Usually I’m just sandwiched by two slices of bread: my kids (organic whole wheat) and my mom (Wonder bread). On Wednesday, we made it a club sandwich.
My dad came in from Chicago via Ohio. He was there with a “friend” (i.e., girlfriend, one of several, I think). She had some business in her hometown there, and decided to make the day trip to see me for my birthday. He’d called last week, on my birthday, and left a message proposing the lunch date. Asked me to find a sitter for the kids.
Didn’t mention which day, though. Senior moment (he’s 79, and hard-of-hearing. To put it politely.).
I was a bit miffed that he’d asked me to ship off the kids. I mean, it’s not like he sees them that often…maybe four times a year. Asks me to hire a sitter…and forgets to tell me when?
Then I took a deep breath (or ten), and remembered that he IS hard-of-hearing. Anytime the kids are around, or he’s in a crowd (same difference), he can’t make out what’s going on. It’s frustrating for everyone.
So amid several emails and texts, we settled on Wednesday at 1:30 pm.
Wednesday morning, I text him, asking him to call when he crosses the border into Pennsylvania. That’ll give me an hour to get the kids to “the sitter” (aka Grandma Chiquita).
I do a little laundry and work out. When I finish, it’s noon and I’m DRIPPING with sweat. Mom calls. She wants to know if I’m bringing the kids for lunch. Lunch is served at noon.
“But Mom, I’m not dressed,” I tell her. “If I bring the kids over now, I just KNOW I won’t have time for a shower. Dad’ll probably show up early, with my luck.”
“Why don’t you call him?” she suggests.
“Never mind…I’ll take the world’s fastest shower and be over in a few minutes.”
So I jump into the shower. Moments later, Big Sis bursts through the door.
“Mom! Grandpa’s here!” she says, breathless from her trip upstairs.
He’s over an hour early. Crap.
Double crap. Mom was right…I SHOULD have called him.
“Oh!” I said. “Did you let him in?”
“Did he ring the bell yet?”
“Well, let him in, then!” I told her. And as an afterthought, “Crate the dog!”
I start rinsing. Thirty seconds later, Little Sis bursts in.
“Mom! Jack is outside, and Grandpa is inside!”
“Are you kidding me? You guys let the DOG out?!?”
“Grandpa is inside, though,” she reports.
“Well, thanks. Tell him that I’m in the shower and I’ll be down as quick as I can.”
I dry off and put on some clothes. As I’m pulling a brush through my hair, I hear some commotion from the bathroom window, which overlooks the back deck. The kids have managed to lure the dog back inside with some dog food.
By the time I get downstairs, things are back under control. The dog is back out on the deck, this time secured on his tie-out cable. I apologize for my absence and for the commotion.
We all greet one another, and decide to caravan to Mom’s place so I can drop the kids before lunch. A little while later, we’ve settled into a booth at the new Thai place in town, and have a lovely lunch.
Afterwards, we pick up my car and go back to the house for a while to visit. My dad’s friend (who’s lovely, by the way) offers to take the dog for a walk so we can have some “family time.”
Dad and I look at each other. Do we need family time? What would THAT be for?
So she takes the dog, and we catch up a bit. He explains that in her family, she and her sister fight a lot, so they need lots of “family time.”
Pretty soon, I end up helping him on the computer. It’s a recurring theme with him. He needs help with something simple, so we help. It turns out to be not so simple, like setting up a “free” profile on a website that eventually tells you that it will be $50 to hit publish, please. Visa or MasterCard?
Then, when the help doesn’t help him as much as he’d planned, he rips on the helper. *sigh* And wonders why no one ever will help him.
Then it was time to go…I to pick up the girls from Mom and deliver them unto dance class, and he and his friend back to Ohio.
‘Twas a lovely sandwich…I mean, visit.