Rich is the “FUN” grandparent. I am “fun,” but I am also the enforcer when we are babysitting (if parents are there, I stay out of it!). Rich finds cool games on his iPad, tells jokes, says outlandish things to the kids to get a reaction, entertains them in various ways and cooks their favorite foods for them. At some point, our son in law David came up with the name “FunPa” and it has become one of Rich’s alternate names when we’re with the Amarillo grandkids. Emery, especially, will spontaneously call him “FunPa” and we all crack up.
We left for Amarillo last Thursday to babysit Friday through Sunday while Bonnie and David went to Santa Fe to shoot a wedding. Earlier in the week, I’d had a scratchy throat and pain when I swallowed, but after one bad night it went away and was replaced with a case of laryngitis. Elle and Beck told me I sounded “scary” and “creepy” and Elle said I should JUST NOT TALK because it was freaking her out. I really didn’t feel bad but I was only able to talk in a whisper. I considered going to the doc in Dallas but blew it off, thinking it would all run its course in a day or two.
Thursday was not bad; we had a nice drive to Bonnie’s (except for a discussion about Rich’s propensity to speed and his lack of concern about getting a ticket, followed by a stop by a county sheriff for going 65 in a 50 mph zone….luckily being an old white guy with no blemishes on his record, all he got was a “y’all be careful now,” not even a warning). It was lovely to see the kids and grandkids after a couple of months. Ada came right to me when I got out of the car, and once in the house climbed up on Rich’s lap. I was a little surprised since we hadn’t seen her in awhile and she is always a little leery at first. Emery and Luke had plenty to tell us and they are always excited to hang out. We enjoyed a nice dinner and took a walk around the neighborhood with the whole family, played “Mexican Train” and talked the night away.
Friday I thought my voice was coming back a little bit and I was feeling okay. I got up early with Bonnie to take Luke to school so I would know where to pick him up later, while David went to “Donuts with Dad” at Emery’s school. Bonnie was home with us for most of the day till David got off work at 3, then they left for Santa Fe. Rich stayed home with Ada while she napped and I drove across town to pick Luke up. He goes to a magnet preK program through the school district, half low income kids, half “other” kids, a very highly regarded school that has enrichment classes such as piano and Spanish. He was fortunate to get picked in a lottery to go; since he is now attending, Ada will also be able to go when she is old enough. The only bad thing is that the school is quite a ways from Bonnie and David’s house so it’s a bit of an ordeal for Bonnie to get Emery and Luke to two different schools each morning and picked up on time each afternoon. Thankfully Bonnie’s friend Niki agreed to bring Emery home so I only had to pick up Luke. We got everyone home, played, had dinner, watched a movie and the kids went off to bed happy. First day: Success!
Saturday’s schedule included two soccer games for Emery and one for Luke, starting at 10 AM, leaving the house at 9:30. By the time I was settling in on Friday night, my throat was hurting again, but worse than that, both of my ears were throbbing something terrible. I hardly slept all night with all of the pain and pressure. Man, now I know why babies scream unconsolably when they have an ear infection! Those things HURT. I could not get comfortable and felt like my eardrums were going to explode from the pressure. It was painful to lie down so I spent half the night partially sitting on the couch.
Rich was up early and I told him I thought I needed to go to an urgent care center because I didn’t think I could get through the day with all the kids’ activities feeling like this. I had already looked online and one clinic opened at 8 AM so we plotted out the morning’s tasks. I got Ada up and dressed and left Rich with instructions to feed everyone breakfast, dress the other two in their soccer uniforms (oh, and put a pony tail in Emery’s hair!), pack the car with the bag of snacks, diapers, water bottles, blanket, kids’ soccer balls, and oh, try to be on time! LOL Poor Grandpa.
I found the urgent care center and was seen fairly quickly. Strep test was negative, thankfully. Diagnosis: throat infection and double ear infection. “Your right ear is very red and inflamed!” I am terribly allergic to penicillin so the provider decided to give me a combo of two other antibiotics. I went across the street to the pharmacy to get the meds and the pharmacist acted like it was a bit of overkill, suggesting that I should pick up a probiotic, too, and drink lots and lots of water. Great. I texted Rich and asked him how it was going. “Some resistance to getting ready. Not sure if we will make it to the first game.” :)
After some trouble with my GPS which took me to a dog park instead of the soccer field, I finally arrived at the right location after Luke’s game was over (yes, they made it to the game with a couple of minutes to spare). It was pretty cold and windy so Rich took Luke and Ada home for lunch and nap while I stayed and watched Emery’s game. She was really into it, running hard and fighting for the ball, almost making a goal a couple of times. Go, Emery! Bonnie’s friend Niki said she was really proud of Rich for taking care of the kids and getting them all there as scheduled. When I reported this back to him, I added, “Of course you know that if I’d shown up with all the kids by myself, no one would have thought anything about it because women are just expected to do it!” He said “Oh, yes, I know…I thought about that myself!” At least he’s aware. :)
Niki offered to take Emery to lunch and then to the next game, which I took her up on since I wasn’t feeling great and couldn’t talk at all. Thank you, Niki!
I started on my antibiotics, stopped to find some homeopathic ear drops for pain, and hoped for the best. We had a nice rest-of-the-day despite all and I did actually start feeling enough better that I wasn’t miserable. I rested some while the kids played together and worked on some puzzles, Rich fixed dinner, I gave the kids baths, we watched a movie, Rich read bedtime stories, and everyone went to bed nicely. I was taking Ada to her room when she said, “I tired.” I put her in her crib, she laid her head on her pillow and that was that. Sweet.
I was grateful to get to sleep that night and felt like the meds were kicking in, thankful for FunPa taking the lead all day. Funny thing Emery told me: “You are serious and Grandpa is silly. Daddies are silly and Mommies are serious.” I told her one day she would understand why it is usually that way. LOL
Sunday Bonnie and Dave got home around 11 AM but David had to get right back to work shooting another wedding. Bless his heart! Rich stayed home with Ada while Bonnie and I took Luke and Emery to more soccer games; at least this time they both played at the same time on opposite fields so we could turn and watch each of them. Bonnie had to leave early to go help David take photos at the wedding so we traded cars and I waited for the kids to finish their games, then packed them up and headed back home.
Bonnie got back around 5:30; we’d already fed the kids and Rich fixed some burritos for us. Later we settled in to watch the presidential debate. Oh. my. goodness. That is a post for another day. I can’t stand Donald Trump, let’s just be honest here.
We hung out awhile this morning and then hit the road back to Dallas. It’s close to a 6 hour drive so we didn’t want to get home too late. A quick visit but always wonderful to be with the kids. The grandkids are super sweet and we love our time with them. So grateful for our family–there’s nothing better!