Saturday, October 11, 2008

My Grandmother's Chest

* I read my email as my girls prepare for their respective sleepovers. I read one note from a chum, a round robin about ovarian cancer. It also lists the main symptoms. The one that catches my eye is the term ‘persistent lethargy or over tiredness.’ This seems to be a symptom common to so many diseases. How should I be able to distinguish between general fatigue and sickly fatigue I wonder? I yawn as my daughter drags a sack two thirds the size of her own body mass into the kitchen.
“Got everything dear?”
“Er…..yes I think so.”
“Ooo look! You’ve forgotten your toothbrush, over there.”
“Did you pack some toothpaste?”
“What about your pyjamas?”
“Cuddly blankie?”
“Clothes for tomorrow?”
“Wash cloth, soap, toiletries.”
“Toilet? They have a toilet.”
“Nevermind, I’ll put some bits and pieces together for you. So what do you have in there?”
“Three blankets, my Webkinz, my toys and some snacks.”
“Maybe you should take a sleeping bag instead.”
“No they make up a bed for me.”
“Then why do you need so many blankets?”
“Er….I just need em.”
“Are the snacks a gift? Shall we wrap them?”
“No, they’re to eat.”
“But you’re having supper there.”
“Still gotta eat.” I give up and head off to fill in the missing blanks when I bump into my older daughter with her sketch book under one arm, “all set dear.”
“I think you left the tent in the garage.”
“I don’t need the tent.”
“No tent? Is there a cabin?”
“Nope, sleep under the stars in my sleeping bag.”
“No backpack?”
“It’s only one night mum!” I leave the minimalist at the bottom of the stairs and whip up to gather supplies for the maximalist.

I nip downstairs again when Nonna is saying her goodbyes at the door. We watch her together as she hurtles off on her bike, care free and devoid of possessions. I shut the door and we totter through to the family room where my youngest daughter attempts to stuff additional Pokemon into a sack all ready to burst.
"Careful, you will split dah bag!" warns Nonna.
"This dumb bag. It's pathetic."
"Tell you what, you can borrow dah suitcase dat I brought from home."
"That's ain't big enough either! It's only a little diddy English suitcase." She flounces from the room, temporarily defeated. Nonna turns to me, "how long is she go for? How long are dey both go for?"
"One night. She'll be back at 8:30 tomorrow morning.......her sister......any time in the next few days, assuming she doesn't get too many punctures."
"I wonder ow long it will take?"
"To whittle her down to just a sketch pad?"


Kaber said...

I'm more of the just take the sketch pad person. and clean underwear.

Patois said...

My children pack all the same essentials as your youngest: Webkinz, Pokemon, and enough books to outfit a small library.

Jayne said...

I'm with Nonna and your eldest lol.

Casdok said...

Just wait till she starts using a handbag!!

DJ Kirkby said...

Minimalist and ,aximalist, lol. I am a maximalist. Being tired and lethargic is a symptom of everyday life nowadays in my opinion.

Jocelyn said...

It is so heartening to know that the conversations of my household actually take place the country over.

dulwichmum said...

You know the only thing they would really miss is their special toy or blanket. I love that about our kids, they are still babies really, they will always be to us.