It should all go like clockwork.
7 minutes drive there, pick up the prescription, which I’ve already checked is ready and waiting, and then 7 minutes back into the garage, even if every traffic light is red. With a bit of luck in the green department, I could make the round trip in half the time. The expedition is timed to coincide with lunch, which means that Nonna is willing to hold the fort whilst small people consume welcome calories.
The table is laid in advance. All accompaniments doled out within easy reach of everyone at the table. Containment in one room is the norm, to minimize mess and engender warm family feelings of togetherness. I pop the piping hot loaf onto the board and give Nonna custody of the knife. I demand that each child verbally acknowledge that Nonna is in charge, and that each and every one of them will be good.
As I leave the house I ponder whether the term ‘good’ needed greater clarification?
I do not dally to chat with my pal the pharmacist. Instead I race home to arrive back in record time.
In the kitchen, I find Nonna, flustered and flapping a yoghourt top foil as globules fly, “wot you tink?”
“If it fall down…….which way?”
“Oh always soggy side down, it’s almost a scientific certainty.”
“Where it is…….dah ting?” she asks with the pot in one hand and the top in the other.
“I don’t know where the stain is but if you show me I’ll wipe it up for you, don’t worry, I’ll find a cloth.” I should probably have let her continue to search for a cloth herself, as now that I have interrupted her train of thought, we find that’s she forgotten where the blot was. A cat guards the blot, an easy visual clue under the table. Under the table there is the usual fall-out from those with poor co-ordination and weak motor skills, crumbs, slicks and slimes, a horrible sticky mess.
Strangely, no-one is at the table, just the debris. I turn to Nonna who hunts for a spoon in the kitchen. Her face shows high colour. “Are you o.k.?” I bellow.
“Ooo yes. I am just…….all worn out.”
“How come?” before she has a chance to answer I hear a small loud voice shout an unusually audible command, “more please, I am being dah hungry one still.” Even more strangely still, Nonna visibly or rather audibly, hears the request. She leans on the counter, one hand on her hip, the other outstretched shakily to point in the direction of the commander in chief, “it’s im……..he as worn me out…….I never see im eat so much……ever…….before………dey eat dah whole loaf of bread between dem…….I ave bin rushing back and forth a dozen times……or more!”
I skip to the family room where my son lolls on the carpet watching telly in the middle of the day, surrounded by his own personal nest of crumbs and smears, an empty plate at his feet, his feet, which like the rest of him, is devoid of clothing. I hear the exact same demand echoing from a different part of the house. I dash over to the different part of the house where my other son is in a similar condition in front of the computer screen in the hall. “And what exactly do you think you are doing young man?”
“I like Nonna baby sit. I good for Nonna.”
Moral :- define your terms.
Nonna gets a score of AAB* for her efforts.
I get the E for the effort to clean up.
AAB = Above And Beyond
3 hours ago