Tuesday, December 08, 2015

Yesterday was my 10th Blogiversary -- but that wasn't my focus yesterday either

In many ways, yesterday was a pretty good example of how things stand in my life at this point.

My wife wants to get to school by 7:30 a.m. each morning, if not sooner. We hit this target better at the beginning of the week than at the end. If my wife is at school by 7:30 a.m., I can be in my office by 8:10. But not yesterday.

Oh, my wife was on time, and so was I. I even started a post on my 'real-life' blog before we left the house. And I had a client email that allowed me to finish a pleading that I needed to efile -- I didn't get the papers filed before I left the house, but I swapped out the signed pages for the unsigned ones in the .pdf file that I would later dispatch to the Circuit Clerk's efiling provider.

But I wasn't going into the office, not directly. I dropped my wife off at school and continued (through the foggy gloom) to Younger Daughter's house. I was on grandpa duty.

Younger Daughter is 'on the nest' again (sometime next April, if all goes well, I will have four granddaughters -- yes, I have been away for awhile). Anyway, my daughter is having a problem for which she must have occasional physical therapy. I won't bore you with the details for the simple reason that I don't know them.

Nor do I want to.

My only question is, is this serious? Younger Daughter says it's not -- but she has to do this PT anyway -- and that's enough for me.

Yesterday, as on a couple of recent occasions, I have been pressed into babysitting duty while Younger Daughter heads off to medical appointments. Yesterday her appointment was at 8:00. Even after doing my fatherly and grandfatherly duty, I had hopes of getting downtown at a decent hour.

The front door was unlocked when I arrived.

Granddaughter No. 1 was in the kitchen with her mother, but she squealed when she heard me bumble in. (I had my briefcase and a large bag of stuff. You don't think my wife would send me off to her daughter's house without sending something along with me, do you? Yesterday, it was two containers of pea soup and a container of assorted cookie cutters.)

"Grampy's here when I wake up!" Granddaughter No. 1 enthused.

I may have mentioned: I am now referred to primarily as Grampy. Long Suffering Spouse believes it is a contraction of Grampy and Grumpy -- and she's almost certainly right.

"Come on, Grampy!" Granddaughter No. 1 came bounding out of the kitchen and grabbed my coat (my hands were full), obviously intent on dragging me somewhere.

"Can't I put down my stuff or take off my coat?" I asked.

"Come on, Grampy!"

Younger Daughter looked on, bemused.

At least the child was dragging me to the kitchen, where I could deposit the soup and cookie cutters. Younger Daughter was darn near excited as her daughter. "Mom made pea soup!"

I still had my coat on as three year-old Granddaughter No. 1 dragged me into her room. I had to see her "Inside Out" sheets. "This is Joy," she told me, "and this is Anger, and this is Sadness...." She also inventoried a dozen or so dolls and stuffed animals on her bed, singling out the Madeline doll she'd taken from my house just the day before. (Long Suffering Spouse saved a great deal of toys in anticipation of grandchildren; her foresight now pays regular dividends.) "And she has a boo-boo," Granddaughter No. 1 told me, lifting up Madeline's jumper to show me the appendix 'scar' on the stuffed toy.

Eventually, I got my coat off and deposited my briefcase. Younger Daughter gave me my final instructions and I gave her my car key so she could get to her appointment. Granddaughter No. 1 had a lot to tell me about the decorations on the Christmas tree. And she remembered to ask, like I'm sure her mother prompted her, "when are you going to put up your Christmas tree, Grampy?"

Eventually -- after she swung the little foam baseball bat that one of her uncles gave her and showed me how she likes to dance in her princess castle (a small tent, shaped like a castle turret, ideally sized for three year-olds) she subsided long enough for me to sit in my son-in-law's recliner and resume drinking my coffee. I even pulled out my iPad and sent the pleading I had finalized a little earlier off for filing.

It was while I had the iPad out that Granddaughter No. 1 came over and gave me the fish eye.

Insofar as she's concerned, my iPad is a device that she can use to play Elmo ABCs or Elmo numbers or maybe dance to a video of Harry Belafonte's Jump in the Line (she's got great musical tastes, especially for a three year-old). But the efiling website did not look like any of these. "What are you doing, Grampy?" she asked, in a slightly accusatory tone.

"I'm just trying to get a little work done," I said.

Well, this was unacceptable, as I realized the moment I said it. I quickly ditched the iPad.

It was time for TV.

I have been over to the kids' house often enough now that I can work the TV and the DVR all by myself -- but what I can't do is open up the childproof and grandparent-proof lock on the cabinet wherein the DVR resides. So we could watch whatever was queued up -- and, as was eminently predictable for this time of year, the DVR was loaded with the Frosty/Rudolph disc.

So we watched Frosty the Snowman. Then we watched Rudolph.

But, for the most part, we didn't really watch. Granddaughter No. 1 was playing with stuffed toys. Or looking at books (she "reads" to me, but I am not yet allowed to read to her). Then she announced she had to go potty.


The last few times I've sat I've managed to avoid any of this -- but not yesterday -- I tried to her this was not in my job description, but she just looked at me and pretended not to understand.

But Granddaughter No. 1 is very independent and managed her business pretty much by herself. I hovered outside the door, coming in only to make sure that the bowl from the little potty got poured into the big potty without spilling. I probably was supposed to let her flush.

At her birthday party a few months back, one of her father's friends brought her a giant bubble wand -- and I mean bubbles several feet in diameter. I don't think they're substantial enough to show up on the radar at nearby O'Hare, but some of them -- when generated by an expert, at least -- were that big.

The bubble solution is long gone now, but the wand looks very much like a sword and Granddaughter No. 1 brought it out of her playroom to run me through with it. I died several horrible deaths -- my granddaughter thinks I'm a great actor -- before I was able to pry the wand away.

Of course, the only reason I succeeded was that Granddaughter No. 1 was tiring. She climbed up on my lap and we watched a couple of minutes of Rudolph.

She sings all the songs, of course. I'm allowed to accompany her now, sometimes. That's real progress. She wouldn't let anyone (except on rare occasions her mother) sing to her for the longest time. She threw a fit when the assembled company sang "Happy Birthday" to her at her party.

But a couple of minutes rest was all that was required. The next thing I knew, she'd unzipped her PJs again and zoomed into her bedroom. She was pointing to her closet when I walked in. "You want to get dressed?" I asked. She pointed again.

Of course. She needed her Princess Elsa dress. I helped her wriggle into it.

Thankfully Mommy came home soon thereafter. It wasn't even 10:00 -- and I felt I'd already done a full day's work. Younger Daughter said I'd done a good job, though, which helped.

But then it was time to shift gears and head to work.

Back to reality.

Back to a$$hole lawyers.

I have a matter pending now with one of the worst lawyers I have ever met. His word means nothing. He has violated even his own, unilateral agreements. I can't talk to him anymore without getting furious. I can't even correspond with him. He has filed a fraudulent case, in furtherance of his client's desire to bankrupt my clients. Thanks to liberal discovery rules and an indifferent judge, he may yet succeed. And I may yet have a stroke.

And that case was tops on the pile -- as it is most days, these days -- when I got into the office.

Here's the problem: I find it hard to shift gears from happy Grampy to the gear necessary to deal with jerks like this one. The emotional transition is just too jarring. I'm finding it exhausting.

Maybe I'll talk about that case here sometime. Depending on whether or not I stroke out.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I somehow missed a grand daughter arriving. I know older daughter has one and younger daughter has one and is now pregnant with her second but who has the other one? You go so long without updating that your family grows in the time you are away...lol..Grandkids are the best thing, ever! Congratulations on all of yours.