We took dinner to Grandma’s for Sunday Dinner last night. I’d made Kitchen Sink Casserole, which, as you may surmise, has everything in it but the kitchen sink.
And that is a good thing, since my kitchen sink is pretty grody right now.
Anyway, the casserole was yummy.
Critter and I had had a particularly difficult day leading up to dinner, which included unfortunate events like:
Getting yellow paint on the wooden deck because he was curious as to how the spray can worked, and
Getting gravel in the lawn which needed to be picked out by hand, a piece at a time, when he was trying to shotput a bucket of said gravel into the driveway from the front steps, and
Spraying the garden hose all over creation, making mud puddles galore, when he was asked to just fill up the watering can.
Now, I realize that none of these things, or the literally dozens of other similar events, were horrific transgressions, but added up together, he became nothing short of Dennis the Menace.
There was yelling. I won’t lie to you. There was copious amounts of yelling.
I HATE ‘and then’s….
and then he got sassy.
THAT was his only true mistake yesterday.
You don’t sass Mama.
So we upgraded from stage yellow, the ‘yelling’ stage, straight to stage orange, the ‘I’ll be taking that’ stage.
The “I’ll be taking that” stage is where I begin taking toys and privileges from him and putting them away until he re-earns them. Yesterday afternoon, Critter lost just about everything but his mind. And I’m not sure on that one.
You get the picture … it was a rough day. We were all SO ready for the peace and calm at Grandma’s house.
We got there and ate, letting our heart rates slow, and blood pressures decrease, and then I flopped out on the chaise lounge on Grandma’s screened porch while Critter, Varmint and My Captain went out into Grandma’s Orchard to pick some cherries in the warm late afternoon sunshine.
When the breeze shifted just so, I could hear them laughing; and every now and again I caught a glimpse of running legs or reaching arms from the cherry row. The peach and apple trees, and the concord grape vines were too much in the way to see clearly. But there was no doubt they were having a ball.
I really wanted to be with them. I’d been in ‘enforcement’ mode all day and longed to be in ‘playtime’ mode. Besides, Critter and I needed to do some re-bonding. But my dingdang knee makes it impossible to navigate the orchard by foot these days. (The knee surgery is in two weeks. And that is two weeks too far off, if you ask me.)
They eventually came back with full bags of cherries, eyes shining, grinning ear to ear. Grandma Jane was content to sit back and watch her brood be happy….but I wanted to be a part of it! Especially after our horrendous day. They told me I could make cherry tarts for them, and that would make up for not being able to run in the orchard.
(Well, of course I did, and they were delicious, but that is for another post!)
Later on, back home, I laid down in Critter’s bed to help send him off to sleep.
He turned on his side; his little back and shoulders curled away from me.
I wrapped an arm around him anyways, and listened to the Lullaby music I’ve played for the kids since they were babes. I could see the stars twinkling in the window. One of the cats jumped onto the foot of the bed and laid down, purring. The clocked ticked.
I felt his little body slowly relax.
I whispered in his ear that I loved him.
He mumbled, “Yeah, right.”
Apparently he was still peeved about the day.
I know better than to argue with my Critter when he is holding a grudge. So I began kissing his whole face until he giggled “Ok! Ok! I love you too!”
Hey, I’m not proud. I’ll take an “I love you, too” even if it is given under duress!
It’s better than a home made fresh Cherry Tart, I promise you.