“You are not going out with that boy unless his parents are driving and that's that. I'm not just Spitting Grits here, young lady!”

. . . My father, John Thomas Cravey, USAF, to me in 1956.

Bumps and Bruises in the Night

The other night I came down the stairs well after midnight. As I stepped down the last stair, I heard the cow mooing. I walked into the den. It mooed again. Then the damned plastic penguin said, “Just smile and wave boys. Just smile and wave,” which it does when it shifts or moves.

I wanted to throw the animal puzzle into the fire along with the Happy Meal penguins, popular after the movie “Madagascar.” I kicked something in the dark. Whiiiirrrr, whirr, whir. It was that hateful little blue train engine again. It always took me a few minutes to figure that one out. I thought it might be the DVD player still running and eating up the DVD.


The puzzle has a battery in it. When you lift up the frog and replace it in its shape, it goes, “Ribbit, ribbit.” The cat meows, the cow moos, etc., etc. I won’t be getting another talking puzzle.

Another of the penguins says something else every time you walked by. I turned it to the wall.

So, here I am, in my golden years, tripping over our almost three-year-old granddaughter’s puzzles and toys when falling and breaking a hip can be serious business.

I tripped over her a few nights ago. She was sitting on the floor of the kitchen just behind me, and I turned to walk away from the sink. She grabbed her leg and started crying. I’ve tripped over Patty the cat and Maggie the dog, but Joanna Leigh can say, “Mama Jo, why you do that?”

She wouldn’t understand if I said, “Sweetie, I’m just not very agile anymore.”

Last night I was looking in the cabinet under the sink for the roll of garbage bags. It was gone. I looked everywhere; I accused my husband of using them for something and forgetting what he did with them. This hacked him off. Then I got down on my hands and knees to peer deeper into the cabinet. When I still didn’t see the roll, I struggled to get back up.

“What you doing, Mama Jo?” said Joanna Leigh behind me.

What could I say?

Then my husband hit on the probable answer to the missing roll of garbage bags. “I’ll bet the baby threw them in the garbage.”

Bingo, I thought. She has seen us put a garbage bag from the roll “into the garbage can.” So, she put the whole thing in the garbage can. More is better.

Grandparents’ raising a grandchild is serious business, as the reasons a child is not with the parent(s) are usually because of bad situations. I expect that the 2010 Census will reveal many more than the supposed 6 million grandparents living with grandchildren.

So we get our laughs where we can.


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