Wednesday, March 17, 2010

the Gang Of Four has gone

This is the first evening since last Friday that I have not been cooking, cleaning or responding to the chorus of 'Granny Granny Granny'. I love my grandkids but I also think my daughter is nuts. What the hell was she thinking? Four? Two was exhausting back when.

I have prepared and cleaned up after (with the occasional help of various kidlings) three meals a day from Saturday evening to Wednesday afternoon (except Marc did Tuesday night and lunch today, the preparing part). So much work goes into meal prep and clean up.

We only had two kids. Our daughter? Four. Two seemed consuming to me. I don't know how she does it. And I thank god for birth control. My mother and sister have done some genealogy and the lists of children have 10 to 12 entries. Granted, up to about a third of the children also died back then, but can you just imagine giving birth that many times, having to look after, feed and tend to that many small lives? No wonder women wore out.

We also had lots of other fun. The kids brought their bikes and the other kids on the street were out for spring break. We worked a 500 pc. jigsaw puzzle, dug in the garden, bought and planted tomatoes, peppers and strawberries, collected eggs at my sister's, unrestrained bike riding ensued, we picked up the 8' diameter water tank (Big Mama's new pond if we ever get her moved) at the local feed store and brought it home in the back of the pick-up, there was some tree climbing, some sleeping in the tent in the backyard (yes, me too, one night), going to the library and at least one trip to the grocery store every day. They each got five dollars to spend at a resale shop (where everything over $1 is half price) in the next little town over or keep it or spend it on candy.

It's really been wonderful spring weather. It rained one whole day, an intermittent gentle rain, but all day just the same and then the next day was another blue sky warm day.

What I did not get done was the full size art work for the last window for the current job. Foolish of me, I know, to think that I had even a hope of getting it done while the Gang Of Four were here. Oh well, (sigh), a girl can dream.

So we are headed back to the city tomorrow as early as possible to begin the home stretch of the current project. We will be 'in city' until it is done.

I'd process a few pics to illustrate this post but it's late and I'm for bed.


  1. sleep! recharge!! you've done all you can!!! four!! i've got two and cleaning up after them, preparing for them. loving them and everything else is as much as i can manage on top of a career and everything else life has to offer. i bet you're a good gramma ellen!!! steven

  2. I hear you! My son has FIVE!!! Bless my stars...what a handful they were when little! Now they are all teenagers...just as scary but oh so much easier to care for. All you need is a computer, a TV, food and a cell phone and you are good to go!!

  3. My son only has one (so far), and I did love having him, the D-I-L and the baby here for a week. But I'd forgotten how much time one spends in the kitchen with "extra" people in the house! Now I remember why I didn't shed a tear when Son and his older siblings left home! :)

    As for the large families of old, a mother of eight told me that each of the older kids "adopt" (or are "assigned") one of the younger ones to help and watch over. Must've been that way a hundred, two hundred, years ago too.

  4. My daughter has 2 and is about to marry a man with 2 of the exact same age as hers (7 & 10). She says that when the four are together, they have so much fun that she and her partner barely have to lift a finger in terms of entertaining them.

    You sound like an amazing grandmother Ellen - sleeping in the tent, etc. Wonderful to have them come - sometimes nice to see them go ...

  5. You're lucky you get to plant tomatoes so early! We can't put ours in until mid-May at the earliest, because we still get frosts at night that would nip them. Some here advise not to plant them till Memorial Day, but I can NEVER wait that long. It's a short season here!

  6. Well for one thing I stopped making breakfast and lunch as soon as they were old enough to do it themselves.

  7. Great post Ellen. I have no experience with children of my own hence no grandkids. Life is pretty quiet here. Don't know how I used to work (teach with 20+ children), take care of home & husband & animals. Somehow there must have been more hours in the day.
    I know you cherish your time with the "Gang of Four". There is much love in this post. Have a great day!

  8. The best visits are full of fun stuff like sleeping in the tent in the backyard and digging in the garden. Another aspect of best visits has to do with how happy it is when everyone goes home. Sounds like a perfect break.

    I think people who had large families deputized the older children as soon as possible, so they became junior moms and dads. There is no way they ever could have done it otherwise.

    And still, women wore out. So did men.

  9. I only have one grandson - and he's insisting that I pay to him, ummm right now...! See ya later...

  10. I do want grandchildren one of these days...but four at one time--that would be a challenge!

  11. That sounds delightful. Can I be your fifth grandchild?

  12. I don't have Gkids yet and sort of hope I don't ever ... I had two and can't imagine what it would be like to have four.

  13. I had five children and I have no idea how I did that. I was younger then for sure, but it is still a lot of work. I was worn out after the week with my son's three little girls. But, oh, how I miss those sweet giggles, little hands in mine and arms around my neck. It is fun to see them come and go!

  14. Sounds tiring yes, but like it was recounted with a smile and a sense of fulfillment. Glad the weather was just right.

  15. It sounds like you had a lovely, albeit exhausting time with the four of them. And I'll bet you wouldn't trade it in for anything.

  16. I actually didn't know your granddaughter's name was Autumn. But how cool is that?

    It's a simply gorgeous name. Your daughter has good taste. :)

    Sounds like a wonderful, memorable time with your grandkids.


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