathroom. At 6:30 am Liam was asking for his play dough again and with the sun beginning to shine through the window I could no longer claim it was not time to get up and play and so to Liam’s squeals of delight, exhausted Grandpa was put away and Grandpa, Liam’s favorite toy was back ready to do and be the best toy that a totally exhausted Grandpa could be.
Taking a shot in the dark I instant messaged my daughter on her computer at 7 am saying hello and saying that Liam and I had been up all night just so she would know when she woke up and perhaps come for him a little earlier, but I did not ask her to. Then the miracle happen 2 minutes after sending the instant message I saw the computer signaling that Linda was typing and I smiled to myself. The thought that came to my mind was, “God never gives us more than we can handle”. Linda told me that as soon as the father was awake that they would come for Liam not right away, but not after 9 am. It was more than I had hoped for and was going to give me the strength and energy to deal with Liam who was rapidly trying my patience as his exhaustion started to set in.
I know some of you are saying that I should have tried to put him down after a bit. Well I did that and when I checked on him he was playing with the new cat toys usually hidden from view behind the door of the room. He had found the opened package and spilt the package of cat nip on the floor and when I was cleaning it up asked me what I was doing and why. I explained to him what I was doing and that he was at fault to which he grinned and said it was not him, it was Grandpa. I guess I could have insisted that he lay back down, but after that I would not have gotten much sleep anyway wondering what he was getting into so I figured might as well have him right in front of me until he fell asleep, but it just did not happen. Liam and I are still working on his discipline, but I am not quite sure who is training who right now (smile).
True to her word Linda showed up when she said and even though we had a great time it was time for my little buddy to go home. He hugged and kissed me goodbye and I was so happy that I had not allowed myself to get angry although the chance for anger had been there several times. Liam and I are true buddies now and our love has been thoroughly tried and tested. Liam fell asleep as soon as he got into the car and was a little cranky in spurts during the day. I could not fall asleep until 1 in the afternoon on the other hand (smile). As grueling as this Liam’s and Grandpa’s adventure must seem, Liam asked to come back to my house after his supper that night to play with his favorite toy and I am looking forward to having him back when I am not so tired.
I realised that day that anyone can play and sing with a young child when we are well rested and full of energy, but playing and singing with them even when you are tired spells love with a capital L.
- When Adults Forget That Their Anger Frightens Little Children (archemdis.wordpress.com)
- Recap!! (iwalkafragileline.wordpress.com)
- I Have A Brand New Baby Granddaughter To Spoil And Liam Becomes A Big Brother (archemdis.wordpress.com)