We are nearing the end of our first full week with the grandchildren, and so far everyone seems to be having a good time, although I must admit it took me awhile to get the hang of cooking for so many people. And the thing is, they expect to eat not just once but many times a day! Stephan, the youngest, is the self-appointed food critic, who has so far let me know that my cheese pizzas are delicious, my blueberry muffins would be better without the blueberries, my scrambled eggs are good, the corn is better than my home-made macaroni and cheese, the fresh green beans are not as good as canned, the heart-shaped cinnamon cereal is good without milk, and the milk is not what he’s used to but is okay. Jearid is the most adventurous eater, who proudly announced that he has even eaten eel before!
When the kids first arrived, we looked through all the flyers and brochures and events calendars that I had collected, and we put together a schedule of activities for the two weeks the children would be here. Jearid got to pick where to go for his birthday on July 5, and he picked the science center in St. Louis. We also offered the kids the choice of one other out-of-town trip for next week, and Stephan perked up at the sound of Lego Land in Kansas City. Bethany’s main interest was in swimming, so we penciled in several swimming days. Next we selected a few events with set times, such as a children’s concert of patriotic music, a production of the Wizard of Oz at the public library, a July 4th party and fireworks display, and a dance walk. Finally, we filled in the remaining time slots with events that could be done at any time, such as throwing rocks in the creek, more swimming, watching boats go down the river, bowling, visiting the art department and playing with clay, learning to play the banjo.
By now, we have settled into a nice routine. As people wake up, they fix themselves a bowl of cereal, and then, once everyone is up, we have lunch (something simple like omelets or cheese quesadillas or macaroni and cheese), and after lunch we head off to do our scheduled activity for the day. After that, we have dinner at home, play checkers or mancala, listen to grandpa read The Phantom Tollbooth, watch a movie or tv show on their dad’s computer, or do whatever else we can think of to entertain ourselves. Bethany spends a lot of time on her phone, reading and listening to music, and writing stories. Bedtime is a relaxed affair, with people heading off to bed when they get tired. Usually the boys outlast the rest of us, but they were up bright and early and ready to head to the Science Center yesterday.