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Young People, Old People, Anyone Funny

Title courtesy of one of my favorite children’s books “Everywhere Babies.” I highly recommend it!

I spent Saturday with a 98-year-old and a 2-year-old and they had a lot in common. I will try not to be disrespectful because I do truly respect my elders, especially those who have earned my respect. However, some things that happen to a body as it ages are just simply funny when compared to a new little body so please don’t be mad at me.

Great-Uncle (GU) drove here from Texas with his 80-year-old niece and caregiver, and her 80-something sister, to visit for 3 days. Yep, 4 days of driving for a 3 day visit…and they do it at least 3 times a year. Silliness was playing at halftime of a mens’ college basketball game so Gma and Gpa brought GU up to watch the game.

Silliness, McGee, and Princess were all very excited to see Gma and Gpa but when I told them that GU would be here as well they lost a little bit of their excitement. Thankfully, they were troopers and when we met them at the stadium, both boys submitted to a long, “squeeze ya til ya holler” hug. The looks on their faces as they were getting them, however, almost made me cry…or laugh…poor things.

The same situation happens almost every morning when Princess wants to wake the boys up. She climbs on McGee’s bed and snuggles right in, whether he is awake or not.  He typically groans and tells her to get off but she will not be swayed, just tucks herself in right next to him and ignores his pleas, pushes, and occasional accidental elbows to the head. Once she has thoroughly annoyed him, she clambers out of his bed and makes her way up the ladder to Silly’s bunk. She then launches herself over the rail and invariably lands on his head or nuts, as he will so modestly shout out. Good times.

Back at the game, we took the elevator up the arena level and searched for our friends who had graciously saved us seats. Early arrivals, they had secured seats right in front, next to the court and the cheerleaders: perfect! Now we just had to get there.

Gma took Princess’ hand and let her set the pace around the arena. Gpa and Hubs each took a side of GU and let him set a snail’s pace as well. Hubs practically had a handprint embedded on his neck before they got halfway around the arena and we hadn’t even tackled the stairs yet. Faced with the daunting task of maneuvering Princess and GU down a set of steep and narrow stairs, we opted to split up the seating arrangements, leaving those with stair problems at the top.

In my head, Princess and GU would have gone both up and down the stairs in the same manner: 2 feet on each step, tight grip on the rail, and nervously darting eyes predicting danger with each shuffle down. We would probably have ended up carrying both of them back up the stairs so we made the right decision.

Neither Princess or GU could really follow the basketball action; Princess because she simply didn’t care and was more interested in slurping up and protecting her ice cream and GU because we were too far away and he couldn’t see or hear. If only we could have sat closer to the court….

Silly performed magnificently at exactly mid-court at halftime. There had been 235 kids at the skills camp and at least 100 showed up to strut their stuff at the game. It was a super cool experience to be on the court, using a real game ball, and smelling the sweat of the players. Silly doesn’t always express excitement but his face was pure, priceless joy when he ran back to the stands.

The journey out of the arena and back to the car was filled with many pitfalls, including the jostling crowd, a long walk, and overly tired old and young people. We made it but McGee and Silly were forced to run ahead, wait, run ahead, and wait numerous times due to the ants in their pants.

After reminding both GU and Princess to pee when we got home, everyone settled in to watch some football. Princess and GU again had trouble following the game due to a lack of concern and lack of hearing respectively, but we were able to find something they could play together.

Scene: Princess standing between the couch and coffee table, GU sitting on the couch next to her. A container of markers and several pieces of paper are helpfully placed on the coffee table.

Princess chooses 2 markers and asks GU, “Which one you want?”

GU looks at her as if she recently hung the moon and is also speaking gibberish, glances at Gma to ask what Princess is saying and finally just chooses a marker for lack of a better option.

Princess chooses 2 more markers and asks GU, “Which one me have?”

GU has the same response as to the previous question but eventually they each have a marker.

Princess proceeds to direct GU into the finer art of coloring, scolding him if he colors on the wrong portion of the paper or in an incorrect manner. There are times when dots are in order, others when a line must be drawn. Coloring is a specific project and GU had some trouble understanding what she was commanding him to do. At the same time, Bridget didn’t even bother to try to listen to GU, just continued coloring and barking orders as if he were mute.

Silly, Gma and I were playing a game on the floor when I was struck with a fit of giggles so intense that I couldn’t hide them from my impressionable son. He asked what I was laughing at and I had to embarrass myself and tell my son that I was laughing at GU’s chin drool. I’m not proud of it but I did manage to explain, with Gma’s help, that sometimes when you are very old you aren’t aware that you are drooling, just like when babies drool. To his credit, Silly didn’t join in the laughter, just stared at GU’s chin like it was a science experiment. Not my best parenting moment.

Dinner time was interesting as GU sat at the table with the 3 kids. He loves chili and I had done my best but I had not thought about the messy repercussions of a chili meal. Add in the bread crumbs and the floor beneath each of their chairs was mildly disgusting.

Before you judge me too harshly, let me say this: GU is a lovely man who takes a genuine interest in me, my husband and kids, parent and siblings, nieces and nephews. He is not a perfect man and he provides plenty of opportunities for complaint but I believe he has a good heart and good intentions. I can’t help it if I find his strange quirks entertaining…someday someone will be laughing at me too.

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