Grandparent/Parent, Involvement/Commitment

Recipe: Exhaustion

Recently I was reminded of the old saying about the difference between involvement and commitment. In a bacon and egg breakfast, the chicken is involved and the pig is committed. This past weekend we learned why ‘grandparent’ is a noun and ‘parent’ should rightly be a verb.

On Friday our Arizona kids (Elizabeth, Jason, Sarah, and John) flew to San Francisco to visit our California kids (Erin and Bob). It would be the first time all of them had been together for an extended period, sans children. To facilitate this event, Kathleen and I volunteered to take care of the two youngest grandchildren, Jonas (three years old) and Colby (nine months old). The two older grand-kids, Bennett and Gray, were visiting their Grandma Linda and extended family in Florida. This should be easy, right? There are two of them and two of us. We outweigh them by at least … well, let’s just say it’s by a sizable amount. We can employ a man defense and heck, Colby can’t even walk yet. How hard can this be? It’s only 72 hours.

Did I mention that it’s been a little bit warm here in Phoenix lately? Yeah, it’s been that warm. This picture was taken on our back patio at 2:35pm on Saturday. 120 degrees Fahrenheit Even by Phoenix standards, that is hot. But no problem because we’ve got great air-conditioning, or we had great air-conditioning until Saturday when the downstairs unit went belly-up.

So we retreated to the “hot tub”, which can’t even heat the water as hot as the outside temperature.

And we watched Star Wars in the “cool” house, which actually was cooler than outside, just not by as much as we wanted.

And we did puzzles with our new friend Owen.

And we watched the first stages of the Tour de France, which was very exciting.

What we didn’t do was cook hardly anything. Really, how do parents find the time and energy to actually cook? I know that when we were parents we must have cooked, but I can’t imagine how. Here is our culinary weekend in its natural order:

  • Friday dinner: take-out pizza for non-Colbys, Colby has home-made (by his Dad) baby food
  • Saturday breakfast: coffee for Grandma and Grandpa, Jonas has toaster waffles, Colby has baby food
  • Saturday lunch: take-out from Rubio’s for non-Colbys, Colby has baby food
  • Saturday dinner: Grandma and Grandpa are too tired to eat, Jonas has leftovers from lunch, Colby has baby food
  • Sunday breakfast: coffee for Grandma and Grandpa, Jonas has toaster waffles, Colby has baby food
  • Sunday lunch: grilled cheese sandwiches for the non-Colbys, Colby has baby food
  • Sunday dinner: the non-Colbys have home-made (by Colby’s Dad) spaghetti sauceĀ  over pasta with garlic bread (the only real meal we had all weekend), Colby has baby food
  • Monday breakfast: coffee for Grandma and Grandpa, Jonas has yogurt, Colby has baby food
  • Monday lunch: we get McDonalds take-out for the non-Colbys (for shame), Colby has baby food

I can’t say I’m proud of that performance. By virtue of the home-made baby food (thank you, John), Colby made it through the weekend with his normal excellent diet. I don’t think we actually harmed Jonas by feeding him the food we did, mostly because that child burns calories so quickly that any excess fat from the three (three!) fast-food/take-out meals was gone before sundown, but we didn’t do him any favors either. Do you even see a vegetable mentioned in there? And I’m pretty sure that Grandma and Grandpa would die soon if they continued to eat that way.

The “cooking” I did this weekend consisted of:

  • toasting frozen waffles
  • three grilled cheese sandwiches
  • heating up the sauce (thank you, John), boiling the pasta, and toasting the garlic bread

And at the end of the 72 hours when the Arizona kids returned home from visiting the California kids, we were all exhausted.

Rating: Even though it was exhausting, we liked the hell out of it. Jonas said he liked it and Colby smiled, but I think Colby smiles even when he’s crying. Note that the ’5 wine glasses’ attached to this post isn’t as much a rating as it is an abbreviated* list of beverages consumed this weekend by Grandma and Grandpa.

*very abbreviated

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4 Responses to Grandparent/Parent, Involvement/Commitment

  1. Amanda N says:

    I LOVE this weekend of yours! Looks like you had a great time with the boys. It’s freaky how they look like brothers, right? We watched a Jonas-aged guy a few weeks ago for 4 hours. We thought we were going to die. And then we drank. Btw, do you do dog babysitting too? ;-)

  2. EB says:

    Your weekend menu looks stunningly familiar, sans the McD’s. Frozen pizza, waffles, grilled cheese, mac ‘n cheese, and quesadillas are the menu at our house. Your surprise at your weekend cuisine makes me think that there is hope for my future. ??

    • JT says:

      EB, I just forgot how little free time you have when you’ve got a 3-year-old and a baby to ride herd on. It takes a hell of a lot more planning ahead to actually be able to cook, and I didn’t do the planning before we took the grand-kids hand-off. But, it was fun and I don’t think any permanent damage was done to anyone or anything.

  3. Pingback: The Doctor Is In | Wine and a Spoon

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