Hanging with the Coconuts is pretty cool. We are in the midst of summer break and I am loving having so much down time to spend with them. However, I must say that this years 4th of July festivities pretty much wore me out. See, we went to the Crazy G Ranch to spend 2 nights with “Papa and Jem” (the kids nickname for grandpa & grandma). What’s so tiring about that? Well let me tell ya, Papa and Jem are the best grandparents in the world. I’d put them head to head with anyone who thinks theirs are better. However the word “no” in the same sentence as the Coconuts is somewhat foreign to their tongues. Oh sure they’re going to argue that point but when the 5 year old comes out of the pantry after looting through the snack drawer with a package of OREO’s at 9 in the morning for breakfast and I’m the only one in the room with a problem with that, well I’m thinking they don’t have a leg to stand on.
Let me also throw this in the mix, the Grand Parental Units (GPU’s) live at the lake. At least they did until the worst drought since the days of Elijah hit, and instead of having lake front property, they now have 12 acres of…I don’t know what….stuff that used to be under the lake?? But it’s still a pretty cool place. Additionally the GPU’s have the mother of all home theaters. In my kids perfect little world (since the lake is out for now) they would go up there, eat chocolate and popcorn whilst drinking something full of caffeine and sugar and watch movies non-stop for 48 hours straight. So it’s to this kid mecca that we go. We arrive like the Clampett’s complete with several suitcases, groceries, and our silly Dachshund, Samson, who loves going there as well. You see, it’s not only the Coconuts that the grandparents adore but our dumb dog as well. He gets the royal treatment every time we go and I would not be surprised if one day after a visit there, he refuses to get into the car for the return trip.
No sooner have we arrived do the Coconut’s begin. “Are we going swimming?” Me: “Where?! There’s no water!” Coconut’s #1: “Grandma said!!” You see, the GPU’s have somehow managed to convince my children that the Coconut’s every wish is their command. Even if it means calling down rain from heaven apparently. Coconut #2 chimes in: “Are we going to shoot fireworks?” Me: “Tomorrow. Today is only July 3rd.” He replies, “So??” Meanwhile the 2 year old Coconut is running amuck making as much noise and mess as possible while we drag suitcases and bags in the house. At the same time I’m screaming like a shrew at the dumb dog, “go make poop!” You see, if he is not reminded he will go straight into the house and leave a little present for the GPU’s. They’ll say, “Oh he just gets confused!” Yeah. Because he’s only been there 75,000 times. And he’s been house broken for 3 years. I can see how he’d forget.
Ok here’s a run down of our 4th of July festivities: 1. Death by Slip ‘N Slide – which I vividly remember from my youth….I think I might still have a rock or two impaled in my groin area from the full on belly flops on wet plastic stretched out over hard, rocky ground.
2. Coconut and GPU Hallmark Bonding Moments – This is where the Coconuts wake them up at the crack of dawn begging for Fruit Loops and cartoons while Hubby and I sneak back upstairs for an hour (or two) more sleep…Priceless.
3. Double Feature Movie Night (or Afternoon) – In other words, Papa puts on a movie for them and then dozes off in the safety of the darkened theater.
4. And finally….the grand finale….FIREWORKS! Over which I was feeling both excited and apprehensive about. 3 kids amped up on sugar and adrenaline, $200 worth of aerial bombs…er I mean fireworks, and 2 grown men (Hubby and Papa) over joyed with the prospect of having an excuse to play with explosives. So you are sensing my stress level now.
Anyway, I had planned this whole Norman Rockwell thing. Brushed up on my American history and was ready to infuse them with a dose of patriotism. I started out by asking them if they knew why we celebrated the 4th of July. Coconut #1 says, “I know! Because it’s America’s birthday!” Before I could tell her how awesome and right she was, Coconut #2 breaks out singing, “My Country Tis’ of Thee, while the 2 year old starts into her version of Happy Birthday. We are interrupted from our little history lesson by Hubby and Papa dragging out the box of explosives and a lighter. I can’t compete with pyrotechnics.
Seriously though, the bible says, “Grandchildren are the crown of the aged, and the glory of children is their fathers.” My children are blessed to have the GPU’s that they do. Money can’t buy the relationship, the love, and the bond that a strong family has. The Hubby and I are blessed to call his parents Mom and Dad. And yes, it’s true, they spoil their grands but not rotten. Besides, that’s their reward for not killing their own when they were young. Who am I to take that away from them??